Wednesday 30 November 2011

Three Wheels On My Wagon

I don’t know a lot about this one. It’s something that I came across on the Federation of Sidecar Clubs’ stand at the BMF Show in Peterborough a couple of years ago.

It’s badged as an Austel and appears to have a Hedingham or modified Squire sidecar attached (although I am prepared to be corrected on this point).

From the little information available online, it appears that Austel produced a custom motorcycle designed for sidecar operation with components more often found in cars, such as the 1300cc Leyland engine with a four speed manual gearbox with reverse gear, car tires and brakes, car size drive couplings, and so forth. Leading link forks were fitted as standard.

It was also apparently available in kit form.


While in York, I visited a malt whisky outlet to see if there was anything to tempt me to part with my hard-earned cash. Besides all of the usual, and not so usual, things on display, my eye was caught by this little trio.

Suntory Single Malt Whiskies, Yamazaki and Hakushu
I couldn't decide whether or not to pick one of them up or not. It was quite a lot to pay for something of which I knew nothing. In the end I walked out of the store empty handed. Something which I am now beginning to regret.

Not So Innocenti

I spent the weekend in York, Englandshire. This was as close as I got to a motorcycle in all of that time.

This scooter was to be found in the York Castle Museum. Part of a 1960s exhibition that they currently have on display.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Steve McQueen

The Triumph Motorcycles stand at the recent International Motorcycle Show in San Mateo, CA.

This is the brand new ‘Steve McQueen Special Edition’ Triumph  Bonneville. Nice looking bike, but what it has to do with Steve McQueen I don't know. If it's supposed to be a nod to the film, The Great Escape, with the green paintjob, solo seat and luggage rack I'm afraid that they didn't do their homework. He rode a 1961 TR6 Trophy in the film, not a Bonneville.

Loooong legs
I wasn't actually at this show, but I'm on the Triumph (USA) mailing list for some reason and it's usually quite good for photos.

Monday 21 November 2011


These photos are from a race meeting at the Croft Circuit in North Yorkshire a few years ago.

The rider is Mike Minns (No. 20), an English lad who raced an MZ 1000S as a ‘Privateer’, ie. without major factory input.

The MZ Riders Club was one of his ‘corporate sponsors’ for a couple of years.

Anyway, to say thank you, Mike sent the club a very nice watercolour painting of himself on his bike at the Isle of Man painted by a local artist. It was framed, then raffled off with the proceeds split between Mike and N.A.B.D.

The winner of the above painting was fjStuart

You can find some information here on Mike's performances at the IOM from a few years ago.

"The Tinnies"

Sculpture / Roundabout of the Week
Artist: Maurice Harron (2000)

I came across these statues on the way to a rally in Ireland last year. They are located on a roundabout at Lifford Road, Strabane, Co. Tyrone.


Entitled, ‘Let the Dance Begin’, it comprises five semi-abstract metal figures on the theme of music and dance and makes up one of the largest pieces of public art in Ireland. The figures represent a Fiddler, Flautist, Drummer and two Dancers.

They are known locally as "The Tinnies".

Sunday 20 November 2011

Spirit of Adventure

  Whisky and motorcycles. What’s not to like.
The follow-up TV series was only shown in Scotland as far as I know.

Friday 18 November 2011


Before There Were SUV's



Simson KR51/1 'Schwalbe'

When I was first in Berlin over thirty years ago these mopeds were to be found practically everywhere. They were cheap and cheerful and were churned out by the thousands from the Simson factory in Suhl in the GDR.

I’d quite like to get my hands on one even now. Don’t ask me why.

Rally Logos

Over the years I used to organise, or help to organise, the MZ Riders Club's Scottish Rally, and this included coming up with a different logo for each year's event.

The rally usually takes place on the May Day bank holiday weekend each year and is held somewhere in the North of Scotland.

Here are the logos for the last few of these events

The idea was to keep the design fairly simple as it had to be reproduced on stickers and t-shirts.

Wednesday 16 November 2011


Guess which movie I’ve just been given on DVD?


Now & Zen

Sepia Tones

Nice Top Box

Star of the Orient

"Estrella" means "Star" in both Catalan and Spanish

Today’s bike is a Kawasaki Estrella BJ250 A. This is an air-cooled 249cc 4-stroke single, and is a bike that I was completely unaware of until fairly recently. This is hardly surprising as it isn’t imported into the UK, and into Europe as a whole only in very small numbers.

This is one of those imported into Germany and comes with single saddle and rack on the rear as standard. 

There has been much debate about why smaller bikes don't sell particularly well in Europe. perhaps if we were offered something like this that might change in the current economic climate.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Old School

Barn Finds

I was sorting through some old photographs and I came across these ones that a friend took  while on holiday in Germany.

He came across this huge collection of old vehicles from the former East Germany (DDR/GDR) located in a building near Bitterfeld in Saxony. He described them as ‘barn-finds’. 

So, now you know where all the old bikes and cars went after the Wall came down. 

Oh, and you can show your wife these pictures the next time she tells you that you have too many bikes.