Ricochetrider's Moto Mojo: Blog http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Ricochetrider's Moto Mojo (Ricochetrider's Moto Mojo) Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:26:00 GMT Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:26:00 GMT Vintage Moto Mojo http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/vintage-moto-mojo Springtime is the time when a man's thoughts turn to love... and of course, motorcycles are pretty well dug into the Love Spectrum. There are two Springtime events in my world which are harbingers of the motorcycling season. One, the AMCA's Perkiomen Chapter Spring meet & swap at Oley, PA has long been THE event of the season, and now another event, the Delaware Valley Norton Riders club's Gathering Of the Nortons at Washington's Crossing, PA has become equally important as a way to welcome in the Season of The Sun.

 

Each of these events happens in mid to late April- usually a week apart or sometimes on the same weekend. The common thread, obviously is motorcycles. Vintage motorcycles, in fact- but there the similarities end. The Gathering (or GOTN) is a one day ride-in event centered around the Norton Motorcycle legacy. Having said that, there is a massive attendance and I've heard estimates of 2000 to 3000 bikes showing up at the GOTN! The main lot is sectioned off for Nortons and vintage bikes, tho beyond the Norton brand bikes, parking is random. Vintage bikes of all varieties, and modern motorcycles of all types are on hand and the eye candy is simply dazzling! Bikes abound in every direction,as far as the eye can see. It's great people watching as well with a diversified crowd of enthusiasts. The GOTN has a mostly urban or suburban feel and vibe. It's a single day deal and the majority of folks hit it and run. Being primarily a British Bike event, draws out a lot of great Brit Iron, as well as a splendid mix of all vintage bikes. 

 

The AMCA meet & swap is a weekend long meet with many much older motorcycles. Just about everything is trailered in, tho us gawkers come and go on our own bikes. Traditionally, the AMCA bunch is pretty strong on American Iron, but this swap is getting more and more diverse, and this year was exceptional- even surprising-  in the diversity and range of bikes on hand. There is also great people watching tho the crowd is typically older and a little more traditional "biker" type folks- tho they are quite friendly and it's easy to talk to people about their bikes and machines. The Oley swap is much more laid back- I go up on Fridays and the crowd does vary from moderately crowded to light attendance. The Oley meet is sprawling and you can walk for hours up and down the various rows of vendors, seeing more and more as folks unpack and "open" for business. The Oley swap  has a much more gentle vibe, as the folks are thee for at least a couple days, and they being largely a set who rides bikes as old as early to mid 1900s, aren't in any particular hurry. 

cool old catThis dude typifies the sport of vibe and feel of the Oley AMCA swap & meet.

   

All in all, this makes for a big bang-up of consecutive vintage and classic motorcycle events.  Each event gets better and better as the years go by. The GOTN is quickly outgrowing itself, so we'll see what the future brings for it, and the AMCA is an old school organization whose events are staples in their annual routine. Each event, between exhibitors and attendees, has plenty for any motorcycling enthusiast, from Brit to American to Euro to Japanese, from the mundane to the exotic, from old to new, and across the spectrum of motorcycling in the 20th & 21st centuries.  

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AMCA Airhead American Antique Biker BritBike Cannonball Chapter Classic Classic Motorcycle Classicbike GOTN GatheringOfTheNortons Harley Henderson MotoJournal MotoMojo Motorcycles Norton Oley Perkiomen Run VintageBikes Washingtonscrossing bike events iron motorcycling http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/4/vintage-moto-mojo Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:21:58 GMT
Life Cycles: What Goes Around Comes Around http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/life-cycles This past November in 2015, on a beautiful & sunny Sunday, was the last day I ever rode my 1993 R100RS. Oh. believe me, I'd have continued to ride it straight into the virtual sunset, if not for the fact that I crashed it that fine day. In doing so, I definitively ended its first life- risking, I suppose, my own in the process. Well, that's Society's standard line of thinking; motorcycling is overtly risky at best; to ride is to laugh in the face of death; every crash, no matter how minor is catastrophic and calamitous.  Not that the crash itself was minor, per se... but you get the point.  Looking back with the perfect 20/20 clarity one gains only in hindsight, perhaps I should have just stayed home, sleeping and maybe eating on 8 November, 2015. But that is neither here nor there, as I did not stay home, eat, or sleep

 

I opted for this:

and this:

In short, it was a fabulous Autumn day. Sunny if not a bit chilly.

I had worked that morning, in fact had been working for a few days in a row. We finished up early and I buzzed out to try to catch my friends Wade & Dave, whom I knew were out riding somewhere. Texting and calling proved fruitless, so I jumped on my bike after leaving VMs and whatnot, hoping to catch up to them at some point. Turns out they eventually stopped to eat and have a beer, then were heading home. Since I was way out in the next county to the north, they on the southern side of the Cumberland Valley, we agreed that maybe I'd catch them later on, over at Wade's or whatever. I carried on, more or less meandering my way south, heading in the vague direction of Wade's.

I eventually ended up coming into Boiling Springs, and was passing near a cemetery where a one-time fiance is buried. Joan died pretty much instantly in a horrific car crash back in January of 1995. One sunny day, she was just suddenly.... gone.  Obviously it was rough going for a while afterwards, but the living live on, dontcha know; I eventually recovered and carried on with life.  Over the years, I haven't spent too much time dwelling on it, but as I rode past that day, I looked up the hill towards where she lies, and got to thinking.  Just wondering, you know, things like "where are you, Joan?", "what if you'd never been killed?", & "where would we be now?".  I guess you could say I was lost in thought- not the most desirable head-space whilst out there all exposed, rocketing through reality, piloting a 500+ pound missile.

The next thing I remember after that is waking up, lying in the road, with well meaning (but somewhat annoying) people flocked around me, holding up fingers, asking questions, and keeping me from focusing on... what.... had.... happened. and pretty much blocking my ability to run my typical systems check. Yes, I have been hurt so badly so many times that I have a "process" which includes a systematic point-by-point rundown of my body, assessing any and all damages.  

Turns out I wasn't too badly injured- I knew my L clavicle was probably fractured and both knees were banged up. But nothing major broken, no large cuts or bleeding, no internal discomfort- so probably no organ damage.  I'm not so much an ATGATT kind of guy, but I do wear protective gear. It had  certainly paid off this day. Later I would find my helmet was scraped and broken on all sides, my boots had scuff marks across the toes, my heavy leather jacket had minor scuffing here and there, and my gloves were barely scuffed at all. The last thing I saw of my bike as they closed the ambulance doors, was its relatively unbroken R side, as a couple folks rolled it off the road.

I didn't put any energy at all into thinking about it, instead opting to text Wade, saying something such as "CRASHED! IN AMBULANCE, HEADING TO HOSPITAL" and beginning to try to get a hold of Cynthia, all while chit-chatting with the EMT.

Wade sent some pix when he, Dave, and Cynthia all got there to pick the bike up.  My once beautify 1993 RS now looked like this:

The bike was damaged far more than I was, thankfully. After a few days of serious R&R, I managed with some help, to get the bike down to my friend Dan's shop. We began the process of stripping off the broken, bent, and twisted bits, to get a view of how badly bent the frame was. After a cursory look, I had already figured the frame to be bent- it was just a question of how bad.  Pretty bad, actually.

Reality set in hard & fast. The bike was woefully under insured, was obviously totaled. I wasn't going to get a dime for it, and I was sort of instantly over it. Dan & I spoke about it, and the possibilities for a rebuild.... but I just wasn't into it, and said as much.  An offer was made,  so without much ado, I decided to sell it to my "airhead guru" buddy who has helped me so much over the years.

Of course that meant a new bike was needed to fill, at the very least, the emotional vacuum
IE gaping hole in my psyche where my fine old RS used to exist. Not to mention the vacant space in the driveway. So, a quickie peep around the World Wide 'hood revealed a 1989 R100RS for sale- and not too awfully far away.

I emailed the guy, just out of curiosity, to ask about the bike. Told him I was more or less looking, just doing a little virtual "tire kicking" while killing time on the mend, as it were. Well. Alan was SUPER nice and sent me a big email with all manner of information- more, in fact, than I ever expected. Amongst the various data & tidbytes was one bit of information that took me by complete surprise. Turns out I am about as sure as I can be that I had looked at this bike several years back, when I first joined the MOA- it was advertised for sale by a Canadian Fellow. My guy bought it, had it for a while and put it up for sale! The story matched exactly the details I recalled from the time(+/- 2007/08), and Mr Ontario or wherever had indeed ridden the bike down, helped with all the Import paperwork and stuff, then flown home. Current seller was selling because he bought a new Super Tenere which usurped a need for any other machine.
(he really isn't any sort of Vintage Bike Nut anyway)

A bunch of chit-chat ensued via email and text. I made a trip to see the thing in person. He & I hit it off, and struck a deal, not only on the bike, but he threw in all manner of "extra stuff" as well!

So, blah blah blah. To cut to the chase, this past Saturday I drove my truck n trailer out there and got the bike. Without further ado, I now present My New Ride:

 

We haven't consummated our relationship just yet, Ive barely managed to get her across the proverbial threshold so far. It being Winter (and currently snowing), it might be a moment until I get out for a ride. But it does go to show that even a blind pig finds the occasional truffle. Life, meanwhile, cycles ever onwards towards its eventual end. I guess it's up to me to hang on and shoot for the checkered flag.

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Airhead BMW Classic Motorcycle Motorcycles R100RS Sport Touring bike crash moto journal http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/2/life-cycles Tue, 09 Feb 2016 16:40:05 GMT
Bird, Advent of the http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/bird-advent-of-the YA KNOW...

this world isn't so big these days, life is often serendipitous,  the BritBike *community* is the pivot point for so much, and life is a circle.
That being said, getcherself a beer, a coffee, or whatever, and sit with me for a minute, while I tell you a tale.

I've been thinking- which in & of itself, admittedly, is dangerous business right there- but I digress. I've been thinking that A: I'd love to sell a couple bikes. B: I kinda miss having a Triumph around, AND C: IF the *right* bike came along, I'd probably buy it. C1: especially if I could combine offing a bike with getting a bike.

So, I've been keeping half an eye peeled, checking the BB.com sales adverts, perusing schmeeBay, sniffing the wind, thinking about Craig and his list, keeping an ear to the ground listening for sounds of distant thunder, you know... all that *stuff* one does when one wants -but not too badly, i mean without urgency- to um, well... make a move on something. This being not completely unlike buzzards waiting for something to die; only slightly more productive and WAY more entertaining. I basically wanted a killer 60s bike, not too old, and definitely not too new- no 70s stuff, fer instance. It had to be special in some way- not your typical bike, nothing that can be seen on every street corner.

Not sure why, but to this end, last night I climbed into bed with the ipad, opened BritBike-dot-com, and went straightaway to the sales pages. Down the list a ways was something about a 60s TR6c or some such, with a link, or item number. That sent me scrambling and scratching. I ended up scrolling Triumphs on the 'bay... and...
lo & behold,
there *it* was- a 1966 Triumph Thunderbird, nearly original, (but not too pristine)
VERY low miles. WITH a great *story* to go along with it:

"I'll tell you this bikes story as i know it..and as it is.....
bike bought new in 1966 by my friends(Tim) previous neighbor,"Big Mike",who i met once
in 1988 to possibly purchase the bike,but he backed out..i dont
know big mikes real name,he was one of those guys who you always would see at every
event involving anything with a motor and he always had something cool.,from a t-bucket hot rod
to a Norton Manx that was sold to Phila legend Ed Labelle who had a Triumph dealership in Philly
where "Big Mike" ordered this bike..people say he traded the manx that was in bad shape for this bike.
He rode it very little and mostly just pushed it out of his garage
on sunny days,polished and waxed it up,rode around the neighborhood,
then wipe it down and put it away..he didnt want to use up the new,it was the
first new motorcycle or car he ever bought new. i mostly remember him riding a KHK Harley
and always being at Orey Steele's Phila, Harley dealer.They would laugh,watching my 126lbs.
ass kick my magneto,iron head 101 times until it would start..
Then in 1973,i was 5 yr old.
he bought a new car for his wife who insisted on using the garage.
So his bike got pushed to the back of the garage,covered in sheets and blankets.
Until his wife pulled in too far and slightly dented the front fender.
"Big Mike" then asked his neighbor who's garage was empty ,if he could put his bike
in his garage so he could take then fenders off to get painted as his wife was too careless to
trust with his bike apart everywhere,, so "Big Mike" put his bike in his neighbors garage,
took off all the sheet metal ,got fenders painted and then wrapped everything in wax paper
and he never got back too it,, there it sat all boxed up in his neighbors garage,,out of sight,out
of mind.. Fast forward to the year 2000 and my friend bought a house in the philly suburbs
right next to "Big Mike",his new house had a great,finished, 2 car garage that contained
"Big Mikes" 1966 Triumph thunderbird 6ta,.. "Big Mike" explained the deal he had with my friends new homes
previous owner and asked if he could still use the garage to finish the bike.My friend said
of course and even built a work bench,,but nothing happened.."Big Mikes" wife passed away and
"Big Mike" soon after and the bike sat until my friend was selling his house in 2006, that had held
the bike since 1973..thats where i came in and got the bike,boxes of parts and all..intending that my friend Tim
and i would put it together..
I parked it next to my 30 other projects and forgot it until now..when the grapevine told me Tim had died
unexpectedly at the age of 46,, i just turned 46,,i knew it was time to put the bike together..so i did.
i rode it 30miles or so,,its everything i thought it would be,, im satisfied.

bought a new battery,bolted up all the new and newly(1973) painted parts and put the bike together
,,it obviously was a little more work then my description,
almost every nut,bolt,bracket,washer,tab was there and intact. the wire harness is original,uncut,
even the battery ends and fuse holder are orginal..the original alluminum wire ties are there.
it came with new exhaust,shocks,etc..
nacelle has damage where bolts go into forks
center stand spring broken,i have the side stand
new petcocks
gas tank caswell sealed
new chain
I never got a title from Tim or mike,,there are services that can easily register it for you.

The bike runs very well,no weird noises,easy to start
new exhaust,front springs,rear shocks.fluids
"


end quote

W.T.F.
Think I slept much last night? Yeah not so much. I had dreams of flying, dreams of strange birds, dreams of anything, dreams of nothing, dreams of everything-  laying awake, night dreaming; these visions and others scrolling across the bedroom ceiling.

In the morning I *asked* the seller a question... one thing led to another...
And I am now down one and up one bike. :sigh

Meanwhile,
back @ El Ranchero...
back @ Le Rancho Grande...
back @ Bruce Wayne Manor...

my *vision* I have been trying (honestly, I keep thinking life would be easier, different, better, if only) to solidify; the one where I get down to *only* so many bikes in the stable?
Wha-? HUH, who me? HEY LOOK A SQUIRREL!

Maybe it just isn't *meant* to be. I mean, who am I to argue with THE UNIVERSE. laughing

SO,
speaking of serendipity... the guy with the bike turns out to be somebody I [kinda] know- Adam, the classic Triumph/motorcycle Liberty VIntage guy from Fishtown, a neighborhood in Philly. I've bumped into him here & there, Mat Smith posted some stuff about him a few years ago here, and he's been involved with some of the TV "bike builder" shows here and there (with little or no positive result, as it turns out). BUT it's not some schlubb with a bogus listing in Bumafuque, Egypt or Timbuk 3, it's a guy RIGHT DOWN THE ROAD. Who I [kinda] KNOW.

After a few emails, and a couple conversations, we came to an agreement, and I think he & I both feel this is 100% copasetic all the way around. Some $$ has been deposited VIA pay pal, and I'm  going to pick the bike up next week.

The "excitement plan" side note, oh-by-the-way bit being of course there's no title, so I'll have to jump thru the typical hoops to get one, no problema.

So. There it all is- serendipity, small world, community, and circles within circles, all rolled up into one big ol
Enchilada Grande.

Thunderbird. I think that's my new Spirit Animal.




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6TA British Twin Classic Motorcycle Thunderbird Triumph vintage bike http://ricochetridersmotomojo.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/3/bird-advent-of-the Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:22:33 GMT