Thursday, September 30

Did you know OCC's Paul Jr was chief designer for Falcon Motorcycles?

No, nor did Falcon Motorcycles...

Strange, then, that creative genius Paul is using one of Falcon's bikes as a representation of his skills on 'Paul Jr Designs' t-shirts, available from his website.

This has to stop.

If you have a Blog, please repost this.


Check the Paul Jr Designs webshop... suddenly this design is 'sold out' (in other words removed). Job done... for now.

For whom the bell tolls

Back to my desk after a 600 mile roadtrip, shooting stuff for the mag.

Had a great time back in my hometown... thanks Renshaw for the hospitality and letting me ride your FXR. The first Evo I've ever ridden... is that a good thing or not? I'm now a convert.

Great to see the London crew and get to lanesplit in the big smoke again... at least a decade since I've done that.

Also got to hang out with Johnny Morales, a legend and shapeshifter who is blurred in every photo I've ever seen of him (including the ones I took this week). His garage is un-be-liev-able.

Had a good time too with Shaky in Bristol shooting Shu's lovely XS... another enviable garage and lovely tea. Sorry it was a lightning visit mate.

Back to layouts and tax returns.

Wednesday, September 29

London's Burning

All across the town, all across the night
Everybody's driving with full headlights
Black or white turn it on, face the new religion
Everybody's sitting 'round watching television!

I'm up and down the Westway, in an' out the lights
What a great traffic system - it's so bright
I can't think of a better way to spend the night
Than speeding around underneath the yellow lights...

Monday, September 27

Why do we never have Jap bikes in the mag?

We do... well, OK, not that many, but we have been known to be a bit picky.

Jonny Audsley's XS looks the biz... coming soon!

Sunday, September 26

Freak out the squares

Back then there seemed to be the outlaws on one side of the tracks and the squares on the other, all riding Harleys.

Now it's all outlaws... some of them just happen to be dentists and real estate agents.

Friday, September 24

Big inch flatty straight off the boat

Didn't catch his name, but this guy had just picked up this super-straight and original UL from the States; on the Sunday morning he was taking his boy for a ride around the Hot Rod Drags site.

Look at the kid's face: this is the moment he's catching that old bike bug...

Thursday, September 23

Pan at the Shovel

Met Pete yesterday for lunch at the Malt Shovel, a pub about halfway between us.

The Pan was popping and banging and farting with its still unresolved ignition problem, and as Pete pulled up he was looking at his completely flat back tire.

As we supped the Black Sheep, numerous dayglo-clad riders on big Jap bikes sped past on their way to the Yorkshire Dales. "Must be nice riding on inflated tires" said Pete. "And on more than one cylinder", I replied.

Old bikes eh?

Wednesday, September 22

Ventura Motor Works

I was introduced to Kurt Morrow by Al Braff, whose green Triumph we had featured in the mag. Kurt was kind enough to show me and Mick (Dean from DicE's dad) around his very cool shop... then the guys bought us lunch at a local Mexican joint.

Needless to say, top blokes!

I liked Kurt immediately... he ploughs his own furrow, building his vision in each bike that leaves the premises, unswayed by what the trends are or what 'bobber style' is cool this week.

Kurt was been building quality bikes with a traditional theme long before this style became fodder for the masses. Look for a feature on him and VMW soon.

Tuesday, September 21

Sometimes I love this job

Sitting here, putting the finishing touches to issue 17, choosing the final hot rod images from the Hayride this year and listening to Jack McVea.

The video is crappy, but play it and turn it up! Joyful, honkin' music. Makes me long for the Rhythm Riot so I can whisk some lucky lady around the dancefloor.

Monday, September 20

Hot Rod Drags 2010

After the pain of having to turn the bike back homeward on Friday, Pete and Alison offered to give me a lift in the van down to the Drags on Saturday morning.

Caught up with old friends, met new ones... you know the drill. It was a great laugh, and good to see so many bikes there again as well as the amazing line-up of hot rods, gassers, slingshots and souped-up saloons. It gave me the itch to get another pick-up... but I can't see it happening anytime soon.

Thanks for doing all the driving Pete, and thanks for the gourmet grub, Ali!

Sunday, September 19

Mad as a box of frogs

That's how Spindle describes his bike, and it is... well... mental. A proper chopper.

Great bike, great bloke, feature soon.

Saturday, September 18

Fabulous Fifty

If you've been following the build on Matt's MACHINE Blog, you'll know the incredible amount of hand fabrication that has gone into this Pan.

We'll be featuring it exclusively in issue 18.

Can't wait.

Treat yourself today to a dirty weekend

If you can possibly get there... get there.

Friday, September 17

Heal soon Josh

Josh is a photographer and a friend of mine from Sydney. He has the motorcycle sickness... and even collects postie bikes.

Falling off won't stop him.

Get well soon mate.

Hot Rod Drags... I managed to get 20 miles

The plan was to get out for perhaps the final longish ride of the 'summer' before snow hits us again (which someone told me yesterday could be a matter of weeks).

Destination: Hot Rod Drags at Long Marston, near Stratford. Roughly a 400 mile round trip.

I had arranged to get to Benny's house in Solihull at midday, so packed the bike last night and got up early.

As soon as I started the Pan, I could hear things weren't right. It was popping and sounding rough. Bad fuel? I'd filled up the night before to save time. With a deadline in mind, I pressed on and took off.

After 6 miles the bike stopped running on the front pot. I stopped and the plug was black and sooty. I swapped it out and carried on, with the bike running fine... for a few more miles. Then the trouble started again. I leaned out the Linkert a little way but knew I didn't want to do running repairs and diagnostics on a 200 mile ride with a deadline to hit.

So now I'm back at home, Blogging. I should have taken my lucky Max Schaaf medallion with me.

Thursday, September 16

Farewell Irish Rich

No, no... before the rumours start, he isn't dead. He's just dead tired of coming up with material for his GKM column.

And no wonder; over 17 issues and three-and-a-half years, Rich has written about everything from drunken burnouts to Harley brazing techniques, and everyone from Randy Smith to Dick Allen. And now, as he says, 'the well is dry'.

I'm sure the constant hassling from me about deadlines when he has a busy business to run didn't help.

Anyway, I've been learning from Rich for well over a decade now, and will miss his contribution greatly.

But remember, you can still follow his stories of crazy days gone by and tales from the shop at Applied Machete.

Thank you Rich!

Wednesday, September 15

Viva España

Spain was as wonderful as always.

But I'd rather spend 3 days getting there in my dad's MkII Cortina (which we used to in the 1970s) than 3 hours with Ryan Air.

Monday, September 6


Off for some good times with the family. (I'm just like Chevy Chase on vacation, only angrier and not as funny.)

Will be back next week some time.

Please note: no new orders can be processed while I'm away.

Saturday, September 4

Candy gone Crazy

"What up Guy this is Ryan from Colorado on the Candy Man bike. Just dropping a line to say hello and share a cool pic from the broken spoke campgrounds gettin' crazy. Colleen Swartz took this awesome shot on the titties and beer ride. See ya around, Candy."

Remember Ryan's awesome '70s survivor shovel? Hey, he's even sporting a GKM tee!

It's nearly Tipple time...

9-12 September, UK. More info here.

Friday, September 3

Swings and roundabouts

Sometimes I pay too much for old bike crap, especially when I decide I need something... now.

But I just picked up a real Sparto off the 'gay for far less than the repro ones go for. And as you know, the real ones are getting scarce.

Must be karma for that star hub I gave away recently.

AEE is back

"Our parts manager, and my friend to this day, Lenny Cenotti guarding Tom's Mindbender. That shotgun hung on the wall by the cash register in case anybody had any thoughts of jacking us. What you didn't see is he's packing a 38 in a shoulder holster and there was a 9mm in the cash drawer. No unintended withdrawals at AEE....ever!"

AEE were one of the leading chopper parts manufacturers and distributors from 1967 until well into the mid-'70s, and their parts are sought after today. The legendary Tom McMullen was largely responsible for AEE's success, and was also responsible for creating 'Street Chopper' magazine.

I came across a Blog dedicated to their memory containing some great photos and history. It isn't clear to me whether it's an ex-employee who is running the Blog, but it's well worth looking at, and I hope they update a little more often...


Wednesday, September 1

Boffin Dodgers Motorcycle Club

In the early nineties, a group of us used to ride around together and meet up for events like the Pioneer Run. The group was loosely centred on Victory Motorcycles (which was located in one of the arches in The Stables market in Camden Town back then) and Raoul, the Kiwi mechanic there.

We were a motley bunch, riding everything from souped-up MZs to Triumphs, Guzzis to BSAs. (I was definitely the odd one out on a Shovel.) But everywhere we stopped, we'd be plagued by rivet counters –"Oh yes, I had one of these, but not with the later aluminium spigot, which I think you'll find is incorrect..." – who would descend upon us like Harpies. After a while, we started creating avoidance tactics, like suddenly and quickly all walking off simultaneously in different directions without a word the moment a Frank Thomas-booted boffin approached one of our bikes.

The Boffin Dodgers were born.

My brother Adam created this montage after the Pioneer Run in '94.