Archive for June, 2012

June 29, 2012

Moto Bellissima

Moto Guzzi: the history of motorcycles wouldn’t be complete without the V twin ‘cycles from Mandello del Lario. Good Italian mountain roads and a renowned racing history give these models genes to be proud of. Much like Triumph.

This super clean, sharp as a knife example from Lincoln Avenue M&R is a ’68 or so V750 Ambassador.

Line, form and shape have obvious timeless Italian design balance.


June 28, 2012

Marcus Welby M.D.

The actor James Brolin, father of Josh, played a young doctor on the above titled show. He plays the ‘by the book’ practitioner Dr. Steven Kiley, against the elder Dr Welby with his unorthodox methods, played by Robert Young. The premise was a kind of ‘House’ of it’s day (that show starring another Triumph rider Hugh Laurie).

This late 60’s Bonneville promoted Brolin’s characters youthful exhuberance against the sedan driving Welby. Toting his doctors briefcase like that ain’t gonna be easy tho’! 

June 27, 2012


A Mods & Rockers event wouldn’t be complete without the diminutive 2 Stroke ring-ding gathering of scooters.

Other small-wheeled offerings had some sort of on board lucky item. Plastic Jesus?


The classic Italians design can be seen here with this Lambretta leg shroud. Meanwhile Irish Stout supporters advertise their taste!


The cartoon Martian took pride of place on the chair of this scooter combination. One of my favorites.

However scootering coolness goes to this east European three wheeler with many admirers and what looks like a dusty travelers tale to tell!



There was also the Honda Ruckus ‘rockers’. But I didn’t take any photos of them…

June 26, 2012

It seems to make cents…

Nifty license plate…


June 25, 2012

Letting’ the Good Times Rock ‘n’ Roll

These was a great selection of Japanese bikes at the Mods and Rockers gathering; in particular my favourite of the Oriental Order: Kawasaki. Starting with this green 2stroke demon: the Mach III, supersonic cubed. A powerband to rip limbs from joints or so I’ve heard. Treat with respect or it’ll tear you to shreds! The double green tank is sublime.


Another beast, this one with a vociferous roar is the big Zed KZ1000. On my list of top ten motos: pure motorcycle wrapped around the perfect four cylinder engine.


The next two take us into the eighties, hints of Eddie Lawson superbikes in the tuning and styling. GPZ1100, and a 750 (this one in all flat black a la Road Warrior)



These are the forefathers of the modern superbikes. The Mach III being some lunatic relative best left alone; but the Zed, 1100 and GPZ’s are the speed-kings of their day: then in ’84 the Ninja 900 came along and the future path to the big nigh-on 200bhp missiles we have now was established.

Then as a nostalgic side note the motorcycle arm of KHI brought out the W650, a recreation of their 1963 W model itself direct emulation of British twins from that time. This time it was a reliable, leak-free, easy handling bike that Triumph should have had out before their modern Triumph. The W650 is a rare machine indeed having been sold for only 2 years in the ‘States (8 in Europe). However it is certainly NOT out of place at a Mods & Rockers bash!


June 24, 2012

Rattus norvegicus

The car CD player has been non-stop Stranglers all weekend whilst driving around errands, social events and motorcycle maintenance. Jean-Jacques JJ Burnel, is of course the bassist and major writer for this punk band extraordinaire. He is also an ardent Triumph rider.


Where would ‘Peaches’ be without that heavy bass riff?

June 24, 2012



June 22, 2012

Let’s Rrrrrumble!

The atmosphere of the bike gathering was heavy with twin, triple and four cylinder engines as people kept arriving on their particular mounts. The curbs were packed with sardine-tin full groups of British, Euro and Japanese ‘cycles. A few Milwaukee models thrown in for good measure too; though they were comfortably outnumbered!


They say at the end of the afternoon the noise of all the bikes starting up is surely chest pounding. Hopefully I’ll have the ole’ Trumpet up and running next year to be in that one!


June 21, 2012

Monochrome Motos

Brit-Iron in black & white: light ‘n’ shadow: shiny and ebony. More delights from the M&R day.





June 20, 2012

Each to their own…

Several of the moto-specimens at the rally were heavily modified for a particular riders needs: in the first instance here bobbed, chopped and lowered to create a bar-hopper. Or the way that gear lever looks the bar itself. Old Style indeed!  Not so keen on the seating stance of these: leg out front with bent knee and stretched out to drag bars and yer arse down low.

Down the row was another sweetened ride; here its purpose to go fast, turn and repeat. No stopping, just going. A dirt Tracker with the heavily ridden patina of a dedicated racer. Big alloy rims, big knobbly boots, and a honking big cog on the rear. This thing’ll take off like a cougar chasing a jackrabbit!


June 19, 2012

Three by Three

Triumph is now know for its triple engines. This layout harks back to the late sixties when, in an attempt to compete against the Japanese inline fours, they developed the 750cc Trident. In racing guise it was of course a phenomenal machine under the capable hands of racers of the day such as Malcolm Uphill with machines such as Sliperry Sam. Here’s a nice clean original example of a T160V seen at the bike rally.

Though not a direct Moto DNA, the triple layout was used in the rebirth of Triumph in  a modular fashion. Several models were created around a 900cc lump with different tuning depending on the final riding needs. Here I saw a chromed Adventurer with low seat glossy tank and classic lines. An enjoyable day on any road could be had on this machine…

..meanwhile along the lines of endless Triumphs was another beauty of a moto: the Sport, blacked out engine cases, lower bars and rearsets gave an off-the-shelf cafe vibe. In red this bike certainly looks the part at the Mods and Rockers meet! As i”ve mentioned before those three into two pipes are stunning. The new Bonnie looks on behind. Of the two I’d take the Sport.

There was of course other models in the triple engined line-up: the ‘new’ Trident; the Trophy; the Daytona; and the Tiger. These gave the discerning motorcyclist a diverse choice for day-to-day riding, touring, racing and some adventure riding respectively. The aforementioned Adventurer and Sport were the cruising cafe racin’ show-off motos for the cool kids!

June 18, 2012

In Detail…

Sometimes the abstract can be as enjoyable as the clear whole. Especially in bikes. At the weekend I spent time just gazing at pattern, detail, colour and reflection. Here the banded stripes of a late 60’s Bonneville tank impart the feeling of fiery speed and streamline.

A moto’s tattoo; the Tiger motif of an earlier time leapt from the hind quarters of a green beastly Speed Triple.

John Bloor, the man who brought the Triumph marque back from oblivion twenty odd years ago pops his John Hancock onto the bulbous tank of another Speed Triple. Red embered outlines of the swoosh logo on a carbon meteor.

The BSA Spitfire; a gem from an age gone, the equivalent of the Bonneville with twin carburetted 650 engine. Here it’s crimson US spec tank with pearly cusp reinforce the somewhat Art Deco teardrop engine that these unit motors display.

Finally a cluster of instruments on the headlight nacelle of a late fifties Tiger 100. Smiths clock/chronometer  with numerous speed and revolution markings (RPM measured in widening inner circumferences depending which gear is selected). Knob and dial festooned housing giving the rider control and readout of the bikes steering performance and lighting/electrical concerns.


June 17, 2012

When ½ + ½ is greater than One…

When you’re talking about the Cafe culture one moto in particular defines that look: the Triton, take a rolling chassis from a Norton with featherbed frame and slot in a pre-unit Triumph engine: A hybrid speed machine of unified beauty. Especially in black and white. This one belongs to Larry Fletcher who incidently is the organiser of the Mods vs Rockers rally, which began as a small gathering of devotees of a modern cafe scene in 2005.


June 16, 2012

Mods & Rockers 2012

A hot June day viewing motorcycles galore down on Lincoln Avenue. All on street parking for two-wheeled transporation only. And by noon they were well and truly crammed in! Nicely organised into type e.g. British, European, Japanese, American. All personalized to some degree. The best section was the l-o-n-g line of Triumphs: old Meriden sweethearts to newer Hinckley brutes. Good craic with owners too. I’ll spend the next few enties on some of the visual delights there. Shame I couldn’t have ridden in on the Bonnie; but, hey, there’s next year.

June 15, 2012

Fuzzy Dunlop

This sorry assed excuse for a bike broke down again today… Twice! Something still up with the ‘lectrics; I think the charging system is bein’ a lazy sod. Perhaps reconfiguring it back to a points system and eliminate the battery. When it runs; nowt better; but as soon as it conks out it’s one oily sum’bitch of a Moto!