Thursday, July 29

This weekend: Chops 'n' Bobbers III in Melbourne

If you're near Kustom Lane Gallery in Hawthorn, Melbourne, this weekend, remember it's the grand opening of the Chops 'n' Bobbers III show... sponsored by the biggest two little chopper mags on the planet!

On the road again

Me and Pete are off dahn sarf for the Hotrod Hayride at the crack of sparrers tomorrow morning, and I'll be bringing caps, tees & mags... so hit me up if you need anything. I won't have a stand at the event (too busy drinking... er... working) but please introduce yourself if you see me wandering about in me GKM hat.

I will also be bringing down the '59 AMA/GKM trophy which some lucky bikerider will be taking home with them. See you there...

Tuesday, July 27

Monday, July 26

Back on the road

There was a lot to chuck away once the kicker cover was off: as well as the broken starter gear, the mainshaft gear, starter clutch spring and clutch keys were all replaced. The bumper plate was horribly mangled and was also renewed.

I took the cover to Pete's workshop so he could help me press out the kicker shaft bushes, but there had been a previous repair done on the inside of the cover and Pete advised leaving it all alone in case pressing out the bushes cracked the weak spot.

Anyway, it's all back together and seems OK. I had a blast around the country lanes tonight and after coughing up a bit of phlegm (French fuel) the Pan ran great.

I have re-corked the timing hole using an improved rubber bung (my French wine cork sits nonchalently on the mantlepiece in the office), and will be visiting Pete's friend Rob (see Pete's posts on Rob's handbuilt Railton on Eat the Rich) to see if he can wave his magic wand over it and effect a permanent fix.

Now I just have to work out why the bike is still idling so high when the Linkert's idle screw is back to the stop...

Sunday, July 25

Hayride next weekend, and here's the bike trophy

GKM is proud to be offering a prize for best bike at the Hotrod Hayride next weekend... and this is it. A bona fide '59 AMA trophy, which will have the original competition plaque plus one to commemorate the Hayride award.

Pretty cool, I hope you agree... and something worth taking away strapped to your handlebars like 'Wild One' Johnny. Make sure you're around when the prizes are awarded!

Friday, July 23

Oh shit

Remember the cork? It was filling the timing hole in the crankcase after the plug dropped out.

Now, it vaguely occurred to me that it was strange that a bolt could back itself out like that, but apparently it happens, so I just ordered a plug for a '52.

It didn't fit, which should have been my second clue.

I then ordered an oversize plug, not even thinking to inspect the timing hole itself. And then when I came to fit it, I realised that the hole's threads are knackered. I'm guessing someone just forced in a bigger plug at some time without tapping the hole properly. Or something.

After a bit of online research I realised that this is fairly common, isn't an easy fix and that some people do run corks in their ruined timing holes... permanently.

Hmmm. Any ideas? I really don't want to be splitting cases on a great running bike...

Nice work

I saw this on the Dirty Bobbers site... the work is by me ol' mucker from Sydney Dave 'NeoDutch' O'Hanlon.

Onya mate.

Thursday, July 22

Ripoff Britain

No wonder people are leaving this moneygrabbing island in record numbers.

I just had a letter explaining that a $50 part I bought from US Ebay had been stopped by customs, and it was time to bend over for them and their Parcelforce buddies.

Because the parcel was sent priority and wasn't declared a 'gift', customs added £12.50 VAT (value added tax). Parcelforce then added their own £13.50 'clearance fee'. That's a $40 fee to release my $50 part. When I asked what the fees were for, I got into this conversation:

Me: "So, this isn't a customs charge?"

PF: "No, we are charged directly by customs and pass the fee on to you."

Me: "But what are they charging for? There is no import duty, is there?"

PF: "No, this is an administration fee for us to pay your customs charges directly then release the parcel to you."

Me: "That's a lot of money to do that."

PF: "Because the parcel was sent priority, we charge more because the parcel has to be released quicker."

Me: "But the sender has already paid a premium to get it here quicker. I'm just paying that premium again to you, for doing absolutely nothing. Why can't I just pay customs directly and avoid your fee – and this delay? You're already being paid to deliver the parcel priority as part of the fee paid in the States. This is just a scam, isn't it?"

PF: "I understand what you're saying, it is a high charge... but... but... our hands are tied."

'I was only following orders'.
The undermining phrase of many a destroyed society.

Fuck 'em all.

New issue is at the printer

After the usual late nights hitting a deadline, it's at this stage in each issue's early life – when it's nestled in the loving arms of the printer – that I can settle back, take my mind off my magazine... and catch up on other people's!

Is it possible to overindulge in too much sickly, super-sweet motorsickle goodness?

Well, no.

Wednesday, July 21

The Bench*Mark connection

When Pete and I were at Benny's workshop eariler this year, I spotted one of these CNC Slinky air cleaners on one of his customers' bikes, and loved it. About four inches across, I thought 'that would look nice on the Pan' and wondered who made it. Then Benny handed us some Bench*Mark stickers, and I'm ashamed to say I hadn't heard of them.

Fast forward a few months to the Born Free show, and one of the bikes that really stood out for me (which is syaing something at that show) was this Panhead – coincidentally wearing one of those dinky cleaners.

But it was only yesterday I made the connection and realised that both bike and air cleaner were created by the same guy, Kim Boyle of Bench*Mark (run with his partner and good friend Pat McCormack), in Carlsbad, CA. Unfortunately Street Chopper and DicE got to the feature before us (so you can read about the bike in those fine publications), but you can see what else Bench*Mark are up to here.

Monday, July 19

Snared: Dan's Knuck

Been tracking this one for a while... and finally got the photos, in an exclusive NJ protective CD folder!

This bike has all the cool stuff... and looks like it dropped out of a mid-fifties photo to find itself suddenly in the 21st century. It'll be in issue 17.

Thanks Jeff!

Sunday, July 18

Blurry at Alex's

Just found this pic of me arriving on Matt's Pan at Alex's Bar after Born Free II... the only proof I have that I actually rode a motorcycle that weekend!

I nicked it from Chris's great Blog Blue Collar Moto. Chris is a nice guy and has shot stuff for the mag; I met him finally at the show and he attends almost everything going on in SoCal, so check out his extensive photo coverage.

Parts are here at last

My parts from Holland finally arrived yesterday, so I hope the bike will be back on the road shortly.

But I always say that, and sad experience tells me that with my mechanical aptitude I am likely to need parts to remedy my own incompetence before I'm through.

Saturday, July 17

Mortensen & Cronenberg

Eastern Promises... if you haven't seen it, see it! (Tonight in the UK, 10pm, BBC2.)

Friday, July 16

Something for the weekend?

How about some feminist electroclash, sir? Ooooh yes sir, all the bikers love Kathleen Hanna sir. Marvellous she is, sir. Socio-political lyrics, sir? Oh yes, sir, top notch, sir.

I recommend a bop to this whilst drinking a large gin and tonic, sir. Have a lovely weekend!

SOLD: Vintage biker novels for sale: SOLD

These New English Library paperbacks are highly sought after, and I have a few from the collection for sale.

They were all published between '72 and '75. A couple are first editions. All are complete with no missing pages, but in well-read/thumbed/creased/yellowed condition (as they always are). For a taste of the content, see the post from yesterday!

I want £45 or $70 for the set, which includes tracked shipping/postage to wherever you are. Payment by PayPal. No offers, and I won't split them.

If you need these or want more info, email me at:

Wednesday, July 14

SOLD: Tanks for sale :SOLD

Brand new, made by Irish Rich at Shamrock Fabrication, notched and sealed by Benny @ Boneshakers Choppers. These skinny fatbob/WR-style tanks will fit stock ftabob mounts on H-D BT frames.

They are nicely made, come complete with a new petcock and new caps and are ready to run. Have never had fuel in them.

I can't bear to think how much I have into these, but need to drum up some cash for other things... or I'll trade. If you think you could use them, email me:

I ship anywhere.

Mystery Easyriders flathead

Our mate Keith Green built some well known bikes in the UK before moving to Australia, and wants to track the builder of this flathead.

"Guy, you remember the 1200 flathead I asked you about from Bristol? I found the Easyriders mag with the article. It's December 1984, issue 138. Jeff, the builder, worked with me at Cast Iron Motorcycles in Bristol from 1989 to 1992. He still had the flatty but built a rigid shovel so the flatty could come off the road for a rebuild. I lost contact with Jeff in about 98..."

If you have any info on Jeff or the bike, let us know ( and we'll pass the info on to Keith.

Tuesday, July 13

Loran's Knuck

Johnny R shot Loran's Knuck at Linkert Attacks! for a GK feature, then that same night it won Best Knucklehead in the prizegiving... well done Loran, and well done us for spotting bikes with that certain je ne sais quoi...

Loran is an interesting man... an artist (in metal too, it seems) and therefore someone who has worked damned hard to collect the pieces over the years to build his dream.

Monday, July 12

Some guys have all the luck...

... young Thomas from the Netherlands commiserates himself over the world cup final result with a Shovel, a Pan and a Knuck in his garage... not to mention a GKM hat.

All the right influences!

Yeah, I went

And talking of Cro Customs...

... Caleb has just unveiled the boardtrack-inspired Sporty he's been working on.

I like this a lot.

JD & the shovel

I met JD (above) and Caleb (Cro Customs) at the cruise at Bob's Big Boy. They are both nice fellas and talented fabricators.

I love Caleb's 'shop truck' shovel (in front of JD): it's solid, no bull, reliable with some great styling... just as a shovel should be. Am hoping to get a feature on it for the mag soon.

Saturday, July 10

In case you haven't seen 'em yet...

... through the links on Show and Go Cycle Shop or Nostalgia on Wheels (see links in the Bloglist, right), check out this set of 60s photos (mostly chopper-inhabited street scenes and show photos) on Flickr:


I've seen some of these individually in the past, but not in one collection. Amazing. Anyone know anything about the photographer?

Wil's BBQ

The day after Born Free 2, Matt drove us down in the (unspeakably cool) DicE van to Seal Beach, where Wil had invited us to his place for a BBQ.

Wil has built some stonking choppers (which you would recognise, as I did, from various mag features) and has a nice pad near the water. Beer and wonderful food were laid on, so we just kicked back and I introduced myself to some of the people I have until now only 'known' over the phone or email.

The Kemosabe crew were in attendance, resting up before their epic journey back home, and they regaled us with stories from the road (check out the Lake Tahoe posts on their blog... wow). It was also good to share a few beers with Walter (Kickstart MC Supply), a great supporter of the mag and a top bloke, who had ridden his FXR across the country from NJ!

Ironically, I didn't catch the name of the guy in the red tee in the photo above, but his Pan/shovel was amazing – an original time-capsule outlaw chopper with 'Candy Man' engraving on the engine. He'd ridden it to California from somewhere in the mid-West, just for the show.

Also in the photo above are Caleb (Cro Customs), Mike Davis (Born Loser), The Nash (Mindpill), Walter and Mochi (talking to Matt in the background). I also had the pleasure of talking to Wil, Brian Harlow, Bacon, Eugene, Yoshiki (Vise), Gak (HawgHolic), Grant & Harpoon (FMA), John Edwards, Can't Stay Jose (who turned up in a tasty old pickup) and a lot of other great people whose names Pabst made me forget. All of them are people I look up to, whose bikes and lifestyles have, over the years, inspired me from afar.

Of course, my little camera's memory ran out after this photo was taken, but there is plenty of coverage of this get-together elsewhere. I just hope my usual over-compensation for shyness with the beer didn't let me down.

Friday, July 9

I'm stranded

Speed-E-Shift... even more!

For Matt and others who have emailed me, if you want to know the origin of most of these cool old aftermarket parts, your first stop should be Stretch's Nostalgia on Wheels Blog (see link in my bloglist, right).

This is one of his posts (that this image is from) on the Speed-E-Shift, HERE.

3 weeks to go

Is your ride ready?

Remember, GKM will be giving a prize to the motorcycle at the Hayride which best sums up the spirit of Greasy Kulture!

Directions, info etc HERE.

More of the Speed-E Pan

Thursday, July 8


Until I went to visit Kurt Morrow at Ventura Motorworks, I'd never even seen a Speed-E-Shift except in pictures, let alone watched one in use.

This is Kim on his Panhead, originally built and owned by his dad back in the day, complete with a (now super-rare) Speed-E-Shift. Designed to allow the rider to disengage and engage the clutch and shift gears in one motion and with one pedal, it was an amazing sight to see Kim stomp on the shifter, accelerate like a drag racer, then skid to a halt at (and sometimes beyond!) the Stop sign at the end of Kurt's street.

Kim is an ex-fireman, and looks a regular non-biker kind of guy, but he rides this Pan like a demon.

If I was a better photographer you'd get some sense of the speed Kim was travelling at... but his face tells the tale I hope.

That's Kurt in the background. I think he's seen this all before!

Ventura Motorworks is a great shop – and Kurt a great bloke – and both will be the subject of a GKM feature soon.

Wednesday, July 7

Remember the SPORT in Sportster?

Remember the days when the Sportster was H-D's muscle bike?

Dan does.

Coming soon in GKM.

Brandon Holstein


The last thing I looked at before leaving for France was the new issue of Big Twin (which had just arrived on my doormat), with the great cover photo of Brandon by 'Flyin' Dutchman' Maurice.

One of the first people I met when I arrived at the Linkert Attacks site in France was Brandon.

Really nice guy, talented fabricator, and friend of Mark Kawakami. He'd even heard of GKM! I told him about the great feature in Big Twin because he hadn't seen it. He's on a European tour, riding an FXR and hanging out with the European Sinners and the London crew.

Hope you're having a good time, Brandon. Pleasure to meet you.

Tuesday, July 6

Kicked in the teeth

Finally found a half hour to look into the stuck kicker problem I have on the Pan. Didn't take long to see what was causing it.

A new starter gear is now on the list, along with the timing hole plug...

Monday, July 5

Powerplant inspection

As part of my fabulous LA tour (great food, beer... and chopper shops!) Matt and Justina took me to meet Yaniv Evan at Powerplant Choppers. He was already a bit of a hero of mine after seeing his bike-surfing shot on the front of Street Chopper, and his new shop – attached to the old workshop – is super-cool.

I like the twists he puts on the trad chopper theme... but what is it about big American Pitbulls? Yaniv's dog was loping around the workshop. "Don't look at him... just ignore him!" instructed Yaniv. I love bull terriers but their big US cousins seem unpredictable and make me nervous!