Friday, December 31

More Punk Rock Bar, Shibuya



From me ol' mucker Pat's excellent EXACTAMUNDO Blog.

In the house: DicE, GKM, Black Widows, Pangea Speed
On the decks: Buzzcocks, Damned, Eater, Saints, Anti-Nowhere League, Penetration, Germs, Dickies, Ramones, Cockney Rejects, Clash, Sham 69, Johnny Moped, Slaughter & The Dogs, X-Ray Spex

Thursday, December 30

The strange case of Jeff Decker and the shadow plaid Pendleton


Talking of heroes (see post below), it's quite odd to now be in a position where I'm regularly rubbing shoulders with motorcycle people I have long admired.

At Yokohama, there were plenty of characters whose work I have pored over in magazines through the years and who most people would jump at the chance of meeting: Cole Foster, Rico, Duane Ballard, Ian Barry etc etc. But I'm not an outgoing person and generally can't bring myself to do one of those dorky "I've loved your work for years, uh uh, I publish a magazine called..." intros.

Jeff Decker, of course, is one of those people I've admired as an artist and builder for many years. So when someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked about the Pendleton shirt I was wearing at the Mooneyes afterparty, I was more than surprised to discover it was Jeff. His tone was so familiar and friendly, and he was so smiley, I presumed he knew who I was and launched into a typically English ironic (and supposedly humorous) ramble about how I only wore Pendletons because he was my hero and I'd studied his own shirts for years.

His face fell slightly as I wittered on. Then he looked downright puzzled. He may even have stepped back away from me as my realisation that he had no idea who I was kicked in and made me talk even faster.

Finally, "What's your name?" he asked warily, from a safer distance away.

Apologies Jeff. I'd drunk a lot of beer and my heroes don't generally have a habit of admiring my shirts.

(For those of you who love a vintage shadow plaid shirt, the one he coveted is the top left shirt in this old ad, kindly supplied by Pat who witnessed the whole sorry incident.)

Wednesday, December 29

Bill Mize, literally chillin' on his '48

Timothy O'Keefe shot these cool (freezing?) images of Bill Mize recently. I talked to Bill last night and he told me this '48 was built specifically for this kind of hard labour... getting out in the snow and the salt, negotiating the gravel roads that haven't yet iced over near his Sioux City home.

Bill's one of my heroes, but of course I can't say that to his face: ex-road racer, skater, semi-pro cyclist... he's one of those people I admire who take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it until they've explored every worthwhile opportunity, thrill and skill. And he loves The (early) Saints as much as I do.

He and Steve Uhl have had more influence on you and the bikes you admire, ride and build than you probably realise. I've been a big fan of Bill's bikes for years and years, and am proud to call him a friend. His '57 Pan is in the next issue.

Bill Mize from Timothy W O'Keefe on Vimeo.

LOVE you TWO

It's the second anniversary party for Jeremiah's LOVE CYCLES on January 15, and we are delighted to be a sponsor for the show.

There's no nicer or more talented guy around than Jeremiah so get down to Phoenix if you can and show your support for what promises to be a great bash...

Tuesday, December 28

Another Aussie Panhead

My friend Simon Watts has just finished his Pan... and is moving from Brisbane to LA in February to work out of Dan 'Old Gold Garage' Collins' tattoo shop.

Good luck mate, and nice job on the bike!

Monday, December 27

My old Panhead up for sale



Julian, who bought my '55 off me a couple of years ago when we were leaving Australia, is now passing it on. Here's a bit of footage of him starting it when he first got it off me. He'll ship worldwide and it's up on Ebay now.

It's a bitsa, but I miss that bike. Especially because it was the first cycle I put together with my own hands and I had such a great experience getting it on the road, with all the fabrication and know-how coming from my good friend Buzz. It still has the S&S 'L' on it... damn, should have kept that!

Friday, December 24

Merry Christmas

Thanks for reading this Blog. Thanks for reading the magazine. Have a peaceful Christmas. And if you're a subscriber you can at least look forward to our new stickers in 2011, if nothing else.

Back in a few days.

Hamans Chop Shop


These were two of the bikes lots of people were stopping to look at on set-up day... and no wonder. The build quality, paint, detail and unique touches have become signatures of Hamans Chop Shop's work... who have won numerous awards at Yokohama and also been featured in DicE mag.

Check out those pipes: each little section of the 'ripple' increases in width and has been welded individually to the other sections. Amazing.

Thursday, December 23

The ultimate Garage (Co) Sale


Just noticed on the Garage Company Blog that Yoshi is selling off all the stuff from the shop's back rooms... at reasonable prices!

If I I was in SoCal now I would be down there with a U-Haul and a bank loan...

More from the Pacifico parking lot












There weren't many bikes that rode to the show that I would kick out of my garage.

Wednesday, December 22

Ch-ch-changes: Mochi's Panhead

Mochi's Pan changes often... and it never looks less than super-cool. And this bike gets ridden. It's a great example of what can be achieved with the help of good friends and a great sense of individuality.

I managed to keep Mochi from his hectic schedule long enough to shoot the latest incarnation of his bike for the mag.

Top fella, top bike.

Tuesday, December 21

The man himself

Hideya Togashi – Hide Motorcycles' proprietor – stands with his '67 genny Shovel, winner of the GKM award at Yokohama.

This bike has so many hand-fabbed parts and subtle mods. Its simple, solid looks belie the work that goes into making a bike look this 'right'.

Naoki, the bike's owner, had requested the Hoosier on the back, and it looks superb. "But is it safe on the street?" I asked Hide. "No", he laughed.

Thank you to Hide and his lovely wife Wakako for their hospitality. Look for lots more from Hidemo in GKM soon.

Monday, December 20

Somewhere in Tokyo

For every lock-up door that closes, another one opens.

Ocean Beetle Inc

One of the great shops I visited in Japan was Ocean Beetle, on the outskirts of Tokyo in Kasukabe.

Lou Nozaki and his partners specialise in old Harley rebuilds and customs, and have a huge space crammed with mouthwatering old metal, vintage lids, clothes and mags – even a bar. Lou also has a cast aluminium business on the premises, and the bits and pieces he showed me (clutch pressure plates, spark pug holders, air scoops) were top quality.

They are also remaking precise replicas of the late sixties classic Bell TX500 helmets and were kind enough to give me a sample to road-test. Lou and Shu even took me for an Indian curry after I told them it was the UK's (and my) favourite grub. Nice!

Look for more on the shop and their great bikes in the mag over the coming months.

Saturday, December 18

Issue 18 on sale now!!

We're back, and in a jetlagged haze the new issue is now ready for sale... so if you need to renew your subscription or want individual issues, you can buy from us here.

Issue 18 features:

Hello to new columnist Frank Kaisler
Matt from Machine's '50 Panhead (Australia)
Kaz's TR6 (Japan)
Mike Soldano's '30 Model A (USA)
GKM Triumph project by Pete Stansfield (UK)
Spindle's crazy Evo chopper (UK)
Kev's flat-trackin' ironhead (USA)
Yoshiki's 'Hell Cat' generator shovel (Japan)
Lowbrow Customs' Tyler runs at Bonneville
Hero: Chopper Dave profile
Shu's '81 XS650 (UK)

Wednesday, December 15

Thanks Pat!

Pat has been one of my best friends for well over 15 years, and it's been a blast taking this trip with him. We head home tomorrow morning and without Pat's Japanese and his trusty phrasebook we wouldn't have sold half of what we did at the show or ended up in so many cool, bizarre and amusing places.

Arigato Pat-san!

- Posted on the move in Japan

Haji's store




We featured Hajime's bike a long time ago in GKM so it was a nice surprise when Gak drove me over to meet him at his store, 'US Open'.

The shop has some great clothing in it (all sourced in the US), and as you can see even Haji's office is crammed with cool stuff... from his collection of Redwing engineer boots to (a couple of) his choppers.

Then Mochi rode up and we discussed cockney rhyming slang, the best English swear words and where the v-sign originated. I like to share a little of my culture wherever I go.

- Posted on the move in Japan

Tuesday, December 14

Arigato Mochi & Gak!


If you want to be where the cool motorcycle action is in Tokyo, these are the fellas to know.

Thank you so much my friends. Your generosity and kindness are overwhelming.

- Posted on the move in Japan

Spice MCs



- Posted on the move in Japan

Saturday, December 11

A couple of Shin's bikes...



... On the 'Snails Brigade' stand at the show in Yokohama.

Couldn't muster the connections
to get these in the bag for GKM, but hopefully those cheeky LA-loving geezers will bring you a feature. These motorcycles are outstanding.

- Posted on the move in Japan

Thursday, December 9

Mooneyes party

What a great evening... Shige and his crew put on a barbecue and we had a chance to relax and chew the fat with the other guests. Robert Williams was hilarious ... so many great stories about Roth, Robert Crumb, Von Dutch etc, all of them unrepeatable.

Shige and the guys at Mooneyes should be commended for their faultless organisation and hospitality.

- Posted on the move in Japan

Jimmy Jimmy, ohhh...



'If he'd let me ride it around the block I would have bought it...'

- Posted on the move in Japan

Location:Spice MCs Tokyo