Apparently, it's the 150th anniversary of the Jack Daniels Distillery, so Indian Motorcycles has teamed up with the world famous purveyors of popular and palatable poison to create the Indian Chief Vintage custom.
The charity campaign is Operation Ride Home. It's a joint venture between Indian and Jack Daniels designed to provide holiday travel assistance and sundry funding for US service personnel looking to get a little time off combat duty (or whatever) and spend time with their families and suchlike.
The Jack Daniels Chief Vintage was formally unveiled at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction which started on January 23rd 2016 and will run until 31st January 2016.
The bike, by way of Daytona Bike Week (4th - 13th March 2016), will then travel on to Las Vegas where it will be auctioned on a (so far) unspecified date in October 2016.
Meanwhile, Indian is looking to build a limited number of Jack Daniels Chief Vintage motorcycles. But there's nothing really unique or special about this bike except the livery which includes the names of seven master distillers painted on the front fender.
The custom work, such as it is, was handled by Brian Klock at Klock Werks Kustom Cycles of Mitchell, South Dakota (see image immediately above) which has the following message on its website:
DRIVEN BY VISION. FUELED (sic) BY PASSION. LEADING THROUGH INNOVATION.
Who WE are…We exist to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with superior quality, innovative, power sports products.
What WE do…We provide our dealers and team members with opportunities in business and life which are profitable, positive and fueled (sic) with passion.
How WE will do it…We will exceed our customers’ expectations with a commitment to respect, honesty and teamwork.
So there you have it. When you've got God on your side, how can you fail? But before you get down on your knees, make sure you check this message from Dave Stang, Jack Daniels' Director of Events and Sponsorships:
“This one-of-a-kind motorcycle is the perfect pairing of these two classic American brands, and while they look great together, we’ve inscribed this unique collector’s edition masterpiece with our ‘Bottles and Throttles Don’t Mix’ mantra to remind all our friends that drinking and riding are meant to be enjoyed separately.”
Now, does that sound a little duplicitous to you?
You decide. Meanwhile you can watch out for the forthcoming Indian Smith & Wesson (but please don't mix biking and murder), the Indian Marlboro (but please don't mix biking with lung-cancer), and the Indian Guantanamo (but please don't mix biking and illegal human incarceration on a remote military base on the nether end of Cuba even if your name is Obama).
We've got a reputation to uphold, ya know?
— Sam 7
Everyone calls the band "The Eagles", including most of the press, the world's DJs and the marketing departments of numerous record companies. But the rightful name, according to co-founder and co-songwriter Glenn Frey who has died aged 67, is simply "Eagles".
Certainly, if you check out the early album covers, the name of the group is displayed simply as Eagles rather than The Eagles. That aside, the death of Frey on 18th January 2016 represents for many a final dissolution of one of the most popular bands of the 1970s—albeit not without some heavyweight detractors.
The musical partnership of Glenn Frey and Don Henley was always the lynchpin of the group. The band was founded in 1971 when Frey and Henley (plus Randy Meisner and Bernie Leadon) were working as backing musicians for singer Linda Ronstadt.
The following year, the band's first (eponymous) album was recorded at Olympic Studios, London, England. That album produced three hit singles: Take it Easy; Witchy Woman; and Peaceful Easy Feeling.
These songs instantly set the tone and mood for the album Desperado that arrived the following year and further lit the fuse for dozens of new bands hitching their musical wagons to this pioneering close-harmony/subtle country-rock ballad sound.
Desperado gave the world Outlaw Man and Tequila Sunrise, but is probably best remembered for the track Desperado which was intended to head-up what was supposed to be a western concept album (hence the cowboy gear in the image immediately above). That album also provided the song Doolin' Dalton. But conceptually speaking, the project quickly fell short of expectations and was undeveloped. Regardless, over two million copies were quickly sold.
If these two albums were murder weapons, Don Henley and Glen Frey's fingerprints would be all over them and they'd be found guilty of being nothing less than world class country rock songwriters. But even then, a new perspective was emerging; specifically that the sound of the band was just a little too slick, a little too smooth, a little too polished to be taken seriously. And more than one rival group took a sidelong swipe.
Supposedly, the famous line in the hit song Hotel California...
"They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast..."
...is a reference to Steely Dan who, it's said, resented being compared to the sound conjured up by Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Co, and fired off one or two disparaging comments.
The story might be true, or it might be myth. Nevertheless, the public (mostly) disagreed with the critics and was ready and waiting for On the Border which arrived in 1974 and which sold another two million copies. The most notable tracks on this disc were, arguably, James Dean and Best of my Love.
Come 1976, the band hit a new high with One of These Nights. This album sold four million copies and yielded three top ten hits: One of These Nights; Lyin' Eyes, and Take It to the Limit.
Hotel California arrived in 1976, and eventually sold an incredible 32 million copies worldwide. Three hit singles were drawn from the album; New Kid in Town, Hotel California, and Life in the Fast Lane.
In 1979, The Long Run was released. Hit singles include: Heartache Tonight and I Can't Tell You Why.
Some critics would say that by now, the creative wheels were falling off this wagon, but the band still had plenty of momentum, and the album nevertheless (ultimately) sold around seven million copies and consolidated the band's position as one of the top rock acts in the USA, and easily capable of filling stadiums worldwide.
Throughout this period, drugs, police arrests and negative press were an increasingly wearying component of the band's collective persona. And by 1980, it was all over bar the inevitable comeback. And that comeback happened in 1994 with the Hell Freezes Over World Tour.
The final album was The Long Road Out of Eden which was released in 2007. There was by now a different line-up to the original members, and it was an older and more mature Glenn Frey and Don Henley at the helm, both of whom had fewer fingerprints over the recorded material. Nevertheless, much of the old magic was still there. But naturally, it wasn't the same. But then, what is?
Glenn Frey was born in Detroit, Michigan. While his parents worked in the auto industry, a young Frey worked on the piano and then, having been inspired by The Beatles, moved on to the guitar. He was a member of numerous bands in the Detroit area before relocating to Southern California where he became close friends with Don Henley and long-time musical collaborator and guest performer Jackson Browne.
It was there that Glen Frey (pictured above left with Don Henley) further developed his vocal lead and harmony skills and became heavily involved in the production of the band's albums. He co-wrote most of the group's material and played numerous instruments on all of the albums. He was also a painter, and he took on some TV acting roles, perhaps most notably in the US TV series Miami Vice and Nash Bridges.
For many fans, the band never really found its sound until Joe Walsh appeared in 1975 when he replaced Bernie Leadon and helped introduce a harder rock sound as, perhaps, an antidote to the softer country tones that preceded his involvement. But either way, the heart of the band was, as most will agree, always Don Henley and Glen Frey.
Glenn Frey's over-indulgence in drugs and alcohol is said to have contributed to his death. He is survived by his wife, a daughter, and two sons.
Last summer, the BBC commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to explore the dangers of wearing a helmet camera with regard to a variety of users including skate-boarders, cyclists, climbers, and motorcyclists. The report has recently been published, and the results may or may not surprise you. The bottom line is that if your mandatory crash helmet can't protect you from a Go Pro, it makes you wonder what use it will be when your noggin collides with piece of street furniture or the business end of the average family hatchback.
Check our Sump Motorcycle News, January 2016 story for more on this gripping nonsense...
— Del Monte
This award, we hear, doesn't come around often, and it ain't handed out lightly. But the RAC has recently pressed it into the hands of Triumph supremo John Bloor for the firm's outstanding contribution to the motorcycle industry.
It's called the Diamond Jubilee Trophy. It was launched in 1957 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Royal Automobile Club. It marks excellence in land, air, and sea. The last recipient was Scottish entrepreneur Sir Richard Noble. He carried off the award in 1998 having successfully sent ThrustSSC crashing through the sound barrier on 15th October 1997 and racking up 763mph. It was a new Land Speed Record. Earlier, in 1983, Noble had taken Thrust2 to a record 633mph.
Other recipients of the trophy include Sir Christopher Cockerell (inventor of the hovercraft), and The British Aircraft Corporation & Aerospatiale (France) for the development of Concorde.
That's Bloor centre stage holding the trophy. It was handed to him at a ceremony at the RAC HQ in Pall Mall, London on 12th January 2016. This 100 year old club is "one of London's finest private members clubs", so unless you've got a lot of zeroes in your name, you can't get in let alone carry a membership card.
On receipt of the trophy, Bloor's been quoted as saying:
“I am delighted to accept this trophy on behalf of all the staff at Triumph Motorcycles. From the design department in Hinckley, to our global manufacturing facilities and worldwide sales and distribution offices, everyone at Triumph works with passion and pride to excite and engage with our customers. The success of the brand is, without doubt, down to the skill and commitment of our team.”
Perhaps more interesting than the award is the fact that John Bloor accepted it personally. He's famously reclusive, doesn't talk to the motorcycle press (can't say we blame 'im), and is curiously never seen in the same room as Superman or Batman. But turning Triumph Motorcycles from a no-hoper has-been into a world-class manufacturing icon is, of course, a real achievement, and we doff our caps at the man. Pity he wasn't wearing a Sump T-shirt when the snaps were taken. But then, we don't have any in billionaire sizes.
Way to go, Johnny.
— Big End
The VMCC is launching a new run for owners and riders of small capacity motorcycles and mopeds. It's loosely modelled on the Tiddler Tootle held in Doune, near Stirling, Scotland and will set off on its first outing on 17th April 2016. The event is being organised by the VMCC's Glasgow Group. The route will track around the very pretty, if sometimes pretty windy, Ayrshire countryside.
We think it's a great idea, and we've no doubt plenty of others will agree—and maybe we'll see more of this kind of run elsewhere in the UK, and even further afield.
The rationale behind this event is simply that the little classic bikes can't keep up with 250cc and larger capacity machines. However, the world is a very different, and often more enjoyable place at sub-40mph, and that's when the pint sized projectiles come into their own. Put another way, you get more fun per cc on a Raleigh Wisp, Yamaha FS1E, Phillips Gadabout, Norman Nippy, Honda Step Through and pretty much any autocycle you care to name. It's been scientifically proven. By NASA.
▲ When you visit Ayrshire in Scotland, take a picture frame and a tripod. You'll find plenty of views worth framing.
With this new Pip Squeak Run, the VMCC is keen to liberate all those little bikes gathering cobwebs in garages and get them back on the Queen's highway (or Nicola Sturgeon's highway, depending on which side of the Scottish independence debate you happen to be).
So if you're a Scottish classic biker, or just feel like taking a trip up to that neighbourhood, talk to Gordon Mowat, the Glasgow group secretary. You don't have to be a VMCC member. You just need to share the enthusiasm. And as Mowat suggests, the smaller capacity classics are a very cheap way into the classic bike scene.
And if the old knees are going, and if you can't see more than ten feet ahead, and if too much oxygen is likely to kill you, you can still get out on the road and enjoy yourself. It ain't over until it's over.
— Queen of Sump
He'll be remembered for a number of things. He was the most popular host of the long-running kid's pop programme Junior Choice. He was one of the first DJs on Radio 1. He was the first DJ to play a record request for British royalty. And he was a regular presenter on Top of the Pops, the UK's most famous pop charts programme. We're talking, of course, about Ed Stewart who has died aged 74.
He was often clumsy on air, was always light-hearted to the point of frivolity, was always a little behind the times to the point of naivety, and was popular with pretty much everyone. Not least the little kids, and the big kids in the rest of us.
He was born Edward Stewart Mainwairing in Devon. He moved into radio more by accident than design after a cancelled gig in Hong Kong left him and his bass guitar stranded. A local radio station needed a sports presenter, and Ed Stewart needed a job. He soon became a general presenter, and then he began to spin the platters.
Upon his return to the UK, he picked up a job on Radio London, the pirate radio station operating from an old naval minesweeper anchored in the North Sea. Expeditiously dispensing with the name Mainwaring, he became Ed Stewart.
In 1967 he moved to Radio 1 and presented two relatively minor shows. And in 1968 came Junior Choice. The format was simple enough. Kids wrote in with song requests, and Stewart played the hits. Mostly, it was just an excuse for youngsters to hear their name on the radio. But Stewart handled it all in his inimitable style, and he kept doing it for 12 years.
After Junior Choice, Stewart (popularly known as "Stewpot") hosted a show on Radio 2 where he screwed up big time by announcing the names of four soldiers serving in Northern Ireland when he should have realised he was reading a memo reminding him not to mention them. The four soldiers had asked for a radio request, but before it could be addressed, the squaddies were among five soldiers murdered by the IRA. An apology was offered to the families of the soldiers, and two years later Auntie Beeb sacked Stewart.
Somewhere along the way he found time to host the TV show Crackerjack (also for kids). He worked for a while for Mercury Radio (later Mercury FM). Then he went back to the BBC and hosted another radio show.
He was eventually sacked again and told point-blank that the show was tired and old-fashioned. And by inference, so was he. The BBC fobbed him off with a small slot on a Sunday afternoon. He was, after all, Ed Stewart; an old trooper, a DJ of some stature, but a little embarrassing too. That, at least, appeared to be the view of the Beeb.
What followed was a hotch-potch of gigs and radio stations, often appearing on special shows or guesting on one-off productions.
There's some political stuff here involving souring relations with the BBC, but we don't want to go there.
Like most of you Sumpsters, we prefer to remember Ed Stewport as that good-natured DJ bloke on Top of The Pops who always looked like he was just a little bit out of it. He wasn't, of course. He was just being Ed Stewart.
He was married (the marriage was later dissolved), and he's survived by his two children, a son and a daughter.
Okay, here's the pitch. We're running a mini feature on Sump focussing on companies right here in the UK that produce new motorcycle parts. That might involve mechanical parts, or electrical components, or rubber items, or leather goods, or plastic trim, or whatever. The idea is to give these British firms a boost in the face of "challenging" economic conditions and cheap and nasty imports from the Far East.
We've got the feature rolling (see the link below), and we've got a few more names in the hat waiting to go online (we're still working out exactly how to improve and promote this feature). But we'd be interested to hear of other names that we've perhaps overlooked.
There's no charge, and no salesmen will call. But on the editing side, we might get in touch to clarify details of your firm. We just need to know something about what you do, where you do it, what you charge, how many you employ, and how buyers can contact you.
Meanwhile, if any of you Sumpsters know of suitable British-based companies that ought to be featured, please fire off an email to us. Just a name will do. We'll do the leg work.
GREAT BRITISH BIKING BRANDS SPOTLIGHT
— Big End
Should we have more sympathy for this guy? We don't think so. The story is that Mr Stupid (we're suppressing his name to spare him and his family further embarrassment) from Stupid Town in Stupidshire offered his KTM for sale. He'd valued the motorcycle at £1,700.
Mr Buyer showed up in an Alfa Romeo and kicked the tyres and asked for a test ride of the bike. Apparently, he'd left the keys in the ignition of the car as some kind of "proof" of ownership. Mr Stupid, aged 43 (and therefore no spring chicken) scratched his chin (or nether end) and said "yeah", and warned Mr Buyer that there wasn't much fuel in the tank.
"Just go to the end of the road and back".
So Mr Buyer took off in the agreed direction. Meanwhile, Mr Stupid wandered back towards the house, then noticed the Alfa Romeo zooming off up the street after the KTM. It seems that Mr Buyer had a mate hiding behind a wall, and said mate chose his moment, jumped in behind the wheel of the car and motored away poste haste. Naturally the Alfa was stolen, and now the KTM was also on the attention-all-cars list. Mr Stupid, we understand, reckoned it was safe to let Mr Buyer ride the bike. Why? Because the Alfa, he felt, was "worth thousands".
What seems likely is that Mr Buyer had no licence or insurance cover for the motorcycle. He certainly didn't produce any documents (and letting someone take off on your wheels with no proof of insurance or ID is simply piling stupidity on stupidity.
What also seems likely is that Mr Buyer was wearing gloves. And that's a clear warning sign. So okay, the reports we've seen haven't specifically mentioned that. But clearly, Mr Buyer was smarter than Mr Stupid, and if he turned up in a stolen car with a world class heist plan in mind, he was quite probably wearing mittens, or similar (and probably also dark glasses and a false moustache/hoodie).
So in case you're related to Mr Stupid, genetically or just cerebrally, here are a few DON'Ts when flogging a bike.
DON'T let anyone test the motorcycle unless they paid the FULL asking price. And in cash. No cheques. No bankers drafts. Just cash. And never hand over the full asking price to a seller unless you've checked him out (real owner, home address, HPI check, V5 check, etc).
DON'T let anyone sit on your bike with the engine running unless you've thrown a chain around the back wheel and swallowed the key or something.
DON'T let anyone test ride your bike unless you've got their image on your phone or home CCTV system. Better still, send that image to a friend. Most genuine buyers won't mind. Thieves, meanwhile, are more reluctant to leave a mugshot. And ask before taking the image. Get a clear picture. Explain that no shot means no test ride. No arguments. And even if they've left some cash, you STILL want the image. After all, now the thief knows where you live, and he or she knows you've got a bag full of money. Yes, buying the bike and coming back for the cash is a stupid ploy. But thieves are usually pretty stupid and irrational too. Keep the image for at least one month.
DON'T let buyers see where you park your bike. Thieves will often visit sellers and will "clock" the details of the garage, the alarm (if any) and the general layout. They'll also get an opportunity to see what else you've got in stock. And always demonstrate/show the bike well away from your garage, preferably with a friend present and watching from a distance (your friend might spot things that you don't, such as other guys hiding behind nearby walls).
DON'T accept anything as a deposit, not least Alfa Romeos. In the past, thieves have left cars, bikes, and even family members as security. Cash is king. And give the banknotes a close look. Photocopies just won't do.
DON'T waste police time by being stupid. While the rozzers are addressing your idiocy, they ain't doing other important stuff.
So okay, few of us are going to adhere to all these points, and that's why many of us are going to lose our wheels to motorcycle thieves.
The coppers later recovered the Alfa, but the KTM is still on the loose (and will perhaps turn up as a deposit left when Mr Buyer tries it on with someone else).
Be warned. Don't be Mr Stupid.
— Del Monte
Here's a date for your diary: Festival of Motorcycling, Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May 2016. The location is Peterborough Arena, Cambridgeshire. Bauer Media, which owns Motorcycle News, Classic Bike, Bike, Performance Bike and Ride is ploughing a lot of money into this year's event.
But the more interesting story for us is that Elk Promotions, which is run by well-known and well-respected classic biker Julie Diplock, has been chosen to organise the autojumble on behalf of Bauer.
Julie already organises numerous motorcycle shows and jumbles, specifically:
Monday 28th March 2016
Ashford Classic Motorcycle Show & Bikejumble: 10am Easter Monday 28th March. Ashford Market, Orbital Park, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0HB.
Sunday 3rd April 2016
South of England Classic Show & Bikejumble: 10am Sunday 3rd April 2016, South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex,
Sunday 1st May 2016
Romney Marsh Bikejumble: 10am Sunday 1st May 2016
Marsh Road, Hamstreet, Near Ashford, Kent TN26 2JD
Sunday June 26th 2016
Romney Marsh Show & Bikejumble: 10am Sunday 26th June 2016
Marsh Road, Hamstreet, Near Ashford, Kent TN26 2JD
Sunday 24th July 2016
South of England Summer Classic Show & Bikejumble: 10am Sun 24th July 2016. South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TL.
Sunday 18th September 2016
Romney Marsh Bikejumble: 10am Sunday 18th September 2016
Marsh Road, Hamstreet, Near Ashford, Kent TN26 2JD.
Sunday 23rd October 2016
South of England Classic Show & Bikejumble: 10am Sunday 23rd October, South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TL.
But now Julie has been asked to sort out the all-important autojumble at the festival, and with her connections and experience, it's quite probably the right decision. The hope is to draw serious autojumblers to this event, as opposed to the increasing number of tat merchants ever on the prowl (and you can't really blame 'em; ya gotta eat). However, Julie is looking for the hardcase guys and girls with prime classic junk (as befitting a decent afternoon spent prowling grubby boxes and oily trays of precious metal).
This is likely to be a big event, and it's one that picks up for the second year running where the BMF Festival left off. So if you're a jumbler, you might want to book early and ensure your place in the crowd.
An 8 metre x 8 metre pitch will cost you £40 for the entire weekend. That includes admission for two and access to the popular Saturday night music and beer event.
Here are the contact details for the Festival of Motorcycling autojumble:
Postal Address: ELK Promotions, PO Box 85, New Romney,
Kent, TN28 9BE
Telephone: 01797 344277
— Queen of Sump
If you've got a little spare change, spare a thought for the London Motorcycle Museum founded by Bill Crosby, proprietor of Reg Allen Motorcycles in Hanwell, West London.
Crosby, now aged 83, has worked for years to create London's only motorcycle museum, and has done so with pitifully small funding (much of it from his own pocket). The building complex (located on an old farm in Greenford, West London) houses around 200 British motorcycles, some of them so rare they can be counted on a single finger.
Lurching from problem to problem and still managing to survive, we now learn that Ealing Borough Council has removed its rate subsidy which, according to Crosby, could lead to a £30,000 bill for 2016. To compound the problem, we also hear that Ealing Council has backdated the demand and wants £10,000 immediately.
Is that possible? We don't know. We're just repeating what we're told. But these days, cash-strapped UK local council will do pretty much anything to rake in money for threatened services (and to ensure that the council leaders and deputies get their often over-inflated wages).
Either way, the London Motorcycle Museum could use some cash, hence its appeal. If you want to help, click on the link immediately above. The museum is currently open on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm. And if Crosby doesn't get urgent support from the classic bike community, it could be closed for good.
Bowie is dead. That's probably the number one news story circulating the world this morning (11th January 2016), and that tells you something about how great this man was, and how rich will be his legacy.
But then, unless you've been living in a cave since the late 1960s, you won't need telling. The Beatles were a great pop band. The Bee Gees were equal masters of popular songwriting and endured where hundreds, if not thousands of their contemporaries faded into obscurity. Elton John is still a national songwriting treasure with a back catalogue that other writers and performers would kill for. The Rolling Stones can still fill huge stadiums with their inimitable brand of hard blues-rock. Ray Davies is still underpinning the English social conscience with his unstoppable creative output. But David Robert Jones eclipsed them all with his peculiar brand of space-age pop'n'roll, theatre, dance, fashion and mystery, a man capable of endlessly re-inventing himself, often reappearing at the peripheries of modern consciousness, invariably quirky and surprising, doggedly pushing at the boundaries of music and art, and always the man to beat.
Here at Sump, we'd just been discovering Bowie's latest studio album, Blackstar, and waxing lyrically at how good it is whilst reminding ourselves of the fact that Bowie always bounces back from what fans often perceive as a creative wilderness. And now, suddenly, it's all over.
David Jones was born in Brixton, South London to an ordinary working class family. He first hit the charts in 1969 with the single Space Oddity, then released the album The Man Who Sold the World (1970) closely followed by the album Hunky Dory (1971). And if you haven't listened to these vintage platters in a while, you might be pleasantly reminded of the quality and depth of Bowie's song writing skills via his wry and witty lyrics, his compelling beats and rhythms, his soulful delivery, and the overall crispness of the productions.
Check out these Hunky Dory tracks: Queen Bitch, The Bewlay Brothers, Song for Bob Dylan, Changes, Oh You Pretty Things and ... look, just check them all. This is one of those albums that hangs together so perfectly, so seamlessly that you hear it as a whole rather than as loosely connected parts. Consequently, you don't nibble at it. You just eat the lot.
After Hunky Dory, Bowie briefly vanished into that seeming creative wilderness, only to re-emerge in 1972 as Ziggy Stardust. And almost instantly he was the king of glam rock and quickly sidelined his friend and rival, Marc Bolan (1947 - 1977), who at that time was the dominant voice, sound and presence in British pop.
The album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars was released in 1972, and from that masterpiece came the hit single, Starman; and this album is another example of vintage Bowie songwriting with gems that include Five Years, Soul Love, Rock'n'Roll Suicide and Moonage Daydream.
But almost as quickly as Ziggy appeared, Bowie killed off the character and began looking for a new musical style and direction. Enter Aladdin Sane, 1973, a richer, more resonant, more orchestral album marked by the tracks Drive In Saturday, Panic in Detroit, The Prettiest Star, and Lady Grinning Soul.
Following albums included Pin Ups (1973), Diamond Dogs (1974), Young Americans (1975), Low (1977), Heroes (1977), Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980), Black Tie White Noise (1983), and Labyrinth (1986). Over the next decade, much of Bowie's output was re-released material and compilation albums.
Bowie formed the band Tin Machine in 1989. The outfit was not successful, neither critically nor commercially, and after two years or so the members drifted apart.
An electronic period arose, followed by a flirtation with cyber music. That led to the album Heathens (2002). By now, Bowie's grip on the pop charts was fading, and he spent much of the next ten years involving himself in charity performances and tours, and collaborations with other artists, whilst quietly exploring new music avenues.
You might have thought that the great age of David Bowie was over. But once again, the master of disguises bounced back with the studio album The Next Day (2013), and then came Blackstar (2016), a new studio album that was everything you might expect of an older, wiser, more mature and perhaps even a little jaded Bowie.
By now he was tired of interviews (and promising to give no more). He was in poor health (but was hiding it well). He'd had heart surgery in 2004. He'd suffered the loss of numerous friends both in and out of the music industry. But even at age 69 he was still a creative powerhouse.
David Bowie was also an actor, perhaps most famously in the movie The Man Who Fell to earth (1976) and the James Bond film A View to a Kill (1985). He also appeared in The Virgin Soldiers (1969), Labyrinth (1986) and he played the role of Nikola Tesla in the move The Prestige (2006). There were other parts, some small, some not so small. But whatever role he took, he was always David Bowie, and his entire life was something of a living performance.
Other David Bowie hits include:
The Jean Genie (1972)
Life on Mars (1973)
Rebel Rebel (1974)
Young Americans (1975)
Sound and Vision (1977)
Boys Keep Swinging (1979)
John, I'm Only Dancing (1979)
Ashes to Ashes (1980)
Under Pressure (1981)
Let's Dance (1983)
China Girl (1983)
Blue Jean (1984)
Loving the Alien (2002)
Where Are We Now (2013)
In the years to come, most of us will remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news of Bowie's death. That's a pretty convincing measure of the man's stature and impact in our lives. Moreover, it's at moments like this when we're all reminded that if David Bowie can die, then anyone can die.
It's a sobering reflection on our own fragile mortality.
Bonhams' 6th Annual Sale at Bally's Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, was a no-holds-barred Vincent fest and turned over a record $4.8 million. The sale was held on Thursday 7th January 2016.
The top selling lot was the above 1951 Vincent Series C “White Shadow” in Chinese Red. Following some intense bidding between an Australian and British hopeful, the hammer finally came down on the British bid. The price was $434,000 (approximately £297,444)—and that, we understand, is a new world record for a Vincent Shadow.
Here are the next five top selling lots, and they all hail from Stevenage:
▲ 1955 Vincent Series D Black Prince (one owner from new) $164,500
▲ 1948 Vincent Series B Black Shadow, $153,500 (£105,318)
▲ 1953 Vincent Series C Black Shadow fetched $140,000
▲ 1951 Vincent Series C Black Shadow sold for $137,000 (£93,997)
▲ 1954 Vincent Series C Black Shadow sold for $126,000 (£86,450)
There were in fact another four Vincents in the sale, this example image immediately above), being a 1950 Black Shadow. It sold for a respectable enough $92,000 (£63,122).
And here's a 1955 Vincent Rapide to Black Shadow specification (immediately above) that also went under the hammer. This bike was built by Big Sid Biberman who started with a basket case and mildly customised it. The motorcycle sold for $80,500 (£55,232).
Meanwhile, if your budget is squeezed and you're looking for a barn find, Bonhams was able to oblige with this 1950 Series C Rapide. The history is little known, except that it was despatched from Stevenage in April 1950 and was sent to Canada in the hands of a dealer named Wellesley. It sold for $57,500 (£39,451)
Finally, here's an original and unrestored 1949 Series B Rapide (image immediately above). This bike has been stored at the stately home of a certain Christian de Guigne IV. Apparently, he's a big cheese in San Francisco society whose great-great-grandfather co-founded the Stauffer Chemical Co, hence the family wealth. The motorcycle sold for $55,200 (£37,873).
And here are three other top sellers at Bally's:
a 1977 MV Agusta 750 S America (41 original miles), $120,500
a 1938 Brough Superior SS80 (Matchless engine to SS100 spec), $120,500
a 1910 Royal Pioneer, that was sold for $115,000.
Meanwhile, Steve McQueen's 1963 Bonneville "Desert Sled" racer (image immediately above) fetched $103,500 (£71,012). This bike was tipped for big money, not only due to the McQueen connection, but also because it was prepared by the near legendary Bud Ekins, and painted by the equally famous Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard. So with a trio like that connected to one motorcycle, how can you lose?
And if you think these auctions (a) rarely have any real bargains, and (b) never have anything significant at the lower end of the market, take a look at the above 1982 Triumph T140ES Bonneville Electro. This 750cc bike was one of the last to exit the Meriden factory, and it's one of the most "sorted". The Bonnie has just 450 miles on the clock, and it sold for $8,625 (£5,917), and that includes premium.
So okay, by the time you repatriated it, you're gonna add maybe another thousand quid or so to the price. Or maybe a little more. But that still represents pretty good value for an appreciating classic. Fairly run-of-the-mill T140s in the UK are now asking around £5,000, albeit probably selling for 20 - 25 percent less. We would have expected to see £8,000 - £10,000 on this. Maybe more.
So overall, is Bonhams happy with this sale? No, the firm is ecstatic.
— Big End
If you're a professional hitman or hitwoman, please step forward and make yourself known. A group of tea-leaves has broken into Padgetts Motorcycles in Batley, West Yorkshire and has made off with some rare and irreplaceable bikes, and we'd like the miscreants dealt with in a suitable manner.
Okay, let's not be coy. We want you to execute the bastards [Are you sure we ought to be saying this kind of stuff?—Ed].
Here's the list of stolen bikes that we've been given:
A white Yamaha RD 250cc with 'Kenny Roberts Speed Blocks' in red on the tank, made in 1976.
An orange and black Yamaha YR5, made in 1971.
A 1960s blue and white Vespa scooter.
A purple Ariel Square 4, made in 1954.
A Yamaha DT100 with white fuel tank, made between 1976 and 1978.
A BSA Golden Flash, made between 1950 and 1960.
Naturally, the bikes also carry a lot of sentimental value, and Padgetts would very much like to have them back. Intact. Undamaged.
The thieves, as we understand it, hacked into a storage shed adjacent to the main shop premises. The bikes were taken sometime between Sunday 20th December 2015 and Monday 4th January 2016.
Now everyone hold on tightly to something while we say this next bit, because we're gonna get a reaction from some of you. But the fact is, Padgetts are pretty stupid for letting this happen. Yes, this might sound like the wrong moment to unload this sentiment. But it's actually the RIGHT moment. There's plenty of technology around that could have prevented this theft, and some of that technology is dirt cheap. At the very least, a few gizmos would have pinpointed the time of the theft. At best, the tech would have tracked the bikes as they were shifted.
However, it sounds like complacency got a grip, and most of us are guilty of that particular sin. Not least us here at Sump. So take a timely tip and sort out your bike security, pronto.
Meanwhile, if you've got any information on the motorcycles, tell the police, and tell Padgetts. Please also watch out for any suspicious parts coming onto the market.
Lastly, if you do execute the bastards who took these motorcycles, make sure you record it and post the gory details on YouTube. That's one video we'd all like to watch.
— Del Monte
Long established motorcycle dealership Granby Motors has jumped before it was pushed and has gone into voluntary liquidation. The Glover family ran the business and traded from Ilkeston in Derbyshire. The firm was established in 1967, but health issues and chronic business woes has made the firm "unsustainable", and so it's all over.
Granby began by selling a range of new and second-hand motorcycles, and was arguably a "pioneer" of Japanese bikes sales in the UK, notably Yamaha and Honda. The firm was also heavily involved in the racing scene and from the late 1960s to the present day helped keep numerous successful riders on the move.
This was a very popular shop for bikers in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area. Services included motorcycle sales, repairs, and accessories. Granby also operated an MOT station.
In 2005, the business moved to an unattractive, but no doubt more convenient, location on an Ilkeston industrial estate. More lately, with the economy in freefall, Granby Motors sold small capacity Suzukis and a range of Chinese built bikes.
In a public statement on Facebook, the following message ran:
"Thank you to all of our suppliers and friends in the motorcycle trade and to all the staff over the years who helped make Granby Motors one of the biggest independent motorcycle dealers in the UK. We acknowledge particularly the persistence and loyalty of the current team in rather less salubrious and often difficult circumstances.
Thanks especially to all of our valued customers for making our store number one! We could not have made it without your support and loyalty. For better or worse, it's been a quite a journey!
Stay safe and happy biking!
— Jack, Julie, Howard and Gloria (Glover).
There's no word on what will happen to the business stock and assets.
— Del Monte
The new Far East distribution operation is called Triumph Motorcycles (Thailand) Ltd, and it's being operated directly by Triumph. Previously, an outfit called Triumph Britbike was the sole distributor for the Hinckley-based marque. But that era is over. Triumph has taken the reigns and will be supplying bikes to seven Thai dealerships. And that includes all products, marketing and after-sales services and support.
Currently, Triumph produces 40,000 motorcycles at its Thai manufacturing base. There are three factories. The first was established in May 2002 to build frames, swinging arms, fuel tanks, header systems, engine covers and chrome plated parts. In 2006, a painting facility was established. And in 2007, a high-pressure die-casting and machining works followed. Around 1,000 staff are employed by Triumph in Thailand.
In 2014, Triumph Britbike helped Triumph sell a modest 257 bikes. In 2015, Triumph Britbike ramped that up to over 1,400 machines. And now Hinckley has stepped in and taken full control as part of its continuing top-down management ethos.
So is Triumph Britbike upset at having the distribution rug pulled out from under? Apparently, not. Britbike head honcho, Don Hetrakul reckons he's pretty chuffed. He says he's had a good working relationship with Triumph and hopes to continue that relationship as a dealer rather than distributor, albeit the leading/most favoured dealer in Thailand. For now.
But what the hell can he say?
Can't blame Triumph for wanting to control its product all the way from manufacture and into the hands of the general public. But if this story had a taste, you'd have to chew it long and thoughtfully before swallowing.
— Sam 7
A forward-facing camera to record her rear end. A backward-facing camera to record your own rear end. An automotive Wif-fi system. A "state of the art" heads-up visor display. And a communication suite fit for the 21st century motorcyclist-cum-explorer-cum-astronaut. This new BMW concept crash helmet is being unveiled right now at a tech show in the USA. Check the link for the full BMW heads-up helmet story.
Also check Sump's BMW side-view cameras story.