Sunday, July 31

Congratulations Toddy

Deserved and popular winner of the GKM trophy at the Hot Rod Hayride: his Triumph blew minds!

What a great weekend. More photos soon.

Honour amongst bike riders?

Someone stole the 'Chop it, ride it' GKM banner off the veranda of the Pavilion at the Hayride.

If you hear a whisper, please email me at in confidence. This is money taken directly from my pocket, presumably by another bike rider... Pretty sad.

Other than that, it's been a blinding weekend; look for photos and winner of The GKM trophy tomorrow.....

- Posted on the move

Thursday, July 28

From riches to rags

Just a few weeks ago I was riding high... now I'm not riding at all.

Weird to be going away for a weekend that has so much to do with motorcycles but not be riding one. Born loser.

Come and and buy me a beer on the GKM stand!

It's that time again

If you're reading this in the UK and you're not going to the Hotrod Hayride this weekend... why not?

See you there.

Wednesday, July 27

Tuesday, July 26

Monday, July 25

Pre-order issue 22, out on August 1

Yes, our wholesome summer issue is officially released next Monday, so if you want to be sure you get your issue amongst the first that are shipped, you can put your order in now for a subscription or individual copy, HERE.

Contents? It's all juicy stuff...

Frank Kaisler's column: the Maryland issue
Cover star Milo’s ‘50 WR TT: thrashed, not stashed
Matt Davis’ ‘59 Pan-Shovel: you like shrimp?
‘79 XS650 tracker: Zip gets it airborne!
Scottish Sport Scout: Steve’s hot rod Indian
Linkert Attacks! UK... cider ‘n’ cycles
Paul Oates’ clean machine: ‘70 Shovel chop
Hidemo ‘68 Sporty: how H-D should’ve styled it
Born Free Three: like a dream...
Perfect paint: Yokohama Ironhead
When good luck turns bad: Joe Cano’s '53 Pan
Loooow ride: Shaun’s ‘68 BSA

Sunday, July 24

So who's taking the Hayride trophy home this year?

Mr Thomas scooped the inaugural GKM Hayride bike trophy last year for his mint Panhead... still the best looking Pan chopper in the UK.

So who's gonna scoop the prize this year, strapping it carefully to their handlebars like Johnny?


This Panhead's going to be a tough act to follow.

Saturday, July 23

Panhead update

When I realised the barrels and pistons were shot, I called everyone I know for advice about who to go to for professional advice and repairs. This job is beyond me.

I had a few recommendations, all of whom I'd heard good things about; Toshi even offered to look at it for me when it gets a bit quieter and colder.

But I am impatient; this is my only bike. I want to ride again sooner rather than later. So the Pan is with Richard Millard near Lincoln; he's a top bloke, with an excellent reputation – especially with other people in the trade. He has a lovely Knuck with some very rare old bits on it. He even shared a house with Jesse James years ago in the early days of WCC...

Rich has already split the cases and checked everything over so we know where we're at.

The good news? Some money has been spent on this engine in the not too distant past: JIMS sprocket shaft, nearly new Manley valves, etc. Rich also told me the cases are some of the best he's ever seen: unbodged, unmended and unmarked. The '56 heads are in great nick, too, as is the oil pump.

Bad news? The pinion shaft is worn, and the bearings are pitted. Both should be replaced as the crank had lateral and up 'n' down play. The crank will therefore need re-balancing and shimming. I also need a new primary chain, cylinders and pistons.

So, it could have been worse... and better. I will end up with an engine that I can rely on, and that I will be able to ride again soon this year... not next.

(Thanks for those cylinders Bob, unfortunately Rich doesn't want to risk them as he doesn't know how far the rust has penetrated the bores.)

Friday, July 22

Another great gone

Hotrod Hayride... a week to go

Yes folks, only seven days to go to the start of another weekend to remember... so get your 'sickle ready and head down (or up) to the Hayride at Bisley in Surrey for a few days of vintage-tinged mayhem.

We will have a table selling GKM at the show, so stop by to pick up back issues or stickers. We are also sponsoring the bike prize again and I'll be keeping my bleary eye open for the best old chopper or bobber all weekend. Winner will receive a vintage motorcycle trophy and a year's subscription to the magazine.

See you there!

Thursday, July 21


Went today with Pete and Ali to their private test track to give Pete's Triumph a shakedown before the Hayride.

It goes hard and sounds amazing. (But it's not the comfiest motorcycle in the world. Extra knacker-padding was required.)

Wednesday, July 20

Glory Stompers!

Anyone know what became of Dennis Hopper's purple Knuck from this movie? The silver Pan was a big inspiration for mine.

Tuesday, July 19

Loz: an update

Remember Loz, the Aussie who flew to Illinois to buy a Pan in 1975?

The front half of his old Pan's frame, plus the original trans, went into this latest reincarnation of the bike, which Loz has just finished. He used a V-Twin Pan motor. Nice photo by the ocean... 20 degrees and sunny in mid-winter! I miss that.

The middle photo is of Loz on his '47 Knuck in about '86, with his nephew riding pillion. And yes, Loz still has the bike...

He is a font of knowledge about old H-Ds... which I am taking advantage of. (He pointed out an RL springer incorrectly captioned as a VL in one of our features... oops.) He also has more cool old parts than you can shake a stick at. Later I'll show you the photos of the Howard 50 degree v-twin motors he has in his shed... and an Ozbike magazine feature bike using one... good stuff.

Sunday, July 17

Custom Chopper, November 1973

What's the significance of this particular issue?

Find out in GKM #22, out August 1.

Saturday, July 16


Lee 'n' Stevie.

Two of the best people I've met since coming back to the UK.

Hot Rod Drags, 2009.

Are you excited yet?

Many of the official invitees for this year's 20th Mooneyes Hot Rod and Custom show in Yokohama have just been announced. The official website for the show is also now open here.

With any luck, Pat and I will be there again. Can't wait...

If you're thinking about going, go! It's the best time you will ever have.

Thursday, July 14

Not at the moment it's not

At the moment I wish I had something new and reliable so I could be out riding, taking advantage of the tiny window of opportunity for sun-soaked miles that the British summer offers.

I will love the Panhead again. But it's on the naughty step at the moment, awaiting its transport to a new location for remedial therapy.

Wednesday, July 13


Milo's 1950 WR TT is one of only 69 WRs produced that year.


Er... yep.

It won Best of Show at Linkert Attacks! UK a few weeks back, and is on the cover of the new issue, out on August 1.

Wait until you see the photos by Oliver Bampfylde... they've helped create some of my favourite GKM spreads so far. This bike was rescued from a display case and is now thrashed. How good – how right – is that?

Milo also has impeccable taste in music.


Tuesday, July 12