Sometime back we told you about Vern and Pete who were planning a 'Buy Us A Pint' ride from John O'Groats to Lands End non-stop, in aid of the Welsh Motorcycle Show fund. Well, congratulations to the dynamic duo who completed the ride in 19 hours, and then - as you can see - went on to party at the Ogri rally (Vern on far left, Pete on the right)! You can find out more about fund-raising efforts and latest news on the WMS at Rag Cymru.
This year's Bulldog Bash may have been more successful than Ass Chief Con Bill Holland could ever have dreaded, but the fight doesn't end there. Warwickshire police has already stated its intention to stop the Bulldog, and will be attempting to fulfil that ambition next year. The fight doesn't start at the next Bulldog, or the month before; it begins now. Martin McCormack has launched an online petition at the web site of the Prime Minister's office, requesting that the policing policy for the event is examined. You can add your support by signing it HERE.
A Chinese man has been arrested for stealing a motorcycle in a theft that took him five years.
Zhang, an assembly line worker in a motorcycle factory, wanted a bike but couldn’t afford one. So, in a plot line straight out of the Johnny Cash song, ‘One Piece At A Time’, in 2003 he started stealing parts from the factory’s warehouse until he had enough to assemble a complete bike.
Alas, he’d overlooked the fact that he had no paperwork for the bike or even a driving licence. The police stopped him on one of his very first rides out and charged him with theft. He was fined the equivalent of £440, put on probation for a year and made to give the bike back to the factory.
A little treat for a Tuesday morning in the shape of these photos of the 'New Look' Show for professional builders, held in Kobe, Japan, last weekend. Huge thanks to Adam Loft who is based out in Japan and who sent us these photos. Enjoy.
In a Florida courtroom a few minutes ago, Billy Lane of Choppers Inc was sentenced to six years in prison and three years probation in connection with the September 4th 2006 crash that left Sebastian Inlet park ranger Gerald Morelock dead. His driving licence has also been suspended for life.
Lane was immediately handcuffed and escorted from the courtroom.
Those of you who live in the North East, or who are planning to head there for Stormin’ The Castle in September, might be interested in new safety measures aimed at minimising the danger posed to motorcyclists by road barriers.
Durham County Council is installing a new style of roadside crash barrier on the A689, close to Killhope Lead Museum in Weardale. These new barriers are fitted with a mesh at the bottom which is designed to absorb the energy of a bike rider hitting it, and thus preventing them from striking the barrier upright, one of the main causes of serious or fatal injuries. (A recent report found motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in a crash than car occupants and 15 times more likely if they hit a barrier.)
The new device is called Biker-Safe and is manufactured by Dudley company, Signpost Solutions. It is, according to the firm, ‘the only system designed for motorcyclist collision safety that is energy absorbent and as such is less likely to pose an injury threat than other ‘solid’ lower barrier devices currently available for this specific purpose’. If the initial trial proves successful, Durham Council intends to install the barrier in other parts of the county.
And, if you are going to Stormin’, you can check the new barrier out for yourself (just visually, please – no seeing how well it does absorb an impact!) as the event run this year will be heading to Killhope Museum.
Just to prove that you can build a bike that is rideable and win a World Championship (although Roger Goldammer's made that clear in the past!), here's this year's winner, Dave Cook of Cook Customs, on 'Rambler's shakedown run.
We've just received this press release from the Bulldog Bash:
Bash organisers challenge chief constable - show us yours and we’ll show you ours!
After a hugely successful and safe Bulldog 23, the organisers and HAMC are angry and disappointed with comments by Warwickshire’s Chief Constable about the event. For the 23rd year in a row the show passed off without any serious incident - this was IN SPITE of the huge policing operation outside, not BECAUSE of it as claimed by Mr Keith Bristow. Once again the police have wasted a huge amount of taxpayers' money on a totally unnecessary and unwanted operation which led to just eleven arrests.
The show has an excellent safety record – and one that’s been praised in the past by the police themselves. That record was built up over twenty years when the police presence outside the site was minimal, so it baffles us how Mr Bristow can now claim credit for this year’s safe and successful show.
The chief constable has challenged us to 'open our books' to show where the money goes. As he should know, as a limited company we are required to file our records with the relevant agencies every year. This has been done, and perhaps Warwickshire police should have checked them before making wild and unfounded allegations about organised crime.
There’s also a clear case of double standards here. Mr Bristow is asking us to 'open our books' – they’ve never been closed - but seems reluctant to tell Warwickshire taxpayers details of his own bonuses, an issue now taken up by the local MP.
We have already rejected the police claims about organised crime. They’ve been asked to come up with evidence to support these allegations at three licence hearings and have failed to do so. We are as disappointed as Mr Bristow that he had to deliver “a policing operation on this scale”- it wasn’t needed or wanted by either showgoers or the local community which has always supported the ‘Bash. As for 'fundraising for organised crime', the only fundraising is by the local Rotary Club and Help for Heroes - who this year raised £10,072 on site, twice as much as last year..
The Hells Angels is not a 'designated organised crime group' in the UK, as claimed by Mr Bristow, and we will be seeking legal advice on this and the other unfounded allegations made recently by Warwickshire Police.
Our thanks go to all who came this year, and to the people of Stratford for their continued support. We look forward to Bulldog 24 .
It’s shaping up to be one of those weeks where all you can do is shake your heads and mutter, ‘Oh, for feck’s sake, get a life…’
The Advertising Standards Agency has just banned an advert for clothing company, Fat Face, because – shock, horror – its new catalogue features people modelling clothes while riding on quad and motorcycles and not wearing head protection. Actually, as you can see from the picture here, ‘posing’ would be a more accurate description than ‘riding’. But one person was sufficiently devoid of a life that they felt the need to complain to the ASA, declaring that the catalogue was acting irresponsibly because the pictures implied it was safe and legal not to wear a helmet. No matter that those photos might have been taken on private ground, or Arizona or New Mexico or countless other places that don’t have helmet laws. No matter that it’s a posed photo, not real life. Oh no, the ASA declared; “We considered that these images were irresponsible and likely to be seen to be condoning unsafe practices.”
Those of you who attended this year’s Bulldog Bash can not fail to have been aware of the police presence outside the site – it was pretty difficult to ignore the stop and search set-up in the lay-by opposite the entrance to the Shakespeare County Raceway. Over the four-day operation, 450 officers and staff from Warwickshire police and five other surrounding forces were on duty EACH day.
And the result? 448 people searched and just eleven arrested. Three of those arrests were for previous offences or warrants (robbery and fraud, respectively), and six on suspicion of drugs offences. A total of nine lock knives were surrendered.
Yes, nine knives. Four days, hundreds of thousands of pounds, the cost of 1800 police shifts and the end haul? Nine lock knives.
Congratulations to Dave Cook of Cook Customs, Milwaukee, in winning the title of World Champion of Custom Bike Building at Sturgis last week. The first American to win the title in the six years since the competition started, Dave had previously won fourth place in both 2007 and 2008, and now has consolidated his position as most successful Yank with the top prize.
Perhaps more surprisingly, the victorious bike, ‘Rambler’, isn’t a Harley, but instead a 550cc ‘International’ – like the rest of the bike, created by Dave whose last build, the Nickel Bike, was featured in BSH a few months ago.
Runner-up was Kris Krome’s Triumph T120 ‘Re-flex-tion’, a bike considerably more trick than might first appear (although I’m not sure I’d want to ride it), and in third place – always the bridesmaid and never the bride with his third 3rd place in this contest – was Freddie Bertrand of Krugger Motorcycles.
For the very first time, America dominated the top ten with seven of those places. Possibly a sign of the economic times with less foreign builders able to afford to take part, it could also be said that it was about time that the host country started to make an impact on the competition. With no UK entry this year, we’re claiming Don Cronin’s gorgeous ‘Medaza’ Moto Morini as our own (and it was featured in BSH 303). Don took 18th place, beating the likes of JRL Cycles and Roland Sands.
We’ll be bringing you a full report on the World Championship in a future BSH.
Well, despite the best effort of Ass Chief Con Bill Holland, this year’s Bulldog Bash was bigger, better and more successful than ever.
Attendance was far greater than last year – heading towards 25000 people at the last count – and with Friday and Saturday having blazing hot weather, the drag strip was running like wildfire. None more so than Eric Teboul who set a new world record on his hydrogen peroxide-powered rocket bike on Friday, covering the quarter mile in 5.48 with an ETA of 233mph. Then, on Saturday, he broke that record into pieces, setting a new record of 5.30 seconds at 243mph. Martin Hill set a new track record in the Fireforce jet Funny Car – 282mph, 5.9 seconds, quarter mile covered. Wow.
The custom show was celebrating its 10th anniversary and it was the best yet, with more entries of higher quality and greater diversity than ever before. I was absolutely delighted with the turn out – thank you to everyone who brought along bikes and trikes, and special congratulations to Vic Jefford of Destiny Cycles who scooped Best Paint, Runner Up Engineering and the big one, Best of Show.
It was great to see not only so many local people, but many of the Stratford-upon-Avon councillors who came along to see the event. The support of the local council and community has been invaluable, and it’s very much appreciated.
And Motorhead? They were loud. Very loud.
More later – but your trusty correspondent needs some sleep!
Most people are aware that, once again, the Warwickshire Police under the leadership of Ass Chief Con Bill Holland will be mounting a large police presence on the approaches to the Shakespeare County Raceway. If you get stopped, remember, grace under pressure.
This is the advice from the Bulldog Bash itself:
Bulldog Bash 2009 – Stop and Search There is to be a Stop and Search Operation at this year’s Bulldog Bash. This is being undertaken by Warwickshire Police, under the direction of ACC Bill Holland. Warwickshire Police have not informed, discussed, or consulted with the Bulldog Bash organisers on any part of this operation. We believe this operation is completely unnecessary - it is discriminatory and a direct attack on our lifestyle and our right to free assembly.
We wish to offer advice to people coming to this year’s show, and to reassure you that the show itself will run as normal; we do not foresee any problems at the event – again, as normal.
Please do not let this operation stop you going out and visiting Stratford, the local area and its attractions. Local businesses and residents welcome you and have shown the Bulldog Bash a lot of support.
If you are stopped by the police on your way to or from the show please do not get abusive or obstructive - The Officers are just doing a job and following orders. Obstructive and abusive behavior will only play in to the hands of ACC Bill Holland and be used to justify his actions.
If you do feel your rights have been violated by any action the police have taken or feel you have been intimidated, please call at the Bulldog Bash information hut on-site, where advice will be given.
We again thank the biking community and the people in and around Stratford for their continued support Yet again we call on the police to work with us and other agencies - as they have in the past - to make sure Bulldog 23 is safe and successful.
You can also find out more (and print it out and take a copy with you) about the police's powers (or lack of) by visiting the information section of the Bulldog web site.
In an effort to cut the number of motorcycle deaths and injuries in Perth and Kinross, the local police, safety camera partnership, council and fire service have produced special free maps which are aimed at giving in-depth information on two routes – the Strathtay route, a 123-mile round trip covering Perth, Crief, Killin, Pitlochry and Blairgowrie, and the 102-mile route which also includes Perth but goes via Milnathort, Dunkeld and Auchterarrder. The maps highlight particular road hazards, petrol stations and speed cameras, as well as giving advice on training courses and ways to ride safely. Since 2000, more than half of the 840 motorcycle collisions in Tayside have occurred in Perth and Kinross, resulting in dozens of deaths and life-changing injuries.
Every now and then the Blog will be running a motorcycle that we’ve spotted and really liked, and kicking this occasional series off is this little 1960 Triumph T120, spotted by roving reporter, Jack Blurbness, at the Hemsby Rock & Roll Weekend in May.
‘Fast Eddie’ Robson has owned the 650cc Trumpet for something over 18 months, although he only really got round to riding it at the beginning of the year. Originally from ‘somewhere up North’, it belonged to Fast Eddie’s mate, Andy. But Eddie had fallen in love with the bike, and persuaded him not to sell it to anyone else. Andy was true to his word and turned away a cash buyer while Eddie was selling his Intruder to raise the money (and, as he's a doorman at rock 'n' roll events all over the country, the Triumph is far more in keeping with his image than the Suzuki!)
So far, Eddie has done nothing to change the bike, although he says he will one day … probably. Then again, if it was yours, would you want to change a thing about it? Except, possibly, those red grips…
Steve ‘Doc’ Hopkins of Wisconsin, USA, set out for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota yesterday with the certain knowledge that his bike will be not only the only one of its kind there, but will also be the most unusual bike at Sturgis this year.
That’s unless someone else has built a 24-foot-long, 10-seater bike with seven engines, and we’re fairly sure that no-one else has been daft enough to do that.
Hopkins’ bike features seven different engines spanning Harley-Davidson’s history from 1909 – when the Motor Company produced its first V-twin – to the present day, and Hopkins describes it as a rolling history of Harley’s engines.
But building multi-seater Harleys is nothing new to the American H-D dealer; last year he built a five-seat, four-engined Harley called the ‘Four-Tee-Five’ (due to the fact that it used a quartet of 45 ci flathead motors) and rode it in Harley’s 105th anniversary parade in Milwaukee.
The new machine has been named ‘The Timeline’, and uses a 1909 JD motor along with 1944 Flathead, 1946 Knucklehead, 1948 Panhead, 1981 Shovelhead,1993 Evolution and 2005 Twin Cam engines. However, Hopkins says that, on the way to Sturgis, only the Twin Cam will be used on long stretches, explaining that, “the heat from each motor would hurt the other motors, and all the motors are just for show”, although he does add that all seven engines do run.