Sunday, November 27, 2011

Motorcycle Live - Birmingham

Yeah, I know.  I haven't updated the blog lately.
For the past two weeks I've been working on a project for a customer every night and weekend.  Around 100 hours in addition to my normal days.  Needless to say, there hasn't been much time for anything other than eating and sleeping and the odd cocktail.
This weekend, I said; "screw the lawn, I'm going to a bike show!"

Sunday, November 27th - Birmingham, West Midlands.

If the Motorcycle Live show at the National Exhibition Center isn't the biggest in England, it's got to be close. It's similar to the Bike Expo back home, with a lot of dealers and custom bike guys, a little demo action and sales booths.

A sweet '45.

Since I saw this boardtrack racer in Milwaukee I've been noticing older Harleys a lot more.  I think that they're the new black.

Yes? No?  I like tattoo's, like girders, Evo's and rigids but I'm not sure.

I hate trikes, and this one is fugly!  But I could make an exception...

This monster Nightrain was featured in Back Street Heroes (they were a sponsor of the event).

See a Norton, take a picture of a Norton.  I feel like I'm at a point where I'm starting to see the sames ones over and over again.  Still cool (but there's something cooler coming up).
A quick history (as I know it).  In 1950 Norton created the Featherbed frame specifically for racing at the Isle of Man Gran Prix.  The frame was exceptionally stiff due to the use of 2 continuous loops made from a single tube each instead of multiple tubes brazed to castings.
Racers soon began replacing the 500cc single in the Manx with the Triumph 650 motor creating the "Triton" (Triumph + Norton).

I don't bleed green either, never been into Kawi's.  Like the blonde, this ER-6f (despite the great reviews) is lame!  Piss or get off the pot, sack up to a Ninja and go for a brunette!

Another feature of BSH this year was this BSA 350 Goldstar cafe from Lamb Engineering.

Style over substance.

I dig anything in a Featherbed frame, even this vintage Kawi 4.

Shovel love.  In particular I dig a non-Frisco'd (high on the backbone) peanut tank and the machine finish on the folk lowers.

Trumpet love.

Metisse was there with their racing frames, turnkey bikes and proprietary motors.  This street scrambler should appeal to my dad.

So should the desert scrambler.

For Gena, vintage Vespa love.

Braniff, Rob Roy, pack of Kent's, Playboy Club...

Several indoor areas allowed you to test your mettle.
ACU let newbies loose on trials bikes where instructors guided you around traffic cones.  (They held onto the tailcone and walked you around the track.)
The second was a Yamaha moto cross track where guys "raced" 4 at a time on in very small dirt course.
The coolest was this inflatable track for Kids.  Suzy-Q did it right as little kids over 6 were lined up all day to have a go, bouncing off of the big yellow tubes.

As this was the TT weekend, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy was on display.  Everyone who held it was given an extra 30 seconds at the end, and a polishing rag....

My favorite part:  Cool things that you can do with a Sportster!

The Dunkley Harton (Harley + Norton) from Rolling Art.

Another Evo powered, cafe Sporty.  This one with an XR style tank.

The Charlatan (a well dressed interloper) is another Sporty powered featherbed.  I've seen these called Norley's, Sporton's, even Harton's (say it fast).

The Salt Lake Spitfire might be exactly right (except for the paint).  The Norton wideline tank, cafe tail and Vincent lettering hides a slim and trim and shortened Sportster underneath.

The objets d′art of hipsters everywhere, the rigid framed Sporty bobber is always a hit.  Light, simple and dangerous, exactly what every 18 year old needs.

On quite the other end of the spectrum, the XR class racer.  Wonder why there are louvers in the number plate?

Interesting, wonder what that would do for the handling?  I imagine it's pretty warm behind there too.

1 comment:

  1. You must be a good writer if even I was interested in the motorcycles and your commentary. Cool bikes. I never would have thought they'd be as popular over there (not sure why). At least when you started talking about "Norton" I knew you weren't talking about Ralph Cramdon's buddie.