Archive for ‘Military’

June 4, 2019

Slav Deda

Ink’d grandpappy | One of the fellow adventure riders at the weekend was a fella from Montenegro; now a BMW GS owner from Chicago he had some cool ink on his forearm. Inspired from a family photograph of his grandfather who rode Dniepr’s in the Croatian army back in the fifties. Good composition and image.

April 17, 2019

Une force humaine

Soixante Quinze | More Gendarmerie Nationale Motorcycle police from the fifties. The uniform is very formal from the shin high leather riding boots, jodhpurs, tunic jacket, white Sam Browne holster belt, shoulder aiguillettes, and white gauntlet gloves. Quite the appearance. White wall tyre’d Triumph Thunderbird complete the look.

March 29, 2019

European Efforts

ISDT | Motorcycle Racer extraordinaire Marjorie Cottle was a Force for women riders in the first half of the 20th Century. Here she is flying through a pre-war Austria in 1939 on a Triumph attempting to earn a gold medal in the arduous International Six Day Trials.

History notes:

Despite the worsening political situation in Europe the German organisers went ahead with the event, which saw 61 British competitors make the start. Marjorie Cottle, riding a 250 Triumph, formed part of the Sunbeam ‘A’ club team, the other members being Geoff Godber-Ford (350 Sunbeam) and A A Sanders (350 Triumph). The trial commenced as scheduled on Monday 21st August with a run into recently occupied Czechoslovakia but within a few days the British competitors were becoming increasingly concerned. On Friday 25th the recall telegram arrived from the War Office in London and the remaining British contingent, including Marjorie Cottle, was escorted to neutral Switzerland and safety. Britain and Germany were at war nine days later.

March 19, 2019

Cuppa

Royal Flying Corps | A despatch rider in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) enjoying a tea break while seated on her Phelon & Moore 500cc single cylinder motorcycle circa 1918. On 1 April of that year the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service were amalgamated to become a new service: The Royal Air Force (RAF). Image from the archives of the Imperial War Museum

January 23, 2019

Pheon

Ten Past Ten – Smiths are the clocks used on vintage British motor vehicles. Speedometers for velocity measurement and Tachometers for engine revolutions. Here’s a fine timepiece from the watchmakers at Smiths chronometers in military styling. They were a staple for British soldiers in WW2, wrapped the wrist of Sir Edmund Hillary as he summited Everest and an alternative to the Swiss Made items such as Rolex.

A detailed description of the face:

“The black dial features a somewhat traditional aviator configuration found on numerous mil-spec watches: a legible hours index with a triangle at 12, sword hands, and an outer railroad track for the minutes. Right under 12 is the “SMITHS” logo and an encircled T indicating the presence of tritium. Above 6 is the pheon (broad arrow), the official mark designating property issued by the British government dating back to the 17th century. Right below 6 along the inner perimeter of the minutes track is a proud “MADE IN ENGLAND,” a small element that differentiates the W10 from scores of other mil-spec watches.”

December 26, 2018

26th

Boxing Day – traditionally the day after Xmas when servants, postmen and errand boys received a gift of gratitude from the household. This item here would be a good boxed offering: a still-in-crate 1957 Triumph TRW 500cc side valve (flathead) military motorcycle.

November 28, 2018

Army

Industrial – A brick wall of the vintage commercial building that houses the Moto Museum is an appropriate backdrop for this 1936 CZ pre War Czechoslovakia military tool.

There are definite hints of period BMW’s in its frame lines and the somber color scheme would look in place along the cobbled streets of Prague.

November 11, 2018

The Memory of Loss

Armistice- on this day One Hundred years ago saw the end of hostilities of The Great War. A global conflict whose influence ripples to this day. Tragic in outcome; it saw the loss of a generation through industrialized warfare, epidemic disease, boundary reconfiguration, and political & societal upheaval.

August 22, 2018

Das Motorrad

Don’t mention the War – winding up a suitcase gramophone this period dressed BMW R75 owner carefully took out old crimson labeled 78’s from their protective manilla sleeves and played the likes of Marlene Dietrich across the parking lot. The combination had a small trailer that would have been used to tow matériel into hard-to-reach front line positions.

The car holds a non-functioning MG42 machine gun whose air cooled muzzle looks fearsome. The driver had a very Teutonic air about himself which completed the outfit.

August 5, 2018

Papoose

Pocket Bike – Detail photograph of the folding motorcycle manufactured in the 40’s by Indian. Originally called a Corgi and developed to be packaged into a equipment canister and parachuted along with commandos into Europe giving easy speedy transport through the French & Belgian countryside. The design was rebadged for civilian use in the US providing popular efficient transport in cities or around campgrounds. The graphic is perfect for this marque.

August 1, 2018

Bold 3

The Cavalry – the BSA sportsbike of the sixties sits pretty next to the horse borne regimental troops that protect Her Majesty in London & at Windsor. The 650cc Thunderbolt is akin to the ceremonial dress of the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons). The chrome tank matching the red plumed helmet and cuirass armor; the star blazed tank badge like the Order of the Garter Star.

Sadly the ladies gaze on haughtily in their leather jackets. I’d rather they sat astride the motorcycle as proud riders, like their equine companion.

July 11, 2018

Gotta clear the fence Hilts!

Belanglos reden – today we see out pal Steve and Bud in German Wehrmacht grey uniforms on some alpen meadow discussing tactics for the infamous chase scene in TGE. The Bikes are Triumph TR6’s dressed up to look like the R75 BMW’s that the Heer forces utilized.

June 6, 2018

Operation Neptune

D-Day June 6th 1944 saw the landing of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force along the Normandy coastline. The beachhead that saw the beginning of the invasion of mainland Europe to free its people from the clutches of Nazi occupation.

This Triumph mage shows some dispatch riders disembarking from a Landing Craft Tank LST with their Matchless G3/L’s onto one of the beaches. Everyone arrived with wet feet and many under a hail of bullets.

May 18, 2018

Alberta Moto

TRW – the side valve developed by Triumph for the war effort in ’42. Here’s a lass in suitable attire ready to look for some pastoral country lane to zip along. Very stylish she looks to along with the forest green bike.

May 1, 2018

Power to the People

Red Square – center of the socialist world. May 1st celebrates the workers of the world and their stand for the rights of the laboring class. Started after the Haymarket Affair in Chicago which occurred after striking action for an 8 hour day turned into a riot. The Ural combinations ride in a formal line through Moscow in 1951. Soviet era banners fly from the GUM department store behind.