~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Elsinore Grand Prix 1971

A long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth was when I first got mixed up in dirt bike racing. My racing career was brief and not very spectacular except maybe for a couple of crashes. However, I did drag my Super-8mm camera around with me and shoot home movies.
Years ago I had the old movies copied to video tape and now I've begun copying them to digital format. The quality isn't real great but memories are fun. In fact the memories are more vivid that the colors remaining in 39 year old home movies.
I've posted the first footage on YouTube of some stuff I shot at the Elsinore Grand Prix in 1971. Sadly, I wasn't in the race but it was still grand to be there. It was every bit the event that Bruce Brown recorded in the single greatest movie of all time "On Any Sunday."
Here's the first of my home movies via YouTube:

More to come as I get them processed. If you happen to have raced AMA District 38 off road stuff in the early '70s you might see some familiar bikes, people, and racing sites now long gone.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Brass Bobber


I decided to put out a few more photos from the vintage bike show while I slog through the bulk of them. Here's one of my favorite bikes from the show.

Bobbers are in right now, a rebellion I think, against the over painted, over chromed, billet barge choppers that have been the fashion for the last several years

The bobber was really the first stage of the evolution of the chopper from a stock bike and it's good to see riders and builders making a rebellous statement against the over priced machines that have lately come to represent custom motorcycles in the mind of the public.

Bobbers were always about individualizing a bike, making it different as a matter of self-expression, not merely following a fashion trend. I don't know, maybe bobbers are the new fashion trend but the rawness of the bikes probably makes it less interesting to those more concerned with fashion than building an "Up yours!" bike. Too, most bobbers seem to have a solo seat so looking for fender fluff obviously isn't the first priority as it seems to be for sanitized custom bike guys.


At the vintage bike meet last Sunday one of the more interesting machines on display and one that attracted a lot of attention was the bobbed '46 Harley WL put together by Clay Forrey. Forrey not only managed to capture what a bobber is all about but using brass and copper for a lot of the assorted bits managed to raise the raw image of the bobber to a nice bit of in-your-face art.


More excellence:


To cap it all off the bike was for sale and not with a pretty sign sitting next to it, Forrey took a magic marker and wrote the "4 Sale" and his phone number on the tank. You won't see that sort of subtle brilliance on a lot of bikes. I wish I had the money to spend and the butt and back to sit on that brass seat. Well done, Clay Forrey even if you probably don't give a rat's butt what I think.

A few more for your viewing pleasure.

Details count. It takes more than a cut down bike and a rattle can of flat black paint to make a bobber.



























(I believe technically this bike is made from copper rather than brass but there are likely some brass parts on it.)

More bobber photos here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Boy, Is My Face Red

1932 Indian Four owned by Bob Orr
I spent yesterday at the day at the 25th Annual Antique and Classic bike event yesterday in Phoenix. My wife wisely sat under a shady tree and worked on a watercolor painting while I roamed around taking a ton of pictures. Since I had the flash on the camera I wore my trusty Bultaco cap backwards and my face was essentially unshielded from the Arizona sun all day. By the time I got home the Mrs said it looked like someone had pressed a hot iron to my face. Ah well, I got some good pictures. One above and the one below and more to come when I get done with the sorting editing and erasing of legs and butts that always show up in the background of bike meet photos.

1966 Triumph T120R Bonneville owned by Wayne Hamilton

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence



An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison