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 website has a gallery of eight pics of the bike here.

Photo credit: 

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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Norcroft Royal Enfield V-Twin

Norcroft 1000cc Royal Enfield V-Twin
The Kneeslider blog has reported that the Norcroft Royal Enfield V-Twin project begun by Bill Hurr and Richard Hurst in the UK back in 2004 has come back to life.  Two German enthusiasts tracked Bill Hurr down and persuaded him to join them in reviving the project, to bring it all the way to market this time around. Another enthusiast from India has also joined the team. The works are now in Germany.

The Norcroft website is here. Their Facebook page is here.

The Norcroft engine has a displaement of 1000cc: a custom bottom end accepts two 500cc Royal Enfield top ends.

We have previously posted about another Royal Enfield based V-Twin, Aniket Vardhan's Musket. Aniket's engine is a 59degree configuration available in both 700cc (using 350cc top ends) and 1000cc (using the 500cc cylinders). The Norcroft engine appears to be something more like 45degrees... in these close-up engine pics it looks a lot like a Vincent, I think.
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