Thursday, August 28, 2014

Flying Merkel Tribute Build, Part 2

Reproduction of  Historic1913 Flying Merkel
Terry, the builder of this tribute to the legendary Flying Merkel boardtrackers, has sent me a link to his very extensive gallery of pics he took of the build-in-progress, step-by-step. If you want to build a bike of your own, there's a lot you can learn by studying these.

The Flying Merkel pictured to the left is a replica built by builder Chris Cutler. Tip of the hat to The Vintagent blog for this one.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aether Motoped Survival Bike, Complete with Crossbow

Black Ops Edition
Never thought I'd want a moped, but I could be persuaded about this one: The Motoped Survival Bike from Aether, the riders apparel company.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Flying Merkel Tribute Build

Flying Merkel Boardtracker
This guy at BTRbuilder.com started a Flying Merkel tribute build in 2010. He started a thread that logs his design and build efforts here at ADVrider.com forums. That link is to the first entry in the thread. He's posted a lot of pictures at in each entry, documented the project in very good detail. If you're interested in doing any kind of custom bike build yourself, you will find this educational.

There is only a landing page at BTRbuilder.com, but he does have an email address, and says he has boardtracker parts and plans available. The Facebook page, BTRbuilder, is apparently gone... I can't get to it.

Completed Merkel Tribute Bike from BTRbuilder
I have sent a note to the email address given there, info@btrbuilder.com, asking if he still has parts and plans available. I will update here if I get a response, whether or not it's positive or negative. Stay tuned.

Update 8/25: I got a reply from Terry, the designer and builder at BTRbuilder. Here it is:

I do have parts and full scale printed templates of the Merkel I built but I haven't decided if I'm going to put together a full set of plans yet. I'm still trying to see where the interest is and for the most part it seems that people want help on building there own idea of a boardtracker and don't necessarily want to build the same bike I did. I'm currently building a complete bike for a guy that saw the Merkel but wanted something different.  My main goal right now is just putting myself out there to help people with whatever they want to build.  Sometimes it's me building something for them and sometimes it's just me giving advice to help them do it themselves.

You can contact him at the email address given above, info@btrbuilder.com. He has also sent me links to pics of two other projects, and I will upload a couple of pics of them in separate posts.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The 2013 One Motorcycle Show Roundup at The Selvedge Yard Blog

1970 Triumph TT100C, "Lemon Drop"
Just found this nice gallery of pics from The One Motorcycle Show of 2013 at The Selvedge Yard blog.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hot Rod Jen Pinstriping Gallery at Pinhead Lounge

Hot Rod Jen Panel Art
Last year we put up a post about ace pinstriper Jennifer "Hot Rod Jen" Skidmore of New Jersey, with a link to her SmugMug galleries. Just love her work. Now we just found that she's got a huge gallery of work up at the popular pinstriping site, Pinhead Lounge. The girl is not only talented, she's really prolific. If you love pinstriping and Kustom Kulture, check out her Pinhead Lounge gallery.

McQueen Inspired Triumph Motorcycle Design Concepts by Designcube

Designcube "Great Escape" Triumph Concept Bike
The design team at Designcube, a Barcelona-based industrial design house, has shared renderings of two Triumph concept bikes inspired by classic Steve McQueen films, the "The Great Escape" and  "The Getaway". Both are based on the 885cc Triumph Speed Triple.

Will either one or both ever be brought to market, whether as a conversion kit or custom bike? They aren't saying. These may well remain just design exercises, though it would be very cool to see at least the Great Escape scrambler pictured here come to life as either a custom or a conversion kit.

You can see more Designcube motorcycle and automotive concepts and projects at their online Coroflot portfolio.

P.S. The stunt riding in "The Great Escape" was performed by the late, legendary SoCal motorcycle racer, Bud Ekins, who was a friend of McQueen's. Ekins also stood-in for McQueen as the stunt driver of the Ford Mustang in the awesome chase scene in "Bullit." Here's the 1966 Triumph desert sled that Ekins built for McQueen.

The Return of the Yamaha SR400

2015 Yamaha SR400 
This just knocks me out... Yamaha is bringing the venerable SR400 thumper back to the US market after 20 years of absence. Bikes will be in US dealerships in May as an early 2015 model. The list price is said to be $5,990.

As you can see in the photo here, this bike has truly retro late-Seventies styling. The original SR400 was first introduced in 1978. You can go to Yamaha's SR400 history page and see how closely the 2015 model resembles the 1978 original.

The 399cc aircooled engine is mated to a five-speed transmission, and has a chain drive. Surprisingly, it is kickstart only, no electric starter. Now that is retro.

It's apparent that Yamaha is responding to the success that custom builders like Deus Ex Machina, Classified Moto, and Spirit of the Seventies are having, and the buzz they are generating, with simple, low-cost, retro bikes that appeal to both the new generation of riders (Millennials) and Baby Boomers nostalgic for the bikes of their youth. There also seems to be more than ever a thirst for bikes that, unlike the typical crotch rocket, are easy to customize... Go to Yamaha's SR400 webpage and note the tagline there: "Retro Cool. Built to Customize." I am also sure the success of the 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet thumpers has come to their notice, too.

It's wonderful to see this clean and elegant lightweight bike come back to market. The AutoEvolution.com website has a gallery of eight pics of the bike here.

Photo credit: Autoevolution.com 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Steampunk Tendencies

Nutcracker Rat Bikes at Steampunk Tendencies
A lot of awesome steampunk craft work, art, vehicles, and costumes for your weekend viewing pleasure at Steampunk Tendencies blog.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ace Cafe 75th Anniversary Magazine for Cafe Racer Buffs

Ace Cafe Collector's Mag
 Classic Bike Guide magazine has published an Ace Cafe 75th Anniversary "bookazine," a 132-page collection of articles and loads of pics celebrating the legendary hangout of the ton-up boys and rockers. You can preview it and buy a copy at Biker's Paradise. Or you can click on our Amazon affiliate link below to get a copy.





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