Nothing to do with bikes this week! This is one of the most inspired duet partnerships in years.
Saturday, 28 March 2015
If you're wondering what prices the bikes made at last weekend's EJ Cole auction, then we can sum it up in two words: big bucks. We’ll be bringing you the top ten over the next few days.
Although Steve McQueen’s Cyclone didn’t quite break the million dollar mark, it did fetch $775,000, the highest genuine bid ever for a motorcycle at auction, which after the buyer’s premium was a price of $852,500 or £572,686 in real money.
The 1915 board tracker is one of a handful of surviving Cyclones built by the Joerns Motor Manufacturing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota, which were pretty revolutionary in their day; when it made its debut in 1913, factory development riders JA McNeil and Larry ‘Cave Man’ Fleckenstein were timed at 108mph in a Minneapolis motordrome. The next year, McNeil was timed at 111.1mph at the Omaha, Nebraska, board track, which was nearly 20mph faster than the internationally recognised world record of 93.48mph, held by Indian. And, remember, this was over a hundred years ago! Officials at the Federation of American Motorcyclists (FAM) simply could not accept that a bike was capable of that speed and refused to ratify the record.
The Joerns Motor Manufacturing Company folded in 1916 – it simply didn’t have enough money and what capital it did, it ploughed into racing rather than production bikes. When new, this Cyclone would have cost $350 (approximately £235) against $275 for a Harley.
Steve McQueen owned some cool bikes, but they don’t get much better than this!
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
There's 24 million people in Shanghai. Just 250 of them own sidecar combinations. And, although they seem an ideal means of transport in an overcrowded city, the Chinese government refuses to license any more. Aurelien Chavaud has photographed some of the diehard riders who love their machines.
SHANGHAI SIDECAR RIDERS
You may not know, but ‘Think Bike Think Biker’ stickers (and posters) are available from the online DfT-funded Think shop and they’re free of charge. It is a small initiative that the government is taking to make other road users aware of bikes and yet it’s surprisingly underused, possibly because people don’t know about it. Now you do, you can order both window and bumper stickers to put on any four-wheeled vehicle of your acquaintance!
Get your stickers from THINK BIKE THINK BIKER
Sunday, 22 March 2015
Friday, 20 March 2015
This week, it's the auction of the EJ Cole Collection in Las Vegas. At 89 years old of age, veteran collection Mr Cole (seen above with just one of his Flying Merkels!) has decided to sell his fabulous collection of motorcycles, which includes three bikes previously owned by Steve McQueen, as well as examples of many noted American marques. Even more remarkably, all bikes will be sold without a reserve. After the publicity that the auction has generated - not to mention that it's being held in Vegas - we doubt there will be any real bargains or people wandering off with an Excelsior-Henderson for twenty bucks, but it will be interesting to see what everything makes. Here's just a handful of the dozens of bikes going under the hammer.
The American Tandem single - a motorcycle made for two...
1910 Flying Merkel. If this one doesn't take your fancy, there's a couple of others up for sale...
This 1917 Henderson inline four once belonged to Steve McQueen.
A Captain American replica 1963 Harley Panhead. At least you can be sure this isn't the real thing!
Stunning 1911 Indian Big Base 8-valve racer.
1980 Harley-Davidson XR750 which was purchased new in crate and has never been ridden.
Customised 1941 Harley Knucklehead with someone's nan's garden gate as a sissy bar. We're not sure why it's not upright...
1915 Cyclone racer bought from the estate of Steve McQueen in 1984. Only six Cyclones survive and it's bound to be one of the most keenly watched lots of the weekend.
It's not all classics - this dragbike is up for sale, too.
If anyone wants a good home for this 1934 Crocker speedway bike, we're here!
In among the bikes will be some automobilia, including a number of interesting sidecar chairs, signs and this original Jeff Decker statue of Joe Petrali which is expected to fetch between £40-70,000...
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
SERV (Kent) Blood Bike’s new headquarters was officially opened on Monday 16 March 2015 by four times and current British Superbike Champion Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne on behalf of John Surtees OBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation. SERV is part of a national network of similar groups throughout the country under the umbrella of The Nationwide Association of Blood Bikes (NABB).
Shane Byrne, who lives in Kent, said: “I was absolutely honoured to be asked to represent John Surtees OBE and The Henry Surtees Foundation to officially open the SERV (Kent) Headquarters on his behalf. Charities like the Blood Bikes and Air Ambulances do an incredible job. I hope that I will never need their services, but it's a charity that resonates with me and fellow bikers. I've chased time at race tracks in pursuit of podiums, but for the likes of the Air Ambulances and Blood Bike groups, every second can literally be the matter of life or death. These new headquarters are easily accessible will enable them to continue their vital lifesaving work across the county'.
The Henry Surtees Foundation, which was founded after John Surtees’ son, Henry, was killed in a racing accident in 2009, has been long term supporter of SERV (Kent) and most notably helped fund the recent project which enabled the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and SERV(Kent) to be able to facilitate the carrying of 'Blood on Board' and the means to transfuse at the scene of major incidents. This initiative to date has been used well over hundred times on many of the most seriously and critically injured patients that the Air Ambulance attends.
Last month former motorcycle racer and current commentator James Whitham officially handed over two Vauxhall Mokka 1.7CDTi 4x4 SUVs to be used by the two Blood Bike groups providing all-weather transport for the ferrying of the blood between hospital and aircraft. Both vehicles were once again supported and funded by The Henry Surtees Foundation. It is hoped that the initiative will continue to roll out across the country.