Archive for April, 2015

April 15, 2015

Monkey See Monkey Do


Wind ’em up and watch ’em go! Ape bars not required just a simian attitude.
The organ grinding assistant takes to the road.


April 14, 2015

Orange is the new Black


Artist James Neil Hollinsworth has captured a fine silhouette portrait of a latter model T100 Bonneville. Mango backdrop and tangerine tank. Sunny disposition needed to get the most from this bike.

April 13, 2015

With the little blue bag


Blokey bloke Guy Martin got in a little high speed practice last weekend at the supersport event around Donington Racetrack. Dusting off skills for the upcoming road racing season. He was aboard the Smiths 675 Triumph. Not to win but put some high velocity mileage under his wings. Salt is optional… (The sponsor is in construction, not thinly sliced fried potato products)

April 12, 2015

Bueno Tamales…


Quick outing northward to one of the finer Mexican restaurants in Highwood. They do a mean burrito meal. Good side of fried beans and rice with the usual red or green chile sauce to add zip. Washed down with a fresh glass of horchata.


Oh, and the bikes ran good too…

April 11, 2015

Lion of God


Blue-Sky beauty: I spied a glorious Ariel motorcycle whilst passing through Evanston earlier today. The glossy light blue color-scheme glinted in the corner of my vision.


It is of course the Square Four, a double parallel twin designed by Ed Turner in the 20’s. An unusual arrangement which made sense for compactness, however cooling the rear pair is a necessity. Which this owner has undertaken with a small oil cooler just behind the down tubes.



A real head-turner that cried out to be photographed..



Stasis in darkness.
Then the substanceless blue   
Pour of tor and distances.

God’s lioness,   
How one we grow,
Pivot of heels and knees!—The furrow

Splits and passes, sister to   
The brown arc
Of the neck I cannot catch,

Berries cast dark   

Black sweet blood mouthfuls,   
Something else

Hauls me through air—
Thighs, hair;
Flakes from my heels.

Godiva, I unpeel—
Dead hands, dead stringencies.

And now I
Foam to wheat, a glitter of seas.   
The child’s cry

Melts in the wall.   
And I
Am the arrow,

The dew that flies
Suicidal, at one with the drive   
Into the red

Eye, the cauldron of morning.

April 10, 2015



Here is a candy colored selection box of the Triumph offerings at MCC that I saw last weekend.
Speed Triple.                                     Tiger
Speedmaster.   Thunderbird.    Daytona
Bonneville/Thruxton.           Street Triple

Tasty options!


April 9, 2015

Rag & Bone


A Steptoe like character trundling the damp streets of some English town in search of unwanted items that may turn into a groat or two. Flat cap, fag in mouth, trusty Model H Triumph pulling the basket and bag laden cart. It reminds me of the classic BBC comedy starring Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett as father Albert & son ‘arold respectively.

“You dirty old Man!”

April 8, 2015



The Union Flag can adorn anything from napkins to boxer shorts. But cover a Triumph petrol tank in one and the the British symbol feels right at home. The George Cross, Scottish Saltire and the Cross of St Patrick layer to create the most recognizable flag in the world.

April 7, 2015



My Gran would have been one hundred today. Muriel Lawrie née Hartnupp. Here she is with my Grandad George on his AA combination motorbike and aunt Jean on his knee. Puts this photo about 1939 at 5 Whitsun View in Wooler Northumberland. Uncle Cuth looks on. Muriel died a week shy of her 90th.

April 6, 2015

Pure Vintage


Her Triumph

I did the dragon’s will until you came
Because I had fancied love a casual
Improvisation, or a settled game
That followed if I let the kerchief fall:
Those deeds were best that gave the minute wings
And heavenly music if they gave it wit;
And then you stood among the dragon-rings.
I mocked, being crazy, but you mastered it
And broke the chain and set my ankles free,
Saint George or else a pagan Perseus;
And now we stare astonished at the sea,
And a miraculous strange bird shrieks at us.

WB Yeats 1865-1939

April 5, 2015

Spring sprung so lets sprang…


The weather was perfect for an April ride to sweep the cobwebs out. A jaunt up north along quiet roads (folk are Eastering or Passovering). Late winter trees with hints of budding leaves, the odd swath of cobalt flowering squill, an azure Lake with cooling draughts of air up the ravines. Not bad, nit bad at all. Bonnie is running good too.

April 4, 2015

Rortin’ Norton


Yesterdays post wrote about an old Commando needing a little TLC. Today I went to MCC in Villa Park IL where they have the new Norton’s on display. It’s the mighty 961. A meaty machine with true British muscle. Like a Geordie bloke down the Bigg Market on a Friday night with his T-shirt on.


Classic lines from a time honored road racing history, the twin cylindered engine looks like the Manx 500 single. The silver tank with black and red pinstriping reinforce it. Proper tires, brakes, suspension promote a confident ride.


Also available in black ‘n’ gold. Twenty grand and she’s yours.

April 3, 2015

Under Wraps


An evenings chat and local beer with a friend and some of his acquaintances. One of whom had a Norton in his garage, non running, waiting for a rainy day to get back on the road. Sitting since the late eighties we peeked under its protective blankets to see a complete Combat Commando. 1974 750cc in bright yellow.
It certainly wouldn’t take too much effort to get it running again. New tires, battery, plugs, fresh oil, perhaps some gaskets and a carb clean-out.

I think this is what is called mothballed!

April 2, 2015


Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood would have been 75 today. Considered one of the Greats even by the greatest his comeback at the Isle of Man TT is stuff of legend. Here’s the ’71 wrecking crew at Daytona in ’71 where he teams with Emde, Mann, Aldana &Rice on board Triumph/BSA Rob North framed racing machines. Dick Mann won that race, with Emde getting ‘bronze’. Mike burned his engine hammering out the lead for most of the race.  All were in awe of this bike-god but apparently he was the most approachable of fellas.

April 1, 2015

28 days… 6 hours… 42 minutes… 12 seconds. That… is when the world… will end.


The darkest of cult movies of the new millennium. Donnie Darko. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the dour teen seeking an answer to his future premonitions. In a couple of scenes he’s seen wearing a gray sweatshirt with neon pink Triumph logo.  The rabbit is Frank.


Donnie Darko:Why are you wearing that stupid bunny suit?
Frank:Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?