Saturday, 23 November 2019
The Krazy Horse stand never fails to disappoint, everything from hard tail panhead customs to Paton race bikes, I particularly liked the Indian flat track inspired customs, talking of which I reckon the Indian marque is building far more interesting bikes than Harley Davidson, just saying.
And then there’s the Suzuki two-stroke, as I stood looking at it and soaking up the details I notice an old bloke [well older than me anyhoo] doing the same, I nod in acknowledgment and he looks at me straight in the eye ‘Ernst Degner was a traitor’ he says and walks away, whoah deep...........
Friday, 22 November 2019
More goodness from Motorcycle Live, Brandon Paasch’s jewel like moto 3 bike, watch this kid go, been watching him for a couple of years now and he is destined for great things, he’s stepping up to the 600 class next year, I reckon the first yank to challenge the Spanish for a few years.
Norton. I’m rooting for them. I really feel that they are trying to manufacture a true British alternative to rival the Italians, but, sadly having visited the ‘factory’ at Donington Hall I’m not sure that they can compete. Their bikes are stunning, the V4RR is fantastic, I spent an age looking at the details and they are superbly finished but I’m not sure that they can produce a machine to this level and make a profit. The Superlight carbon framed bike is otherworldly, 170 bhp and weighing 160kgs what the actual fuck would that be like to ride? [sorry for lack of photos but it’s really hard to snap under the lights with a phone and I hate to get peoples heads, hands and feet in the pictures, in fact while trying to get a photo of the MV 800 Dragster I waited patiently for a couple of gurning morons to get out of the way so I could snap it but they stood nudging each other like a couple of extras from Deliverance and actually looked hurt when I told them to fuck off]
And so to one of my favourite machines, now I’m not a ‘combo’ fan, my interest peaked with Jock Taylor and Benga Johansson who won GP’s and of course ruled at the TT [ I can remember spectating at the Highlander pub and marvelling at Jock and Benga ‘floating’ above their outfit as they crested the bumps] So, check out this tiny little outfit, beautifully engineered and just perfect in every way........
Thursday, 21 November 2019
As I stumble along with the unwashed masses heading towards the National Exhibition Centre for ‘Motorcycle Live’ I am reminded of a scene from one of the early ‘Walking Dead’ episodes, we shuffle forwards to the halls of desire ready to consume this years morsels and models of motorcycling greatness, I can’t help but tune into the conversation of two blokes behind me who are discussing the benefits of ‘wings’ on road bikes and how much difference this will make to their riding. On the road. Aerodynamic wings on a road going motorcycle. Wow.
I stop off for an Expresso before entering the show and take a little time to people watch.All the tribes are present, from the born-agains to the leather cut-off wearing quasi-outlaws, the Clintons, [or race team merchandise wearing Mr and Mrs clad from head to toe in ‘offishul’ gear]. What really stands out though is the demographic. Old people. Are we the only fuckers who can afford to pursue this ‘lifestyle’ Where are the youngsters?
It’s an expensive habit we have, bikes are toys. The days of cheap transport for the masses are long gone folks. Insurance, tyres, servicing, modifications, helmets, leathers, gloves, boots, a BSB round anyone? Kiss goodbye to a couple of hundred quid, tickets+food+drink+transport+programme. Fancy a trackday? Add it up. Isle of Man? Second mortgage required.
Anyhoo, here’s a few of the bikes that floated my boat, MV, just beautiful Italian goodness, Toby Prices 450 KTM race bike dripping in factory exotica and Roland Sands Scout homage to the classic Indian racer. Punks not Dead...................
Sunday, 17 November 2019
Another early start sees me and Chalky setting off for West Wales with his Triumph TR6 in the back of the Mashing Mosheen as he has decided to get the old girl rebuilt professionally at SRM in Aberystwyth, I’ve been trying to keep it limping along for him for the last few years, this summer I chucked a new clutch in it and fitted a new carb to replace the worn out Amal Spanish copy, but everything is basically fucked, the bike is finished to a high standard but I think the previous owner spent most of their budget on the cosmetics rather than the engine room and time has unfortunately taken its toll and found out the weak-spots, it’s smoking like Bertie the Smoking Beagle, thick clouds of smoke accompany every ropey gear change, it’s a proper bastard to start and there are ominous rumblings from the bottom end, the top end and the everywhere else, it vibrates like Katie Prices Rabbit, leaks oil like the Torrey Canyon and would have Greta Thunberg turning purple with apoplexy. It’s a lovely late autumn morning, cold and frosty and three hours into the journey I pull off onto a forest road, spark up the kettle and get a brew on which we sup as we watch the sun rise over the mountains, half an hour later sees us at SRM. We get to look around the workshop, whoah, we are not worthy, the engine build room is clinically clean, there’s no rush or feeling that they are doing us a favour, they are proud of the work that they do keeping these OBW’s on the road. [Old British Wankers, copyright Superbike Magazine, 1979]
We skin out, calling in for an emergency Costa coffee en route home, back into Derbyshire and drop off Chalky only to discover I can’t get home due to flooding, WTF! Not seen a cloud all day and yet both bridges into the village are shut due to risk of collapse because the river is so high, a six mile detour sees me home...........