April 6, 2019

Hound in the Hack

Comfy Chair | a respectable couple take their pet pup for a ride in the countryside. I’m sure there’s a picnic tucked away in there somewhere.

April 5, 2019

Tomorrow’s Saturday

Mercurial Mademoiselle | silver tank’d Bonnie and its brunette rider get us to weeks-end. Celebrating Frīġedæġ, meaning the “day of Frige”.

April 4, 2019

Compass bearing

All Points | when heading North South East or West what better mode than a kitted out Tiger for the road less travelled.

April 3, 2019

Woman in Charge

Girls Gotta Dream | Chicago selected a new Mayor yesterday; Lori Lightfoot – she’s black and gay: a trifecta in historic significance. The choice was achieved in a landslide victory by a population looking for change in the Windy City’s typical politics.. She got my vote and I hope we experience civic unity.

April 2, 2019

Beep Beep

Abarth | I was scootering between site visits today and when I was filling the Tigers tank up I spied this little pearl of a racer. Red Scorpion on its hood and a little extra oomph in its diminutive engine. Standing next to it I couldn’t imagine being able to get in it without my head poking through the sun roof and elbows sticking out of the windows.

April 1, 2019

4/1

April First | Triumph Motorcycle Ltd are advertising a stunt experience recreating the epic border fence jump. Like Ekins/McQueen you’ll escape a German platoon but instead of careening into the second fences barbed wire, you’ll land in a ball pit cheered on by spectators.

March 31, 2019

Zzzzzzzz

Nessun Dorma | The aria from Puccini’s opera Turandot was famously used for the BBC coverage of the World Cup in ’90. Sung in true maestro style by Pavarotti it was also used by Pirelli tire manufacturer in their late 80’s advertising campaign. Direct translation from the Italian is “None shall sleep” so using it for a tire seems appropriate. So, back to the matter at hand: these are the two tires I got for the Tiger from old new stock at Motoworks yesterday. Knobbly treads for a bit better traction on gravel. I need to go look for some back roads now! Heidenau K60 Scout up front and Continental TKC 80’s in back. This combination is meant to be a good balance for compromise between asphalt and loose dirt.

March 30, 2019

Motorrad

 Bayerische Motoren Werke | a visit to Motorworks today on S Western to pick something up gave me a chance to see their refurbished digs. As of this weekend they are now also an official BMW dealership. So they now represent the trifecta of European machinery: Triumph, Ducati & BMW. I spied this very sharp R90s sitting near the parts department. Teutonic Twentieth Century technology at its ‘allerbeste’. The classic black/silver smoke tank is pure seventies superbike.

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 28, 2019

Amphibian Rider

Poop-Poop | one of the great environmental books to read is Kenneth Graham’s tale from the riverbank: The Wind in the Willows. Mr Toad of Toad Hall always finds the adventurous side of life as can be seen in the latest animated offering being released this summer. In the trailer he’s haring along a country lane on a vintage motorcycle only to come a cropper.

The Open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the hedgerows, the rolling downs; Travel, change, interest, excitement! The whole world before you, and a horizon that’s always changing! ” Toad

March 27, 2019

Most Excellent!

Theodore “Ted” Logan | Keanu Reeves is known for many iconic movie roles (Johnny Utah, Neo, John Wick) but the first was as one half of the dim witted Californian duo Bill & Ted. They travel through time, in a phone booth, meeting historical figure thus ensuring good high school grades and eventual fame for their band Wyld Stallyn’s. A future utopian society based on their music depends on them not flunking high school.

It was just announced last week that a third B&T film is going to be made for release in 2020. Bodacious dude!

Keanu is a very keen motorcyclist, being seen on all kinds of rides including this contemporary Norton. He also formed a company called Arch Motorcycles building high end custom bikes. We’ll cover this in a separate post.

“Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K”

March 26, 2019

Commute

Work Horse | though a tad chilly the overhead clear skies and spring sun allowed me to utilize the Tiger to attend a site meeting out in St Charles on the Fox River. Winding back roads in Kane County and no-nonsense humping along the interstate meant an efficient yet fun trip. Hey, even when you’re grafting you may as well enjoy yourself!

March 25, 2019

For want of a spade

Kustom Kat |For over five decades the custom motorcycle scene has been dominated by one name Arlen Ness. He passed away over the weekend leaving a void in the genre. Taking the laid-back Californian attitude and rebuilding bikes into crazy vestiges of their former self he would use mostly Harley Davidson’s to create multitudes of choppers, bobbers, and, like this Triumph, diggers. This latter style was a needle thin profile with stretched out forks – highly impractical but look beautiful. Arlen Ness 1938-20019 RIP

March 24, 2019

King of Cool

Harvey Mushman | today would have been Steve McQueen’s 89th Birthday.

March 23, 2019

Blue & Ice

The Cat’s Whisker | a sunny early spring day gave me an opportunity to haul the pussycat over back roads across Lake county into Wisconsin and a lap of the still frozen over Lake Geneva. New saddle was extremely comfy, new leather jeans and boots kept me cosy. A perfect flight to broom cobwebs out of the feathers.