Saturday, August 28, 2010



CAC prototype

All noteworthy style is based in racing

Throw lights on the WR & you have a perfectly trendy bobber.

Looking at a DAH hill climber or CAC speedway machine, one see cues that are clumsily incorporated into poorly executed gimmick customs.

Yet from nonsensical sparkle paints of sixties drag racing machines to simply stripping off dead weight from a stock bike, the essence of a lean, purpose built racer emerges.

The reason builders fail so often is they try to reinvent the century old bicycle's line & proportion.
A quick gander at sophisticated Tour de France cycle is virtually an unchanged silhouette of it's 100+ year progenitor.

The motorcycle began to build momentum as viable vehicle as novelty pace machines at Velodrome events. They were instant crowd pleasers & soon evolved into board track racers.

Remember this heritage, and use that inspiration accordingly.
We all know what happens when cues from the automotive industry sneak in.
A windshield really works, a stereo is very enjoyable, seat warmers are great, cup holders make sense, cruise control is nice, but if you need those things and crave the wind in your hair, roll your windows down & sun roof back. Do you and your motorcycle a favor, and park it til' the weather suits your clothes.

I understand that if you live in a wealthy country that has a season of no light for months, you'll get bored, & spend time with friends in your shop trying to not go stir crazy. If you are so original that you invent the square wheel, you will win an award in a custom motorcycle show.
But please be weary, I have been a judge at these shows and I know, me and my fellows were picked for political reasons and not because we understood, respected or knew anything about design. Three years in a row I was asked to judge a show, where I was given a judging criteria guideline. 10 sections worth 10 points each.
Paint-10 points
Plaiting-10 points
Wiring-10 points
Design-10 points... wait, design 10 points, really equal to wiring & plating... yes!
Yes, this means a complete turd with expensive finishing details, will every time defeat, line, proportion, nuance and stance.

At the Legend of the Motorcycle event, I was asked to give my own award, this I did, on my terms. I would not be required to attend any judges meeting, could pick without qualification or explanation. I walked the field and made snap decisions which were the absolute right choice.

Please remember there is a bigger gap between art & design than most think.
The Guggenheim received a million dollar grant from BMW to promote the motorcycle as art.
A bike becomes pop art, at it's worst, when it no longer functions and is based on a light hearted theme.
A well designed bike still functions. It starts, stops, turns, is balanced(literally), is aesthetically pleasing & is not laden with gadgets that serve little purpose. The human form should jive with the bike harmoniously & going down the road it should be more meaningful than when parked.

Strong design works well and looks good.

Before I step down from my soap box, I must say sharp objects on a bike have never been a good idea. You are a dumb ass not a bad ass. A short sharp sissy like Poseidon's Fork is just plain ridiculous.

Friday, August 20, 2010

this picture is worth 900 words

looking up & down

So over loaded by Vegas lights, I started looking down.
Found 100's of new 3/8 studs, don't need them, but couldn't leave them there.


Modeling for STACY ADAMS & our new family line

JJ & JD in LV w/ Autos

Made for the salt... retired on the green

Perfect lines

Racing Alfas... pretty neat

Virgin Packard

Please leave her alone!

It must have been in a garage since WWII, notice the blackout headlight covers.

Nice coach built body.

the Miller front drive

Without a close second, the Miller is the greatest American race car.

Motorcycles at Peeble

Although I have seen all of these bikes before, it is always a treat.
The Scout are no big deal, but 4 from the same team, as raced, is super neat.

Dale's orange HD is very special, a DAH motor, but not in a hill climb chasis. It is the only rig of its kind, that I know of.

Big Valve Excelsior.

Flying Merkel.

I won't bother you with restored stuff.


Morbid perhaps, but it was the best thing in the show.
A restored car can be redone over & over again... who cares.
Had it been in original paint I would of had a nervous break down.
Restored cars & women with plastic surgery... all over Carmel.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Because I created the trophy, I am not eligible to win(a self imposed rule).
A cop out you say... absolutely!

I realize, of the 70 signed up 50 will show. The winners are going to be the finishers. Really the winners are the participants, even the bikes or bodies that break in the first few days. Everyboy involved in this hair brained scheme is a champ. I have learned a lot about these teens machines & have come to realize... the lying, cheating, & brotherhood are going to be the most valuable part of this race, not the silly trophy!

Thursday, August 5, 2010