Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I bought this bike a couple of weeks ago. Got it pretty cheap and am trying to get it fully sorted and awesome for under $1000 total cost. It's an old Honda XL 185 that is in pretty rough condition. I probably paid a little too much for it in hindsight, but whatever it's gonna be sweet. (I'll put up more photos of it when I've done what I wanna do to it.)

I've done a bunch of stuff to it already but never had a camera handy until lastnight when I was putting new brake shoes in the rear wheel. So far I've put on a new rear wheel, stripped and cleaned the carb and replaced the needle, and put on a new throttle cable. And then obviously the brakes last night. Unfortunately the brakes still aren't much chop? You can see the old shoes are actually not totally worn out either. Not sure what that's about? All the linkages look ok, but you have to put a lot of weight on the brake peddle to make it slow down (any advice greatly appreciated). It also needs the cam chain done, but I'm gonna get Kevin at KG's to do that for me (he said he'd do it for $80 all up!).

Once it's running all good I'm gonna strip it and paint it. Oh and make a new seat. Gonna cut down that front mudguard too, or find a more old school lookin one? Guards will be black and might paint the tank gold... would love a metal-flake but can you do that at home? Also thinking about the classic coffee sack seat cover...

It's pretty much ready to ride though. I took it up the Port Hills lastnight, up the Bridal Path, which was pretty fucking fun. Esp cause all those tracks are closed since the earthquakes and people getting killed by rocks up there, so there's no one at all around and I was able to really fang about without worrying about anyone coming the other way. Was a bit worried the cops might be waiting for me at the bottom so came back down without the engine running. Seriously good fun! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Watkins Copicat tape echo

Just bought this bad boy off Trademe for $330. Original 1960s tape echo made in England (originally designed by Charlie Watkins in 1958). The guy said this was a MkIII model but I think it's a MkIV, which makes it late 60s. Oscar has one and it sounds amazing, we'll be in outer space in no time... if you don't know what it is look it up. (It has nothing to do with motorcycles... or does it?)

Hope it gets here ok!? It's gotta come down from up north and it is F R A G I L E ... I've had shit like this get damaged in the past. Fingers and legs crossed...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day in The Dirt (or: Sometimes Cars are OK Too)

More proof that despite a number of well known negatives Christchurch is still the best most kick-ass place to live in, possibly, the world. This was on Sunday out at a small dirt track speedway just past Leeston – Ellesmere Speedway perhaps? It's called 'Day In The Dirt' and I was lucky enough to go to the very first one a couple of years ago now. This was the third one. It's a fucking awesome day, mostly because you get to see these old cars, normally the preserve of some property developers pristine jerk-off garage display, get driven like HARD... on a DIRT TRACK. Fuck! It's pretty damn cool if you don't already get what I'm trying to say here... you need to see it. The sound of these old V8s rumblin about the track is something akin to a symphony too. The McCleary and Orpwood clans, who I've only recently discovered through bike night and related shenanigans, made a pretty good showing. One of the Orpwood's cars, No.39, looked seriously bad ass. It was super low and looked like it might fall apart at any minute – truly a work of art. Another car (belonging to the father McCleary I'm pretty sure?) was lined with pages from old porno mags too... all class those McClearys.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

TOMCC Rally Kaiapoi 2013

Went and dropped in on the Triumph Owners Club National Rally out at Kaiapoi on Saturday. Mainly went to catch up with some of the fellas I used to ride with up in Auckland and get some old shorty megaphones off Pete (that I plan to stick on the Thruxton). Got there kinda late though cause we'd heard everyone was riding to the Hurunui pub and so we took off out there, where we sat on our own for two hours without anyone from the rally showing up! Went back to Kaiapoi and realised we'd got bum info, but met up with everyone there anyways. Caught up with Pete the Neighbour, Al and Glenn. But couldn't stay for the night or anything cause Nadz and I were moving house AGAIN... really sick of that shit, need our own place on some vaguely permanent basis at some point real bloody soon!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ride to see Anna Dean

Rode up to Nelson last week to see Anna at her folk's house – Dean's Nursery. Anna's just back from 3 months in India, and her mum had grown this amazing wild flower garden. I haven't been to Dean's Nursery for 5 years we all realised, and I've gotta make sure I go back more often. I love it up there! The ride up and then back down through the mountains of the Lewis Pass was totally amazing. Bugger all traffic, beautiful country, and some of the biggest fastest sweeping bends around. Luckily I avoided the fuzz pretty much just by chance both days! I got back just in time to swap the Thruxton for the Norton and head into Bike Night at Smash Palace on that. There was a 'Master Class' on which featured Keith McLeod and his 80 year old AJS racer. Keith gave us all the low down on patina, which he was fairly passionate about to say the least. I couldn't stick around too late cause I'm still living in Akaroa and wanted to get back before dark... which I didn't. Because it's been so hot lately they've been dumping gravel and grit all over the big hill before you get to Akaroa – it's a fucking mess. Better for cars I guess, but lethal to motorcyclists... another big old 'fuck you' to us all from the powers that be.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I just received this far out little package in the mail the other day from Canada, and I just have to say something about it here. 'Motorcycho' is a motorcycle zine like I always imagined a motorcycle zine should be. In my mind it kicks every other zine/magazine's butt. Why? Because it's content heavy. Well actually each issue is pretty slim, clocking in at 36 pages, but it is full to the brim with writing! Yes. Shit I want to read. Sure I love flicking through any glossy motorcycle porn rag, but I always find it's over way too quick! Motorcycho is a lady who needs time, needs woo-ing, needs to be read. Fuck that's up my alley anyway. Especially when the writing is as hands-down fucking funny as a lot of it is in here – "This bike has got to get not on fire, and I guess it's gonna hafta be us what does it." (Issue #24 page 13)

Motorcycho is a bit like HFoS in that there's no preoccupation or snobbery around any specific sort of bikes, there's plenty of cheap Jap bikes in there with your Harley's and your Brit shit. Everyone in Motorcycho is having fun... with bikes, and writing about it from the heart. There's also a bunch of music cross-over stuff, and it's all up my alley as well – issue #25 has a story about a guy riding a piece of shit CB350 to Portland to see The Mummies play! Holy fuck!

Norman McFuzzybutt is the man behind the madness and he's been doing this for 15 years! Now I've never met the dude but he's obviously a righteously good chap, and I'd highly recommend ya'll to order up any back issues he might happen to still have available. See all issues here – although I don't know what's still available? Norman also runs a blog here. Check it all out and order some issues. They're small, so good for on the bus when your piece of shit Norton lets you down yet again, or keep them right next to the toilet for some quality quiet time.

Cheers Norman!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finishing, posting, ...

Getting back from Melbourne for the Chch launch me and Nadine got stuck into gluing in the patches in these little library-card sleeves that Stuart sourced. I then have been spraying all the covers with fixative just to make them less likely to smudge and get all over people's hands. This was quite time-consuming, but again kinda fun and meditative... or maybe that was just the aerosols?

Since then we've been doing some BULK mailing! I got an HFoS return address stamp made that not only looks cool, but makes this all a lot faster/easier. I have this funny thing about handwriting all the addresses... I know it's impractical, but this isn't a practical project now is it. We had to employ some 'expert' help (above) for the Japanese addresses after I buggered them up real good!

We're totally caught up with orders now, so anyone who has ordered one you should get it soon if you haven't already. Some of the international ones that I've sent (from NZ) may take a week or two to get to you, but hang in there eh. It's a great feeling sending them off all over the world to some pretty far away and strange sounding places... God only knows how you people even know about our shitty little mag?