Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Bosozoku style

Picked up this wonderful magazine in Nagasaki. It's about Bosozoku (biker gang) style bikes. I can't work out anything about it but just know it is a feast for the eyes. A completely different style aesthetic for European sensibilities. Bikes are largely 80s Japanese, style is half cafe racer, half chopper: ape hangers, wild exhausts, dolphin fairings and way out paint schemes with lots of rising sun motifs. Girls are out in force on the bikes too and there's a whole fashion scene going along with it. Makes me want to create a bosozuku style bike back at home but not sure I would have the balls to ride it out and about!

Apologies for the slightly ropey snaps. I cannot find any web links for the magazine but if you see it, buy it, if just for the pictures...

Magazine cover.

Foxy lady on 80s Suzuki!

It's not all chick pics, just the larger ones that are easier to
copy. School girl outfit doesn't quite reach any safety
standards for motorcycling kit!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Japanese scooter scene

A few snaps from wandering around Nagasaki. Scooters are a way of life here and petrol head pursuits are in the mainstream. There're a huge number of customised super scoots running around. The Honda Fusion is a popular platform. Low riding, uv downlights, race cans and pearlescent white paint schemes are all in vogue. The look for many is a brilliant retro vision of the future. These are the machines we would all be riding in 2015 from the vantage point of he seventies. If you haven't encountered Japanese custom scooters before I urge you to go to google images and search 'japanese custom scooters'....

Custom Honda Fusion ticking many of the boxes.

Not modified, but an oddity worthy of inclusion - Honda PS250.
Made from 2004 to 2007 and apparently sold in the States as the
'Big Ruckus'. It features many of the styling cues of the wonderful
'Zoomer'' 50cc (sold in the US as the 'Ruckus') though the
scale up is a bit clunky.

Lightly modded Yamaha Morphous.

I honestly don't know what this is. It's probably got a body
kit on. I would guess Suzuki. Looks great anyhow.

Another view of the above.

Not a custom but a cute scoot not seen in the
UK. The Yamaha Vox.

Another one not seen in the UK. The Yamaha cargo scooter,
the 'Gear 50'.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Levis Motor Cycles 1938 brochure

Never a great volume manufacturer of motorcycles, Levis none-the-less seems to have had a big budget for promotional materials judging from the number of surviving brochures kicking around. Here's a 1938 one...

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure front cover.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 1.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 2.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 3.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 4.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 5.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 6.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 7.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 8.

1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 9.
1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure page 10.
1938 Levis Motor Cycles brochure rear cover.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Early thirties ohc Norton

Period photo of an early thirties ohc Norton. There's folks out there could readily identify it but I'm pressed to recognise one model of cammy Norton from the other..

Early thirties ohn Norton.

Monday, April 22, 2013

CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure

A real obscurity here. I can't find out anything about CCR Motor Cycles (Smith Brothers) other than what is in the brochure. There's an entry in the Grace's Guide but it is brief and a little conjectural. I doubt there is a survivor, would be great to hear otherwise.

CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure front cover.

CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 1.
CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 2.
CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 3.

CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 4.

CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 5.
CCR Motor Cycles 1911 brochure page 6.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kanko Maru paddle steamer Nagasaki

Kanko Maru paddle steamer moored up in Nagasaki.
It's a two wheeler of sorts... Not really usual subject matter for this blog but if you like dodgy old bicycles and motorcycles then you must like paddle steamers too, maybe.

The Kanko Maru was Japan's first warship and was presented to the country by the Dutch in 1855. The boat currently plying the coast of Japan with a cargo of tourists is a replica built in Holland in 1987. Full history of the vessel on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Seal Sociable sidecar with steering wheel

Here's an unusual photo. It's a Seal Sociable. Made from 1912 to 1924 in, presumably, very limited numbers. It must have seemed like a logical idea at the time - most big v-twins were made to haul sidecars so why not combine the two together and allow rider and passenger to sit side-by-side?

It is powered by a JAP v-twin and at least one survives, in the National Motorcycle Museum. Strangely the sidecar in this picture is on a different side from other pictures I have seen. They must have made left and right hand versions.

The machine might be a studio prop as was popular at the time, but it would have been quite an expensive device for a studio to own. Perhaps this couple are in fact the proud owners.

Seal Sociable posed photo.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BSA Motorcycles full range brochure 1960

A lovely utopian BSA brochure showing the 1960 full range. From the days when BSA was full of confidence, largely ignorant of the storm clouds gathering and could rightly claim to be 'the most popular motorcycle in the world'. Full of wonderfully wholesome images and quiet to the realities of sixties motorcycling of dull commuting, stinky waxed jackets and knackered cafe racers and all the better for it.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 1.
1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 2.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 3.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 4.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 5.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 6.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 7.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 8.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 9.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 10.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 11.

1960 BSA Motorcycles brochure page 12.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Historic Vehicle tax exemption extended to pre 1974 vehicles

The UK Government announced in this years budget that from 1 April 2014 the Vehicle Excise Duty exemption for classic vehicles will roll forward by one year to cover all vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1974.

This is covered by Budget Document 2.148 VED: here's the official Budget pdf. (If you're desperate to find the clause, press control & s and search classic vehicle).

Will it mark the return of a year on year rolling exemption? Would make sense to fix it at forty years. I think when they first brought out the rolling twenty five year rule they had underestimated just how many old clunkers were on the road and how much money they were missing out on, hence the freeze. Nowadays there's few vehicles more than forty years old used as sole transport.

Now if they could just sort out road tax for everyone altogether and scrap it along with sorn, put the losses on fuel so that we all pay for our actual use of the road system on a mileage and consumption basis and instead of tax discs put up insurance stickers on our windshields / tax disc holders and then fewer insurance dodgers away with it....

Pictures from Nagasaki

In Japan for work at the moment. Had a stroll around and took a few snaps. Other blogs may bring you artful pictures of fastidiously crafted old school customs from legendary Japanese builders and images of Land of the Rising Sun vintage motorcycle style fetishists. Not here baby, here're some amateur snaps of strange mopeds and a knackered old bicycle.....

Honda Gyro Canopy delivery tricycle.

Honda Gyro X. Folks in the UK scoffed when Honda brought
out the Stream three wheeler model in 1981 after the fiasco of the
ill-fated Ariel 3. The relationship between the two designs is in
the patent - the concept was from G L Wallis and Son in Surbiton,
Surrey, UK. Both the Ariel 3 and the Honda three-wheelers share
the same concept but that is where it ends. Not that there was too
much wrong in the basic Ariel 3 design, the problems lay in the
manufacture and marketing. The Gyro has a 50cc two stroke with a
continuously variable transmission and limited slip diff for loose surfaces.

This old delivery cycle was a prop outside a shop. It's way different
from British designs and shows a different approach to the design
of a simple concept. Whereas British delivery cycles carried the weight
of the load through the frame the whole of the luggage carrier
on the Japanese cycle is attached to the forks and the load
steers with the wheel. The design will allow for a far greater
weight to be carried (check out the extra heavy duty motorcycle size
 front wheel) but the flipside is it will steer like an absolute pig.

Another Gyro X but a newer model.

Yamaha YB1. The update of the old 'Fizzy'. Very similar to the
old model but with a four stroke motor, looking very similar to
the Honda Cub unit.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Corgi scooter brochure 1950

A charming brochure for the 1950 British made Corgi folding scooter. Unusual to see a multi-lingual brochure, perhaps they were anticipating strong export sales or perhaps, and more probably, they didn't have the budget for completely separate translated brochures.

As a total aside the shop which has stamped the brochure, Dacombe Cycle Agent of Wimborne features in the Wimborne Minster model town to this day!

1950 Corgi brochure front cover.

1950 Corgi brochure page 1.

1950 Corgi brochure page 2.

1950 Corgi brochure outer flap.

1950 Corgi brochure inner flap.

1950 Corgi brochure rear cover.