Robert M. Pursig? There's no Zen involved, just sweat, cursing, oil and more sweat!

I spent the better part of this morning into the afternoon installing an in-line screw on oil filter. It entailed draining the frame 'tank' then checking the mesh filter and assembling the C-Clamp attached bracket into a very small space under the rear swing-arm. Reconnecting oil lines became problematic with different sized hoses: 5/16" ID into 1/4" ID adapters anyone?

All this was carried out in the storage garage under the office, warm, steamy, filthy floor. I was a true wet, oily, mucky mess! Nothing a good shower, swim then shower at the Y couldn't amend! Well it's on now so I can keep the oil clean for the engine!

This chap has certainly got a Tiger by the tail; it's a late 70's LH shift single carb 750cc Triumph Tiger. That crazed look is familiar!


Sunnie Bonnie ride

Beautiful weather on this Saturday morning saw the bike taken up along the shady swoops of Sheridan Road; delicious. New rear shocs are a smooth treat over rough spots.


25 Years on...

When the Ninja 900 (ZX900A, GPZ900R) came out in '84 it caused a stir in the motorcycle world; lightweight, narrow, strong as a horse (or 105 of them!) and sporty lookin' too! Here's the '85 I owned for a few years, great bike with heaps of old world power. Although just running in the 'States for a few years it lasted in Europe and Japan for over a decade surpassing two other successive models.

Well, Kawasaki has a new Ninja in their stable, less race honed but more everyday riding intended. Offering fast fun, far fun, fabulous fun! It's 1000cc engine a perfect blend of useability, yet turn it on and it growls. And, at $11,000 darn good value for money in relation to other offerings. The new is the new, new!

A Wee Ride up a Hill

Here's Joe Brown, hard mountain man of the 50's and 60's, riding what looks like a Speed Twin up Snowdon in North Wales. Well it's one way to get to the craggy Cloggy over on the north side!


Nuff Said!

Our Hero Baz haring around the Goodwood tracks on a vintage Norton; adorned with his No. 7! Pure Majesty!


Flow my Charge the Electron said...

Working on electrical niggles on the Bonnie; there doesn't seem to enough juice in the battery...
...the red wire, no the blue wire, no the blue wire with white stripe, no the....


Triumph Hurricane X75 ReDux

The Iconic X75, restyled Trident by Craig Vetter in the early 70's was meant to be the shot of styling adrenaline the company needed to unseat it from the shoals of economic strife. However it was not to be relating to various mismanagement politics; however it's still a powerful look for the very capable triple. Here one Jean Fran├žois Vicente has taken a late 90's Hinckley Adventurer and graced it with the vetteresque bodywork, the striking orange and yellow colours, hefty upside-down forks, modern roadgoing tyres and three upswept pipes.  Spiffy!

Here's the original red-headed beauty for comparison...


Speedway Fairground Ride

Growing up in North Northumberland one of the highlights of late summer was the annual arrival for two weeks of the 'shows'. A small travelling fairground called Slaters. Among the shuggy boats, 'big' wheel, and octopus rides as well as the gaping mouth clowns and pingpong goldfish bowl arcade was the "Speedway" ride. a rolling carousel of bikes and chairs. It was, for a 7 year old, the first effects of speed and centrigugal forces sitting atop a 'motorbike' although it was fixed!

Ahh, the heady smell of candy-floss, diesel and trampled summer-dry grass; backed by flashing lights, 70's disco music and whirring machinery. 


Percy Tait

An evocative painting of Percy Tait aboard a racing Triumph in the late 60's. One time Triumph road tester he also raced the bikes; including Slippery Sam, which gained its name when the oil pump spewed Percy's boot with the black stuff at a Bol d'Or 24 hour race. Percy was at the very sharp end of Triumph testing in the sixties especially the powerful triples racking up an estimated million miles around the roads and racetracks of the UK for Triumph.

Painting by Derek Sparkes.


Blitz' Gentle Tracker

The latest offering from the bespoke french garage Blitz is a reworked 2001 Kawasaki W650, the more lookalike Bonneville lookalike before the latest Triumph T100 came out. They have given it a somewhat bobbed-jobbed-cobbled-robbed-knobbed unique appearance with crimson frame, heavy balloon firestones and an old Jawa tank itself complete with aged patina. Probably a very enjoyable ride with a roadster laid-back stance and wide bars but with a very subjective aesthetic taste!


Also paraded today on BikeExif: http://www.bikeexif.com/kawasaki-w650#disqus_thread with plenty of diverse comments.


Moto Enduro

A photo of an Enduro event at the Pas de Calais in France my nephew Dan captured during a school trip there. A winged knight atop a buzzsaw wheeled moto. Great expressive imagery. The event is a 'free for all' race around the beach dunes on the Channel coastline.


Nice little orange framed number!

A serious consideration with any future build would be the colour of the frame: here someone has taken their late 60's Bonneville and given it the fiery orange treatment with white tank. A nice combination! TT pipes in matt black, shallow lamp, fenderless front with disc brake, more up-to-date carbs and big airfilters, 'stubby' seat and modern tyres. This is certainly a riders 'flat-track' machine.

Well I wouldn't say no if you offered it to me!


Commanding Commando!

My sister, Ruth, found this ultra clean example of a Norton Commando 750. Super sharp details and nice polished finish. The top box reflects a user who rides for a purpose, though obviously only on good days!


Vintage Race Posters

Bright prints, graphic imagery and excitement guaranteed! A couple of the race posters seen at the Wheels Through Time museum. The lower poster does seem to have British singles racing...


Wheels Through Time: the museum that keeps on runnin'

Last couple of fun items from the museum: the Coca Cola Chopper, customized in true sixties style as well as a gas tank with cool looking ice cubes built into the metal...

A ride sitting out in the sun, where it should be, looking road weary; it certainly should be after the thousands on miles from its ride across the US in the Cannonball Run last year. Bikes had to be older than 1920 to run. Dedicated bikers indeed! This was Dave Walkslers 1915 Harley Davidson, he came in 11th after 3292 memorable miles.


A Museum of Variety...

It wasn't just Harley's at the Wheels Through Time; other marques were represented also. Some known like Indian and others lesser known such as the Traub. An interesting selection.

A brace of Excelsior Autocycles from 19-teens, the Model X; these were the first 'ton' bikes, fast indeed for the time. Bought by Schwinn which folded in Hendesron later; these would become Excelsior "X" Henderson.

Thor Motorcycle from the 'teens. A board racing machine set up for rapid laps of the racing boards. From Aurora Illinois. With the huge number of bicycle manufacturers around Chicago it was a natural step to motorcycles at the turn of the century.

JAP Single:  JA Prestwich motor from the UK used for grasstrack and speedway racing.

ELK: more about this unique cycle from Dale Walksler, owner of the museum.

Traub, a one-off bike with a very interesting story with unknown origins. Rediscovered 40 years ago in a bricked up wall in Chicago.


Finishing on a couple of Indians. Only true major compeition to HD, based in Springfield MA from 1901-1953. Representing this important maker is a Powerplus (above) and Deluxe Sport 4 (below)


Hardly Dee at the Musee

A large selection of HD's from the last hundred years or so filled the museum, the waft of engine fumes tinged the air. They still fired many of these up! One racing specimen was kicked into life while I was there, a hearty roar and pungent gasoline smell. Heart thumpin' stuff!

An early forties WLA, 45 cu. inches WWII machine (80,000+ built)

1928 JD, here in fetching blue trim.

Model F (1915 on) Early 61 cu. inches (1000cc) V-Twin configuration; this one with original patina: marvellous!

Flathead engine (side valve) used in HD's between the 30's and 50's. Here a U model with recirculating lubrication; the Squirt logo adorning the oil pump! Ribbed side cover aids cooling.

1933 VLE 74 cu. inches. Beautiful bird tank graphic for this year only.

XR750: Dirt-Track racer extraordinaire!


Wheels through Time

Whilst driving through North Carolina we stopped at Maggie Valley where a little gem of a place resides: the Wheels Through Time Museum. A building filled with American Motorcycles from the teens of last century up through to the seventies. Harleys mostly, but well worth a visit to see the set up they have. Biking paraphenalia also colours the exhibit. Lovely machines. I'll start a few days run with this Evel Knievel XR stunt bike...

Don't forget your lunchbox boy!


A Triumph Printed

At a folk creative workshop in North Carolina I worked in the print class. Using old credit card swipe machines and carefully carved lino sheet a small reproducable print could be made. I worked on an image of my Triumph. Came out pretty good for second go at printmaking...