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

Friday, October 19, 2012

More Photos From The Swap Meet

A few more shots from last Sunday's recent swap meet.

I suppose the lock keeps honest people honest.

I've photographed this ball & claw shift knob before.  I still like it.

Changing styles

I love to see old bikes that really get ridden and used.  There are enough garage queens and museum pieces already.

Foot board on an late '40s Knucklehead.

Parking lot bikes.  I believe a '47 Harley knucklehead and a '51 panhead.  H-D fans feel free to correct me.

Another shot of that $300 gas tank...

Not sure if this is for a scooter or a roto-tiller.

A tank in the shadows (which I think is a Honda Shadow tank)

I've never been a chopper fan but these old '70s era Honda 750 choppers appeal to me for some reason.

The previous entry show the right side bag on this '47 Harley, here's the left side.

And just in time for the holidays, Martha Stewart's little brother, "Skull" Stewart, was showing off his fall line of interior decor accent pieces.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Swap Meet Time Again

Yes, it's the height of the fall motorcycle social season here in my little town, the annual motorcycle swap meet out at the county fairgrounds came to pass.

There seemed to be more booths this year and more attendees but less interesting stuff.  Lots and lots of miscellaneous and largely uninteresting bike parts and very few older bikes for sale.  I got this notion as I walked around that in the down economy a lot of people have already sold off their good junk and are down to selling their junk junk.   On the other hand, prices seemed a little silly, a badly painted and now very rough Sportster tank for $300?  A primered and weathered Triumph tank for $400?

The M/C contingent was smaller this year also, although the Hells Angels had their usual, tidy booth selling "Support your local 81" stuff.  

The guys manning the booth looked positively clean cut and beyond their colors not much like the guys that used to frequent the gas station where I worked when I was 19.  Things change even in the 1% world.  While faux "bikers" around the world try to look bad the real bikers are looking almost corporate.  I'll guess that corporate is only skin deep just as "bad ass biker" is often only t-shirt deep.

Behind the Red & White booth you could buy "The Ultimet Riding Bandana."  I resisted buying one even though there is no helmet law in Arizona.

I contented myself with wandering about struggling to find interesting things to point my camera at, things that wouldn't turn suddenly away and ask "Who ya takin' those for??"

I find myself drawn to photograph old saddlebags.  More than many parts of a bike, worn saddlebags seem to hint at a story.

I thought this tank looked interesting with it's damaged '70s style paint scheme.  Looks like someone tried paint remover on it and failed.  I thought it would look cool in my house and with some flowers poking out of the filler neck but lost interest when the seller quoted me $300.

 Still on my saddlebag kick.

The bikes out in the parking lot were more interesting than anything in the swap meet.  The shot above is a '51 knucklehead on which the owner regularly travels.  The '51 is based here in Arizona and has been to California and to Sturgis amongst other places and not on a trailer.

A closer look at those Harley beer cans seen at the top of the post.

Another parking lot bike.  H-D's shrouded headlights always make me feel artsy.

Some people put gremlin bells on their bikes to keep gremlins way, some people call them angel bells hoping to curry favor with friendlier beings.  One guy chose the Hindu god Ganesha to lead the way on his Suzuki 350.  Traditionally, Ganesha is revered as the Remover of Obstacles. The bike was a 350cc street model not sold in the US and there was some indication the rider was from Peru so it may well have had to overcome some obstacles getting to an obscure corner of Arizona.

More photos to come...

(previous years visits are here: 2009 2010 2011 and 2011 again)

Friday, October 05, 2012


At the INTERMOT bike show in Germany Kawasaki showed their new Z800  "street fighter."  To me it looks like it's already been crashed by some helmetless, baggy pants wearing dillweed in a YouTube video.  Odd angled panels going in every direction look like so much broken ABS plastic.

This trend to make bikes uglier and uglier each year can be seen in the more polished but still butt ugly 2013 BMW R1200GS.

Really, how do trained designers come up with this stuff?  The GS looks like a farm implement - a 2 wheeled hay bailer - more than a motorcycle.

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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

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"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