Sunday, January 31

Issue 13

Yep, it'll be at your favourite retailer this week... or you can order from us by clicking on the top image to the right>

New logo… but same crackin’ quality. Quality bikes, quality writing, quality photography.

Issue 13’s cover star is Mark Blanchette and his ‘66 Bonnie chopper… a tribute to marijuana! We also bring you no less than four panheads… Nobu’s ‘52 chopper from Tokyo, Brian Harlow’s ‘Minnow’ from the good ol’ USA, Ollie’s beefed-up-bobber from Belgium, and Paul’s period-perfect custom from SoCal.

What else? We ask Simo which he loves more, his VL Harley or Indian Scout… we talk to TXDennis about another of his survivor customs, this time a ‘55 T110 built in ‘67 and amazingly unmolested since then. You’ll also get to meet Dr Who… nah, not that one… Atom Bomb Clay’s ‘62 Thunderbird; Teach's amazing Krusty Knuck; and we also bring you great show coverage from Sweden (choppers) and Scotland (the world’s biggest Indian meet).

Cor… what a treat, eh? And of course, Irish Rich is here again with his super-cool column…

Get ‘em while they’re hot.

Friday, January 29

Not-See Run 2006

Before we were the best lil' chopper mag on the planet, we were a website doing a similar thing really... and in late 2006, the old GK website wrapped up with its last ever features.

One of them was this one, photographed by Dave Polgreen and penned by organiser Max Schaaf, after we'd had a chat on the phone about the run. Amazing how many great bikes and true choppin' heroes appear in one story...! (I might 'reprint' a few old GK features here if people are interested.)

I just wish I could have done this event more justice at the time and put it into print rather than on the web, but who knows if that would have happened now... the whole landscape's changed.

It all started as an idea to get some friends together for a ride. There's not much of a "chopper" scene here in Oakland... basically it's me and my friend Jasin.

So we thought it would push some of our friends to finish their projects if we decided to have a ride to Paso Robles. I didnt want every kook we know with a bike to come so I started to make some rules. People started to ask me why I was being such a "NAZI" about who came?
MY answer was simple: "I dont want to show up in Paso Robles with a bunch lame-asses on lame bikes."

So this is how I came up with the name 'THE NOT-SEE RUN'.
From Oakland it was Jasin (blue Panhead), Ronnie (BSA), Sean (Triumph),and myself (VL-Shovel). "Tha Nutz" (Dave) joined us from Minnesota.

We left the house, went to get coffee, then hit the road.
Got to J. Jessee's mid-day to meet up with Jason, Rico and Danny. Nobody believed Jason was going to go.

I got calls from people saying "Yeah right, Jason's not going".....oh yeah. He came. Rico got his bike going and we all hauled ass to Cole's shop. We picked up Thomas from there and Rico and Danny stayed to help Cole make it down to Paso. J. Jessee led the ride from here on, wearing a furry Russian hat and no helmet the whole way. Oh, and no lights either. It got dark and cold and took us hours to get there but we finally made it, constantly entertained by Jason's road antics.
Lots of cool bikes in Paso. Steve Uhl's Panhead, the other Steve's green Pan, Bill Mize was ruling riding his new rigid Evo from Sioux City.

Checked out bikes and fixed my friend Jasin's Panhead and got ready for the ride home. It was going to be just the Oakland guys and of course our support van, driven by Maurice (Flying Dutchman) and his beautiful chicken Fllotje. We got our bikes in order and jammed home. It took us half the time to get home. No breakdowns, sunlight and little traffic. We stopped back at Jason Jessee's to return some tools and exchange man-hugs.

All in all it turned out super fun. getting out of town, hanging out with friends, meeting new friends, and riding. It was only a total of about 600 miles but that was far enough to realize the the whole idea behind this run turned out right-on. Next year again? I hope more rules, more Not-See.

Thanks to everyone involved.

Max (2006)

Pals in the press

These guys are mentors for me when it comes to putting a great bike together... and they've both recently received even more well deserved press coverage for a couple of their bikes that we've previously featured. Pete's Triumph is in the new BSH, and Johnny's WLC was in the last issue of BigTwin.

Nice work, fellas.

Thursday, January 28

Paris by the Sea

That's what they call Le Touquet in France... and this was on the seafront in around '94, taken by my missus. The shovel was our daily transport (couldn't afford a car as well back then, and bikes took priority!). We'd go to Sainsburys on it, dangling shopping bags from the bars.

As you get older, accumulating more stuff and dealing with more bullshit, you realise the simpler days were best.

Wednesday, January 27

Garage Co Knucks

Yoshi sent me these snaps almost exactly 2 years ago; I don't think they've ever built a bike I didn't love... even the EVOs!

Monday, January 25

Issue 3... 15 copies left!!

I just shipped a big order yesterday and suddenly discovered that I'm very nearly out of issue 3.

It's one of the best we've produced... with a thick card pull-out centrespread of Sinners Danny and Nelson on their top-notch Knucks shot by the Flyin' Dutchman; plus a feature on Steve Uhl's awesome Panhead; and some of my other all-time favourites like GK correspondent Johnny's flathead, Davide from Italy's Panhead and Tony Blain's VL bobber from Oz.

There are NO more of these and there will be NO reprints, so if you want one, order NOW!! Also, bear in mind that once I have run out, some retailers will put their price up on this issue.

There will be a SOLD OUT sign up in the GK webshop once they're gone.

Sunday, January 24

The proudest man in motor-cycling owns a Harley-Davidson

Got these original ads for '52 Hydras... first year for the foot-shift, and the year my Panhead rolled off the production line.

Seeing these ads almost makes me want to put it back to stock, throw on some chinos and a Harley cap, bolt on a buddy seat and head for the coast.


Saturday, January 23

Jimmy's '47 Tiger

Jimmy the Saint... Motor City Jim... he goes by many names, but suffice to say Jimmy Le Vold is a choppin' guru. Just check out his Pan in issue 1 of GK (if you can find a copy!)... it's still one of my favourite bikes.

Jimmy sent me some photos of this '47 about 18 months ago... not sure if he finished it or sold it on, but you can see how cool it looks 'as assembled'.

He said: "Hey Guy, here's a couple quick pics of the old Triumph I tossed together. I just got it running today. Bike was a pretty complete original that was last on the road in '65. Let me know if you want some more shots. Happy 4th... uh .... you don't celebrate that over there.
Jimmy. (Guess I forgot to pull the oil can out before I took the pictures; it's even old Valvoline.)"

Thursday, January 21

Eastern Promises

I read last night that in Russian courts only 0.48% of cases result in acquittals.

Wednesday, January 20

Coincidentally, lid-wise

I just got an email about bike lifts (see below somewhere) from Dave in Brisbane, and after replying I checked out his website/Blog and found this great image which I hope he doesn't mind me half-inching.

From Mad Max 1 (the purists' fave, but I think Mad Max 2 is da one) ... Bell Star and Moto Star lids. With goggles too... rockin'!

Check out Dave's super cool Blog Oldtimer Workshop.

Crusty, musty, lovely

My missus despairs of the junk I collect... a room full of old chopper mags, bags full of vintage jackets and cupboards of old lids that will never be worn. I reckon I'll end up one of those old men who starts collecting household refuse and leaving dirty plates in their bed, who has to be forcibly removed to a care facility by the local authorities, raging until the end comes: smelling of urine and still trying to grab the nurses' bums.

Well, you have to have a retirement plan, don't you?

In the meantime, here's one of those 70s helmets all the Japs wear... a Griffin fullface. Except they buy the mint Clubmans at £450 a go ($732)... plus shipping. Mine isn't mint, it's crusty, and hardly big enough to fit a Japanese child. Gotta love that factory metalflake and pink liner though... crazy, man.

Tuesday, January 19

New year, new look

This is the new masthead for the magazine... look out for it on the front of issue 13, at the printer's now.

What do ya reckon?

Monday, January 18

The battle for Dave's Sporty

Our man in the west Tiptopdaddy has shot it... and M+D at DicE have shot it! Where will you see it first? Dunno... but it's gonna be a showdown... and this is as neat and tidy an Evo Sportster as you'd hope to see.

Clean bars, clean front wheel, skinny forks, zingy paint, groovy pipes... as I said, neat 'n' tidy!

(And a big leather reminder why old 1%ers ride cushy-glides!)

Blood, bones & bucks

Inspired to do some more drawing soon. Did you know Irish Rich actually framed a couple of pieces of my artwork?

Sunday, January 17

Flat is where it's at, cats

I'll never tire of the understated look of flattened paint and no chrome. I don't care what's 'in' this week. Alan Braff's Triumph is another one we'll be featuring soon...

Saturday, January 16

Friday, January 15

Track day... on a UL!

Hey, I recognise that smiley face and righteous chop! In fact, there he is modelling a GK tee --->

Buzz takes his flattie around the track at Phillip Island during the Kustom Nats... wish I'd been there. Look at that sunshine.

More pics on COC.

Fancy a tipple?

Sumo has set the dates for the third annual 'Tipple Run', a few days' riding through some of England's most green and pleasant land, with plenty of chances to sample some of its finest ales along the way.

As Sumo says, "this is a chill out and party kind of deal: no attitudes, no fees, no promises... there are no bands or entertainment put on of any sort; ride your bike and make your own fun... you need to look after yourself and your bike, there's no chase truck..."

So if you're into riding rather than rallying, you need to be there in September.

More info here.

Thursday, January 14

Pommier at Born-Free

I love Scott Pommier's photos... they always have that fresh, hazy-days feel to them, and the sense that the camera is completely invisible to the people in the shot.

Here's one of the outtakes from our recent Born-Free show coverage... John Edwards and his Pan.

Wednesday, January 13

How many bike lifts is that?

This is the third bike lift I've bought (cheap crap off Ebay) because every time we move countries I sell this kind of stuff off (too heavy to ship) then have to replace it all over again...

Pete gave me some bars that will work great for the project... but they need about two inches taking out of the middle, and two either end... all fine... until I realised I no longer have a workbench, vice, MIG or anything other than my tools. I don't even have those pieces of round stock, sheet steel and little bits and bobs you keep around the workshop that come in so useful at a time like this. Damn... I wish we could settle down somewhere.

Tuesday, January 12

Rolf's Model A

I wish, I wish, I wish...

Yeah, we still love real hot rods at GK.

Look out for this feature in our pages soon...

Monday, January 11

Bitter PIL

I read that PIL may be performing again to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Metal Box album(s).

Yes, performing, not reforming, because apparently Levene and Wobble still despise each other.

I like their music better now than I did in '79/'80... and I liked them a lot then. Metal Box still sounds jagged and fresh... more than you can say of a lot of music of that time.

Jap mag radness

Japanese chopper mags are just quality... you don't need to to be able to read Japanese to get absorbed in the great photography, stunning bikes, crisp layouts and even the cool ads. These randoms are from the latest 'Vibes'.

I've got to get back to Tokyo...