Monday, January 18, 2016

Norton Commando update...

Haven't posted any photos of this for a while cause I was waiting until I was more-or-less happy with it... that and just haven't been in the right kinda mood. I'm sorta getting quite sick of custom motorcycles... for a bit anyway. My Facebook feed and Instagram etc, it's all I ever see, and I'm sick of it. All the bikes look the same now and I dunno but I think I'm just finding it really boring. That said, I'm feeling fairly happy with where my Commando is at... EXCEPT the side covers. I'm gonna strip and repaint them just plain glossy black. I HATE the decals I made for them... as soon as I put them on I realised they look too 'gang-y', and fuck that. I am happy with the tank though, even after a good ribbing from various friends about how I should have got it hand painted, I'm pleased I stuck to my guns and made these decals at school. I won't go into it too much except to say that (like the whole custom bike thing I guess) the hand-painting thing has just started to seem a bit 'twee', a bit 'dinky', and actually too 'crafty' for me. As a graphic designer and NOT an illustrator, I'm more into mechanical reproduction, so this suits me and my schitck I guess. Beyond the decals I'm happy that I've kept the Commando fairly straight. The mods are very 'light', I haven't cut the frame or anything, and all the original bits can be put back on at a moments notice (when I get bored). I like that it looks a bit like it could maybe have come out like this? And it suits my riding better now too, I like to sit a little lower and feel more part of the bike now. That and I just like the way it's looking.. it suits my mood.

I took these photos in the weekend when I was replacing the oil line that runs up to the rockers. Unfortunately the lower banjo bolt had been RTV'd in though and it fell right out as soon as I loosened it, so now I've got the timing cover off for a helicoil or something? Shouldn't be long off the road though and I'm looking forward to riding this to Wellington in March for the Mummies gig there!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cheap Thrills Magazine (book?)

I've been buried in *other things* things lately and motorcycles haven't had a look in, as they say. Tried to get my norton tank sorted for the Smash Palace show but failed when at about 3am the night before I realised that the tank cap I had wasn't gonna fit. Anyway I thought I'd chuck this project up here cause it's what I've been busting my chops on lately...

This is Cheap Thrills, essentially a music zine/journal which was proposed to me by Erin Kimber and which I've (probably foolishly) jumped on board with as sort of an editor, but more designer/printer... and also somehow; collator, binder, trimmer... sheesh, good idea!? Nah it's been awesome, even though it almost killed me getting it ready for the launch on Saturday! One of my students, Luke Shaw, has worked tirelessly on this with me also and he deserves a decent handshake and a few free beers.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Hex Waves Halloween Show!

Hey my band the Hex Waves are playing a Halloween show at our favourite motorcycle bar, Smash Palace, this Saturday! Get dressed up, dig up your ghoulfiend, and see ya there!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Smash Palace Motorcycle Show Posters

Haven't done fuck-all bike related lately except this! The poster for the next Smash Palace Motorcycle Show. I designed and printed this sucker on our risograph at the Ilam Press last week. This year the show's on out at New Brighton and it's on November the 21st.

I'm planning to have the Norton done for the show, not that I expect it to be winning anything, but just because it's a good deadline! I don't really have much to do, just make decals, get tank and side-covers clear coated, and make mounts for the front of the tank. Should be easy enough, just need some TIME!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Flexidiscs for issue #4 are here!!!

They're here! 1000 copies of the flexidisc for the next issue of Head Full of Snakes. Thanks so much to Tacoma band Girl Trouble for this one. Now we have the flexis in hand we will be making plans to produce this issue (given the wait for them last time, we thought we'd chill til we had these!). Thinking we'll be looking at a November launch at the moment, maybe as part of the Smash Palace Motorcycle Show? Dunno? I'll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

$100 bike!

Scored this old XL185 for $100 a couple of weeks back. I had my other one out at the vmx racing and this older guy, Willy, came up and mentioned he had one at home that he was keen to get rid of. I wasn't that keen until he said it went ok and he'd give it to me for $100! Sweet. So yeah went and grabbed it. Willy's a good guy, I must go back for a cuppa' sometime. Anyway here she is... pretty rough – obviously! But it actually runs really bloody well. I'm gonna do it up a bit, I've already got a new seat (from KG for $40!) and new handlebars and levers etc. There's a bunch of nuts and bolts missing – not hard to replace. And I'll tidy the tank up and paint it. The tank looks bad but inside it has no rust at all! I need to get a muffler sorted. At the moment the header runs into that box on the side you can see in the bottom picture there, and Willy's stuffed it full of steel wool or something. Keen to get a muffler like what's on my other XL cause it sounds fuckin awesome. Anyway all going well – and my biggest problem at the moment is being totally swamped at work – I may have this ready for the next race day? Which would be good as I think I've killed the gearbox on my other one at the last race!?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Norton Commando Evening Wear

Got my Hi Rider tank and other set of side-covers back off Marty last week. This is the tank I got from India fucking aaaaages ago now, see it when I got it here. And also here it is with Marty last year when he was helping me out with the seat pan. So yeah it's been a long time coming and I was pretty stoked to get a text from Marty last week saying "come get it!"

I've procrastinated for ages over all of this but I'm real fuckin' happy with the plain old gloss black actually. I'd thought about all sorts a shit, even a metal flake, but yeah I dig the gloss black a lot. I'm also happy I didn't chop this bike more. I like the 'mild' customization job I'm doing on this – a light touch! I kinda like that it sorta looks like it coulda' come out like this?

There's still a bit of shit to do. The tank's just sitting on there at the moment. I'm going to make up some decals – not sure what yet – and then when they're on, take it back to Marty for another beautiful thick coat of gloss. I'm going to have to rethink the mounting as I want it to sit higher than normal too...

And yes the white handlebar grips will be going. Maybe onto the Triumph?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

HFoS vs VMX Chch

Wow it's been a while. I've been busy as hell since returning to work and I've also been trying to aclimatize to the winter here! Anyway I've been squeezing a bit of motorcycle related activity in...
A week or so ago now me and some of the lads went vintage motocross racing. We'd met a guy out at the rained-out Day in the Dirt event and he'd told us about these motocross meets that happen. They're organized by some local club who's name I can't quite remember right now? But yeah Bad Evil got the info for us, we all got up real early, dragged our shitty dirt bikes out of the sheds and headed for this field somewhere out off West Coast Road...

And what a day! The weather was great for start. That helped. The four of us who went had a great time even though none of us have ever done anything like this before. In fact we're all fairly new to dirt bikes at all! So I guess it was all kinda freaky at times, especially since we were the slowest there by miles, and we had what looked like 10 year old kids flying past us on 400ccKTMs and stuff like that!? We were supposed to be in classes, but they didn't seem to be too anal about that. It was kinda a free-for-all it seemed? Although we definitely avoided the modern big-cc races. Shit were they faaaaassssst. Anyway I made this stupid movie... I always use the go pro and then can't be fucked editing it together!? Mainly I just made this for the boys to see, but thought I might as well chuck it up here. It's kinda embarrassing I guess, but there you have it, our first day out VMXing... have I mentioned the week worth of all-over-body-pain that came afterwards?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Last Ride.

So here we are at the end. The last ride. As if the universe empathized with my state of mind I woke up to cloudy skies and a forecast of rain. Great. I packed everything in plastic bags and headed out of Kernville expecting to get wet. The sky was grey and you could smell it wanting to rain. It didn't yet though and I pulled off the road at Lake Isabella to hoon around in the dirt a bit for one last time. I considered unloading the bike and really going for it, but I got worried that it'd be stupid to drop it right at the end of the trip, right before I wanna sell it. Also I realized I was being watched by a ranger. I got back onto the road and headed for Bakersfield, which Warren had raved about after he went there with Connie.

The road to Bakersfield was actually pretty cool. Later on Tucker told me there was a better, more twisty and remote one I could have taken. But considering what I was expecting – long straight roads, traffic, and rain – it was all good. The road was full of sweeping bends, there was hardly any traffic, and it didn't rain! I got to Bakersfield and rode around aimlessly for a bit trying to remember what Warren had told me was good about the place. I remembered something about the 'Buck Owens bar' and also a guitar store...

What a bloody goldmine! Front Porch Music in Bakersfield is awesome. Almost like a museum. It was hard on me though as I was on a motorcycle and also very close to totally broke. Hence I didn't actually spend very long there at all... I couldn't handle the temptation. Check out that Sunn stack!!! And just so many guitars. I coulda stayed there all day, but I would've ended up remortgaging the house and buying half the place.

I hit the road pretty quickly, partly because Bakersfield had a bit of a weird vibe, kinda dero', but also because it was really looking like it was gonna piss down. Big black clouds had been following me there and I thought if I took off again I could stay ahead of them...

It sort of spat a little here and there, but I got back to LA without getting wet at all really. When I arrived back at the Tucker compound James and Colleen were just about to tend to their bees, but James had been working on Joe's yellow DR. It looked amazing, like a new bike almost. The engine was spotless. I was amazed. It was funny seeing Joe's bike again, I'd really dug riding on my own but I sorta missed the boys again now.

I now had a week to spend in LA visiting people and doing work related stuff. Half way through the week these two young Norwegian guys showed up (you can follow their trip on ADVRider here) to begin their full year long trip. It kinda sucked watching them getting ready to go as I was only days away from returning to my real life – work, shitty house, terrible weather etc. They were great guys though and we had a good time all hanging out with the Tuckers. The day before we all were about to go our separate ways the Tuckers took us for a ride up into the mountains behind LA and to a great bar/restaurant called Newcombe's. It was an amazing and fast ride up into the mountains, and we were lucky enough to catch the last ten laps of the Spanish MotoGP there too.

We rode back to LA via a bunch of back roads that I can't remember and visited the San Andreas Fault. This seemed an appropriate way for me to end my trip given that I'm returning to a city that was all but destroyed by an earthquake 4 years ago now. Back in Christchurch things are feeling pretty grim to be honest. It's colder than I'd been expecting, work's stressing me out again already, the house needs soooo much work, and my sister's new dog died while I was away. So I set up a new account and put $600 in it towards the next trip... until then, it'll be back to business as usual around here I guess.