Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011


That's what I'd labelled this pic when I originally nicked it- now I see why. Cafe- licious.

I really should be revising!

Thursday, 19 May 2011


and believe it or not, that seems a pretty fair price- not yer average shed build! From britchopper forum, and this may be still available (if your pockets are suitably deep!)

hi all. see ya maybe in a week or so...

Thursday, 12 May 2011


Guys- life is crazy right now, as you may have seen vida has been pretty quiet lately. In the next few weeks, I have final exams in my degree, my wedding in early june, and the 'normal' needs of a young family and full time job- so the blog will be 'lying low' for a while.

I will be back in 4-6 weeks or so.

Hopefully,with tales of a successful engine build, new projects, and a focus on more original material you lot haven't seen before.


Sunday, 1 May 2011


All the right current styling cues. Skinny single yammie SR 500.

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Gotta love all things Italian...the bikes, the cars, the culture, the women...crazyoils!!! family are off there for our hols this year, can't wait. In the meantime, here's a coupla tidy Guzzis for ya.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


You betcha! Nice Laverda cafe, proper.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Sure, every other blog - except from my select compadres on the reading list to your right, of course - post the same old pictures of same old style the whole time. You know, hot rods, tats, hot rod girls with tats, and Dice - style bikes.


Well, even vida can do one once in a while!

Monday, 25 April 2011

ON THE $$$

Right on the money- lovin' tokyo-style XS 650s- mags, bates-style lite n seat, lane-splitter bars and yer good to go.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


WOW this is sumfin else, ain't it? Kicker on an evo sporty? Just check the stance, rims, the lot.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Crackin' guzzi bobber/tracker, as seen recently in BSH.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Of course it's not ( a girl's bike, that is) but a real BIKER'S BIKE like all proper sporties. Whether you dig or don't dig the marriage of sportsbike USDs and 3-spokers with the stock XL frame, you have to admit this is a class ride which would be a blast to hoon about on. That seat unit is just spot - on.

Of course I'd never ride it, it's GREEN ferchrissakes!!!

Monday, 18 April 2011


Thass inna Harry Hill voice innit...

time for a bit of hot streetfightin' action, 3-spoke equipped GSX EFE from 'da church', VERY '80s le mans endurance- style, gimme gimme.

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Here's a sporty in the current Biltwell/Lowbrow inspired mould, ya know, ditch mudguards (fenders) and attach apes, allow to rust and off ya in a day, then just add miles!

Saturday, 16 April 2011


Here's a crackin' Hinckley bonneville - I'm tempted to say who needs oil drippers!

Friday, 15 April 2011


Nice bobber-style treatment on an evo big twin. You can try and appease the purists - which never works - or just do your own thing and have fun.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


A kool seat certainly finishes a bike off nicely - having said which, it's the last thing I spend cash on. I bet this one cost a few bob, but how smart is that?

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


Of all my motorcycly quirks - perversions even - none is more disgraceful than my interest in sidecars. Except possibly the one for trikes, which I am also strangely drawn to. Here's a wicked fat jap chop(looks like an XJR 1200 yam from here, maybe FJ) with a nicely-streamlined chair to go. Go on, admit it, you would...

Monday, 11 April 2011


Man, if it ain't enough getting hitched in a few weeks, doing Uni final exams and project, we decided to move house too...chaos is good. I will fit in the engine build too, and may have to install some super - bright bulbs in me shed cos I won't be getting in there til everything else is done!

Thursday, 7 April 2011


As in 'vanilla gorilla', one of JJ's personal builds - when you see a chopper this innovative [but also very much of its time] you can start to see why Jesse got all the breaks he did- then again, luck and timing have a lot to do with it too, I guess, but you can't deny the man's vision and skills.

I really like the blend of polished aluminium and weathered rust, and how the understated finish sets off the superb engineering.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


Still waiting for gasket kit and some machine shop work - but the engine should be up together soon. Somehow I need to wrestle the funds from the household budget, that's gonna be fun!

Time's like this you have to refer, like a stockbroker, to your bike as a 'family asset'.

Anyhow, I vowed a long time ago NEVER to polish or paint while mechanical problems persist - however, as I'm waiting for bits and have a morning off, I took the chance today to get my old drill, bench and some 1200 and autosol out. I have 1 mop left from an old polishing kit, still does the business! I'm pretty pleased with the results for a coupla hours work, rest assured it'll never be as pretty as an ironhead.

Keep on keepin' on!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Are you sick of plastic rockabillies? I know I am - and I know where my roots are too. NWOBHM kings Maiden rule. 'Piece of mind' has been getting heavy airplay round my yard (ok, car) lately, just awesome. Get yer kids off Funeral for a friend (or whatever nonsense they listen to) and into some of this!!!

Monday, 4 April 2011


Ok guys - were you good to your ladies yesterdays? Arrange cards and flowers from the nippers? Breakfast in bed? And for those without kids, did you give yer old mum a call and a card? Well if you did, here's a treat. Ducatisti!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Saturday, 2 April 2011


I just spent a few quid I shouldn't have on some old back issues of BSH, what makes it worse is I threw these very same ones - and about 150 other great mags - in one of my legendary clearouts. Such is life...

Anyhow up, today's post is dedicated to same esteemed UK biker mag, the oldest and by far the best. BSH is more like an old friend, and although there's a few more cars in it than I'd like (ie none ideally), it's still the only mag that adds value, a genuine variety of bikes and most of all, thoughtful and well - written prose. Apart from those bleedin' daft 'tinker' stories, does anyone read them?

Stu, Blue et al, keep up the great work.

Friday, 1 April 2011

cleaned out!

run outta pix-high time i found some more stuff to thieve and share with you here's one last 'huzzah', and a tidy 750/4 put together by the master hisself, Mr Carpy, for none other than Mike Dirnst (sp?), bass god with old men of pop punk dad rock, Green Day (no disrespect- top band)

Thursday, 31 March 2011


This is how we build chops in the land of rain. Jap power, decent brakes, and a rake that'll let you go round a corner without near certain death occurring. Yeah we do HDs and dripper old brit twins too, but Jappers rock cos they work.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

rain again

it may indeed be raining - but today is a good day ;) - so here's a mild caff hinckley to remind you that dry roads and long days won't be far now.

My parts are on order and should be here soon- just gotta drop the head and barrels off at Ian's for his skilled attention.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Always loved the slick lines of kawasaki's GPZ series (ok, the 550 never set the world alight, but all the others were kool as); here's a tidy example for ya.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Sorry, that's the title these pix are under - in fact, I'm gonna change the title of the blog to 'nicked pix r us' - there will be more original material soon, honest! How long has that promise been hangin' around?

Whatever, I REALLY like this er, groovy sporty. Black mags, skinny caff seat, mini tank and bodacious 2 - into- 1 are tickin' ALL the vida boxes. Proceed directly to the top o' the 'klass class'.

Chain drive is more juicy. Or oily, really.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

from the vida files

You've seen this one before, I'm sure; either a bratstyle or crazyorange sportster, I think belonging to the author of the most excellent 'with evo spo' blog.

I love this shot just because it's kind of evocative of good times, good bikes, long nights, you get the picture.

There's something a little 'cartoon' about the Jap sporty style, with those tiny tanks and fenders, but I guess that's what makes it look so kool.

Saturday, 26 March 2011


If you refer to an xl harley as a 'girl's bike', you are probably the sort of tweaker who buys one for the wife to complement the 'badass bagger' you pay the stealership to polish for you.

I feel much better now!

Have a great weekend - no engine building for me, just gonna do the garden with the kids. Sun is shinin'...

Friday, 25 March 2011

More Hard up stuff

Here's some more fine work from my favourite budget frame builder- another of their fairly-formulaic GSXR builds, seen here at the London International show. I dig the rear fender treatment, and the (Indian Larry ???) tank looks smart too.

My plans are kind of on hold- maybe the GSXR will be a ratty streetfighter this year, depending on budget...

As to the current rebuild action, all good so far. Local hero Ian Borrowman is gonna hone the cylinders, check the head and install my valve seals, and get hold of some new rings, and tasty non-leak James gaskets, then all back to me to bolt back together...then fingers , and everything else, crossed!

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Yeah, and some totally gratuitous Le Mans shots- vintage Guzzi with USDs and mags, hmmm good.

As to my own engine build- I have the heads off, cleaned up (a bit) and valves apart- strangely for an engine where the rear pot was smoking, both heads/barrels/pistons etc look very similar to each other- the only real difference i've found is the exhaust gasket on the affected pot is totally shot- could this be my problem, I wonder? Your feedback is REALLY appreciated, go on, use the comment box...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Thank God for Haynes manuals - tho' sometimes you wanna torch 'em, they're basically pretty good. Mine has been seeing some heavy action lately - my sporty's top end has been stripped down to the bone, awaiting new rings, a hone and head/valves check.

Makes a nice change for me to be doing some proper biker stuff, not just messin' around on me blog!

I will take a pic or two - and this probably sounds very daft, especially to any seasoned mechanics out there - but I don't want to jinx my chances of success by posting loadsa pix, crowing over what a all-tound top-bloke I am; and then the bugger still smokes/won't start/generally takes some kinda dump when I put it back together.

I am not 'mechanically minded' as such, but there is something you just can't describe about turning spanners on a beautifully designed engine...

Monday, 21 March 2011


OK, my 'apehanger heroes' series has been tongue-in-cheek - so today's post comes with a little more reverence. Alright, a whole lot more respect, for one of the REAL heroes of the chopper world, Mr David Mann, RIP . I've never seen this piece before, but stumbled across on one of my frequent internet time-wasting sessions. Enjoy.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

ess arrr #2

More hard evidence that the SR500 Yam is one of the custom world's best-kept secrets. What a cracking little bike it is, and a great foundation for a fresh project.

Dunno much about Trojan, they could be getting a right proper googling anytime soon!

Friday, 18 March 2011


Always the best trophy category in any custom bike show!

Many of you may be familiar with Robbie from Durham and some of the amazing builds that emerge from his shed way up in the frozen North. He's been in the mags loads of times, and is very clever at both engine stuff and fabrication, and on to of that has a killer eye for original design and great style. Here's the proof, how about a fine chop with a NSU car engine?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


How's this for a little cracker? Yam's SR500 has been the staple of many of the original Bratstyle builds, and it's easy to see why. Fins, narrow profile, nice round cases...all the hallmarks of a cafe-correct motor. Everything else is bang-on here,, skinny tank, black mags, and period hoops look just SOOO right.

Am I right in thinking the SR was a forerunner of the XT600 trail motor? I seem to remember them being 'related' in some way...

Monday, 14 March 2011


All kinds of stuff goin' on with this Chica build - board tracker, cafe, 60s chopper...maybe it doesn't make you think 'gotta have it' like most of his stuff, but pretty nice all the same. Chica's work is an object lesson in fit, finish and quality.