Thursday, 2 July 2015

British Bike Bonanza 2015

Only a 30 min drive from my home this event is one that I'm now kicking myself about not attending earlier. The British Bike Bonanza take place in the Gloucester hills and has done for the past 35 years. Apparently this is the last time it will be held at the traditional site, as it is being sold off. The weekend consists of trials events on the Saturday including both motorcycles and cars, and classic scrambles on the Sunday with both solo motorcycles and sidecars. The racing was great fun to watch especially with a steep slope to the finish line.

1930 Velocette 250 MOV Trials

(ink sketch)

Built by Tommy Baker in 1956 this MOV was converted from a rigid to a springer in order to be competitive for trials. The only parts of the original frame are the front down tube and top tube, the rest was fabricated by Tommy to house the rear springs. It also sports a Woods Aluminium head, which is a rare sight. In the 80's it was ridden by Chris Scott. The MOV has always lived in the Stroud and Gloucester area, it now resides in Cheltenham, it's great to see that a bike like this has been built and is still ridden in the same part of the country since the 50's.

1954 Maico

(ink sketch)

Bought on German eBay for 350euros this scrambler started off life as a Maico Blizzard a standard 2 stroke road bike. It was then converted into a scrambler with a few changes such as the forks, fabrication of an air box, bash plate and a small snip to the end of the exhaust and the baffles being removed. This shows that you can have some pre 65 scrambles fun without spending a fortune.


(ink sketch)

I'd seen JAPSA's before such as Ewan Cameron's steed at Red Marley back in 2014, but I'd never seen a NorBSA before so this intrigued me so much I had to get it down in the sketchbook. It turns out that the builder and rider of this NorBSA was also the builder and previous rider of Ewan's JAPSA, the motorcycle world is a small one. The engine is a Norton ES2 and the frame is a B31 both from the late 50's. The engine has Jawa internals. A fine example of a purpose built motorcycle and that being scrambles.

More Photos....

 A strong team from Ireland were dominating the racing with their Rickman JAPs.

 Mick Andrew's Matchless
 Nettle covered JAP with a Wellworthy barrel.
 BSA Trials
 Tri BSA
 A four wheeled 500. Nuova 500
 Can-Am on the jumble
 Lastly a fantastic satchel sticker combo.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Bentley Drivers Club Concours 2015

After not attending the Bentley Drivers Club Concours last year due to non friendly sketching weather, I was really looking forward to attending this great concours. On route to the Club House in Wroxton, I was taken through picturesque Cotswold lanes and villages on my early morning drive to a quintessentially British event. With a relaxed atmosphere and a great array of stunning Bentleys old and new the event is always an honour to attend, especially as the sun blessed us with it's appearance:

41/2  / 4 litre 

(ink sketch)

This is an unusual Bentley for a few reasons. Firstly it is a 1927 4 1/2 litre chassis with a 1930 4 litre engine which was not a combination that the factory produced. Bentley only made 50 4 litre engines, and used them in 8 litre chassis, an odd combination, but they never had much success with this combination and so the 4 litre was dropped in favour of the 4 1/2. The owner and builder believes that the 4 litre is capable better performance than the 4 1/2 litre. Anthony is putting a race prepped 4 litre into 'Lucius' in order to race him to prove his point, an interesting challenge and I wish him every luck with it.

The car is called Lucius for a beautiful reason. It is named after his brother Luke who sadly committed suicide in 2014. On the same day that Luke took his life he visited Anthony and asked when they were going to go out in the Bentley for the first time. Anthony agreed that they would go for a drive on Christmas eve that year. After that fateful day Anthony decided to keep his word and got the car running and took it on a run on Christmas eve as he'd agreed. For me this is a wonderful thing as Anthony decided to keep on doing what he'd decided to do despite the turn out of events. Another dedication to Luke can be seen adoring the spare wheel, a metal sculpture of a swallow. Luke used to phone his brother every year to tell him that he'd seen the first swallow. another wonderful and poetic touch to a very personal project.


Doctors Coupe

(ink sketch)

Swept Side

(ink sketch)

4 1/2 Litre

(ink sketch)

More Photos...

A genuine W.O. Bentley owned car. 
 I didn't get to sketch this car but the lines of the coachwork are sublime.

Finally a supercharger is synonymous with Brooklands and this looked like a fantastic example
with the Mark IV Amhurst Villiers Supercharger mounted on the front. I did a quick pencil sketch of this which I plan to do something with in the future as I love the details and aesthetics of these superchargers.... a possible painting maybe?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

VMCC Banbury Run 2015

The VMCC Banbury Run is now part of my staple diet as a serial sketcher of veteran and vintage motorcycles. Being the largest gathering of pre 1930 motorcycles, it's a must for me to attend in order to hopefully find something I've never seen. With 500 entrants it was guaranteed to throw up some rare machines. Due to the nature of the event I have to quickly sketch these machines before they go off on the run, and so getting any extensive information is never guaranteed. So as I find information on these machines I will update the post as and when I have it.

1913 Excelsior Factory Hill Climber

(ink sketch)

1925 Grindley Peerless ST1 Barr & Stroud

(ink sketch)

1921 P&M 500

(ink sketch)

1921 Kenilworth Motorcylette

(ink sketch)

1927 Terrot HT 350 Side Valve

(ink sketch)

More Photos...

1914 Dayton Popular
 1929 AJS M7
 1930 Radco Ace
 1919 Ariel 6/7 HP V-Twin
1914 Royal Enfield 160
1930 NSU TS 201

On The Jumble...

 Bitsa trials mostly Rudge with a Dunelt engine
Vintage and Veteran have this lovely original 1912 Triumph TT Roadster in stock.

 1901 Werner

B.S.A. Roadster

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Bike Shed London 2015

Only 6 weeks ago The Bike Shed put on a show in Paris and last weekend they did it all again in London at the Tobacco Dock. Yet again the show presented a wide range of custom motorcycles with the odd surprise thrown in. I'm so happy to be part of this show as it's put together by a team of enthusiasts and the level they have taken this show to is incredible, so thanks to Dutch and Vikki and the whole Bike Shed team for keeping it going with great enthusiasm.

1930 Peugeot P50T

(ink sketch)

There have been many attempts to make board track bikes using modern small motors bolted into cycle frames, which never really hit the mark for me but this Peugeot works! The Peugeot is a cycle motor, previously having a single cylinder 100cc motor installed. The builder Bo Hare has made an inspired and informed choice of motor, a scale model of a radial aeroplane engine normally used on radio controlled models. Because it's a scale model the engine looks old in style and so doesn't stand out. The engine revs to about 7000rpm and so the bike really does go considering the cc is still 100cc.  Bo explained that it currently takes off at 7mph and so he is making a larger rear sprocket to gear it down to a more sensible 4mph starting speed. He also hopes to get it road registered so he can see what it can really do!

Rebels Alliance, 'First Born'

(ink sketch)

The first of a trio of bikes the First Born was originally built by Rebels Alliance around 4 years ago. All their machines are ridden regularly and so First Born was in need of a strip down and tart up before visiting the Bike Shed. I hope you agree that it looks not just great but right. The tendency with custom shows is to have everything chucked at a motorcycle to impress but that doesn't always work in my personal opinion. Having a bike with the right amount of style and rideability is a perfect combination and First Born demonstrates that.
The perfect arc of the tank and seat unit sold this machine to me, the line is consistent across the top.
Another Rebels Alliance machine this one had a fantastic key system using a coded headphone jack!

Auto Fabrica, Type 6

(ink sketch)

Auto Fabrica's, Type 6 was a real show favourite, I didn't hear anyone say anything negative about it. Again this build proves that simplicity is a thing of beauty. The tank and seat unit is all made from hand formed aluminium, and simple sweeping lines are what this machine is all about. It's no surprise that the guy's at Auto Fabrica are trained automotive designers, and I love the fact that this comes through in this bike. It real is a gesture drawing made real.

Ross's 1966 CL77

(ink sketch)

Every now and then I get asked to draw someones bike at a show, I always enjoy the challenge of drawing something that I haven't chosen, and this CL was a joy to sketch. A lot of the original bike has been used in the build and I love the fact that a few well thought out decisions as to what to change and what not to, results in a very tidy and simple build.

Francis Barnett Plover

(ink sketch)

Well this build proves that it can be done. Built to prove a point this Francis Barnett was entered into the Kickback Custom Show and won best in show! I love the fact that a simple Francis Barnett with it's humble Villiers engine can work as a custom. Every element has been thought about and it really does work. The builder Rob also set himself a rule for the build that every part would not exceed £50.

6th Street Specials 360 Degree Sketch

(photos by Tom Rochester)

As well as sketching all weekend I displayed artwork. A new piece completed for the show was a circular display of the 6th Street Specials sketch I did last year in New York. I was really happy with how it turned out, and it was great seeing how people reacted to the piece, some people diving straight in and others not even realising the artwork was on the inside. Here's a video of the full piece:


DTRA and Sideburn in attendance with some real sideways machines!

Racefit showing their fantastic form over function machines.
Bell and Ross B-Rocket
Robinsons Speedshop paint jopb by the one and only Maxwell Paternoster