Thursday, November 27, 2014

Edward Turner - On The Speed Twin

Simonson And More

As some may recall I spent a little time a few years ago trying to document some of the motorcycle dealer history in Albuquerque New Mexico. Given my slight Triumph bias, Simonson Cycles received its fair share of focus. I was stoked to see a former Simonson employee leave a comment on an old post:

I worked for Al Simonson for a little over a year in 1961-1962. I can still hear him answer the phone (with his signature stutter) "Siiiiiimonsons Cycles". He made a huge difference in my life by not giving me a raise and encouraging me to go to college. Lots of memories of this man and his gentle wife. - Steve Hawkins San Francisco

Steve's comment resulted in several back and forth email exchanges. It didn't take long for a conversation of Triumph's to surface.

By the time I arrived in ABQ in 1961, Simonson Cycles was located on San Pedro and the other big dealerships were Bobby J's and the dreaded Harley  The most successful racer around there during that time was Bill Canfield, who rode a Sportster.  Of course, the most famous racers in town were the Unsers on the 1/2 mile sprint car track out east of town.

Below is my pride and joy in those years.  It had two personalities, one being a bit more street legal than the other.  Unfortunately, I never had the vision toward the future enough to take a picture of the latter, but I do have the hand-sketched version I did while being bored in a UNM German class.  Finally, my original TR a Cub, when I was 16 in Colorado Springs.

These photos are so cool! I immediately identified with the sketch, I spent so much time engaged in this sort of thought as a kid (hell, I still do). It's so awesome Steve saved that drawing.

 That is an incredibly timeless bike. My buddy Vorhese is discussing a very similar approach with his '55 Triumph. I knew the second I saw that sketch I had to share it. Thanks for taking the time to talk motorcycles with me Steve and agreeing to let me post this stuff. Good times.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Rolls Royce Merlin Dispatch Vehicle

 I spotted this "truck" on Bring a Trailer. Too cool not to share.

"This 1939 Rolls Royce Phantom (chassis 3DL70) is offered with little information on its eBay listing, but some quick Googling reveals it was recently custom built from a non-running donor car in order to replicate the factory truck Rolls used to deliver finished Merlin V12 aircraft engines during WWII. The quality of work seems to be very good, and we love that the bed was donated from a 30’s Ford pick-up. Find it here on eBay in Saint Augustine, Florida for $150k OBO."


Flathead Rob is busy doing some flooding induced remodeling in his family room. I'm betting his wife would be thrilled beyond belief if I go ahead and order one these puppies for the new room. May I should hold out until the room is finished. I'm now at a complete loss for color combo I should order.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seattle International Motorcycle Show 2014

Flathead Rob and I made the trek out to the International Motorcycle Show yesterday, mostly to see the Pacific Museum of Motorcycling presentation (which was great BTW). Sometimes I go to an event and just feel like being a spectator. Most of the photos I did take were bikes I thought my gearheaded 9 year old would have wished he had seen. There was a lot of other cool stuff (particularly vintage stuff) I didn't get pictures of.
To paraphrase the Brady Bunch "Barcia Barcia Barcia!"
Mike Boehlke built faux patina Knucklehead
Hinkley Street Tracker
Hinckley Gary Nixon Tribute

My son was playing with a toy Valentino Rossi race bike when I stopped him to show him the picture I'd taken for him. :)
This photo was taken by one of the Seattle Rockers. Very nicely built bike
This Triumph apparently built by a local tattoo artist named Aaron Egging was very very impressive. It was easily my favorite bike at the whole show.

I've never seen Monobloc's run reversed like this. It must be a serious pain to deal with tuning but it sure looks nice and clean

T100 Weber

I spotted this thank to my alloy T100 obsessed buddy Brian of British Ironworks fame. Wow!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pillion Power

My youngest son (the only kid I have that was truly stricken with the Gearhead gene) has really been pressuring me to set one of my bikes up to carry a passenger. He's been telling anyone who will listen that I am going to build my current in-progress project with pegs and a pillion. As the project is organically developing I'm not so sure...

That said, how wacky is it that this photo may have convinced me to add a pillion to my restored '51? Well, on the rear fender anyway.

Show Class Magazine Issue #22 Release Party

The date and location of the Show Class Issue #22 release party has been officially announced. I didn't initially realize the party was going to be in Portland but the location looks really cool. This is the issue Olivia will be in so she and I are planning to make the trip down there. Last I heard 8 of the bikes featured in issue #22 will be on-site. It should be pretty cool.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mrs Motorcycle

Let's face it, being completely motorcycle obsessed can be stressful on relationships. Many of the guys I know that are really obsessive vintage motorcycle builders or collectors are bachelors or divorced. Both Flathead Rob and I are extremely lucky to be married to amazing women that are incredibly tolerant and supportive of our motorcycle bullshit.

I escape in motorcycles, my mind is lost in old motorcycles almost more than I am comfortable admitting. Building or restoring a motorcycle is a huge time and money commitment. Obviously having a family is an enormous resource commitment (mind you, I'm not complaining. Don't dare tell them but my wife & kids mean way more to me than motorcycles). Money is often tight so I readily substitute my shop time for money (i.e. I do everything myself even if it increases time expense exponentially).

Thanks Mrs. Bitmonkey for supporting my ridiculous hobby (and generally putting up with all my crap). I'm so lucky and thrilled to have you in my life. The same goes for Mrs. Flathead who has done innumerable and incredibly generous things to support my motorcycle addiction over the years. More importantly SHE puts up with all my big brother's motorcycle related BS and supports him enormously in every other way. THANKS!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ran When Parked

1947 Indian Chief - There is no bike I love to see more in crusty original condition than a 40's Indian. I think it's because the vast majority of restored Indians you see are so over done and just dripping with chrome do-dads.

Miss Desert Sled

I spotted this photo on Geordie Biker. You just don't see enough old Triumph desert sleds or young ladies riding them. This photo looks like it may have come from a Dirt Quake event or something similar. If you ever have the opportunity to check one out, definitely do so. Pure kid-like motorcycle fun.

Putt Mossman Video

I've posted some Putt Mossman content before. I saw this video and knew I'd have to post it too.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ladie's Stunt & Drill Performance

I stumbled across this photo for the first time recently. Despite a far amount of hunting I wasn't able to find much detail about the photo. One site captioned the photo as "Lexington Police Motorcycle Display." Anyone know anything more specific about the riders or team they performed with?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vincent Brampton Forks

I had a brief conversation with an old friend "Indian Mike" Breeding recently. Mike has been focusing a lot of his energy on Vincent parts over the last few years. He passed along a photo of his recreation Brampton forks. Stunning.

He said the following about them:
I've been working on my Mark 2 versions of the Brampton Forks. These are turning out nicely. I made 3 each Mark 1's  2 years ago.
The black fork on the far left is a recent retube of original castings from England using OEM type 1/16" wall tubing.
The one next to it is my retube using original castings, 1/8" wall tubing.
The next 4 are completely new with my 1/8" wall tubing. 9 more are on the way.
I make the rest of the Brampton fork parts, as well.
A great deal of work and time consuming.
I can  truly appreciate just how much work these puppies are. Beautiful job. Mike is building flawless girder forks at a faster rate than some of the folks that claim it as a specialty.
Mike was incredibly generous enough to let me ride his Vincent Black Shadow a few years ago. I got off of it thinking a Vincent might well just be worth the asking price. Incidentally, letting a completely vintage motorcycle obsessed guy ride a Vincent is a little like letting a regular person try crack cocaine. So Mike has the Bramptons.  Now I just need every other part for a series I Rapide...

Sunday, November 9, 2014


This is the first ad or catalog listing I've ever seen for a Fillcoolator.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ran When Parked

1955 Triumph Salt Flats Racer - Pretty cool. The listing says the owner is in Santa Fe New Mexico. How do I not know this guy?

This is the first time I've ever seen one of these Franz & Grubb name plates. Awesome