Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Tattoo shop shovel

Spotted outside the Hard Luck Tattoo parlour in Kingston upon Thames this shovelhead Harley chop. I guess the condition is what some might describe as 'rat'. It looks like it is in regular use though, despite the rust it's all in very functional condition and I'm not seeing how it could easily be wheeled in to shop at the end of the day. If it is a daily, then due credit to the pilot, a beast of a bike to be using in London traffic.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

DOT rigid competition bikes

A two page flyer for DOT competition bikes from c1950. These bikes used the Villiers 197cc 6E motor, a competent power plant that's still popular in pre-65 trials today. DOTs were always nicely styled quality machines and they had a strong competition heritage. Note the odd megaphone end of the exhaust on the trials model.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Triumph T150 Trident spotted

I love to see original unrestored old bikes and I love to see old bikes in use. This Triumph T150 Trident ticks both boxes and was snapped during a recent trip up to London on a sunny Wednesday outside a pub in Weybridge. To whoever owns it, bravo.

Monday, June 6, 2022

The Dorway Folding Sidecar

This charming brochure is for the 'Dorway' folding sidecar. Very much a product of its  times. Back in the day you weren't allowed to park on the street overnight as streetlights were turned off at midnight.

It's hard to date the brochure exactly but it is more than likely from the early twenties. Several other sidecar manufacturers offered folding sidecars. The surviving British sidecar manufacturer Watsonian's first offering was folding model from 1912.


Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A brace of Zundapp KS600s

A good few years ago now I had a bit of a sideline in importing old motorcycles from India. Back then prices in India were favourable and the supply of bikes plentiful. Nowadays the market for old bikes is international and there is a strong following for them in India so the flow has reversed with a good number of old bikes heading out to the subcontinent. Great, I say. There are plenty of old motorcycles to go around and that enthusiasm for them is international is only a good thing for all involved.

Most of the bikes I imported were either pre-war or from the war. This particular pair were among the more unusual. How two Zundapps ended up in India is rather a mystery. At the time I rather presumed that they were ex German army but it may also be that they were from just before the war and sold as civilian bikes. They would have been exotica in India at the time but remember that the British Empire was administrated in large part by younger men from Britain who would have had a large disposable income.

One of the bikes was largely complete and in rather good condition, the other slightly worse for wear and less complete. At the time there wasn't a lot of interest for these bikes and they were slightly tricky to move on. Times have changed and they are now extremely desirable and many repro parts are available for them. I'd like to think that now, twenty two years on they are both in running order.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Fifities bike parking in the West End

I wonder why this picture was taken? It's just a street scene of several bikes parked up.  The Vespa in the foreground that the chap is starting has 'Berlin, Turkey, Istanbul' written on to the front mudguard so perhaps he is the intended subject. There's surely an interesting story behind this much travelled scooter.

Also slightly anomolous in the line up is the Harley that's peeking out from under a cover. It has springer forks so would be slightly out of date by the time the photo was taken. Perhaps it is an ex-WD model that has been civilianised and lightly customised?

The street sign in the background is quite blurry but by zooming in one can read Hallam Street W1. Hallam Street is close by to Harley Street and in the West End of London. The second picture is of the building in the photo as it is now from Google Maps. It took a while but was identifiable by the dsitinctive railings which happily still remain in place.