Thursday, 28 February 2013


Well, I'm hardly a proper on the road hobo, but we are MOOO-VIN' tomorrow!

Can't wait. It's a crackin' house.  Lovely big garden for the kids, big kitchen for the missus, lovely big garage for me ;)

43 and at last I get me a man cave.  You lot will be among the 1st to see it (well after my crew come round tomorrow, wine for the wives, lager for us).

My sportster bread sits in the bank - gonna be spent wisely.  Stay tuned - summer's near and the time is right ...

Above is a tidy Hinckley.  Nice black n gold, proper JPS colours.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Beautiful CB cafe from the wrenchmonkees stable.

Wicked lines.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Blimey not again ... here's a coupla shots of my old tartster, owned 2010-2012; apologies to those who've seen it before, but I was inspired by seeing the Whiteline's tasty scalloped XL.

Deft application of autosol, carshop black and a very low budget equalled a whole lotta fun!

When it ran, that is, some people love 'em but for me the earlier (this is an '89 4 speed) evo sporties don't have the reliability I was lookin' for.

Monday, 25 February 2013


Oo -er missus, I love a good view 'up the pipe'...

I love a good old CB750 too. This one is nothing to do with me, just a shot taken from a cool angle I nicked as usual.

As to my own much missed CB... Hours I spent on that b*stard rear drum, cush drive (gluing bits of inner tube to pad it out, old dispatcher's trick .. gotta love a proper bodge-up job),missing bearing retainer that locked me wheel at 50 on the shakedown run... man that wheel assembly was a hobby in itself, albeit one that wanted to kill me.

Will I get another ... hmmm ... jury's out. Nice to look at tho', and when sorted they are a stonkin' ride.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


There's no question that the artwork of David Mann has inspired generations of bikers, builders and chopper lovers.  He's up there with the best of 'em.

The chopper is a uniquely American form of motorcycle - you either get them or not, there's no middle ground.  The way of life and mystique that surrounds them is entirely a product of the visionaries that helped create that scene.  Mann was at the vanguard.

His paintings really do say more than a thousand words.

Friday, 22 February 2013


I gotta say, it makes me feel VERY old that I'm entering my FOURTH decade of guitar pickin'

And I never really got anywhere with it, beyond hammering out many a good tune. But as they say, 'music is its own reward' '78 Les Paul and Fender acoustic bring hours of good times, admittedly only to me rather than the long suffering wife and kids!

So, my mates in 'The Crash Landings' have given me the honour of laying down some bass for them; they're pretty good and have a single out on iTunes at the mo'. Being a Rancid fan and all, I reckon bass could be the way forward... so I got loads of bass heroes from  Simenon to Cliff Burton to Matt Freeman to whoever... but before ANYONE else (apart maybe from Terry from Sabbath) was Lemmy.  He rules.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


I saw somewhere the other day that the HD 4-speed frame is the 'new hardtail'.

I also saw that the evo sporty is 'the new shovel'.

Man, there's too much 'new' stuff!

I'd say sporties and 4 speeds are totally out there in their own right, they don't have to be some stupid fad.

Whatever, check this great shot from the legendary 'with evo spo' site.  Cutting edge of the inspirational Japanese scene.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Oh yes, superb BSA from yer man Piper of Choppershack fame.  Before he started knocking about with Jesse and Russ Mitchell, Phil used to build knockout backyard chops like this bitchin' BSA.  I remember seeing it up for sale in the small ads in the custom press, some charlatan bought it, then put it back up 8 weeks later for 2 grand respect.

Respect, however, is always due to builders who knock out quality chops like this one. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Back in the day the RATTLERS MC were well known on the UK show and rally scene for the bikes they built.

Many featured in BSH, Live to Ride (a very 1% oriented Aussie rag) and others - the club even got an honourable mention in Iron Horse.

Dunno much about this FXR (should I say this PAIR of FXRs) except to say it'd well smart.

Why did HD never make more of these great bikes? 

And who let that manky old Honda CX maggot into the shot?

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Here ya go, nuvva smart airhead ... from the Keevils stable, down Devon way.

Love the battleship grey / red seat look.

I'll let the pic do the talkin'.

Saturday, 16 February 2013


How's this for a trick FXR?  One of my favourite bikes of the early 1990s, built by Kes (you can gather his club) RIP one of the most prolific builders of the time.

According to his feature in BSH magazine, it featured Kawasaki front end,  junkyard special Weber 45 carb (no catalogue parts here), loads of one-off metal work, superb flameout and rear shocks off a Lambretta!

Talk about ingenuity. This was a multi show winning feature bike built with brains not a bank balance.
Respect is due.

Friday, 15 February 2013

SUBLIME... in 'from the ridiculous to the sublime'.. Was I REALLY postin' pics of stock Bandits yesterday? Somebody kick me, please.

Must have been a bleedin' heavy week.  Well it was, as it goes.

So back to normal service.  Though strictly speaking, a Norvin is never normal.  I don't think I've ever seen one in the metal, to tell the truth.

2nd pic is Ogri, if you don't know him, he's a fabled brit cartoon character (never) whose ride of choice is the fabled featherbed frame and thunderous ARD motor.

I love that 'stuff everything...' line.  Another one of his pearls o' wisdom  is 'even an old better than no bike at all'.

Words to live by!

Thursday, 14 February 2013


About the best bike I never had was Suzuki's budget burner, the good ol' bandit, though I did have some fun blattin' around on my mate Al's GSF.

I always reckoned the Bandit was a great basis for a fighter. Here's a pair for ya. Mild -as in stock cycle parts and a tasteful slabside-era factory style paint job; or wild, as in USDs, polished (CBR at a wild guess) rims and nickel'd frame.

Maybe not exactly the height of fashion, but cool nonetheless.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


If yer anything like me, you'll have come across a whole load of people who reckon they flew colours at some stage in their lives.  Some no doubt will have, some maybe were on the fringes, and some ....say no more.

Whatever, there's all kind of books on the subject too, starting of course with Hunter, going through the legendary pulp fiction New English Library titles of the mid - 70s to the latter day works from a host of authors.

'Outlaws' is one of the better ones and focuses, unsurprisingly, on the UK arm of the AOA.  It's a kind of down-to-earth read that will remind you why you're at home with a book not tearing it up with a bunch of 1%-ers!

Like I said, it's only one of a plethora out there, but certainly worth a look.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Timeless, indeed, huh?

I found this looking for BMW cafe pics, and really liked the shot.  B&W always adds cool, no?

The only thing that makes me think this photo wasn't taken sometime round 40-50 years ago is the look of that jacket (but WTF do I know about it?)

Whatever, great shot.

Monday, 11 February 2013


I've lately becaome a massive fan of these big old BMW twins.  They've got all the classic ingredients of a great cafe and just need some tasteful fettling to turn into a supersmart ride.

The paint might not be up everyone's alley, but I'm diggin' those neat exhausts, the subtle polishing, and just the way everything's been really tidied up. Less is more ...  (more cliches tommorrow, guaranteed)

I ain't saying it was easy turning out a bike like this - far from it, the simplicity belies the amount of money, time and work a skilled builder needs to put in to turn out something as nice as this - but it remains the sort of project a resourceful person can set their sites on and achieve realistically without needing a whole bunch of specialised tools and skills.

I'm hoping to get my grubby mitts on an airhead soon as we move house.  I very much doubt it'll turn out as professional a this one, but watch this space!

Note - these pics should go big if you click on 'em - apologies recent pics have been 'small'.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


So it's February, cold, rain drizzlin' or even snow still on the deck for the 5th month if you're in the frozen white north...

Check these beauties out to remind you of hot tarmac and hot sun.  Soichiros' finest 750-4, one of the coolest motors ever to come outta the land of the rising yen.  Not the fastest, sure - it's a 43 year old design - but the sweetest looking and most revolutionary, without a doubt.

I guess you'd call these 'kustom cafes'.  Minimal bodywork, outstanding flake, beautiful brightwork are all clear to see - but look more closely and clock the magnetos trickin' out the cases.


Saturday, 9 February 2013


RANCID's 20th anniversary tour came to my sleepy town in December - me and my crew had our tickets well in advance.

What a show. It's a while since I braved the mosh pit, but man! what a blast it was. I've totally rediscovered my love of punk since then.  In the vinyl days, first it was clash, ramones, damned, then when a little older, dag nasty, minor threat and bad brains - the CD years was rancid, sick of it all, distillers to name a few - and now things just go full circle.

If you like this kinda music, sheck out 'the crash landings' on itunes/facebook.  Local band doing some neat clash -style R'n'R.


Back to bikes tomorrow, guys

Friday, 8 February 2013


Sporties rule, they're a great bike for girls AND boys!

Ladeez 'n' gennullmen, all the best cafes are (arguably) 'specials' - as in a mongrel mix of one builder's frame and another's motor.  The definitive special is of course the Dresda Triton - 650 pre unit Triumph twin in a Norton featherbed frame - but the variations on the theme included all manner of Tribsas, Noriels and god knows what else.  Most desirable of all is ogri's ride - the Norvin.

Which brings me to the Norley.  Google it and you'll find a beautiful repro featherbed frame kit with alloy tank for sale for not much more than a new rigid chopper setup.   In 'specials' tradition you could of course shoehorn any mill in there, but the Norley's ready for a nifty 1200 HD twin to slip in.

Yeah ,this is right on top of my wish list.  Beautiful lines witha reliable but charismatic motor, what's not to like?

Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, 7 February 2013


Indian Larry circa 1996, Iron Horse photo shoot.

I got that very mag (featuring the above 'flaked-out, ceriani - equipped Shovel masterpiece) when I lived in Peckham, South London.  Mean streets just like gasoline alley - maybe that's pushing it a bit, but I did get my 1st hardtail and 1st ink round that time, too.  Good days.

Anyhow, as I said, this was the 1st time I even heard of IL, and was blown away by his approach, values and inspiration.  But most of all by his art, because without a shadow of a doubt, ART is exactly what his motorcycles were.

RIP Larry.  Better to burn bright than fade away.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

In Bruges

Seen that cool film of the same title?

Tenuously, the mrs and I just got back from a weekend in the beautiful medieval city.
While I was over in the land of our Continental cousins, I was hopin' to pick up a copy of the fabled French rag, 'cafe racer'...and what do ya know, it was only on the last newsstand before we left for the eurostar back to London!

Great rag...and I even understood some of the writing.

We have nothing like it over here (UK) - chops next to cafes next to fighters...wicked.

Hmmm, I could do  a blog like that ;)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Has it really been over a year?

Probably closer to 18 months.  Man, I've missed being a totally inconsequential part of the internet.  I've missed keeping up with some of the righteous blogs I used to follow and which supported this site.  You know who you are and I hope yer still out there.  I will be checking in!

Life has been intense.  Is there any other way?  I have started a new job, a totally new career which has halved my income yet opened a world of possibilities.

Family life has seen sadness from the older generation - such is the way of things.  Still tough to lose loved ones. 

Meanwhile the kids raise havoc - and that's how life is too, thank God.

I have rekindled my love of old school punk rock. 

I have bought a new garage.  Over a quarter of a million pounds (or dollars, euros, whatever) it cost me.  It does have a nice house and garage attached.  Stay tuned for pics of my man cave ... 43 years I have waited to have a mancave of my very own, not rented, not lent out, MINE MINE MINE!!!

Choppers ... I guess you never shake them from your system, but for my own ride it's cafe all the way.  I'm still bikeless; considering I've had a bike taxed and insured between the ages of 21 and 42, this is not cool.

BUT ... my friends out there least I can post my daydreams in vidaMOTO.

Stay tuned for updates and new material.  Here's an old pic of my old Honda.  You won't be seeing anything like this outta my shed for a few years.

'same as the old boss'