11/29/09

Two lifes for one bike

Nico is a pragmatic guy, why have two bikes when can do anything with one?.

His passion: The WL 45Harley Davidson, is used for the track as much as for the road. For this, he asked Alain Servie Flatheads specialist to prepare a reliable engine based on the WR specifications. The engine takes 6,000 rpm and more, the internal lubrication has been improved. The electronic ignition take place in the original ignition bell, the old dual Venturi Linkert carburetor has been replaced by a much more efficient modern Dell'Orto which allows especially in the sequences of fast corners quickly gain a few miles per hour.
These few changes do not radically change the nature of the machine, but make it easier to use.


The Street Bobber version





The original chassis which can be transformed into Racer or street Bobber within hours, with lights, fenders, speedometer, saddle and especially the wheels with 18 " alloy rims, dual cams front brake (500SR) and soft tires for the track
or originals 16" wheels with Steel hubs and rims and 500X16 Avon mk2 type tires for the street bobber version.

Nico is a perfectionist in his preparation and work constantly on optimizing the gas flow and particularly with the Supertrapp exhaust also final gear ratios which are adapted according to the layout of the circuit.
Over the years, the small group of fanatics has grown, they are today about twenty in France to run on this type of motorcycles rather rare here because we have been deprived of U.S. military bases after war.

The Racer version






Nico takes care of his group trying to participate in a maximum of events ranging from
of old machines meetings , or U.S. customs show and straight runs.

The Sunday Clip

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11/28/09

Forks

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Vintage Blue Inc.

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Name Blue Vintage Ltd. (VINTAGE BLUE INC.)

Their Blog here


Location 〒 464-0858 Fukiage Building 3-35-8 Chikusa, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 3F (FUKIAGE BUILDING 3F ,3-35-8, CHIKUSA, CHIKUSA-KU, NAGOYA, JAPAN)

TEL 052 (734) 6916
FAX 052 (734) 6917



Representatives Nori Taka Okamoto Takanori Okamoto (Takanori Okamoto)



Content business Motorcycle Apparel, Collectibles, etc., wholesale imports
Wear Manufacturing Wholesale original planning
Motorcycle Apparel imported goods, motorcycle, and wear original sales at directly operated shops.


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11/27/09

DS Citroen

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The Citroën DS is an executive car produced by the French manufacturer Citroën between 1955 and 1975. Styled by Italian sculptor and industrial designer Flaminio Bertoni, the DS is known for its aerodynamic futuristic body design and innovative technology, including a hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension.
The DS advanced achievable standards in automobile ride quality, handling, and braking. Citroën sold nearly 1.5 million D-series during the model's 20-year production run. The DS came in third in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, recognizing the world's most influential auto designs, and was named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine.



After 18 years of development in secret as the successor to the venerable Traction Avant, the DS 19 was introduced on 5 October 1955 at the Paris Motor Show. The car's appearance and innovative engineering captured the imagination of the public and the automobile industry almost overnight. In the first 15 minutes of the show 743 orders were taken, and orders for the first day totalled 12,000.



Far from being just a fascinating technology in search of a purpose, contemporary journalists were effusive in noting how the DS dramatically pushed the envelope in the ride vs. handling compromise possible in a motor vehicle.
To a France still deep in reconstruction after the devastation of World War II, and also building its identity in the post-colonial world, the DS motor car was a symbol of French ingenuity.[citation needed] It defied virtually every automotive design convention of that era.



It also posited the nation's relevance in the Space Age, during the global race for technology of the Cold War.Structuralist philosopher Roland Barthes, in an essay about the car, said that it looked as if it had "fallen from the sky".
The high price tag, however, hurt general sales in a country still recovering from World War II, and a cheaper submodel, the Citroën ID, was introduced in 1957. The ID shared the DS's body but was more traditional mechanically: it had no power steering and had conventional transmission and clutch instead of the DS's hydraulically controlled set-up. A station wagon variant, the ID Break, was introduced in 1958.
Outside of France, the car's radical and cosmopolitan design appealed to non-conformists. An American advertisement summarised this selling point: "It takes a special person to drive a special car".



The DS was historically significant for many reasons, one being that it was the first mass production car with front power disc brakes. It also featured hydropneumatic suspension including an automatic levelling system and variable ground clearance, power steering and a semi-automatic transmission, and a fibreglass roof which reduced weight transfer. Inboard front brakes (as well as independent suspension) reduced unsprung weight. Different front and rear track widths and tyre sizes reduced the understeer typical of front-engined and front-wheel drive cars.



As with all French cars, the DS design was affected by the tax horsepower system, which effectively mandated very small engines. Unlike the Traction Avant predecessor, there was no top-of-range model with a powerful six cylinder engine. Despite the rather leisurely acceleration afforded by its small four-cylinder engine, the DS was successful in motorsports like rallying, where sustained speeds on poor surfaces are paramount, and won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1959 and 1966.



The DS placed fifth on Automobile Magazine "100 Coolest Cars" listing in 2005. It was also named the most beautiful car of all time by Classic & Sports Car magazine after a poll of 20 world-renowned car designers, including Giorgetto Giugiaro, Ian Callum, Roy Axe, Paul Bracq, and Leonardo Fioravanti.
In conventional cars, hydraulics are only used in brakes and power steering. In the DS they were also used for the suspension, clutch and transmission, although the later ID19 did have manual steering and a simplified power braking system.




At a time when few passenger vehicles had independent suspension on all wheels, the application of the hydraulic system to the car's suspension system to provide a self-levelling system was an innovative move. This suspension allowed the car to achieve sharp handling combined with very high ride quality, frequently compared to a "magic carpet". The system used – hydropneumatic suspension – was pioneered the year before, on the rear of another car from Citroën, the top of range Traction Avant 15CV-H.
The DS was primarily manufactured in Paris, France — with other manufacturing facilities in the United Kingdom, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia (mostly Break Ambulances), and Australia.
Australia constructed their own D variant in the 1960s at Heidelberg, Victoria, identified as the ID 19 "Parisiene." Australian market cars were fitted with options as standard equipment such as the "DSpecial DeLuxe" that were not available on domestic European models.



British built cars are distinguished by their leather seats, wooden dashboards, and Lucas-made electrics.
Within some parts of the former Yugoslavia a few examples are still in use as taxis.
While the DS was a hit in Europe, it seemed rather odd in the United States. Ostensibly a luxurious car, it did not have the basic features that buyers of that era expected to find on such a vehicle—fully automatic transmission, air conditioning, power windows, and a reasonably powerful V8 engine instead of a relatively modest 4-cylinder inline engine. The DS's price was similar to that of the contemporary Cadillac luxury car.



Also, many Americans at the time wanted only the newest models, which changed every year, like fashions, but the DS's appearance did not change dramatically in the 16 years it was available in the States.
US legislation also banned one of the car's more advanced features, aerodynamic headlamps, now common in US automobiles. The first year of aerodynamic glass enclosing the DS's headlights, along with driving lights turned by the steering, was also the first year those features were outlawed in the US. The VW Beetle and Jaguar XKE had aerodynamic faired glass over their (fixed) headlights until the same time.



The DS was sold in the United States from 1956 to 1972. Ultimately, 38,000 units were sold.


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11/26/09

Bill Anderson Road-runner

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I received yesterday an email from my friend Bill with the result of his last outing of his Norton side-car at El Mirage.
He ran 171 kph in June, 179 in July and reach 195,5 in September.
Thats great Bill specially when your target was 190 kph.
Keep on riding this old Lady Bill, we are behind you.




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11/25/09

Blundstone an aussie heritage

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Blundstone Footwear is an Australian footwear manufacturer, based in Hobart, Tasmania. The company's best-known product is its line of laceless, elastic-sided, ankle-length boots. The official name for this product line is "The Original", although the boots are colloquially known as "Blunnies" in Australia. The boots have an iconic status in Australia and around the world to rival that of Europe's "Doc Martens".

The Blundstone company originated from companies set up by several free settlers, who emigrated from England to Tasmania.
John and Eliza Blundstone arrived in Hobart Town from Derbyshire, England on 14 October 1855. John Blundstone worked as a coachbuilder until 1870, when he began importing footwear from England later manufacturing boots in Hobart's Liverpool Street.



By 1892, Blundstone's eldest son, Sylvanus, had joined him in business, and the pair formed J. Blundstone & Son, manufacturing boots in two outlets on Collins Street, later buying a purpose-built two story factory on Campbell Street. The company's importation arm was run by John's other son, William, as W.H. Blundstone & Co.



Both companies initially prospered, but at the turn of the century, they found themselves in financial difficulty. J. Blundstone & Son was bought in 1901 by the Cane family of ironmongers, and W.H. Blundstone & Co. went bankrupt in 1909. The Canes ran the company until the Great Depression in Australia caused a downturn in profits, which once again saw the company sold. The buyers were two brothers: James and Thomas Cuthbertson, also English settlers who set out for Melbourne, but were apparently blown off course by the Roaring Forties and landed in Hobart instead in 1853, where they had also set up a shoemaking and importing business.

The Cuthbertson brothers set about amalgamating their companies' manufacturing operations, retaining the Blundstone name for the company's tannery in South Hobart, and the current factory and headquarters in Moonah.

In January 2007, Blundstone Australia announced, due to increased costs, that it would shift production and manufacturing activities from Hobart and New Zealand to Thailand and India within the year, resulting in 360 job losses in Australia. However, Blundstone plans to continue to make 200,000 pairs of footwear at the Tasmanian factory each year.


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11/24/09

Disco Volante

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So little that can be said about this mystery car. The only known photograph is this, found in a 'For Sale' advertisement from car dealers, Metcalfe and Mundy, in the December 1955 issue of Motor Sport Magazine. Whilst it describes the car as Volanti', though I am assured that the correct spelling is 'Volante'. All I can really tell you is that it is a DB2/4. right hand drive, chassis 810, built for Lord O'Neil, body almost certainly of glass-fibre and that the Northern Irish registration number isn't on the DVLA computer. The design is obviously very closely based on that of the rare, 1952 Touring designed spyder, the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante (Italian for Flying Saucer)


MV Agusta



Disco Volante was the nickname given by the people and the press to the two sport models of the 175 MV lauched in 1954 in two versions : the 175 CS Sport and the 175 CSS.(Super Sport). The nickname was given due to the tank shape looking as a "Flying saucer" which was common to the two models.


Alfa Romeo



The very refined two-seat sporty 1900 Alfa Romeo Disco Volante featured one of the most interesting bodyworks designed by Touring with a convex lenticular profile. Only two copies of the prototype were produced. Its top speed was rated at around 140 mph.


James Bond


The Disco Volante is a fictional ship in the James Bond novel Thunderball (1961) and its 1965 film adaptation of the same name. It was a hydrofoil craft owned by Emilio Largo, an agent of SPECTRE. It was purchased with SPECTRE funds for £200,000. The craft plays a pivotal role in the seizure and transportation of two nuclear warheads. It is a high-tech ship that possesses a number of smaller underwater submarine craft.

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11/22/09

Triton Project

I built this Triton first time in 92, Wideline frame, Roadholder fork, Grimeca front brake, T120 Unit engine from 69. After completely disassembled for a total refurbishment, here now the new phase of assembly in white, I chose to make many aesthetic changes, including eliminating a maximum number of polished and chrome parts.
to be continued...

"Moto Légende" Paris (Part I)

This Week-end in Paris















Photos credits By Laurent Tomas

11/19/09

Rob's 1948 Velocette

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I asked Rob to send us more informations about his very nice Velo and I received more than that so take time to read this post, this guy is cool.
Paul D'O and Yves H, this post is for you my friends ...



What to buy?

It only takes a short time after buying something to realise what you should have bought, especially when what you are buying is new to you. In my case it should have been a pre war Velocette Mac, perhaps a really early one around 1933 or 34. However what I did end up buying was a 1948 Mac which was the first year the Mac had Dowty air sprung, oil dampened forks rather than the Webb Girders.



I had been looking for a while and at 26 years old Brough Superiors and the much rarer Montgomery’s are just a little out of my budget at the moment. When first looking at classic and vintage bikes if you do not know where to start I can see how overwhelming it can be, there is just so much choice. I was lucky enough that my grandfather was a Velocette fan so it gave me a place to start. He had a collection of LE’s and a Vogue but these were much too modern for me and I really wanted something with a sprung saddle (and girder forks I now know!) and dateless number plates.



The Search...

After a quick search through what Velocette had to offer with the 500s being a bit too much money the 350 Mac caught my attention having seen a 1954 in unbelievable concours condition at Cotswold Classics. It had an all in one seat and although very nice just did not look right and was too modern. I was searching through the ads on the internet and came across several but the one I came to buy was from Holland from a chap who had 17 bikes and bought this one but was having a clear out! He was asking 3750euro but before I could even email back he dropped it to 3500euro and a long email dialogue ensued. He had some wonderful photos of the bike and it looked in very good condition having been a sprint bike in the past. He was honest and said it needed some work and was not registered. He said it was the 7th Mac made in 1948 according to Ivan Rhodes book. A few more emails and a date was arranged for it to be delivered.



What needs to be done. Lots!

This is a lesson for everyone and one I am glad I have learned with a relatively inexpensive bike. NEVER EVER BUY UNSEEN! It has gone from me thinking it just needed a few bits and pieces to be done to virtually an overhaul still with unknowns in engine and gearbox. I am not saying the previous owner was dishonest just that my naivety led me to think it was going to be better than it was, it looked so nice in the photos! For the same money I am going to have to spend I could have had a much better bike. I think I will have to spend another £1500-£2000 to get it on the road and I will not get that money back. It’s not big money but it is frustrating.



I started a motorcycle maintenance course a few months ago but I am no expert and I really needed some help. I now have a great contact who is a Velocette expert/engineer in Southend on Sea. His name is Peter Trent and I would be happy to pass anyone his details. He has been really great and is giving the bike a full going over and will compile a list of bits and pieces I will need to buy.

I have sent for a spare parts list from Veloce which is the Velocette Owners Club spare parts company.



Why

I have had my share of big modern bikes but I no longer travel far for work and with a couple of accidents it’s not what I want anymore. I would really rather have something slower but altogether different. I have driven lots of classic cars and I find the reaction from other people is brilliant, their defences are down and they are willing to chat with you where as in a new Ferrari they cut you up rather than let you in. For these same reasons I am looking forward to pottering about London and the countryside on my Mac to see who I get to chat too. I also can’t wait to steal all the attention in the West End and the City from the boys with their Supercars, they are 10 a penny and I have never ever seen another classic bike in London away from the Ace Cafe.

Will drop you an update and some more photos as soon as I have a to do list on what needs to be done...



p.s. for a bike with no keys I am not that worried about kids riding off on it, they won’t know how to get it started!


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