5/31/11

Simon Mills: A V-Twin obsession "Part One"

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I am simon mills a friend of Gary Inman and Ben Part from Sideburn, also colleague of Fiddy from Davida.
well I'll be brief, in the olden days as a boy it was ducati Obsession, barcelona 24horas, Imola, then as a young man I discovered Le Mans, Bol d'or endurance racing, French style etc, I loved those bikes and the events, from the early eighties it was all about the underdog battling the mighty Japanese, as a student I saved and borrowed and built bikes around 900SS, Guzzi SP1000 T3 etc and they came and went, some still seem to be here.

1983 900 SS endurance style-large Vee twin obsession commences

1985 Le Clou-The NAIL, the guzzi that always ran when the duke broke

the duke became a Harris duke to try to follow the times

Later on came other Guzzi and Ducati singles

the re-birth of the 750 sport 8 years ago

the re-built shed to remove 8 bikes from the house





all of the bevels were built from wrecks, the silver bullet 900 ss was a tribute to the American racers of the 70's, California Hot Rod, old blue etc, the 900S2 was a tribute to the NCR endurance bikes of early 80's built from bits and pieces from scrapyards and friends, burnt out wrecks recovered.


the scrambler was standard but a friend crashed it so it acquired Darmah forks and wheels, the 900ss swing arm caused the NCR to be built as I went to scrapyard to buy a swing arm from 900ss and ended up with whole bike totally burned but managed to rebuild with another SS frame etc



The silver bullet, 900ss fancy valves, pistons, much porting and lighteneing throughout engine, 1980's replica Chrom Moly race frame, 996 forks, brakes and wheel, marchesini rear...
Not so sure why, it just seemed like a good idea 9 years ago


recently ripped up a perfectly good 750SS to make a little cafe for madame, its bit rough but cheap and cheerful..

the final version, cheap and cheerful




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5/26/11

Montlhéry Vintage Revival 2011 *part3*

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And now, my favorites ones, shot with Hasselblad and Kodak 160 NC





Bugatti T59



Darmont-Étoile de France (1933). The engine is an air-cooled 50º 1.100cc V2 engine. Maximum speed of this model around 110 Km/h, which is approximately 68 mph, with a 1.100cc Darmont-Spécial engine the speed was 125 Km/h (78 mph). The standard colour of the car was blue. The car was sold with two forward speeds and no reverse, three forward speeds and reverse were available as an extra.













Bugatti Brescia





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5/24/11

Beauty of Speed

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Eric Mathieu live in the South-East of France "la Côte d'Azur", works in the maintenance of boats, and since years restore old Harley Davidson. He even created a website about his knowledge of pre-war Harley and Indians... a true reference: "Beauty of speed".

Here's his latest work.

This 1938 Knucklehead came from the son of the oldest Harley Dealer in France, Michel Borie, his father was Pierre Borie. Michel Borie took over the dealership from his father and had a shop in the Paris area. He had the engine displayed at his shop.



I was trying to buy the engine for years like many other people but he would not want to hear anything about it. A good friend of mine who had know known his father very well was approached by Michel towards the end of his life, when he was selling his dealership to a larger dealer and was sick. He said that he had the complete bike from his father and that he had been keeping it for himself to restore. Now he had lost interest and was willing to let it go.
Nobody knew that the displayed engine was just one piece of the treasure. I was able to buy it with my friend and discover the rest of the bike. What we found was an amazingly correct and well preserved pile of parts that all matched in correctness for 1938 and in original condition. It was obvious that this was one bike and everything indicated it was an original "export model" imported and sold new in France. I was able to make a deal with my friend and make the project my main parts hunt and workshop focus for the next 4 years.
When working on the bike I found the initials from Pierre Borie "PB" stamped on the inside of the cases and painted on some of the wooden boxes where the parts were stored. I suspect that the bike was taken apart sometime in the 1940 or 1950s and thus survived the "chopper years". The engine was in need of major rebuild with very used and broken internals which may explain why the bike was taken apart. It took me 4 years to find the parts that had got lost along the way and get the bike the way it is now. I like to rebuild everything myself on my bikes, down to the last nut and bolt, which is how I was able to obtain a bike in original cosmetic condition but completely mechanically restored. I spent so many hours on this motorcycle bringing it back to life, now it's time to ride!
Eric MATHIEU






















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