Saturday, March 31

Ticking over

In the nine months (yes) I have been without my motorcycle, I've had time to reconfigure it in my head many times over.

And I have some plans, that may or may not come to fruition and may or may not involve my wheel covers (spun by Barrie and Simon), an old buddy seat, mental styling and a return to a 16" rim on the back.

My mind is ticking over... and apparently my Pan is too. Though I still don't have it back (don't ask).

Friday, March 30

They're on their way!

Start checking your postboxes tomorrow UK... then Europe... then USA and Canada... then the rest of you.

I still get excited when a new issue arrives. Hope you do too.

Thursday, March 29

For sale: Rico's Shovelhead

Yep, Rico is selling his GNRS-winning daily rider... well known through the 'Choppertown' film. Wish I had the money!

"Interested in buying bike – we're in Pomona Ca.
909-208-8795 Rico Fodrey"

Wednesday, March 28

Issue 26... subs start shipping this week

I love Grant Peterson's '78 Shovelhead... in fact, it's probably the Shovel I would put in my garage if I had unlimited choice and budget.

So he's on the cover of the new ish... and we talk to him inside about his influences and interesting path from fabricator to automotive journalist.

What else? We have a super-cool Panhead chopper from a member of Alcatraz MC in Sweden; ChopperLab's GKM Award-winning Panhead from Italy; a bad-to-the-bone Pan from Jason Parker in Toronto; Bill Mize's extraordinary '47 Knucklehead; Chubb's superbly-finished Shovel from the UK; Death Science Kyle's '77 Sportster; Ichiro's beautiful '37 ULH bob-job – one of two he owns; a lovely nickel-plated Triumph from England and Mochi's coverage of the Tokyo Breakfast Club's monthly meet...

I'd buy it if I didn't publish it– honest!

You can pre-order HERE.

Tuesday, March 27

Tutti Frutti

'Gadjo Dilo' is one of my favourite films... can't remember how or when I first saw it, but the music is sublime... and so is Rona Hartner. She can dance...

There's a reason I have a gypsy woman tattoo!

Flawless execution

Always liked the NY, urban, hardcore, club-influenced style that Psycho Cycles produced, bike after bike. You can't beat this formula; from Iron Horse issue 135, 1995.

Monday, March 26

Proper old stuff

I buy pretty much anything in print that relates to old custom H-Ds, so snapped up Alan Mayes' book 'Old School Choppers' off eBay a few years ago... super cheap.

I think he writes for The Horse magazine, and to be honest much of the book is of no interest to me. But there are a few gems in there, all from Dale Walksler's 'Wheels Through Time Museum'. (From the top) 1925 JDCB cutdown (described as a '24 JDCA in the book), 1928 JDH Two Cam, '37 UMG TT Special and early forties Knucklehead bitsa. There's some very interesting info in the book about these machines (I won't breach copyright even further by relaying it all here) and it makes me even more determined to one day get to Dale's amazing museum.

Check out his videos on YouTube; here's one of my favourites: Dale giving that JDCB some stick...

Sunday, March 25

F**k this, let's read

Matt 'n' Dean keep it fresh yet again with the new DicE, offering a free patch for subscribers (but I simply can't wear it with that apostrophe missing) and some lovely content... including two bikes I would have killed to feature in GKM: Milo's 45 and the Love Cycles lil' '39 Knuck that really influenced my Panhead.

Honestly, we are poles apart in lots of ways as publications (which is why we co-exist so well), but some recent features they've introduced like the Mullins Chaindrive tech pages and 'Favourite Things' spreads had me stabbing myself in the face with my cereal spoon, they are such nice ideas.

Damn them.

Saturday, March 24

Folk art, man

I don't know what it is actually. But, no doubt like you, I find pleasure in the krust, rust and personality of old chopper parts.

I can imagine some fella buying this taillight and then gouging it in his garage, somewhere in Nowheresville Arizona, putting it on his Triumph with no thought for the future or the fact some bloke on another continent would one day be pondering over his scratchings.

I share the Japanese fascination with trying to guess the stories that could be told by these old bits and pieces.

Friday, March 23

The Trip Out Pete Party

It's been cleverly disguised as the DicE party on the Friday night at the Trip Out, but we have it on good authority that the evening will belong to Yorkshire's funkiest rag and bone man, Pete Stansfield, who will be enjoying a major celebration. (That's not his house in the photo by the way, or at least the one he claims to live in.)

It's going to be a big night on a great weekend... don't miss it.

Wednesday, March 21

Monday, March 19


Factory Metal Works have made a big impact on the chopper scene with their lovely frames and parts... they have been a solid supporter of GKM for the past couple of years so I was pleased to be able to meet main man Lucas Joyner briefly in Yokohama in December.

I saw this Beesa on Pete's Blog the other day and loved it. Thought you would too.

Feature soon.

Saturday, March 17

Friday, March 16

RIP Tim Riste

I was talking to Bill Mize a couple of nights ago and was shocked to learn that Tim Riste died last September 18 at the age of just 38.

I didn't know Tim, but we'd exchanged a few messages on Facebook: my connection with him was through Bill. Tim built all of Bill's chopper engines at his shop Colfax Engine Company, and for me it says it all that Bill would travel to Wisconsin from Iowa to hang out with Tim for 10 days every time he needed a Panhead or Knucklehead putting together.

Bill says "He was a great friend and a huge talent. I will always miss him."

NY Royalty

The Stray Cats and Steve Bonge, amongst others. Better believe it.

Thursday, March 15

Thanks Mr Ball

Keith R. "Bandit" Ball has pretty much seen and done it all; he joined Easyriders in 1972 and became Associate Editor, then later created Bikernet.

He has also published a number of books, and I enjoyed a regular non-fiction column he wrote in The Horse magazine featuring his reminiscences from the road.

Anyway, he sent me his latest book to review for the mag. It's a biography of Terry 'the Tramp' Orendorf of the Vagos MC. It's very readable as you might imagine, but the most interesting section for me was the opening where the author details the murky links between the AMA, Harley-Davidson and the motorcycle magazines of the day... read this and wonder no more why British motorcycles weren't more common in the USA until the 1950s!

There's a nice profile of Keith Ball in his greasy chopper-riding heyday by Irish Rich here and if you want to pick up a copy of the book, you'll find it in all the usual online retail outlets.

Tuesday, March 13

It's time

Graduation's almost through
Don't know what I'm gonna do
My dad said to me one day
Sonny, what's wrong with you?

I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod
Well, one that I can call my own

He looked at me with staring eyes
Well, those eyes could hypnotise
He said he'd take just one more stand
To make me a man

I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod
Well, one that I can call my own

I want a girl and a hot rod
One that I can call my own
I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod
I want a girl and a hot rod

Thanks Dean. Thanks Imogen.

Michael Barragan's coupe, coming soon in GKM!

On its way

Blimey... it's been a bit of a saga. I bought this panel truck off Dan Collins last September, but then decided not to ship it with winter approaching as I had no garage. Then I had to pay a tax bill and decided to sell it there rather than ship it, then changed my mind again.

Through all this, Matt Davis has kept it on his drive in LA, got the cab trimmed, got the brakes fixed, drove it here and there, dealt with potential purchasers, then took it to the shippers for me. And now it's on its way to merrye olde englande.

Thank you so much mate. What a good friend you are. I'll let you show me how the airbags work when you come over.

Saturday, March 10

Jeff Baer's 'Dirty Nine' EL

This bike got more attention than any other parked outside the Brooklyn Invitational last September, and many people have asked when we'd be featuring it.

The answer is... soon! It's a great story, told in Jeff's inimitable style. As you may know, we've been featuring the seemingly never-ending supply of super-cool and original old Harleys from his garage for a number of years now. And they just seem to keep on coming!

As ever, thanks Jeff! If you haven't checked out his 'Knuckle Buster 1939' blog, one of the best on the 'net, it's HERE.

Friday, March 9

Existentialist nazi bikers on acid

Great cover. Looks like a juicy tale of white supremacist bikers eating each other after a particularly wild party, right?

In fact, it's an experimental postmodern tale based in war-torn Germany, where an American officer is overseer of a defeated village. Yawn. Author John Hawkes apparently didn't care for plot, characterisation or settings, and said of his style: "Like the poem, the experimental fiction is an exclamation of psychic materials which come to the writer all readily distorted, prefigured in that inner schism between the rational and the absurd."

Er, right. Don't think I'll bother reading it. (Looks like the book jacket designer didn't bother either.)

Thanks to TipTopDaddy for picking this gem up for me.

Wednesday, March 7


It's always a treat getting something in the post from Joel Pippett. He sent me a whole bunch of crazy cool stuff last week, including this.

Like a transvestite Peter Fonda-meets-Judge Dredd, this little fella ticks all the camp chopper boxes. Check out that lippy! Like a slightly more hardcore version of a well known Turner Prize-winning potter.

If you've read this Blog for any length of time, you'll know I collect all sorts of motorcycle-related toys, so this was a great gift. Ta Joel!

Tuesday, March 6

Ed Roth would have been proud

This little lot was nestled in the box from Michigan with the Choppers mags (see below).

Beautifully hand made by the man in question; he sent me a note saying 'A gift for the Black Widows'. Oh, how well he knows them. They will be distributed this week.

Monday, March 5

For real

What kind of man sends you some of his Roth 'Choppers' collection just because he likes the magazine you're putting out?

I'm not going to name him here as I suspect it would just embarrass him, but suffice it to say (again) that you make the truest friends through motorcycles. In fact I've had some very cool stuff being delivered by our chain-smoking post lady this week – all of it undeserved, but all of it very welcome.

Especially as I'm having a shit week so far, forced to waste a couple of days sharing space with the lowest imaginable human detritus. I'm sure you can guess where.

Sunday, March 4

The two gentlemen of Verona

Stefano and Christian of ChopperLab in Rimini won the GKM prize at the Verona Expo in January for Christian's tuff dual-Dell'Orto Panhead.

And now we have some location shots of it, we'll be bringing you a feature soon. This article will be a welcome return to GKM for my brother Adam, who was UK editor when we published from Australia... he will be writing the feature (after conducting the interview in Italian and translating it into crackling prose... Italian Motor magazine is authentically Italian ya hear!).

Saturday, March 3

Old bikes in a brewery? My kind of weekend.

James (from Customs from Jamesville) has organised The Castle Run, which I may try to get to. Looks like a good time... and I fancy a trip to Denmark!

More info HERE.

Friday, March 2

Ian's Panhead

Richard's workshop (see post below) is crammed with desirable motorcycles. Ian's 'daily hack' Pan, which is very nearly on the road, caught my eye. Nice lines, nice little touches, in GKM soon.

Thursday, March 1

Be a man, rebuild a Pan

And that man is Richard Millard.

Thanks mate... enjoyed hanging out at the shop.

I can feel the wind in my ears... almost.