Ramble 1: Parallel universes

1/4/13:  Brad sent me this picture of his Gilera and Spiders.  Nice!  He also has a Honda CL77 Scrambler.


There’s some serious Italian metal in this garage!

12/27/12: Craig sent me this picture of part of his fleet -a very nice duo I think.  Anyone else want to share a picture?

photo (6)

Color coordinated, technically interesting and neat!  I’ve been looking longingly at /2’s for years.  Thanks for sharing Craig.

12/23/12: I spent some time looking at Paul’s blog Vintagent the other evening, reminiscing about the days when I was all about motorcycles.  Motorcycles are my first vehicular love, and my first love seems to be experiencing a revival, as I suddenly have slightly more than a few right now crowding my work space. I remember riding in front of my dad on his Triumph to preschool without a helmet -it was the mid-70’s, so I guess I was about 4 – must have stuck as great fun.  I inherited that motorcycle for a few years (1991 – 2011 then gave it back), did a few miles on it and, most importantly, figured out how a lot of stuff, like brakes, clutches, electrons etc worked, and had some adventures.  Alas for the near absence of pictures from the pre-cellphone days! IMG_5053 1961 Honda CB72 13393, a rare thing, along the lines of a ’56 Sprint sort of rare, with lots of ‘early, one year only’ parts, and a 1964 CL72, somewhat like a ’59-’61 Spider sort of rare.  I’ve rebuilt a few of these engines over the years.  State of the art superb mechanicals with poor-ish chrome and paint applied over bare metal.  Sound familiar?  In a weird way Honda of 1962 is a lot like Alfa of 1962, though a case can be made that Ducati is the Alfa of motorbikes.  

But this isn’t entirely about motorcycles -it’s also about blogs.  Paul’s blog got me thinking.  I do searches, find blogs that seem interesting and most are like a crash diet or any other human endeavor that follows an asymptotic decay (or dead drop as often as not) after some initial spurt.

Note the descriptor ‘interesting’.  An interesting blog is one that has a voice all its own – think Anthony Bourdain’s blog. Anyway, there are not many blogs I know of that both have an individual voice and have managed to stay current.  Vintagent, Occhio Lungo, Jalopnik (does Jalopnik fit?  they have a more collective voice) and I don’t even know.  Squadra Alfa Romeo Madeira (even though I don’t read Portuguese) and Spider Veloce’s blog (even though I don’t read Italian) look to be current and interesting.  And then there’s the house of self indulgence -among the very best blogs, consistent, inspired, creative, but focused on some odd shit!

Anyway finding a good blog is hard due to most search engines tendency to return results that it knows you like. Do you, reader, know any I should check out that have an individual voice and some history and will likely carry on into the future??  Post your favorites in the comments section!  IMG_5055 Early first series (expensive) tail light.  Drool if you know about these things -meh if you don’t. IMG_5056 Black head is wrong, but hard to rectify and made the bike cheap to buy!  I have a spare engine that turns over, so someday… Seat cover is also wrong, but live-able. Pipes are stellar compared to most originals.  I have a set of rebuilt carbs to put on this and a correct seat cover.  Might give it to my dad to ride.  IMG_5054 CB160 with CL160 pipe.  This is the real jewel of the Honda line – like a 1300 Veloce.  Very capable despite its size, and light weight. Thats why there’s a vintage racing class dedicated to these.  I am going to build one nice enough to sit next to the bikes in the first picture, and a race inspired street bike.

I hope none of you mind some occasional posts about vintage motorcycles.  I’m working on procuring a vintage Ducati single, so the Italian theme will be carried on.  Any of you readers have vintage motorcycles?  I’d love to hear about it!


9 thoughts on “Ramble 1: Parallel universes

  1. …. i have a 1969 MV Agusta 250B that i have owned for over 40 years, in about the same state as the ’60 SS i also have – in pieces and needing many hours of labor and attention before it is anywhere near mobile….your hondas look great…enjoy them….lm

  2. My friend Jeff gave me a stalled 1966 BMW R69S project so I would finish his stalled 1960 Giulietta Spider. Sound like a pattern here? It was, 4 old BMW bike projects. Next was a 1950 R51/2 to get his 66 Morgan +4 going again. Then a R27 single was the next one to get up and running. So yes, old bikes and cars do go together well. Your Honda looks great. I don’t see many in the Midwest anymore. Out here Triumph and Nortons are the big Imports at the antique bike shows.

  3. I have a 1973 CB 125 Honda Twin and naturally a 1959 Giulietta Sprint to restore. I would like to send the photos if it’s possible, but please I need to know how.
    What I like is to share my same passions with people like you. ciao. Tullio

  4. Bikes are my first passion so I like it when folks mix up the two in their hobby. I am currently re-doing (not restoring) a 71 Montesa trials bike to ride vintage AHRMA class. I sold my Vincent Rapide I spent two years restoring to a state too perfect to enjoy riding to buy, dollar for dollar, my driver quality 64 Giulia SS AND a 71 Rickman Enfield. Google that one for you guys not up on obscure british bikes. Pleased with my entry into the Alfa world.

  5. I have 2 and 1/2 Moto Guzzi s.. an ambassador frame and running gear and mechanicals from a 73 Eldo. Also, a 1976 BMW R60 (owned since 1986), 1971 Yamaha 90 endure-just like the bike I had when I was 15 and a 1973 Yamaha 360 Enduro (the bike I wanted to own with I was 15)

    And the 1967 Alfa Duetto with 312,000 miles and counting

  6. Hi Matt. Thanks for the mention. I know what you mean about the lack of blogs with original thought and info. http://machineshed.blogspot.com/ has some neat stuff, showing his own work, as does Shinya’s blog. Long form articles take time and research. That’s fun when it works, like a digital magazine for free. But mine and Paul’s and many others suffer in a way that the typical “reposting other peoples stuff” blogs do not. It is hard to find time, motivation, content, etc to keep things moving. I purposely set the bar low on my site, trying to just put up something new and original every so often, as opposed to putting up something every day, (which can lead to posting crap just to fill the space). Anyway, I’m glad that you like it. There is a small audience for 100 year old junk, and I’m fine with that. Take care, see you soon.
    PS, get back on a bike and join us for some rides!

    • Thanks for the recommendation! Email me an invite to rides. I just got my CB72 registered on Friday so I’m mobile on 2 wheels again. Looking for a big British single right now -Velo preferred too…


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