Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

I am Iron Man!

Ozzy’s son Jack proudly stands by his sharp looking Thruxton. Black on Black colour scheme in keeping with family values notably Pappa Osbourne’s band “Black Sabbath”.

Not being Paranoid or anything; but Brit Iron seems more appropriate for an old rocker than a chopper.


April 29, 2012

Une Tati Triumph

Deconstructed Triumph: yes you can take it apart to see how it works but can you then put it all back together? Here’s a chap with a taste for simian and a future of blood, sweat and gears tears. It reminds me of a classic image of the extremely clever french visual comic actor Jacques Tati.

L’Ecole des facteurs. Mais la bicyclette est dans les morceaux…



April 28, 2012

Be Prepared

Bob-a-Job: a worried looking Sponge Bob protects this lass’ noggin from a few bumpy lanes when cavorting along on this modified Troompitt. It’s been bobbed in genuine fashion but with a dirt twist. nb. a ‘bob’ is a shilling : 12d [old pence] ~ 5p [new pence]. This was ‘earned’ for the cub-scouts doing odd jobs around the neighbourhood during “bob-a-job week” (or around the doors). The rev-counter is mounted in an interesting manner.

April 27, 2012

That is illogical captain

Spock aka Leonard Nimoy looking quite roadworthy with his fisherman’s Aran sweater, black leather blazer and visored open face helmet (I’m not sure about the hockey-like chin strap!). Probably an episode of Mission Impossible where his character Paris was a master of disguise. Hmm… 

Side Note: Today the space shuttle Enterprise, full size gliding test aircraft of the latter space worthy craft (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavour & Atlantis) was flown into JFK airport after an airborne tour of the New York City. The Enterprise got it’s name from Trekkies who demanded NASA name this shuttle after the Starship Enterprise NCC-1701. The Enterprise will be barged up the Hudson and put on permenent display atop the Intrepid.

April 26, 2012

Paul Smith: Go-Faster Stripes

Wanna look snappy in a three-piece suit and shiny oxfords? Well to go with that Saville Row look you need a special edition Paul Smith Triumph Bonneville. That fresh, laid back designer look matches a 60’s icon seamlessly (excuse the pun).  The PS Stripes are a fashion barcode defining British creativity. His collaboration with John Bloors Bonnie begat 9 one-offs each with a distinctive look, of which two designs led to 50 production specials each: “The Multi-Union” & “Live Fast”.

April 25, 2012

Chasing Shadows

Road, Speed, Sun and a Smashing Moto: here is a beautiful image extolling the virtues of the open road. A sense of freedom atop a latter day Bonnie while the world blurs by; fresh air up the nostrils smooth road under-boot. Yup, it doesn’t get much better than this!

Photography by Scott Toepfer

April 24, 2012

Black ‘n’ White

My Blackberry phone has a neat photo app that plays around with color, contrast and inversion. It’s this latter one with the image sent through a couple of times that gets this graphic of my Bonnie. Techmology is Kool…

April 23, 2012

Fancy a cuppa lad?

On my lunch break today whilst going for my regular swim I noticed a little two-wheeled jewel. Upon closer inspection I came upon this cafe’d-out Honda. And sorted to the n’th degree it was too; though not over the top but with care and deliberation to all the details. And What Details!

Taking a CB550 as the donor bike the owner has started with an overall vision that brings a holistic design that nigh-on looks like some lost production prototype fabricated to take on the rocker boys on their Triumphs, Beezas and Nortons in the sixties. Red frame and bulbous alloy tank give this moto a foundation worthy of a Brighton run.  Under the surface you see the care taken to upgrade the rear swingarm from a pair of standard twin shocks to a Vincent-like double setup under the manx bumstop seat.  A nicely painted Honda Motors winged logo adds to the timelessness.

Even the rear view ain’t bad either, the twin reverse cone muffler pipes must give off a good bark from the inline four; filigree openings on the rear drum both artistically lighten and cool proceedings, however this bike has a pair of discs up front to give a good anchor-like stop when needing to sharply reduce velocity. The tail light fits perfectly on the alloy hump. You can just about see the twin rear shock absorbers in this view, as well as the perfect cafe seating stance: clip-ons and rearsets here sonny!

Plenty of ‘Food for Thought’ to any future project methinks…


April 22, 2012

Springfield MA to Milwaukee WI

American Iron: The swap meet was well represented with Harleys; about 80 percent was glitzy fittings for your Hydra-King-Fat-Glide, not my cup of tea; but a few older pieces caught my eye. This old tank with suicide gear knob is mechanical art to some eyes.

Elsewhere an eye-catching Indian in gloss black sat proudly. A true classic whose lines still hold their beauty. A Garbo, Grable or Gish from the age of the first talkies.

This tank shows off the shiny controls and dials, the Indian Head medallion completes the delicious detail. 

Finally, there was an old Knucklehead Harley Davidson, in original condition sitting by itself drawing many onlookers. In this condition these are worth a good $45k; some would say a further $20k to restore. Me? I would get the engine running, all controls greased, new tires, an ‘oily rag’ polish and ride it the way it is; a time-worn patina that looks perfect. This is a ’39 EL. A rugged Clark Gable to match the Hollywood belle’s mentioned above.

April 21, 2012

Out on the Road

Sunny skies saw me northbound on a fairly quiet Sheridan Road to get a few miles under the belt. The air temperature was a wee bit parky (high 40’s) but the sun helped spirits. A fellow rider on a nice Honda VFR shared the ride through Lake Forest for a bit.


April 20, 2012

Honda History

The Swapmeet was like a virtual museum of many marques; here a timeline of “the nicest people’s” Honda. The stepthrough 70cc mobility to the masses and London cabbies.

Another classic is the mid sixties CL77 Scrambler. 305cc brethren of the Super Hawk. Nice monochromatic colour scheme achieves a Kodak Tri-X film quality. A Henri Cartier Bresson visage of the motorcycle – Purely Classic.

With the oil crisis of the seventies well under way, the reliable mid-sized Japanese bikes came into their own, the next generation CB350 became the moto of commuters, tourers and others having their eyes opened to the open road. This tangerine model with black flash on the tank was a mini-superbike, but no lesser, sibling to the world dominating CB750. Magic stuff. Now this model is a great base for cafe racers at hipster hangouts far and wide.

Finally, the gargantuan CBX, six cylinder powerhouse of smooth behemoth-like traction. The pipework is a work of plumbing art. Six into One.




April 19, 2012


As mentioned previously in this blog, the Norton logo has all the classic lines of a perfect moto-graphic. A balanced counter to its Triumph competition: in red on a giant ‘N’ over a BMW-esque rondel this badge is worthy of any racers tank.

Then when boldly cast into the polished and cherished engine timing cover it brand echoes like some engine tattoo permanently stamped on the proud pounding chest of the twin-chambered heart of matters.

April 18, 2012

Two Wheeled Transporter

Action Man Diver Driver Fighter Blighter Jason Statham is here astride a late 60’s Trump. This bike is actually for sale on Ebay in Australia $13,000 and it’s yours to either roam the Outback or ship to any worldwide destination. It was made for his latest film ‘Killer Elite’ also starring Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen, a story based on a novel by True-Life Action Man Adventurer and Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Nevertheless this is a nice moto for some great action sequences no doubt.

April 17, 2012

Pearly vision at Woodstock

Parked on the grass parking lot at the swapmeet was this pearly beauty: a latter day Triumph Speed Triple. Muscle-bound; fine tuned; bug-eyed thrill of a ride. Jugular-looking tube frame, black hearted motor… cor-blimey guv! Sorted ride mate.

April 16, 2012

Swap Shop

More of my Sunday morning dawdle amongst the wrecked, ruined and disowned all awaiting someone to fulfill their project needs. Let’s start off with this pair of Tigers a decade apart but both beauty’s. ALthough it’s the single carb version of the Bonnie, it’s still a worthy roadbike. This racing green ’77 750cc and it’s older cherry ’69 650cc both examples of what clean-machines these can look. The tastiest eye candy?

Next up is a ’60 Cub; its diminutive stature belies a fun-on-two-wheels nature This one is all present and correct: a bargain at $1,700.  Historical note: In 1960 the UK law was changed restricting learner motorcyclists to a maximum of 250cc and the Tiger Cub became one of the most popular ways of getting onto two wheels.

Last up is a super 500 Trophy; a similarly clean example which was started up with one kick to a musical twin sound. Magic! I believe the owner was using it as a draw for his boxes and tarp laden piles of rusty and oily parts…