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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ducati Single In Black & White

A couple of more shots of the little Ducati I photographed at the Euro bike swap meet three weeks ago.




Saturday, January 22, 2011

1951 Was A Very Good Year

For me 1951 was a banner year. To be specific, January 22nd of that year was significant for me.  Today is January 22, 2011, and by some odd quirk of fate or an act of Divine mercy, I have reached my 60th birthday.

There were those who might have bet against me lasting this long and I would be one of them.  As a friend told me once, long ago, after we stopped for a break during a brisk ride through canyon roads north of Los Angeles "I thought you were dead at least three times back here."  What I often lacked in caution I made up for with luck or a fleet of guardian angels.

Now, consider for a moment this lovely 1951 Harley Hydra-Glide:
Image link

"SLEEK, smooth and beautiful. And what a performer. Takes off like a scared rabbit. Snuggles to the road like a clinging vine. Breezes over hills like a bird. Whisks you over rough spots with cloud-like ease … brings you thrill after thrill as you take in exciting race meets, hillclimbs, gypsy tours, sightseeing runs and other exclusive motorcycling fun events. You’ve never really been places and seen things until you’ve ridden this dazzler! Every moment in the saddle is fascinating. Every trip brings new adventures and new companionships."

And if it was true about the old '51 Harley, it was and remains just as true about me.  Trust me.

Anyway, I have to go. I'll be up early to ride down to the coffee shop to get the senior citizen special for breakfast and tonight it's home to watch either "Wheel of Fortune" or the Isle of Man TT races.  You guess.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Radical Ride, 1977




Another from my personal photos Wayback Machine.  This one a street legal Honda 750 powered "kneeler" sidecar outfit owned by sidecar guru Doug Bingham.  Photo taken at the Griffith Park Sidecar Rally in 1977.   Looks like an E-ticket ride to me.

Update: See comments below by "Ruckus."  The rig was built by Doug Bingham but owned by others.  Also Ruckus comments "On the left handlebar you can just make out a bicycle bell. This was used to let the passenger know that a turn was approaching and which way we were going to go so you could set up for that corner."

"wake up" bell.
Thanks for the additional insight!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

First Outing of 2011

Very nice '74 Norton still in the hands of it's original owner and clearly marked "Not for sale."

The 2011 Arizona motorcycle season kicked off Sunday with a very small Brit and Euro show and swap meet in North Phoenix.   I'd been a couple or three years ago and saw some exceptional Bultacos road racers.  This year the offerings were thin but there were still some nice bikes to be seen.

It seems like the cafe racer style/fad/next-great-thing is now beginning to replace the chopper fad with older riders.  Sunday I saw more than one middle aged guy walking around with his new leather jacket festooned with checkerboard patterns, "59" patches, and Union Jacks. I suppose it's more plausible for riders to pretend to be cafe racers (or maybe they once were) rather than faux 1%ers.

Some pictures from the morning:

British elegance

1968 BSA 650 Spitfire MKIV

'70 Wixom "batwing" fairing.  Not as cool as it once was.

Seemed a bit over priced considering things like torn fork boots and other details that would eat up time and money to make right.  I'd have loved to bring the BSA home but even if it was half the asking amount it would have been too much for me. Why wasn't I born rich instead of handsome?

Very pretty little Gilera single. Maybe early 1960s vintage.

A clean motorcycle is a happy motorcycle and a happy motorcycle won't let you down.  He may have been wiping my drool marks off the bike.

Thinking back, I probably should have bought this bike Sunday, a running Triumph 650 Tiger for $1900.  Oh well.

I've noticed of late that anything that can be turned into a cafe racer or bobber is bringing higher prices, or at least the asking prices are higher. A month or so back I looked at a burned '66 Bonneville, no carbs, middle of the bike charred, wiring harness gone, dented pipes, and the guy wanted $1300 for it.

1960s vintage Ducati.  Not sure if it's a Diana or a Monza or an?  Regardless, it would look nice in my living room.


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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