Saturday, 27 June 2015

STUFF WE LIKE #6



We like Bare Knuckle Choppers who could do with as much support as possible at the moment. As you may have read on our Facebook page, on 13th June, the Bare Knuckle Choppers' workshop was destroyed by a tornado. The building contained a lifetime of bikes, parts and tooling for Paul Wideman, owner of BKC, who had been in the Missouri shop just half an hour before the tornado struck. Paul and his wife Nic have been keen supporters of the chop scene, as well as helping out numerous people and it's good to see that people are rallying around to help them out after a few moments of extreme weather effectively out them out of business. We know Bare Knuckle Choppers will come roaring back with more bikes like these.






Monday, 22 June 2015

MOTORCYCLISTS ARE SAFER ROAD USERS - OFFICIAL!

Well, no surprise to anyone of us there, but now research by Carole Nash Insurance proves that – in theory, anyway!

To mark the 80th anniversary of the inaugural driving test, bikers and car drivers both retook a theory exam based on the official DVSA quiz and conducted by Carole Nash. The results revealed that those with a bike licence fared better than their four-wheeled counterparts in 76% of instances, with nearly one in five (16%) of motorists potentially failing their test, as opposed to just 6% of motorcyclists.

Road sign recognition was a major concern. Given eight examples to identify, car drivers finished behind riders in six categories and, whilst 83% of bikers were able to correctly identify all eight test signs, only 67% of car drivers could do the same. In other areas, bikers beat car users eight times out of ten. Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing for Carole Nash, said: “Motorcyclists scored so highly because they must have their wits about them at all times. More importantly, our study revealed that a rather considerable proportion of car drivers still do not know how to interpret and react to certain everyday road situations involving motorcyclists – something we believe should be addressed as soon as possible."

Only 34% of car drivers were able to accurately point out the sign indicating that special care should be taken when overtaking a slow-moving motorbike. Additionally, four out of ten car drivers failed to showcase their understanding of why one should allow extra room when overtaking a motorcyclist on a windy day, something that surely relies as much on commonsense as road learning.

The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA)'s Safety and Training Director, Karen Cole, said: "Many motorcyclists are also car drivers and what this survey shows is that experiencing the road using different modes of transport makes you a safer road user. This endorses the idea that motorcycling should be encouraged as a long-term strategy to improve road safety … and also supports our call for a single theory test for drivers and riders.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTO #6




Long before Indian Larry stood up on the seat of his bike, there was Easter Walters. 

Born in 1894 in Iowa, she made her way to Hollywood where she found a little fame in silent films like ‘Common Clay’ (1919), ‘Hands Up!’ (1918) and ‘The Tiger’s Trail’ (1919). She was also known for performing her own stunts and could often be seen riding around Hollywood on her Harley. The magazine ‘Moving Picture World’ carried a news item on 19th April 1919 entitled ‘Breaking the Speed Laws is Sport for Easter Walters’.

However, Easter appears to have left the film industry relatively early. There is no record of her making another film after ‘The Devil’s Riddle’ in 1920, by which time the census of that year records her as married to Harry G Kinch. One of the few photos that exists of Easter shows her on a sidecar outfit and is titled ‘Leaving for the studio’ although it’s unlikely that the large house behind her belonged to Easter, or was even more than a publicity shot as, in 1920, she was living in a boarding house in downtown LA. By the time of the 1930 census, she and Harry had moved to south Pasadena to a single storey detached house which still stands, but after that the trail goes cold. I believe she reverted to her original first name of Fern, but all that is known of her later life is that she died in San Diego on 25th September 1987. 




Thursday, 4 June 2015

RACING SNAKE TRIUMPH!



Held at London’s ExCel, the MCM London Comic Con is a massive convention where you can dress up as your favourite fantasy figure, preview new games, watch 3D movies and get excited about guest appearances by people only you and seven other people have heard of. It’s not the obvious place to launch a bike.

But that’s what Triumph did at the recent MCM London Comic Con, unveiling the ‘Venom’ custom Bonneville, built to celebrate the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Customised in the Triumph factory, the bike was built in collaboration with Konami, developers of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and is designed for the game’s character, Snake.

Triumph bikes have featured in two previous editions of the Metal Gear Solid series, but the VTB: 1/Venom is based on the Bonneville T100 ridden by Snake in The Phantom Pain, featuring unique styling and detailing, game graphics and the Diamond Dogs logo.

This is how Triumph describes the bike: “Off-road duties are handled by custom rims fitted with Continental TKC80s. The stock saddle has been cut down and refinished in Sneaking Suit neoprene and carbon Kevlar leather inspired by Snake’s iconic combat wear.  A heavy duty ammo rack loops around the back of the saddle, offering both protection and somewhere secure to bolt down an extra case or two of .50 cal. A yellowed-out JVB Rumbler headlight and external heavy duty fork springs give an aggressive dimension to the front end, a profile exaggerated by the lack of front mudguard. At the rear, the cut-down guard and exclamation mark tail-light add to the individuality of the machine. Colour matched callipers and cam cover are stand-out details, whilst the custom slash-cut exhausts deliver a soundtrack that lives up to the looks. Details such as Triumph Tiger off-road foot pegs, Renthal performance sprocket, machined throttle body caps and Triumph sport levers all contribute to making this bike as unique as its rider.

The VTB:1/Venom Triumph Bonneville can be seen at a number of events throughout the year.