7/27/12

I had a Dream...

In that dream, we were riding and rippin' all together on the beach free as birds, it was in 2013 ...

But...

It's just a dream !
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Photos by DAV from Le Container and Benoit Guerry for Guerrypratimages


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7/23/12

Rustless "Made in England"

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Rustless is a new project contains motoring and motorcycling related small products and a photo gallery. It is built and designed by our friend, a nut for British bikes, Hiroyuki Maeda from London, some of you may already know him. "Hiro" is a young legend from the London Rockers scene, riding everyday his old Bonnie and Beeza etc, listen to him:


We love classic and vintage machines. They sometimes carry "rust" which appeals for some.

Like wrinkles on our hands, rust will not instantly grow in order to tell the stories of those machines.

Rust can be their beauty like highly revered patina.

We can restore rusty old machines to mint condition.
This is one of the ways to show our appreciation by giving them a second life.
Then they become "timeless".

"Rust" and "timeless" are the definition of "Rustless".

We are introducing items for those who are passionate about wheeled classic and vintage vehicles.




We will produce original items that can form part of our everyday life.

We hope you enjoy our products as we cherish those machines that are rusted and timeless.










"Spirit of Triumph"





This mascot was originally designed for an Italian luxury car maker in around 1930 by the renowned French mascot artist and it is believed that the reproduction ones were produced as one of ordinary motoring accessories later in the UK and this winged man is known as "Spirit of Triumph".

We feel devotion to motorings and motorcyclings from his pose, how he hold the wheel and the angle of his neck is showing respect or even awe-inspiring to the wheel as if it is a god. When we work on our machines, we need to face with problems time by time and they sometimes make you suffer although they are supposed to be your enjoyment and treasure. Troubles usually become just a laugh and good experience afterwards and we forget how tough that was once we have a good ride/drive.

Without noticing, we do devote ourselves to the chunk of metals for our pleasure.

"Devotion to motorings and motorcyclings", this is the type of people who we are.



Order your T-Shirt here


"Snook devil"





When you 'cock a snook' (the spread hand with thumb on the nose. It is called 'Five fingered-salute' in the USA. ) at somebody, you make fun of the person or you take a piss out of him. It is said that the history of this phrase can be back to somewhere in the nineteenth century when it became widely known in the UK.

Snooking devil mascots were often seen on pre WW2 machines at their back. The reason why the devil is facing backwards is because to cock a snook at the machine you have just beaten! There are some different type of designs but the one we chose this time has a big belly and we think that chubby shape was formed by drinking tons of bitter beers! (Very British, huh?) And we also dressed him like a gentleman with winkle pickers, which started to be worn by rock'n'roll lovers in the 50's.

Although we are supposed to be grown ups and gentlemen, we are still (big) boys and the cheekiness and naughtiness will never change!



Order your T-Shirt here





This 'R' was inspired from the British hallmarks, stamped on products made from precious metals, the history of the stamping office can be dated back to 14th century. And the stamps tell you where and when the products were made and what the material is.

On vehicles, there are also stamps on engines, frame and parts for the record of manufacturing.

The meaning among them are overlapped and the pleasure to imagine about the place where the jewelry came from and the person (or people) who used to own is exactly the same as we think about our vehicles.

Although those stamps are quite often not aligned and just rows of numbers and alphabets, they are charming in a way.

The design around the 'R' is, as you may realise already, based on the Union Jack and we wanted to add a spice of the Art Deco with the famous Sunburst motif from the era.

It is a simple design but we wish you can hear something whispering from the logo!


Order your T-Shirt here


And the tea/coffee mug for for your cold Winter mechanics sessions at the garage


Order your Mug here


All these fine products are available on our store from now, check out for regular updates



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7/19/12

The "Impossible" Project

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Two years ago, visiting the Speedweek, I suddenly felt the urge to join the other riders on the salt. But which bike to use?

I had a mothballed Triton in my garage. I started imagining this machine with a dustbin fairing, crossing the sound barrier ...

The real story begins in 1987, some 25 years ago. Then, all I could think about was building a Norton Rickman Racer to use on the road. This was when Pat French had bought the Rickman license, and was selling chassis. So I decided to buy a frame
and start collecting the other parts. But in those days, the Internet didn't exist — and finding the right parts was a slow and frustrating process.

After three years, I still lacked an engine and gearbox, and worse, the papers required for authenticity. The project became cumbersome in both my head and my garage. And the more I read about the Rickman frame — and especially its lack of steering precision — the less I was motivated to finish the bike. I decided to sell it.

I wrote an ad, and against all odds, someone offered me an exchange. My box of parts for an unfinished Triton, including a Wideline frame, a Unit T120 engine, Roadholder forks and those vital papers. It took me a just few minutes to accept this proposal ...

I constructed the Triton, finding the missing parts through the traditional motorcycle networks of those days. And then rode and enjoyed this first incarnation, despite its faults, between 1992 and 2000.

Then I lost interest for years, and contemplated selling it. I lost my enthusiasm for the machine; I started to find it too conventional, and could see nothing but defects. I ended up storing it in the garage.

Motorcycle collectors are less dogmatic today. They're less fixated on pedigrees, and whether or not a true Triton should have a Pre-Unit motor. (And less fixated on tinkering with Harleys, too.)

Today, the bike has found favour with me once again. My mood has changed, and I am less inclined to indulge the remaining prejudices of others. So, as I stood on that hot salt two years ago, I imagined this new version of the Triton — the motorcycle you see here.

Credit must go to my friend Momo, "the Wizard", for helping me build the chassis. He is the man who makes fantasies become real. The engine preparation was handled by Henri Lao Martinez (HLM). After his years of expertise working on Triumph engines, the formula for perfection was simple to find. Many, many thanks to both men.

With the Triton complete, I am now ready to ride on the salt as part of "The Impossible Team": JR Ortega and his BMW(Madrid), and El Solitario with their Triumph T120 (Vigo). Right now, the bike is in a crate and ready to fly away to the USA. I will see it again on the other side.

To be continued ...

VP

#Note to my son Olivier: Now this bike is yours, take care of her and you'll fly to the moon !

Photos by Benoit Guerry for Guerrypratimages.com





Roadholder fork with alloy yokes

4 speed Gearbox

Tony Hayward primary belt Transmission

150kg



Leather work By Claude Carrière



7000Rpm will be the good deal



Twin Concentric 30mm carbs



Twin plug Dresda Head, Ignition by Pazon


Many thanks to all the Southsiders friends involved in this project, and to my wife for the big sacrifices .





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7/18/12

Ride with the Devil

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As a contrast to the prior post critical of contemporary motorcycles, the following is my road test report for Ducati France, who were kind enough to loan me a limited-edition 2012 Ducati Diavel 'Chromo' for the Southsiders 'Wheels and Waves' event last month. It's not entirely old bikes in The Vintagent's world...
Test-riding the 2012 Ducati Diavel Chromo in mixed company...
"Asking a Vintagent for his opinion of a modern sporting motorbike might seem odd, exposing the unbridgeable gap between his typical road-test fodder (Brough Superiors, ancient BMWs) and the Ducati Diavel Chromo I recently rode on the Southsiders 'Wheels and Waves' through the western Pyrenees. And yet, in my saddlebags of Riding Experience swirls the whole history of sports and racing bikes; from 1920s flat-tankers, lighter than any contemporary roadster and exceeding all expectations of fun, through venerable Norton Manxes which inspire heroism, to chubby 1970s Metisse-framed Japanese fours, desperate attempts to marry a non-wobbly chassis to an unburstable engine. I’ve even owned a few –whisper it – modern machines, which, by lucky coincidence, have all hailed from Bologna; from Ducati bevel-drive Supersports in the 1980s, to a 907ie Paso in the 1990s, some saddle-swap time in the 2000s on a 748, and California road-ribbon cutting on a 1200 Multistrada two years ago. Let’s just say my membership number in the Ducati Riders Club is pretty low, and I’ve kept credentials for 30 years. I’d even ridden a Diavel for Cycle World magazine last summer, but that was in Indiana, of all places, virtually a desert for corner-lovers, and no place for a proper appraisal.

If you’re a rider who enjoys playing pendulum at the end of gravity’s tug, the wide world of fast and competent machines provides endless options, all of which have their merits and demerits. The Diavel exists in a category of its own making, a fact much discussed in the press, and by every rider who first encounters one. Reaction 1; ‘What is that?’ Reaction 2; ‘It must handle like a camel.’ Reaction 3; ‘I love it/ I hate it.’ No sense being coy, the Diavel is a rare Statement in a motorcycle industry cowed by fear into same-sameness. Before we say anything further, let us praise the decision-makers at Ducati for their bold move, and for succeeding, as the Diavel is clearly a sales success. But my job here is to discuss its success – or not – on the road.

Ride prep is simple; stick the electronic key in your pocket, flip the 'kill' switch and press the wake-up button, which starts a video onscreen (you were expecting needles on gauges?) of laser-cutting a Diavel logo, a moment of Badass to remind you, rider, of what’s to come. The screen then allows you’re in one of 3 modes; Urban, Touring, or Sport, computerized miracles to save your ass when things go sideways, or let you fly tetherless like an angry hunting animal. Simply put, the 3 modes are a balance of traction control, anti-lock braking, and horsepower. My esteemed handler from Elite Motors recommended starting in Urban, with least power/most help, and exploring more power/less controls when I felt comfortable. Before we'd even left the parking lot, 5 other monkeys tried out the Diavel’s saddle and poked the controls and my bike had been upgraded from Urban to Sport without my knowledge, and no, I didn’t check before we set out. Mea culpa. Result; one lurid rear-wheel slide as I gunned it while banked over, coming out of the first roundabout, and one wheelie on hitting the first decent straightaway. I realized soon enough this was el Diablo puro, and took it easy on the throttle on that first 15 mile ride.

My second ride, about 120km, promised the green hills and twisting lanes of the lower Pyrenees, in company of a motley assembly of machinery, 1970s and newer, with very competent (read:fast) riders – those Southsider boys don’t hang about. I clearly had the advantage of horsepower, but the roads were a mix of tight twisties, interspersed with short stretches of open farmland. How would the mighty (read:large) Diavel take the cut-and-thrust at which smaller machines excel? And here is the Devil’s surprise; she’s exceedingly well balanced, shockingly nimble actually, and her apparent bulk disappears once she’s in motion, even at low speed. For a bike so large, this seems nothing short of a miracle, and Ducati’s chassis engineers deserve praise. For all practical purposes, the Diavel feels like a nicely balanced middleweight, albeit with a Lot of horsepower.

Let’s talk about that power. With plenty of MotoGP experience, wringing giant hp out of v-twins is Ducati’s forte, no surprise there, but it’s the character of that power which constitutes the ride experience. The Diavel’s power is everywhere, in massive abundance, from 1800 rpm upward to its 9500rpm/164hp redline. Handfuls of Fast are available to you,instantly. Generally, this was a joy, although in the really tight stuff, the 50kmh corners following a footpeg-scraping Commando, moderating such awesome urge requires a light touch, extreme moderation, and finesse, even in the ‘softer’ modes of Urban andTouring. Throttle response on the Diavel is sharp, and at these moments, the true character of the beast is revealed. The Diavel is a tiger. Forget this fact at your peril; don't pussy-foot with this machine if you want to ride fast in tight spaces, it requires a tiger-tamer’s muscles, focus, and Will. In short, a skilled rider will get the best of it, a less-skilled rider will scare himself silly, launched toward parts of the road he hadn’t intended. Pay attention, be the boss, master the beast. You’ll be rewarded with all sorts of adrenalin juices, satisfying growly noises from the engine, and rapid arrival at your destination, probably alone…unless there’s another Diavel with you.

Armchair comfort in casual riding situations...(Kristina Fender photo)
In less demanding situations, riding the Diavel gives bags of satisfying grunty power, hurtling you forward at warp speed. The handling generally is stable and neutral, and I never noticed odd cornering sensations from that fat rear tire (as I did on a Confederate…). The riding position is totally ergonomic for my 6' chassis; super comfortable, with an all-day seat and lower-back-loving upright riding position. The downsides; without much wind protection above your shoulders, anything north of 150km is blasty and not much fun for the long haul. The footpegs are devil-horns, pointed and, if you’ve scraped them on tarmac, sharp as hell; I still have scars in the back of my calves from simply parking the beast. Still, on a long-distance ride, like a California tour of the Sierras or coastal Highway 1, the Diavel would be an absolute blast, the grin-factor and surprising comfort make day-long rides fatigue-free. Anyone with moto-consciousness will take note of the Diavel’s outrageouslooks, and anyone on a lesser machine – this would include most motorcycles - will note being left for dead by a roaring tiger."

We would like to thank Ducati France And Gérard DEKNUYDT at Esprit Moto Bayonne



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7/10/12

Family Portraits

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Sometimes it’s hard to do 2 things at the same time. My role as host didn’t give me enough time to take photos during the Wheels and Waves event, so I decided to abandon the attempt to film the whole thing and to concentrate on taking some portraits of some of the characters who were there. Just as in a good Tarantino movie the casting was fabulous and I would have loved to have been able to take pictures of all of them.

Shot with Hasselblad 500C and Kodak Portra 160



Dear Readers, a lot of you are addicted to 1 blog in particular, and for your daily dose you click on the Bike Exif bookmark to discover the next bike. The man behind the keyboard is Chris Hunter and he came all the way from the other side of the world to meet us and turn our virtual relationship into a real friendship.



Dimitri Coste, aka "Dim", is the talented multidisciplinary artist and ambassador for OTW and Ruby Helmets. He is a photographer and filmmaker and never stays/ settles in one place. His passion for competitive motorcycling became a concept: OSFA: One Size Fits All and hence one bike for all types of races from dirt to track to flattrack and even hillclimbing (why not!).
Don’t wait for him at dinner, though.......


Philippe Lalemant or ‘Phil’ from Anvers, was a pro snowboarder and skater and is now living in the Southwest working for a gig surfwear company. He’s a custom addict and was part of the W&W 2012 organisation. Next time he’ll ride too!


James Jordan came from England by road with the Edwin crew, smoking all the way. We came across the Kingdom of Kicks group by chance (fate?) on the road north of Biarritz, and then the party really started.


Conrad Leach, artist from London, took the ferry from Portsmouth to Santander in Spain, from whence he travelled up to Biarritz inside the Dice capsule. Conrad is a “hunter”.



This is Caroline France, Musician/ DJ, and Olivier Prat, artist and DJ. They were the TAST gang at the Blue Cargo party on the beach. I love you ‘kids’!




Sebastien Chirpaz should have been a Hollywood/film actor in the fifties, playing the villain from a Hunter Thompson novel.
Sebastien is from Lyon and started the delectable ‘a piece of chic’ brand last year.



I’ve known "Sal" since the days we played in a band about 25 years ago (ouch!). He’s always neat and ready to ride!


Paul D’Orleans, dandy, biker and photojournalist is from San Francisco but now lives in NYC. He’s a regular at our events and is our Motorcycle culture man. The Vintagent is the reference for all things XXX

Yuki Sepheriades works at Ruby Helmets, always smiling, she's a very good rider.

Nicolaï Scalter aka "Nico" is the artist giving us a new definition of the word ‘custom’: just take a look at his blog Ornemental Conifer. Nico came by road with the Edwin crew, riding a strange and inspired Bosozoku motorcycle. That’s the new generation.

There’s no need to introduce the multi-talented artist Nick Clements from Totnes. Nick is a big part of our small world... Men's file and The Curator are currently his two main occupations.
Nick loves to ride Moto Guzzi Californias.

In his previous life DJNeil was a rock’n’roll and Northern Soul DJ in Brighton, riding his Triton and driving his custom 51 Mercury. He started a new life in the SW of France a few years ago and still wears his Lewis leathers with pride. He is also an authority and connoisseur on the history of hotrodding.


Could you imagine your life without DICE, The weird pocket-sized custom magazine?
I say no !
Matt Davis is one of the two founders of Dice and originally from London. He left rainy England a few years ago for Los Angeles to be closer to the custom underground scene. This summer, Matt shipped his famous Van for a European Events tour. We were glad to meet him in Biarritz.

Pascal Monfort (who’s he?)) is wearing a Saturdays New York City Tshirt....

This is Aggy Sonora drummer and Looch Vibrato, guitar & bass player and lead vocalist of MAGNETIX...
They connected electrically with their audience during the gig. The atmosphere was perfect with the waves singing in the background !



Lennard "Lenny" Schuurmans swafflin all the way from the Netherlands was one of the twelve artists from the exhibition. Lenny has one of the most active motorcycle blogs (Bubblevisor) around; his sharp eyes always finding and revealing the latest trends.

Laszlo Fendetestas "El Rollo" comes from Galicia, ...what else can I say about him? Don't stay to close !

This man looks serious? no... , in fact his life is made up of parties, and gastronomic reunions with friends. Juan Ramon Ortega from Madrid is another member of the "Impossible Team" and will run with us at the next Speedweek, on a BMW of course !

Loren La Pulga is one of our Galician friends from Ourense, he is our second favorite DJ ... If you go to Galicia, this man knows all the right places for nightlife. Loren came with his brave T100 finally fixed...


It took me a little time to fully appreciate Ruby Helmets. The French company making these beautiful French helmets was founded by designer Jerome Coste in 2006. At first their helmets were worn by modernists and hipsters on scooters and they have gradually conquered the hardcore bikers as well. Yesterday at the "Le Mans classic" Ruby Helmets officially launched their first full-face helmet with their new design "Hot Rod", honouring the roots of racing at El Mirage. We expect that this design will win again for Ruby.




This picture reminds me of the late seventies "punk" attitude... This is co-editor , Gary Inman who, with Ben Part from Sideburn Magazine, have created in the last few years a loyal family around them.
At W&W, Gary was riding a superb Royal Enfield flattracker decorated by Nico.
Sideburn and Dice are the two most exciting fanzines of our motorcycle world . We actively support both.




Who’s this truck driver?... Fred Jourden, along with Hugo, is one of two founders of Blitz Motorcycles. These two young people are currently the most fashionable customisers in France (especially of BMWs). Hype or not, whatever, we love them!


David Fiddaman "Fid the Lid", the scouse in the house has been part of English motorcyclist life for more than 30 years. He can be seen at all meetings, especially weird ones like "The Burning Man", but is best known as the creator of Davida Helmets. He is a great philosopher and a good companion.



Jonathan Weldon from Sonora California is part of the" Deathtraps MC", a purist bikers’ group from forgotten times . One year ago Jon decided to ship The Iron Chopper to Europe and to travel alone like a ghost rider, attending some events up in the rainy North. He rode miles and miles down to the south especially for us. He became our Mascot.



Carl Lesage from Belgium, who rode a beautiful Honda 500CBT racer

Ben Claasen from New Zealand now lives in London came to W&W by the road with the Edwin crew riding his custom Bitza based Honda. He is part of the"Kingdom of Kicks."

Mark Thompson who lives in London Hackney, specialises in design, branding and art direction, he cam to W&W as part of the "Further" Edwin trip on a BMW/5 .He's one of the "Kingdom of kicks"


Photographer Ben Part is one of the two co-founders of Sideburn magazine. With their energy, they were able to create a very English underground motorcyclist scene . For W & W, Ben rode the FT project, a motorcycle born from a collaboration with Death Spray Custom.

This is Marina and Eric Mathieu. Despite his youth, Eric is a leading expert on older machines, especially pre-war Harley Davidsons . He gave us a wonderful gift, bringing his 1929 JDH racer and a 38 unrestored El Knucklhead to W&W. Unlike some, he doesn't hesitate to ride these rare motorcycles , even in the rain.


Jules Watts and Daniel, came by road from Liverpool, with the Davida crew, they are among the only heroes to have made the full ride on Saturday crossing the mountains under the rain and fog: unforgettable wasn’t it?


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