Sunday, 6 November 2011

New Maidstone Harley Davidson Dealership

After a number of Harley Davidson dealership failures the Company is trying to re-build its coverage, with 2 new dealerships opening in the last few weeks.  Being based in Tunbridge Wells, I now find I have quite a choice, with 6 dealers less than 50 miles away.

  • Shaw Harley Davidson near Lewes is 22 miles away.
  • Maidstone Harley Davidson is 23 miles away.
  • Warrs in Mottingham is 27 miles away.
  • Lakeside Harley Davidson in Essex is 31 miles away.
  • Warrs in Chelsea London is 40 miles away.
  • Guildford Harley Davidson is 47 miles away.
Having travelled quite widely and seen HD dealers all over the world, I am way passed getting excited over a new dealership - I have seen all the bikes, accessories and clothing before and am not going to be buying any - still its always good to look.  The new dealership is in a converted industrial unit in Aylesford to the West of Maidstone and not far from the M20 motorway.  The refurbishment has been nicely done with a new planar glass front and a mezzanine for clothing - leaving a clear sales floor for the bikes - I am sure you get the picture.  Today there was a ride there by 1066 HOG, which I missed but was good to catch up with a few faces once I got there - I dont think they will entice any members there from Shaws.

So is it worth the extra mile for me from Shaw's - I dont think so, the roads to Shaw's are nicer, the product range is identical and I have a long relationship with the guys there.

Still I wish them success in these tough times.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Loud Pipes

I finished the Macbeth Bobber (no.3 ) - back in 2008 and as one of my earliest bikes I really concentrated on the looks and styling. I was particularly pleased with the long 1.75" black exhausts, with the crown tips.
 However, it soon became apparent these were exceptionally loud with a really harsh note, also I kept scratching stuff with the long crown tips.  So I cut a foot off each and added a baffle and a nice Biltwell tip.

Even after this the bike was still way too loud for casual riding around town  - offensive to put it mildly, so I have at last got around to sorting it out and had a great new 2-1 set of stainless 2.0" pipes made by P&D and added a short Supertrapp muffler.  The result - it sounds perfect, looks great and goes even better.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Biketoberfest 2011

Just back in the UK from a great weekend at Daytona Beach for the Biketoberfest.  This is a huge event (in European terms) with over 100,000 bikes in the area, and centres around Main Street, with lots of bars and shops, Destination Daytona, which is a huge shopping complex for all things V-Twin and then various other smaller locations around the area. For me the high points were the old school customs at Willies Tropical Tattoo, and just the sheer vibrance and atmosphere in Main Street - I made a quick video of my very slow ride up Main Street.

There are plenty of sites to see and if you are resident then the opportunity to bring your bike here and get it fixed up on site with all sorts of new products while you wait is amazing.  Here are a few shots I took which appealed to me.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cyril Huze Post

The Cyril Huze Blog has been going 5 years now and has become the worlds leading source of info on the custom motorcycle scene and pretty much bikes in general - to celebrate he has changed the name to Cyril Huze Post!  I am pleased to say I have been a regular follower since day 1 , and I am pleased to have had 2 bikes featured on his blog.  Cyril's Graffiti bike has for along time been my favourite custom bike, and I have picked up styling cues from his work.

I was checking out his Blog the other day and saw a post about Biketoberfest in Daytona which made me think, weather is turning here in the UK, flights and hotels are cheap, lets go - so next Weds I am off to sunny Florida and will post about what I see!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

BMW R80 - No.8

This project has been quite a while in the making but we now have a rolling chasis ready to add some fenders and a tank and all the little details that will make this bike special.  The pictures show the old tank sat on top of the frame, this is going to be sectioned to reduce the bulk and stretched to smooth it into the seat.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

2 Videos

Made a quick video of a ride through my home town of Tunbridge Wells today - which is just full of traffic.  I also found some old footage of Monument Valley taken in June this year - with no traffic - a nice contrast.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Riding the Opale Coast

Was delighted to have a great ride yesterday with 1066 HOG out to the Opal Shore Chapter Rally in NeufChatel yesterday - which is south of Boulogne in Northern France.  Despite growing up on the Kent Coast (about 25 miles away) this is an area I have never explored.  The weather was glorious and the coast road from Calais to Boulogne is a twisty up and down delight, with all those derelict German gun emplacements as well to check out.

The rally was well organised and in true European fashion the whole town was shut off for bike and there was a healthy turnout from all over Northern France, Belgium and the UK.  We finished off with a ride to Le Touquet for an ice cream and then back home, stopping off at the old V1 site at Cap Gris Nez where we could see the white cliffs of Dover - a great day out and one I will do again.

look closely for the White cliffs
me on Caesar VI

Monday, 5 September 2011

My Favourite Local Rideout

Following a tweet with Chris Hunter of Bike Exif about favourite Rides, I decided to go out on mine last Saturday, as the sun was shining for the first time in ages.  So choosing my 1977 XLCR, off I set on my ride which is a figure of 8  - Tunbridge Wells / Ashdown Forest / Lewes / Newhaven / Seaford / Beachy Head / Eastbourne / Shaw Harley Davidson / Tunbridge Wells.  All in all its about 90 miles and takes in some great roads and scenery.

Back Street Heroes October 2011

Nice to make the centrefold and an 8 page spread in BSH with Othello.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Tighten Your Nuts

One of my worst failings is to just get on my bike and ride - if I am feeling really careful I will see if there is enough petrol.  Last Sunday I went on a ride with a friend down to the Seaford Bike Festival in East Sussex - about 35 miles, and decided to take my Hamlet Bobber which I have not had out all year.  About halfway there I felt something hit my foot , but all seemed OK so I carried on to the festival meet up in Newhaven, riding at speeds of up to 70mph.  When I arrived I was moving slowly through the car park and then my front wheel fell off, and clearly it must have been an axle nut that hit me some 20 miles earlier. I am not sure how this happened as the nuts are designed to tighten up - but it did.  Anyway a big thanks to Paul Leeson who rode back to my place to get a replacement, so I could get home - and I tell you I watched that nut the whole way, and from now on I am checking my nuts before every trip!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Huntsman Motorcycle Show 2011

After such a disappointing summer for weather  - it was great today to get some sunshine, and so riding my 1977 XLCR and armed with my Pentax and a 14mm lens - I set off to the annual Motorcycle Show at the Huntsman in Eridge.

This is a great annual event with live music, a BBQ, real ale and some great old bikes all ridden there - not a trailer in site.  Here are some of my favs including my XLCR.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Road Trip to Devon

In anticipation of a wonderful English Summer I arranged a weekend road trip to Devon with three local mates on their sportsters (inc XR1200), and a friend who was over from Denmark, who I loaned my Caesar Racer IV too - I rode my 1970 FLH with the Shovelhead in it.

Torquay is a favourite place of mine to go to - at 250 miles from home its the right distance for a trip and the coastal ride from Bournemouth is a treat, taking in places like Lyme Regis. We stay in Torquay for 2 nights and on the Saturday between we took all the little lanes and coastal roads down to Salcombe, and then back across Dartmoor, for a leisurely 160 mile ride.  Big nights out on the town  - great riding and company what more can you want from a weekend!