Sunday, October 31

Happy Holloweenie

1964 or 2010?

Only time will tell. I love this shot from kemosabeandthelodge.blogspot, it just reminds of the first time I saw the red and whites in Oakland in '64. Keepin' the dream alive.

Saturday, October 30

Thursday, October 28

Motorcycle Legend - Bud Ekins

Legendary Hollywood native 'Bud' Ekins passed away 3 years ago after a life of hard riding, hard drinking, and irascible good humor. Born James Sherwin Ekins (although he'd likely punch you if you reminded him) in 1930, 'Bud' had a little too much enthusiasm for cars and motorcycles as a boy, and spent time in reform school after being caught driving someone else's car...a stranger's...without the benefit of a key, or a driver's license.

By 1948 he had acquired his first motorcycle, a '34 Harley Davidson VL, which according to legend leaned against the wall of his father's welding shop. His uncle owned the defunct machine, and offered to sell it to Bud for $10 if he could make it run. Thus, the moto-virus was secured in his bloodstream, and he spent the rest of his life intimately involved with bikes, and a few cars.

He commuted the Harley to his job at the welding shop, not over freeways but on the rough trails of the Hollywood hills and along the LA river, before all became concrete and tarmac. Pushing a large, heavy bike around in the dirt twice a day gave him valuable experience, and soon he was competing in local dirt races on the very same machine...not such an uncommon 'racer' in those impecunious postwar days, before the housing boom and general prosperity paved over LA.

A local dealer spotted Bud's riding talent, and offered him a Matchless single to ride in the Moose Run in 1951, which Ekins promptly won. After further success, he turned pro, and within a year had sailed across the Atlantic to try his hand against the best in the world on the dirt, and make considerably more money, in Europe. His first successes were in England, where he earned $200/week racing for AMC (Matchless), about ten times what he'd made in the US. Shortly he would also ride in France, Spain, and Belgium, all of which had huge followings for scrambles - in fact some of the earliest sporting events on TV at the time were off-road motorcycle races.

He returned to the US in '54, and traded in his Matchless for a Triumph dealership in the San Fernando valley, set up by US importer Johnson Motors (now better known as a t-shirt company...). Bud continued racing as well, winning the Catalina Grand Prix in 1955 and '57; he also won the Big Bear desert scramble twice. His winning streak in SoCal was a great boon for Triumph in the US, and his skills handling tricky sand/dirt/rock terrain earned him the nickname 'the Desert Fox'.

Steve McQueen entered Bud's Triumph shop in 1959, and the two became fast friends. As McQueen's star rose from a Western tv star to international movie star, he brought Bud along for help with film stunt work. In 1963, during the filming of 'The Great Escape' near Fussen, Bavaria, Bud was employed to ride one of the most famous motorcycle stunts in history; 'the jump' over a prison camp barbed wire fence on a stolen German motorcycle (which transforms mid-scene from a DKW RT250 to a Triumph TR6 in dark green paint). Of course, everyone thought McQueen had done the jump, as he preferred to do his own stunts, but the production company insisted he was too valuable to the film to risk injury, and Ekins leaped into infamy. It's a compelling scene, and McQueen's cool demeanor in the film catapulted him to mega-stardom, and 'cool icon' status. It was McQueen himself who credited Ekins with the jump, during an interview on the 'Johnny Carson Show' (now of course hosted by Jay Leno, a huge motorcycle buff - we are everywhere!), when asked about it: 'That wasn't me. That was Bud Ekins.' For the jump, he was paid $1000, the highest compensation ever for a single stunt - and it was done in a single take.

During the long weeks of filming in Germany, Ekins entered the International Six Days' Trial (ISDT) in Czechoslovakia (he had entered once before and won a Gold Medal - eventually winning four Golds and one Silver during his career). After winning his second Gold mid-film, McQueen, an excellent motorcyclist himself after personal tutelage from Bud, convinced Ekins to form the first-ever US ISDT Team. Thus, in 1964, Ekins and his brother Dave, Cliff Coleman, and McQueen competed in East Germany, where they didn't fare well as a team (both Bud and Steve failing to finish due to injury), Dave and Cliff both won Gold medals. The unreapeatable adventure of this ISDT is beautifully explored in the book '40 Summer Ago' (Rin Tanaka and Sean Kelly), and if you're a McQueen or Ekins fan, you really should have it - the photographs are simply amazing.

In 1967 Ekins went on to partner with McQueen on the film 'Bullitt', with an infamous car chase over the San Francisco hills. Ford was the beneficiary of incalculable publicity as Ekins launched a '67 Mustang Fastback over the sharp hillcrests of the City, smoking tires, sliding around corners, and making an impossible route through SF while chasing the 'bad guys' driving a Dodge Charger.

Bud Ekins retired from motorcycle racing in '67, but continued to run his motorcycle dealership and perform stunts in films, from motorcycle gang films ('Hell's Angels 69' - above, in a pic from the sale), to disaster films ('Towering Inferno'), and even James Bond films ('Diamonds are Forever'). When asked later in life which stunt scared him most, he replied, 'Pretty much all of them'. Ekins died October 11, 2007.

Wednesday, October 27

Love 'em

Tuesday, October 26

Fin XS650

Greetings from Finland! So, it’s a 73 XS 650. This build is the second coming of the bike, That’s why the name “Segundo”. The Frame is rigid with 3” strech at the back.

Warning! Don't eat pussy

For years now, doctors have urged young women to be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is believed to cause cervical cancer. But now, growing research in Europe and the United States is implicating HPV in a rising number of cases of head and neck cancers in men, and many doctors are recommending that all boys be vaccinated as well. Doctors say that changing sexual behaviors -- earlier sex, more partners and especially oral sex -- are contributing to a new epidemic of orpharyngeal squamous cell cancers, those of the throat, tonsils and base of the tongue.

These cancers can be deadly, and are striking men at a younger age and in increasing numbers."There's a lag in information," said Dr. John Deeken, a medical oncologist at Georgetown University. "We physicians have done a poor job of advertising the fact that boys and girls should have the vaccine." "This kind of cancer traditionally affects males who have been smoking and drinking all their life, and now in their mid-60s they are getting head and neck cancer," he said. "However, HPV cancer we are seeing in younger patients who have never smoked. "Two decades ago, about 20 percent of all oral cancers were HPV-related, but today that number is more than 50 percent, according to studies published by the American Association for Cancer Research. Similarly high rates have also been seen in Europe, where a new Swedish study has shown a strong correlation between oral cancers and oral sex. Oddly, the rising rates have not been seen yet in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia and New Zealand. This sucks!

Bonneville dreams

For a long time, Jon Rispante of Nevada wanted to build an all-black hot rod Triumph—‘murdered out’, as the hipsters might say. Here’s the result, a combination of three different Triumphs that Jon had sitting around. The pre-unit front end and tank came from a “hodge-podge 1960s T100 that I paid $100 for a decade ago,” says Jon. The rear fender and various other bits came off a ‘66 Bonneville. But the main donor is a 1970 Bonneville, a bike that had “been floating around Las Vegas for years… For a short time, it was even owned by my father.” The Bonnie engine was given a full rebuild, and treated to a TR6 single carb head, Boyer electronic ignition and a MAP Mikuni kit for rideability and reliability. The headlamp is a Model A Ford auxiliary lamp, and the tires are rare NOS Goodyear Super Eagles—19” on the front and 16” rear. Jon wanted a ‘no frills’ look to this bike, so he gave the engine cases and other shiny parts a low-key, brushed aluminum finish.

Monday, October 25

Ezra's Fast Boy

(From the CycleEXIF blog, but my feelings exactly, an inspiration to me, and a craftsman)
If I could place an order for any hand built bike in the world it would be for a Fast Boy. Ezra is one of my all time heroes. He has one of the most beautiful outlooks on life, which has been tempered by an experience that no-one should have to go through. Read his blog for more information on that trial. Needless to say he is an individual who, like the steel he works with, has been tested in fire and, like the bikes he produces, are works of Art in the true sense of the word. Read More »


Sunday, October 24

Purple Erkel

Apothecary specializes in creating medical strains. They have been growing and refining this all-indica variety for five years. Her ancestors have grown in the hills of Northern California for over two decades, where her phenotypes have been known by many different names including Grape Ape, Purple Erkel, and Grandaddy Grape Ape.As an indoor crop, Granddaddy Purple is equally happy in hydro or soil. With a pure indica heritage, this plant is predisposed to a short bushy stature. Granddaddy branches extensively, making her less than ideal for SOG style grows, but she can be trained to make an awesome super crop garden. When left to her natural tendencies, this strain will make a nice big shrub that reaches about 3 feet indoors or up to 8 feet outdoors. She is a hardy grower with tight internodes and dense dark green to purple leaves. Granddaddy Purple is easy to work with throughout her growth cycle. She likes a cool temperature, between 70-80 F, and can be very forgiving so long as she is adequately watered. Due to her high resin output and dense structure, this plant can be alluring to mites.Granddaddy Purple finishes her flowering cycle in 8-9 weeks. The buds are dense green nuggets that gain royal purple hues as they mature. Depending on the size she is allowed to reach, Granddaddy Purple can yield between 0.5 and 3.5 ounces apiece. outdoor plants will really deliver, with potential yields between 8 ounces and 5 pounds.There is a potent, undeniable grape tinge to this plant' aroma, and a sweet grape taste that lingers subtly on the tongue. Granddaddy Purple's effects are enduring, with a smooth even feeling throughout. For an indica, her buzz is surprisingly alert and energetic rather than sedating. This is a good smoke for walking in the high meadows and swimming in the lake afterwards. Medicinally, this varity has given relief to cancer / chemotherapy patients. Granddaddy Purple has taken first prize in no less than four pot competitions: The Inglewood Medical Cannabis Cup in 2004, and the Green Cup in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Sunday night leftovers

Saturday, October 23

Friday, October 22

Friday Funnies

Hamburglar spotted at WalMart

1,000 Pound Cars

For the past six years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has invited automobile designers to participate in its Design Challenges. The challenge for this year’s show was to come up with a design for “a 1,000lb [453.6kg], four-passenger vehicle that is both comfortable and safe, while delivering satisfactory driving performance without sacrificing the styling consumers’ demand.” Entries are being judged not only for meeting the weight constraint (no more than 1,500 pounds/680 kg with passengers), but also for artistic beauty, comfort, uniqueness of design, roadworthiness, sustainability, performance and user-friendliness. The winner will be announced at the show, on Nov. 18. Here’s a look at some of the higher-profile entries... Read More

Radical dude

Madrid-based Radical Ducati is on a roll at the moment, raiding Ducati parts bins from the past twenty years to produce a steady supply of jaw-dropping customs. This latest bike is inspired by racing Ducatis from the 1970s and the ‘monocilindrica’ 450cc. The starting point of was the frame from a 1997 Monster M900, chopped at the back to accommodate a racing-style tail unit. A single-sided swingarm is hooked up to the rear wheel from a 916, while the tank is from a 999. The liquid-cooled engine is from an ST2 Sports Turismo; it breathes through German Wolfman manifolds, with exquisite Laser megaphones attached to the other end. The solo seat is from RD’s RAD02 Cafe Racer—featured on Bike EXIF a year ago—and despite the ragbag of parts, the whole thing hangs together remarkably well. It’s as ‘naked’ as they come, but with a delicious hint of vintage racebike. Fancy one in your garage? [Via RocketGarage. Images by Javier Fuentes.]

Wednesday, October 20

Tuesday, October 19

Ardie 1937 492 cc OHV RBK 505 “ Bergfreund”

Ardie motorcycles were produced in Nurnberg in Germany between 1919 and 1958.The first models were 288, 305 and 348 cc two stroke singles. In September 1922 founder Arno Dietrich had a fatal motorcycle accident when testing one of his machines. The company was then taken over by a mr. Bendit. From the middle of the twenties till the early thirties JAP engines of several types and capacities were employed. Ardies were successful in races, in 1926 they won the TT race in Austria and in 1927 in Hungary. From the early thirties various engines were employed: Sachs, Sturmey Archer, Bark and Küchen and not to forget two stroke engines of Ardie’s own design. This sporty “Bergfreund” is equipped with a Küchen engine that delivers 20 hp @ 4800 rpm. Primary drive is by duplex chain in oilbath to a four speed Hurth gearbox. The machine has dry sump lubrication and the top speed is around 125 km/h.