Wednesday 29 February 2012

Three Wheels On My Wagon

According to Harry V. Sucher in his history of Indian Motorcycles, The Iron Redskin, the Indian Dispatch-Tow became a reality in the early 1930s, inspired by the needs of a car dealership only a few doors away from the Indian factory. 

1939 Indian Motorcycles Dispatch-Tow
As Sucher relates it, the Dispatch-Tow was the result of discussions between Indian’s upper management and the owner of the Springfield Packard dealership. In order to provide better service to his Packard customers and reduce wasted time and money, the dealer wanted to find a simple way of ferrying customer cars back and forth from the customer’s home to the garage. He was tired of sending two men in one car, only to have them both come back to the garage, to be sent back out again after the repairs were made. Fact or fiction, it’s hard to know.

Apparently, Indian took the need seriously, because top designer Charles Franklin drew plans for a three-wheeled vehicle based on the popular Indian 101 Scout chassis, fitted with either a 37-cubic-inch or an optional 45-cubic-inch V-twin engine.
An automotive-style rear axle, complete with a differential, was rigidly mounted at the back of the machine. Two wheels flanked a sheet metal box, and this was supported on a single leaf spring and shackle set up. It was this box that gave the Dispatch-Tow its unique lines. Of course, a three-wheeled machine isn’t likely to tip over, which gave Franklin the opportunity to design a tow bar that, when attached to the front of the Dispatch-Tow, could be quickly and conveniently flipped down and attached to the rear bumper of a car.

That meant an employee of an automobile dealership could ride the Indian Dispatch-Tow to a customer’s location, affix the tow bar to the car and drive the whole rig back to the garage for service, and then repeat the routine. This proved advantageous, of course, because it tied up only one employee.

Article from motorcycleclassics

Indian Dispatch Tow in Packard Service livery.

(Via: justacarguy)

Sunday 26 February 2012

Ride the Machine

Ride the Machine: By VBlanco:

Landmarks 2012 (update)

And another one from FJStuart

#17 Rain

Honda CBF250 filler cap after a wet run. 

And Kawa has posted a couple of photos on his blog as well.

Landmarks 2012 (update)

I received my first entry for this year’s challenge as detailed here

This, from John Gray, shows his MZ TS125 next to a statue (#15) of Stan Laurel in Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham.

John tells me that a round trip of only three quarters of a mile was needed to get this photo. So, how are the rest of you getting on?


(Via: sonoforigin)

Saturday 25 February 2012

Zwei Plus Eins Macht Drei

You won't see the likes of this every day.

MZ ETZ251 with Superelastik sidecar in Japan. 
That’s Mount Fuji in the background.

Idle Chatter

click on the pictures

Say It With Style

Quite a few Scotch whiskys have Gaelic or Doric words in their names, which are often pronounced very differently than they look on paper to English speakers.

Luckily, esteemed thespian and perennial Hollywood evil dude Brian Cox is of Scottish origin, and this winter sat down for Esquire Magazine to perform a series of pronunciation guide videos. The clips are all available here, and are quite amusing (especially if you’ve already had a few yourself).

(source: thedrinknation)

BMW Collection


Modified Ural

This seriously modified Ural motorcycle was spotted at the East European Rally, or Red Star Rally if you like, in 2008.

The East European event is put on every four years and the next one will be held this year at Market Harborough Rugby Club, Leicestershire on the weekend of Aug. 24th - 26th, 2012.

There's Always One

Thursday 23 February 2012

Words To Live By

Touring Machine

Who says that you need 1000cc to go touring? These are some shots from a jaunt to Northern Ireland that I made in 2004 for an MZ Riders Club rally in Garrison, Co. Fermanagh.

Waiting on the ferry to Ireland
The bike is an MZ ETZ251 (249cc) and proved more than adequate on the 400 mile round-trip

Armagh city limits
Lough Melvin, Co. Fermanagh
Lough Melvin Holiday Centre
Ride to viewpoint

Landmarks 2012

In the past I have organised a photo challenge where you visited specific locations in Scotland and took a photo of your bike and whatever landmark is there to prove that you'd been. This is not particularly original as the idea has been around for a while and any number of people have been organising similar things for years. The basic idea is to give yourself an excuse to get out and about on your bike and to have a bit of fun while doing so.

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge
For this year’s challenge I decided to mix it up a bit and offer a somewhat simpler alternative. Instead of visiting specific places, this time around the idea is to visit specific things, 20 in all, take a photo of your bike next to it (it needn't be the same bike in all the shots) and send in the picture with an idea of what it is and where it is. Most of the items included can be found pretty much everywhere, and it has the added benefit that you only need to travel as near or as far as you want to take part.

Although the list includes specific things, the idea is to use your imagination. For example, there is a castle listed. However, as well as a medieval building, this can be expanded to include sand castles, public houses with the word 'Castle' in their name, towns like 'Castle Douglas' or anything else with a tenuous link to a castle. 

Eilean Donan Castle
The challenge will be running to the end of the year, and there is no reason that you can’t complete the list multiple times using different criteria. Norrie has suggested that you could probably complete it just by visiting pubs, inns and other hostelries.  

Forth Bridges
I wondered if anyone who reads this might like to take part? Either sending in their pictures to post here, or sending a link to the pictures on their own blogs? There are 20 items, so that’s 2 a month until the end of the year.

Here’s the full list, in no particular order:

Public telephone box
A flag flying
Body of water
Church/religious building
Barbershop (not a hairdresser’s salon)
Scrap or salvage yard
Train station
Football/Sports stadium
Petrol pump
Road sign

Monday 20 February 2012

Roof Rack


Says it all, really

Been talking about jazz, and music generally of late. It’s always a treat to come across something that makes you sit up and pay attention. Something good. 
There’s so much dross out there; saccharine, meaningless, disposable pap without any integrity or soul, you can forget that that's not all there is. 

So, search out the good stuff and ignore the rubbish. It will be gone before you know it anyway.

Thursday 16 February 2012

Wednesday 15 February 2012


1929 Indian Scout
The closest that I’m ever likely to get to owning an Indian

Tuesday 14 February 2012