3/31/14

THE MACHINEFILES ISSUE #01





Our friend Matt Darwon "Matt Machine" from Australia has been for long now in the classic and custom bike scene. He's a skilled builder and the long hours spent in his garage wrenching motors have developped an ability for spotting details . It is maybe a reason why the idea came to start a new kind of magazine focusing on one bike per issue. The Issue one will talk about the iconic 900SS Ducati.  Texts by Paul D'Orleans


Take your  subscription here



Hey, I’m not really sure where the whole “machine files” thing will eventually go, but I suppose, if I write a little piece about where it has come from, and a bit about where I hope it will go, it might give me a better idea of what I should be working towards and focusing on, as well as giving you some background on the matter.
I suppose, my love of machinery, and in particular motorcycles and cars started when I was very young spending time with my father, our relatives, and our friends in garages listening to these men talk about cars and motorcycles and trucks and working on these vehicles and using their tools to do it.
I bought my first car when I was very young. 13. From that time on I had a thirst for knowledge of how to do work to this car. How to do mechanical things, how to do stuff concerning bodywork, and generally how to do anything that would save me having to get someone else to do something that would cost me money. Money I didn’t have.
When I bought my first motorbike when I was 18, a 45ci Harley Davidson that was in pieces, I started this learning process all over again. 25 years later I’m still learning, still with a thirst for knowledge.
About 5 years ago, I started a blog about what I was doing in my shed, what I was trying to learn about and over the years I had hundreds of responses to my work, to questions I posed, and it became clear and obvious to me that the nuances, the intricate details of being involved in the rebuilding/modification of old machinery were slowly getting harder to seekout. What I began to fear was that the knowledge would be lost. The knowledge that time with the machine, whatever that machine is, can give, and more importantly the knowledge that has been passed between man to man, father to son, master to apprentice.
I’ve owned many vehicles in my life. I’ve tried to always do right by the vehicle during the time it was in my possession. In a custodian sort of way I suppose. I don’t necessarily think every vehicle should be restored to its original specifications, I think that a custom vehicle can be just as important a vehicle as a concourse restoration or a vehicle in completely original condition.
When I say important, I mean as a marker, as a reflection of life, and trends, and techniques and ultimately of the world at any particular time.
The world moves so quickly these days. New advances in technology every minute of every day. The modern world is mostly centred around feeding our brains with snippets or small parts of what is supposedly important in the hope that we can grasp enough of the parts to make up the whole. Where I think this may be true for certain aspects of the modern world, I don’t think it holds true for the understanding of machinery, especially the techniques used to build and maintain machinery, and I am 100% sure that it does not satisfy the curiosity of many people who really want to delve into the intricacies of building or using machines.

100 Pro quality images for each bike... this is the new deal !

So, The Machine Files is a reaction to this world of fast processing, of getting the answers to every question by simply typing the question in a search engine, and is more about reversing this so that our attention is dedicated to a single item or machine, so that we stop and really dedicate ourselves to understanding and learning.
I have started this website and the first issue 001 very simply, somewhat understated and basic in format, to allow room to move and shift, and really organically grow the product with each issue. I’m hoping we will very quickly be able to go into limited edition print copies and that we can very soon include video documentation as a supplement to the online and printed material.
If you would like to contact me to discuss anything or make a suggestion or even to put forward a motorcycle you feel is appropriate as a feature please email matt@themachinefiles.com.au
Thanks for your time.
Matt Machine

3/27/14

Moto Heroes issue #8


Moto Heroes issue #8 is out for sale now on our STORE.

On this one we've shot the New Brough-Superior prototype and the SS100 Pendine .


















3/25/14

Impostor: Love it or Burn it !





We at Southsiders have always supported  actively creativity and open mindset.  As such, we are proud to introduce Impostor.
Impostor is part of the soulfuel project launched by BMW last September. The Urban Motors project was unveiled three months ago and the BLITZ project will be unveiled in Biarritz at Wheels and waves. Both three bikes will be exhibited by BMW at the Lighthouse.




El Solitario motorcycles are not intended to seek for beauty or practicality, as these are attributes that dominate today's spectrum and therefore do not interest us. Our motorcycles are mere autobiographical exercises that depict an instant capture of the journey in which we are immersed in, as we try to look for the conceptual essence of the motorized two wheeled artifact. We seek for those attributes that make a bike stand out in contemporary society's imaginarium & not on daily roads. Those qualities, in the old days more plainly identifiable in every motorcycle, have today been lost and it is for their recovery & exaltation that we work for. But what are we talking about here? Simple... Speed, traction, power, character, personality, respect, fear, danger... With our motorcycles we look to create an impact on the viewer, and this does not necessary mean to please their eyes with easy indulgent proposals. So it is ready to expect the polarizing of opinions, being some reactions of strong hate and disregard, specially from the most narrow-minded elements of biker culture, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

Still, we know a lot more now than when we started this long trip and our motorcycles are getting closer to our ideas. At first we followed the rules as we didn't know better, but slowly these wild side became present and more & more dominant in our creations, to the point that this is our only goal now, only limited by the necessity of our art to be rideable, and rideable hard. Every Solitario is prepared to get on a cross country road trip as that is what they are meant for. We do not produce show bikes as we despise that genre, understanding that it is a shame to spend countless hours in constructing, a supposedly liberating instrument like a motorcycle for the sole purpose of looking at it.
D.B


Photos by Kristina Fender

















watch this mystical video , when traddition mingle with the  monsters building Aouuuhhhhhh !!ii


LIFE from El Solitario on Vimeo.





3/20/14

The Wall of Death by Gary Margerum




The Wall of Death has been fascinating crowds since just after the turn of the last century and arrived onto the English shores in the 1920’s. Little has changed over the years.
The riders today still challenge death with every performance and the Ken Fox troupe are no exception. Their showmanship and discipline can clearly be seen from the gallery.

















The performance of Ken and this team is electrifying, the speed and agility of the riders must be seen with your own eyes to be believed. You walk up the sixteen steps, sliding your hand up the highly chromed handrail, into the viewing area.   You can almost feel the excitement and anticipation of the crowd that surrounds the wooden cylinder. A young boy on tip toes trying to peer over the safety wire into the arena below to catch a glimpse of one of the riders. The smell of the previous show lingers in the canopy, a rider walks into the performance area and starts up one of the motorcycles, it roars into life and makes the boy jump back into the safety of the viewing crowd. Ken’s son Alex is merely warming up one of the motorcycles before the show starts. The spieler (a person who address the crowd) on the bally (front of house stage) can be clearly heard announcing the last few places left for the next show.
  “Step right up and watch the riders perform tricks and stunts on the vertical wall, a wall as straight up and down as the walls in your very own home!”  A death defying spectacle, “step right up’. A last couple pay their fee and race to the top of the stairs not to miss the start of the show. The heavy door slams shut with a deafening thud, the spieler is silent, the air is electric with excitement and the history that has been played out in the past seems present within the wall.
The crowd waits an announcement from below, the riders look up into the gallery with a calm confidence. A moment’s silence, the speakers come to life as Ken’s voice addresses the audience.


   “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WELCOME TO THE WALL OF DEATH “ 






 I first encountered the Ken Fox troupe in early 2009.  I was astonished by the wonderful spectacle that is the wall of death. The vintage bright Red Indian motorcycles and smartly turned out riders seem to perform a slice of the past before the eyes of a modern world. I wanted to capture this astonishing life with photography and set out to document the lives of   Ken and his wonderful family.
A brief glimpse of the 21 century hell riders over a typical season as they travel the length of the British Isles. Incorporating the environment and characters of each show. Using only the available light present, and with minimal post editing consisting of a simple black and white conversion for my images, keeps this publication edgy and genuine.





For some people watching a rider risk their life for a good performance can become a very emotional experience. For others an exciting, consuming thrill. Either way the memories absorbed during a performance from the Ken Fox troupe will remain vibrant in you mind. There is always a healthy thread of humour that runs though this family making this daring, dangerous and demanding profession almost relaxed.

The wall of death is a way of life. The showmanship and tradition of this unique
Culture is kept alive by Ken and his dedicated professional team. They are constantly improving and maintaining all aspects of this travelling spectacle. If the previous pages have aroused your curiosity then go and see the wall of death for yourself you will be amazed and………..



YOU  WILL  FEEL GUILTY  FOR  WATCHING !







Freelance snapper Gary margerum, first picked up a camera while surfing/travelling
And would document the landscape and people of his surrounding while the surf was dormant. This lead Gary exhibiting his work to help fund his travelling with one of his images being displayed in the national portrait gallery, fast forward a few years and Gary’s still very much passionate about photography, as well as digital, film is a favourite media still for some projects.
Other passions (disease) are motorcycles, being around bikes from a young age, has giving him a good understanding of them. This helps when documenting the machines he photographs and maintaining his own machines. Gary hooked up with dick smith a few years ago now when Gary's 1947 bobber was being used more than his board!  Gary helps out around the baron’s shop and started to record some of the bikes to come out of the barons work shop, at that time Dick rebuilt Gary’s Triumph and runs like a Swiss watch now! Gary followed the team to Bonneville in 2013 and shot the attempt to break the speed record for there class which they did!” Dick smith is a very talented engineer and a very good friend of mine and I considered it a pleasure to photograph and document his amazing work”.
  Contributing to popular life style magazines and events lends to his reportage style of photography.
Have a look at …….
 Hellriders a journey with the wall of death a biographical sketch published in 2012.
Garys 1947 bobber is up for sale! please contact him if your interested!

www.garymargerum.com

3/18/14

Salon Privé London


By David Lancaster

Photos: David Lancaster & Dave Norvinbike


Syon House, west London, has seen much pass through its grounds. Fifth of Henry VIII’s eight wives, Catherine Howard, was imprisoned within its wall for over a year before her execution in 1542. Rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1552, and family home to the Duke of Northumberland from 1594, it was a location for much of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s 1967 classic Bedazzled, as well as a backdrop for several episodes of The Avengers, The Cure’s 1984 video for The Caterpilla and Robert Altman’s 2001 Gosford Park.

The Salon Privé Concours event, staged at Syon since 2009, has chosen its location well then. Picking up the legacy of the Louis Vuitton supported Concours held for years at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, the aim is to mount ‘a display of exclusive and exceptional historic cars and motorcycles.’ And, as importantly, to offer owners, sponsors, judges and hangers-on a three-day event in early September with the atmosphere, food and drink to match the hardware and location.

The Hurlingham brought together the blazer and leather-clad ends of London’s moto cultures very successfully – you would see Barry Sheene talking to Stirling Moss – but the food and drink could be perilously close to the ‘mass’ side of mass catering. It always felt smaller, more static, than the Salon Privé organisers have managed to achieve too. Here, food stalls and bars are scattered throughout – and the sustenance is far better and the vibe much looser. The impression of a grand house, playing host to an active mini-festival of speed is added to by a drive to the Brooklands Museum and runs around the adjacent Mercedes test circuit.
































 



Last autumn’s meeting saw the Derek Bell-led jury award the ‘Best of Show’ in the Chubb Insurance Concours awards to the 1959 Ferrari 250 California Spyder owned by Sarah Allen. The Class A ‘Graceful Pre-war Motoring’ went to Roger Willbanks’ 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom and a very cool 1954 Bentley R Type Continental Fastback took the ‘Best Streamlining’ bauble. Deservedly so.

The bikes were stunning too. Vincents, Broughs, Triumphs, rare Nortons, Hondas and race Yamahas fought for attention. Brough Superior Bonneville pilot, and TV presenter, Henry Cole chose the occasion for the launch of his freshly minted Triumph-based Gladstone range – a kicked-out fronted marriage of Meriden twin with Metisse nickel frame, nine of which will be built. One of Patrick Godet’s first Egli-Vincents – its Stevenage engine excavated from Argentina in the late 80s - was on show with its new UK owner. And there was further exotica in the form of George Cohen’s 1953 Norton Tom Tom, which came second to Allen Millyard’s amazing home-brewed Flying Millyard Board Racer in the ‘One Offs and Oddball’ category.

Such upmarket events as this need to taken as they are, or not at all. If you bring a ‘keep-it-real’ chip on the shoulder, and curse the wealth on show, then you’re better off going to the pub. If you feel the craftsmanship of those who designed and built the cars and bikes deserves a canvass such as Syon House once a year, then there’s a lot to enjoy.

The star of the show? Carlos Sielecki’s 1932 Aston Martin Le Mans ‘Most Original Pre-War’ winner came close. But, firmly left-field, it was Belgium Yves Campion’s elegantly ravaged 1932 Moto Gillet which will stay with those who saw it up close: a time-piece covered in endlessly fascinating pre- and post-war badges. Unrestored bikes and cars are gaining traction in terms of price and desirability. The Gillet’s unrivalled patina oozed class from every dent, scratch and sun-bleached hue.