Sunday, 26 February 2017
I'm fifty eight and Dangerous is seventy two and yet we turned into a pair of dickheads, Dangerous rooster-tailing salty water off his back tyre, wheelies and general hooligan behaviour, down the Via Gellia and a thick ribbon of salt and limestone scum off the never ending convoy of Derbyshire Roadstone wagons adding to the already tricky conditions. Toasted cheese and tuna sandwiches and strong coffee to warm frozen limbs and deserted roads, no one is out today, into Matlock, the traditional biker, Sunday afternoon, meeting point, no-one here, Me, Dangerous, the local scooter posse, that's it, what's up? Your dead a long time fuckers..........
Saturday, 25 February 2017
I heard it through the grapevine that we have had quite a few bike thefts recently in the 'hood, some very close to the shed, I'm already paranoid but to hear that there's a gang of scrotes in a white Transit van pinching bikes has got me even more security conscious. I have disc-locks, heavy duty Abus chains and locks, an alarm system and bars at the window, two very, very nasty Jack Russell terriers, deadlock bolts and my van is backed up to the door every night, but, I must admit to investing in a security camera too, activated by sound or motion and immediate notification via my phone, an awesome bit of kit and as you can see by the photos, crystal clear, the 'smile motherfucker' sign? Your attention will be drawn to that straight away so I can get a good photo of you as you stare straight into the camera lens. Oh did I mention that I'm shodan in two different martial arts, have a very, very sharp katana and a rusty old shotgun, my new Doc Martens need christening and I hate bike thiefs? bring it on.........
Thursday, 23 February 2017
What I am loving though is the mix of wheels on the bike, it's definitely a magnesium Dymag on the rear, the classic three-spoke design is a style icon, not sure what the front hoop is? I can only find pictures of the Yoshimura super bikes with matching Dymags from this era so perhaps someone will let me know? They certainly aren't the original 'star' design items I had on my bike, in fact they look like the Kawasaki rims that were fitted to Eddie Lawsons bike? Calipers are AP Lockheed's, the fronts are mounted in front of the skinny little 'right way up' forklegs as was popular during this time, (apparently they stayed cooler owing to them being in the wind blast but from an engineering point it's a bit of a no-no owing to the sheer factors involved on the mountings) the rear is mounted underneath the swingarm and off the old centre-stand mounting in a crude way to achieve a fully floating mounting. The swingarm looks like an early Honda CB 750 SOHC item rather than the standard Suzuki item, probably because the welded seam in the centre offered a lot more torsional strength compared to the OEM tubular item. The frame has additional bracing welded in the 'v' just above the rearset mountings, I copied this on my own bike, Reynolds seamless tubing no less, brazed in by a mate who worked at the old Mercian cycle company in Derby.
The bike just oozes class, I love bikes that look like they would do you a mischief, hurt you or cause you discomfort if you disrespect them, this old warhorse is up there with the most brutal and what I really like about this photo, ( and what dates it), is the lady in the deckchair on the right, the bloke in the budgie-smugglers, the cobbled together paddock stand and the bike just standing on the grass, no purpose built paddock temporary building, carpeted workshop for the technicians or mega race transporters/mobile home combo like today's racers, in fact, a very average club racer would probably be better equipped than Crosby back in the day.
Look at it though, go on, look, absolute animal.........
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Sunday, 12 February 2017
Don't know if I've mentioned it before but I'm partial to Italian motorcycles, particularly machines made by Ducati. When I saw photos of the new Moto GP bike I must admit to being ever so slightly underwhelmed, it looked a bit like a Japper to me but when I saw the pictures of the 2017 World superbike? Whoa! I came across all Terry Thomas, ' well, hello there.....' Just a stunning bit of kit, I really, really like the stubby little Akrapovic cans hanging in fresh air halfway between the rear axle and the seat, oh yes, that seat, almost streetfighterish at that jaunty angle, it shouldn't work, but somehow does, I know that single sided swinging arms are so last century, but really? Can you imagine anything else on this bike? Photos blatantly nicked from the 44 teeth blogspot, check them out
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Don't know why but last night I dreamt about an old girlfriend. I used to be a paperboy, a paperboy for those who are not old enough was someone who delivered the daily/evening papers. We were pre-teen children, carrying 70-80 newspapers in a heavy canvas sack, posting the newspapers through doors on a 'paper round' early mornings before school and after school for the evening rounds. Out in all weathers, getting bollocked for delivering wet papers, (duh, it's raining, that's why your paper is slightly damp) getting bollocked for riding your bike down a jitty/on the pavement/on some pensioners lawn. I hated Sunday's. Sunday's were always a bastard. Heavy Sunday supplements and whoa betide you you if you posted a Sunday Times through someone's door who was expecting a Sunday People tits and scandal special.
Anyhoo, sorry, I digress, my old girlfriend Sonia was a papergirl, we used to nod, smile and say hello as we met on our respective 'rounds. I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her out and we went to see a couple of films at the old ABC cinema in Derby, went shopping together on a day trip to Nottingham on the train and held hands on the River Gardens near the big, bronze turtle statues. It was all very, very innocent, our first kiss almost made my head explode, we were, for one summer, inseparable, then it all went pear-shaped, you see, I was a soul boy, Motown was my passion, she was a rocker, her first love was Jim Dandy of Black Rock Arkansas fame, (listening to her older brothers records obviously turned her to the dark side) Anyway, here's a photo of the coolest bloke on the planet, Layeez and Gemntlemn, the one and only, Jim Dandy, Oh yeah........
Friday, 10 February 2017
Way back in time, well, when motorcycling was invented by Dutch and the Shoreditch Massive, err, about five years ago, i was contacted by The Bikeshed, (they were a blog back then before they became an M.C. Shhh, don't go there girlfriend). I'd had my e-mither address passed on by a 'famous motorcycling journalist' after an article on the loveless shed and MZ racebike appeared in Performance Bikes and they wanted to feature my bikes on their website. Blogs back then were like the original punk fanzines, like-minded people sharing ideas and good times before you could actually become an Internet star and make a living from blogging, so, I fired off some photo's along with my usual string of consciousness and got a snotty reply from the Pres, sorry Dutch informing me that it was the worst 'article' that they had ever received and I needed to re- submit it with correct punctuation, better photos, blah, blah before they could consider it for publication on their blog.
A quick 'fuck off' and I was doomed to motorcycling obscurity. I was never going to feature on the Bike Shed site, they didn't need the likes of a scum-bag, rough-arse, pleb on their site, oh no, the Bike Shed are destined for much bigger things, much, much bigger things, like 22 million pounds worth of bigger things.............
Sunday, 5 February 2017
Friday, 3 February 2017
Rockers. Grebs. Greebo's. Ton-Up Boys. Nothing like their American cousins . No Harley Davidsons here. Triumphs, BSA's and Nortons thank you, none of that foreign shit! While the majority of the 'Bikeshed' M.C. Trip-Out and rest of the elitist chopper jockeys fawn over Bates this and Jammer that here is the reality of motorcycling culture in England during the Fab Swinging Sixties. Mostly standard Brit bikes, (bar the bloke with the ape-hangers) no peanut tanks, bolt-on ridgid back ends, no Bates headlights, all packing mudguards, (never fenders for fucks sake) clean shaven, no plaid shirts or Redwing boots. For the really hardcore perhaps a swallow tattoo between thumb and fore finger, no full sleeves here, no denim cut-offs just chains on your ex-forces peaked cap, enamel race, rally, nazi badges and studded leather jackets, jeans tucked into your boots and a black or white button through shirt or white t shirt, ( sleeve rolled to hold your pack of ten Park Drive of course)
Where the Yanks disappeared in a cloud of California weed, Gilbert Shelton comics and the soundtrack of the Greatful Dead, their bikes became raked out, moulded, flip-flopped and modified to the state of becoming almost unrideable.The Brits followed the route of just making them faster, the whole cafe-racer scene developed from the need for speed and now in the present day we see the Americans having a whole cult based around the British Rockers, people wearing the Lewis Leathers and 59 Club badges and building very tidy Tritons and other British motorcycle based cafe-racers. The Brits on the other hand have embraced the quasi American outlaw motorcycle look, both in dress and the style of machinery that they ride taking their styling cues from early Easyriders magazines and biker exploitation films but all the time sneering at others who are not down with their 'alternative' culture.
I was recently talking to a bloke in a petrol station, I was filling my van with the dreaded filthy, carcinogenic devil-fuel diesel and he was at the next pump topping up his late model Harley Davidson Sportster. A quick nod and moan about the weather and he was standing next to me as we queued to pay for our fuel, as we made our way back to our respective vehicles I noted that he wasn't running a front mudguard, his rear mudguard was hacked off just below the standard back light and he had a Mexican blanket bungeed to his seat, that's it. No other mods as far as I could see, (bar the obligatory Screamin' Beagle (T.M.) aftermarket pipes,) I tried to be polite and said nice ride to be met with the story of his machine. Needless to say he was proud of his 'bobber' he wasn't a 'fair weather rider' like the 'normal' bikers, he was wearing the uniform, open faced matt black lid, no visor, no goggles, not even sunglasses, expensive denim jeans, leather jacket with Levis denim cut-off and fingerless gloves. It's hovering just above freezing, dark and a steady drizzle falling, don't get me wrong, kudos for riding a motorcycle through winter in appalling conditions, been there, done that but really? 'bobber' nah bro' you're trying too hard!
So, I guess that's what I'm trying to say, (all be it in a round-a-bout manner) are we all trying too hard to be cool instead of just enjoying our two-wheeled experiences? Trying too hard to dress and impress? Is that what it's really all about after all? Answers on a postcard to............