Friday, April 30

Inside looking out

Just got my preview copy of this book from Beverly V. Roberts with more images from the amazing collection of her late father, Jim 'Flash' Miteff, who rode with – and photographed – the Outlaws MC in the 1960s.

This is how it was. The other side of the coin to Danny Lyon's 'Bikeriders'.

Buy it here.

Thursday, April 29

Looking for LOVE?

In the past couple of years, Jeremiah Armenta and his shop Love Cycles have enveloped our little choppin' world in a warm hug. The bikes Jeremiah builds are perfect, and every customer he attracts becomes a friend.

Love Cycles in a phenomenon. We went looking for the story behind the man and his amazing attention to detail and great eye for a stunning custom motorcycle.

Read it soon in issue 15.

Wednesday, April 28

English Don - the truth

Indian Larry's partner in the 'Bayonet Brothers', English Don has led a colourful life, to say the least. Central to NY's hardcore chopper scene in the 1980s and 90s, Don had left England after beating a murder charge at the Old Bailey.

He became a well known face in all the chopper magazines, and his Babylon Taxi was a milestone bike. He ran SD and Psycho Cycles in Hells Kitchen with Steg, and has lived life at 100mph, dealing with jail, schizophrenia, homelessness and serious illness on the way.

It's an amazing tale. In issue 15.

Tuesday, April 27


Now that Benny has done all the hard bits, I've got the wheels sorted, brakes adjusted, wiring worked out and number plate bracket/light planned (but not made yet).

It has kinda stayed true to my inspiration (Jack Nicholson's bike in HA on Wheels, with a bit of Speedway/flattracker thrown in), but has taken on a life of its own.

From some angles, I quite like it, and from some it's plain ugly. The tanks are basically the wrong shape (my vision was narrowed fatbobs), and I still haven't decided whether I can live with them. $$$ dictate I may have to.

Colour? Probably Scotchbrite and rust.

Details (lights/air cleaner/etc) will no doubt change, but it'll soon be on the road one way or another. And we'll see where that takes us.

Monday, April 26


A few years back, Maurice ('The Flyin' Dutchman') posted these photos he'd taken of his friend Marc getting some knee-down action on his Knuckle. Unsurprisingly, Marc's moniker on all the forums is 'Knukkel', and I got an email from him the other day.

He has children almost the same age as mine, and they have had a similar slow-down effect on his bike building, but he's still had time to start putting together this Panhead, which you can already tell is gonna be a cracker (big ol' MGAL carb an' all). We're hoping to hook up when he comes over to the UK for work.

Oh, and he says modestly of those knee-down shots: "I was going so slowly in those shots that I was actually overtaken by a snail, but they look cool..."

Sunday, April 25

The Stafford Classic Bike Show

What I needed:

1 x Goodyear tyre
1 x very long 1/4" allen key

What I came back with:

3 x Scotchbrite pads, varying abrasiveness
1 x copy of Men's File, issue 2
1 x cheap and nasty circlip pliers

But you just can't beat the smell of Castrol R & burgers.

Saturday, April 24

16" Goodyear Eagle HST wanted

Any Brits reading this got a good one knocking about?

I have one, but it's showing signs of age and I'm nervous of running it!

Email me if you have...

Sexy little number

Saw one of these little ally Bench Mark air cleaners on a shovel in Benny's workshop this week. Not often I go all weak at the knees when I see something CNC-machined, but these are NICE.

They make 'em to fit everything from S&S Bs through to Linkerts... here.

Friday, April 23

The Sinners influence

Remember when 'Choppertown' came out, and all these dorks started flooding the internet forums with questions about joining the 'club' and whether they could get 'charters' in their town?

Pretty amusing, but also indicative of how influential this group of SoCal builders and riders have been.

Over ten years ago, before I even knew about 'The Sinners' or that they were members, I was drawn to the bikes people like Chopper Dave, Nelson Kanno and Irish Rich were building. And without wanting to piss in their pockets (another great Aussie saying), they had a big influence on me.

Check out these photos above: until I found these the other day, I wasn't really aware of how much Sinner Eric Webb's shovel had influenced me when I first got my '55 Pan in 2006 and tried this look for a couple of months.

Nothing's original. (Especially me).

Thursday, April 22


My introduction to old British bikes was this early '50s D1 Bantam.

The relationship was strained and we agreed to part sometime in the early 1980s.

I haven't owned a Beesa since.

But worryingly I still have a couple of the 'tools' in that picture.

Wednesday, April 21

Never mind Benny's, what about the two-for-one?

Travelled down in Pete's trusty transit (that's alliteration) to Benny's workshop today to pick up the Panhead.

Benny has done a great job dicing/slicing/splicing the tanks so they fit, getting the pegs and fender solid, and the internal throttle working. "I would have thrown that fucking thing across the workshop" I replied, when Zippy & Benny mentioned they'd spent a late night trying to get the mismatched bits to work. "I did!" smiled Zippy.

Thanks fellas: you're gold, as they say in Oz.

But never mind that.

Pete and I made our excuses and scampered back to the Tardbigge pub for another two-for-one lunch {see here}. Talk about Deja-vu, we were given the same table by the same waitress, Pete had the same Thai chicken and prawn noodles special and I had the same Chicken Tikka. We had the same drinks, John Smith's (two pints of), and the same nicely full tummies when we left.

Isn't life weird, yet great?

Tuesday, April 20

At rest

On the way to Brighton, '92.

No, I don't know what I was thinking either.

Ash chaos!

Why have you disturbed our sleep? Awakened us from our ancient slumber?

In case you hadn't heard, the UK is covered by a giant cloud of volcanic ASH drifting in from Iceland, and no flights have been coming in or out for days. Obviously this affects most of our shipments, so if you have ordered magazines or t-shirts, please bear with us and be patient, we'll get them to you as soon as.

Thank you! I don't know what I would have done if I had remained under those hot coals burning my pretty flesh...!

Monday, April 19

Toronto Tuff

Jason's shovel. No messing. Don't you just love a purposeful-looking motorcycle?

Feature coming soon.

Saturday, April 17

Amsterdam, '89

Playing on the back of a truck at the D Day street festival. Hard times made me sell that Guild Starfire... wish I still had it.

Friday, April 16

Wednesday, April 14

Old stuff

I have plans to do something neat (eventually) with an old Autocycle lamp as a tail light, but in the meantime to get the bike on the road I want something super-simple and unfussy-looking.

I found this on Ebay: NOS, small, cheap and rubber mounted! Hopefully it will last more than 5 minutes attached to my home-bodged sidemount bracket...

Rumblin' man

Pete dropped by yesterday to celebrate his first day of legality on the shovel... and it sounds as good as it looks. I was itching to sit on the bike and make vroom vroom noises, but Freddy got there first.

Pete's done a neat and understated job on the bike, and I'm going to try persuading him to let me shoot it for the mag.