Monday, February 28, 2011

Vintage Kodachrome Photographs

Cool old Kodachrome photos. I couldn't make contact with the photographer/owner, but these look to be shot in the early 1950s. A funny thing about being born during the Nixon administration is that the world was black and white before 1965. I felt so detached from people, places and history because I never saw them in their natural hues. Now, seeing that time period in real color, they seem unreal, like they're part of a movie set. And yet, now it's easy to see they were real people, and not merely historically recorded figures.

Here's a neat set of British motorcycles: A rocker's Matchless, a cute girl on a blue 1953(?) Triumph, a shiny, new Norton, and a smart looking Ariel among others.

More photos at sprintsc's photo galleries.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brit Jam in Connecticut

Inspiring Ariel. I love every detail about this bike. More pics from the show at Ride-CT.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nanny McPhee Rides an Ariel

If you've seen the latest trailer for Nanny McPhee Returns, you've no doubt caught the shots of the girder-forked, olive drab, vintage motorcycle with a sidecar. Turns out, the good nanny rides a bike that appears to be a 1948 or older Ariel. The trailer can be seen on YouTube (this link will skip you to the Ariel). reports that a 6 foot tall stuntman did the actual stunt riding.

Via: Zimbio

Via Zimbio

Via Zimbio

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ramping up

I was afraid that shooting a video of loading my motorcycle using my new, tri-fold ramp would guarantee an epic fail. I should have shot it, but it would have been a long, boring feature of me sitting on the bike, in the back of the truck, slowly easing it backward, trying not to end up running over myself on the way down. I was surprised to find it amazingly easy. A wide ramp is the key. I bought mine used, but it's made by DeeZee.

Also, my boys are now expertly trained in the arts of changing the oil and installing seat belts in a 1961 Ford pickup. It was a good Saturday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Keep Your Goggles From Fogging

I read somewhere that you can use Formula 409 to clean your goggles which creates a barrier so the fog doesn't form inside. I rode this morning for 50 minutes in 40 degrees with a scarf pulled up to my eyeballs with no fog. They even used to use it as a selling point in TV commercials in the early 70s (below). While no solution is permanent, reports that you can also effectively use a potato slice or liquid soap. Rub it on, allow to dry, then buff clean.

Below is my regular riding gear. Metal flake Fulmer helmet, Halcyon goggles, black scarf, vintage cafe racer leather jacket.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Real Girls Ride British

Nicole: Thunder Girl #4.
Nicole is a librarian (I know, what?) I keep telling her all she needs is those naughty librarian glasses. And she's a Thunder Girl.
Tees available at

Cafe Racer Queen

Check out artist Louis Costa's latest creation: the video promo for his upcoming graphic novel "Cafe Racer Queen".


Saturday, February 12, 2011

*SOLD* My Vintage Schott PERFECTO For Sale $125

$125 + $12 shipping in US (or $20 int'l)
I bought this vintage Schott Perfecto leather jacket (model #618) recently and it's too big for me. It's a Large or size 45. First email to gets it. The jacket has some custom detailing around the pockets and on the cuffs from the previous owner. All the zippers are original and function properly. This jacket is the same style as Brando wore in The Wild One, #618. It still has the original epaulet stars.

Pit to Pit: 22 1/2 inches
Collar to Bottom: 26 inches
Shoulder to Cuff: 26 1/2 inches
Shoulder to Shoulder: 19 1/2 inches

Really nice, used condition. No holes, snags, stains or odors; a few pin holes remain from epaulet stars that were removed; some customization around the pockets and cuffs, although that can be easily dyed over yourself. (see pics).

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two 1930s Motorcycle Racing Films

I love the old images of the American sport of motorcycle hillclimbing. In the USA, hillclimbing means riding straight up a very steep, unpaved  hill to see who can go the farthest. In the case where more than one rider reaches the top, the winner is the one who got there the fastest. In the British Isles, "hillclimbing" is a much different sport, where one races to the top of a hill, on paved, gradual, curving roads where the race looks more like a gran prix.

In the video below, most bikes are Harley Davidsons or Indians, but I spotted at least two that look to be British steeds. That heart shaped Triumph timing case is unmistakable.

1930s Motorcycle Hill Climbing, California, USA

 The second film was shot in the 1930s in Keene, New Hampshire, USA. I would love to have a go at what looks like a primitive, dusty, rough-riding experience.

1930s Motorcycle Racing, Keene, NH, USA

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Update#3: Filip Sawczuk's 1963 Triumph Bobber

Filip Sawczuk is back with a new short video of his 1963 Triumph Bobber. He told me that the chirping exhaust sound comes from having a very small end on his pipes. He plans to swap out to larger pipes sometime in the future. In related news, I've finally memorized how to spell his name.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gary Myrick's Custom Triumph

Recently, I interviewed Gary Myrick about his bike. It's 1970 Triumph 750 and is probably unlike any you've seen. Built by Kiyo over at Garage Company in Los Angeles, it's stretched to a full 9 feet 4 inches and it looks painfully awkward. But then, Gary is also a rock star.

Gary: Thought you might like to see this.

HMT: Whoa. Is that yours? Love the brass and bronze details.

Gary: Yes, it's my 1970 Triumph.

HMT: Did you build it yourself or was it delivered to your door one day by the Angel of Death?

Gary: I had it built to my specs. I have full build history too. It's all metal no paint just patina. A 750 with kick and jockey shift. A amazing rider. Been in 3 magazines featured. It was built to my design by Kiyo at the garage company. He has built a shovel head for me a few years back. I dreamed it up but he is the real talent. I am a musician/ artist and design is part of my thing.

HMT: Got any photos of you on it? It looks like... a sketchy ride.

Gary: It's a real work of art and amazing one of a kind old school all the way rider. I've had many hot rods, harleys all old school as I shift and often foot clutch. I love the 1920s-1960s bikes,cars,all style and wanted a bare bones metal finish Triumph only having HD in past.

HMT: Where are you now?

Gary: I'm from Texas living in Los Angeles and lived in London for 2 years playing writing with Clash bassist in a band Havana 3AM . I also collect vintage gear, helmets, jackets, kidney belts, caps, gloves and so on. Ps you can see a short speed up shot of me on bike in my YouTube video "fame is dangerous".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 Mens File at Brooklands

The January-July issue of Mens File is out and the site has a new video section. Check out the short film shot at Brooklands by Nick Clements, featuring artist Conrad Leach.

Art by Conrad Leach