Monday, May 31, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday ride

Got up early and rode with some pals out to a town called Zebulon, which sounds more like a location in a galaxy far, far away than North Carolina. Beautiful country roads where all you smell is gardenias, honeysuckle and Carolina pines. The photos below were taken at the end of the ride in Wake Forest, NC, USA. I found this old Texaco station that looks like it's been there a hundred years, but when I came upon this field, I'll be honest, it was very tempting to tear out across the countryside like Steve McQueen in "The Great Escape."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Falcon Motorcycles Unveils The Kestrel

You have to watch this in big HD. Ian Barry has unveiled the Falcon Kestrel. It's exquisite. The details are especially breathtaking (even the spoke nipples are pinstriped!). I miss seeing a big round headlight though. Cool progress photos at 
[Source: L.A. Times]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brown Bomba BSA Bobber

Exclusive to Her Majesty's Thunder: Check out Damian Bombardiere's Brown Bomba BSA custom bobber. This bomber is super clean. Open the blast doors! 

He welded on the hardtail and it's a 4" stretch by 2" drop.  Here's how it progressed:

Damien writes:
"Hi Chris.
Thanks for the interest, here is a brief history of my BSA.
It's a '71 model motor sits in a '67 dry frame with early 60's BSA forks and the tank is off a 50-60's Arial or BSA. It's a little agricultural but rides great and goes like the clappers. It was all built by me and sprayed by me, the only help I had was with the electrics. Nicked name the Brown Bomba, it is my first build, but definitely not my last.
- Cheers, Damian "

For greater detail, you can see even bigger photos on Damien's flickr page.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Fred Holmes is The Real Deal

My buddy, video game designer Eric Holmes, knows I'm a vintage British motorcycle fanatic and he put me in touch with his dad Fred Holmes, a real Isle of Man racer. These are some of Fred's photos from the late 1960s racing the Manx Grand Prix. Exact same circuit as the TT, but with no factory bikes. He shares his adventures below.

Fred writes:

"Hiya Chris,... You are obviously an Enfield fan and it's good to hear from someone who is not sucked in to the modern Japanese/Italian bikes, excellent as they are, it's sometimes difficult to tell one from the other unless you recognise the paint job.

My Isle of Man experiences were at the Manx Grand Prix and not the more commonly known T.T. races, the exact same circuit but with no "Factory Bikes", same format for the racing and also 6 laps of 37 and three quarter miles. Being an Enfield fan I'm sure that you have heard of Steve Linsdell who got VERY good results in the Isle of Man using an Enfield engine in a Seeley frame.

My experiences on the Island were, for me, interesting and being in 1969/70 really at the end of using original British made racebikes, in my case, an ex Alistair King Matchless G50. At the time I was riding it the bike was already ten years old and the years are not kind to Magnesium, and the bike itself destructed as I went round in 1969. The magnesium crankcases split above the main bearing housing (drive side) and the resultant vibration split the head steady, sheared the lockwire on the crankshaft end breather valve which then went AWOL and the end result was the rear of the bike covered in engine oil. I then fell off.

I went back in 1970 and managed to keep it going, finished 16th. and for that you get a "silver replica".
                                                                                                                                                 To do really well on the island you really have to go there for a number of years as the course is so long and on public roads with nowhere to go if you make a mistake. If you are REALLY lucky you may hit one of the few straw bales they put up as a token gesture and a nod towards Health and Safety. But nobody forces anybody to race there, its a personal choice and a bit of a challenge..."

Eric Holmes is a video game designer at Epic Games where I'm a senior artist.