Monday, May 31

Doris's 90th birthday bitter

Did a 200 mile shakedown run on the Pan this long weekend, taking in the Vintage Motorcycle Club's Lakeland rally. For various reasons I left too late on Sunday to catch (or at least photograph) the fine collection of old Brit bikes there, other than to see various Rudges, Ariels and Velos ridden past me at speed by dapper old gents in pisspot lids.

The venue was a micro-brewery pub called the Old Crown, which served some very nice ales including our favourite, Doris's 90th Birthday bitter. Rode back today via Johnny's place (he rode his very cool homebuilt Hinckley Triumph caff racer)... stopped in for a hangover-bustin' cuppa and to see the new garage he's just built. He's going to be riding Pete's old red Triumph (which hasn't been on the road for 20 years) to Linkert Attacks in four weeks' time. Good luck mate!

The Pan ran really well... though one of the cylinder base gaskets has started weeping. A job that will keep for now.

Friday, May 28

Issue 15... I'm in LOVE

If you subscribe, your copy will be winging its way to you middle of next week.

If you don't subscribe, you'll have to wait until they hit our store or your favourite retailer.

If there's a store near you that you think should stock the mag, please let us know!

In issue 15:

Irish Rich confronts the parts pirates
Cover story: Jeremiah and Love Cycles
Taku's Pan... built by Ace in Kobe as an heirloom for his son
Jake's Evo Sporty: this machine is badass!
Al Braff's '67 Triumph... with big connections to the 60s chopper scene – and Dave Mann!
Jeff Baer's '57 Panhead: if bikes could talk, this one would have a few NJ tales to tell
Revenge Run! GKM sponsored it... here are some great photos
Swiss shovel: there ain't nothin' neutral about this chopper!
Paul Whitehurst wows us again with his VL/Knuck/Crocker special!
Gak's Knuck: the owner of HawgHolic takes to the streets on another patina-perfect chop
The English Don Story: Indian Larry's partner tells all that's legal to print!
Ali's Sporty... built by Benny, shot by Bobby, this ironhead is a cracker!

Thursday, May 27

More from Carl's

"My daddy used to hang out with one of the guys in the pictures on the poster back in the seventies. They would just get together and talk bikes. He gave my dad a bunch of the pictures and my dad printed up 2000 of the posters. We had a ton of them for a very long time, I remember laying them down and using them as a bench cover to assemble motors on when I was in High School, we thought we would never run out of them. Well we did finally run out of them and now they are all gone. " Matt Olsen, Carl's Cycle Supply

Wednesday, May 26

It's black and white to me

Found this the other day. Check out the date on the print – October 1998! I printed this off Chopper Dave's website to add to my little file of 'love it' motorcycle images. And remember, back then bikes like this weren't on every page of every chopper mag on the newsstands... Dave's website was the only place (if you didn't live in SoCal!) to see this period custom stuff.

This bike had a big influence on all the bikes I've had since I saw it. Though I think I've at last weaned myself off whitewalls.

(But never say never... I'm still a fifties throwback. My wife calls me a fat old Ted. Remember how Vic used to call Mark Lamarr a '1950s binman' on Shooting Stars? Mark was a great dancer back in The Royalty days; his moniker was 'Yogi' back then because of a little-revealed back tattoo).

Tuesday, May 25

Remembering Maz Harris

Now I'm supposedly a full time magazine editor, it's easy to trace my influences in terms of custom bike journalism. In the US, David Snow got my attention. In the UK, it was always Maz Harris. From his columns in Back Street Heroes to his writing in his own title Heavy Duty, from his great book 'Bikers' to his appearances on programmes like the 'Classic Motorcycles' series, he was always eloquent, thoughtful and no-nonsense.

And he wasn't just writing about the life like everyone else, he was living it to the maximum degree. I can't believe it's ten years since he died. I always saved anything I came across by him or about him; he was the genuine article and I miss his writing.

Monday, May 24

In so many ways, this is where my life really started

I only have to look at these sleeves to instantly recall how I felt when I bought these records. I was an angry kid... I'm an angry adult!... and these bands helped me make sense of my feelings.

Saturday, May 22

One of Europe's geniuses

Philip at Dark Star Kustoms... I'm a big fan of the twists and thoughtful little touches he applies to his builds.

You may remember his lil' B52 BSA we featured a couple of years back. This new 45 he's built – Merlin – is radical. We'll be featuring it – courtesy of Floris's superb photos – in issue 16.

Friday, May 21

Living in the back of beyond...

...has one or two advantages. Guns are easier to come by, and the roads around here are beautiful for relaxed riding.

There's hardly any traffic, and the miles and miles of single track roads wend their way through picturesque villages and farmland that you know probably haven't changed a great deal since the middle ages. I went for a gentle meander late this afternoon in genuine t-shirt weather. Lovely.

The only things to watch out for are suddenly-emerging tractors and pheasants darting from the hedgerows.

The Pan is running really well... all it needs before doing some real mileage this summer is a tighten up, a Linkert-tinker and a refreshing Morris 50wt transfusion. I might see if I can get any function from the rear brake, but don't think I'll have time.

Yes, the old tins are back on. I ran out of time trying to get the 'transformation' right, and just want to ride the bike now until winter hits again and I can revisit that elusive look I'm seeking.

GKM is proud to sponor Hell on Wheels!

This is gonna be great... I am so pissed off I don't get to Cali until a few days after the event... just too much to do in June!

You already know Meatball... he's living a kinda modern-day 'On Any Sunday', and is a bike nut of the first order. This event promises everything from vintage bike racing to a pin-up pageant, five bands to a bike + car show... crazy!

Go on, get there if you can! It'll be some consolation for the fact we can't...

Thursday, May 20

DicEy Dean, Tom Fugle and GKM... in the same photo!

Crazy! Cheers for representin' mate!

Looks like a great bash.

Check out the photos here.

This photo stolen from here.

Wednesday, May 19

Paul's '41

Oh yes... Oh YES!

WR with a KR top end.

Another of Paul Whitehurst's amazing collection that we've been featuring over the months. This one will be in issue #16, right after his Knuck-VL-Crocker in the next issue, #15 (out June 1).

We're too good to you!

Tuesday, May 18

No Indian, just the t-shirt

Before I ever owned a Harley, I had this Indian t-shirt. I've always wanted an Indian, but Harleys were – and continue to be – far more accessible and affordable.

This is around '94. '76 Shovel.

Monday, May 17

Drews collage

When Mark Drews sent us photos of his amazing period pre-unit customs for a feature a few years back, he didn't just email us digital images. He sent real photographs too.

Mark is a really pleasant, humble guy... he often emails me to ask how things with the mag are going. For someone who has had his bikes exhibited in Japan, and has the collection of most mouthwatering old choppers around (not to mention his bitchin' original custom Ford), he has zero attitude at all.

And look carefully at these shots... he ain't afraid to push these rare old bikes to – and beyond – their limits!

Sunday, May 16

Always nice to get some appreciation

Got a thoughtful and positive review of the mag from the respected website Vintage Motorcycles On-Line.

You wouldn't believe how much appreciative comments help me get through the days when it all seems a bit pointless and I wish I was back in a proper job.

Saturday, May 15

The '55 arrives...

... then gets chopped!

This was four years ago... picked up the Pan in my '59, then Buzz came for the weekend and we turned a softail-framed-extended-springer monstrosity into something resembling something!

Sunshine, palm trees, great friends. Good times.

Friday, May 14

The legendary 'Carl's Cycle Supply' poster

I've got stuff tucked away in boxes that has been around the world with me (twice)... and some of them haven't been opened in years. I was looking for something (can't remember what) yesterday and first found a beautiful 1940s gaberdine jacket that I've had for about 25 years... and mice had eaten literally one sleeve.

My disappointment at finding the jacket soon dispelled when I found some tubes with prints and posters in them that I've been meaning to frame for years. And this was one of them.

As far as I know, these were produced by Carl's Cycle Supply in South Dakota years ago but have long since been out of print. I got this from a super-cool greybeard H-D mechanic in Oz who had bought a couple of the prints from Carl himself and had a spare; I probably don't need to say any more... take a look at the pics. If anyone's interested, I'll try and get a few more close ups of these amazing photos that I've never seen anywhere else.

I could say something about 'real bobbers', but... what's the point?

[[EDIT: Got a great reply from Matthew Olsen (Carl's son) from Carl's Cycle Supply on the ChopCult site about the history of these prints:

"My daddy used to hang out with one of the guys in the pictures on the poster back in the seventies. They would just get together and talk bikes. He gave my dad a bunch of the pictures and my dad printed up 2000 of the posters. We had a ton of them for a very long time, I remember laying them down and using them as a bench cover to assemble motors on when I was in High School, we thought we would never run out of them. Well we did finally run out of them and now they are all gone. Thanks for posting, those things are neat."]]

Thursday, May 13

Keep it in proportion

To be honest, it's not often I see Triumph chops that have kept their original tanks but still look good. But I think John Root's bike does. The minimalism of the back end and space around that oil tank somehow work with the chunkiness of the Triumph tank and headlight, and your eye doesn't get hooked up on anything as it follows the contours of the bike.


Hopefully we'll be bringing you more on this New Mexico beauty soon.

Wednesday, May 12

Knucklebustin' racer

One of the Blogs (and there are so many cool ones out there!) that I always come away from feeling inspired and energised to work on my bike is Jeff Baer's Knucklebuster journal.

He took this shot recently at Oley, and it's given me all sorts of new ideas for the Pan. If you haven't clicked his link in my Blog list yet, I recommend you become a Knucklebuster follower if you're into stuff like this.

Tuesday, May 11

My babies love motorcycles

It's in their (selvedge) genes.

Can't quite believe it but...

...Pete Stansfield appears to have his awesome reverse-head Triumph up for sale.

This bike has impeccable custom history in England, and Pete's incarnation has been featured everywhere, including the cover of BSH (and GKM, of course!).

He wants £3500.

He may change his mind. (I hope he does).

If you want the coolest and most original Triumph chopper in the UK in your shed, be quick.


Any old iron

Any old iron? Any old iron? Any old, any old iron? You look neat, talk about a treat... you look so dapper from yer napper to yer feet...

Bike by Benny, photos by Bobby. Coming soon in issue 15.

Thursday, May 6

The Shovel's gonna rise again

It seems stupid to say I love Shovelheads, because I love all old Harley-Davidsons. (Although I find it hard to get excited about Servi-Cars).

But they do hold a special place in my affections because after making do on a few ropey ironhead Sportsters, buying a Shovel felt like I'd finally achieved the Harley dream. And is it just me, or are they having a bit of a resurgence at the moment?

Matt's Shovelhead is a built-to-ride, hardcore chopper. Yeah, I know... disc brake! I dig it. You'll see more of it in GKM soon.

Wednesday, May 5

Revenge Run feature

We at GKM were proud to sponsor the Revenge Run, which went down successfully at the end of April.

We'll be running some great images from the Run by 'Thrasher' lensman Lance Dawes in issue 15, out June 1.

Tuesday, May 4

Bates seat wanted

I'm almost embarrassed to put this up... but yes, I need one of these.

I don't expect a bargain, but I can trade if you prefer; I have a NOS Wassell chrome fender (with sticker); Wassell tanks; vintage peanut tanks; Chicago stuff; Rivera SU carb; GKM subs, tees... tell me what you need.

C'mon friends, help me out.

Good Vibes

May issue.