Tuesday 26 April 2016

Bespoke 2016

After last years trip to Bespoke in Bristol I was keen to attend again and sketch some more handmade bicycles. Being a local show I decided my trusty 1954 Freddie Grub road bicycle into town, however on arrival I soon realised I had my sketchbook but no pens! I quickly went to my favourite art supplies store Bristol Fine Art and bought some Faber Castel Pitt pens and a rather nice clutch pencil called a Koh-I-Noor to play with. Here's the results...

The Bicycle Academy's Klunker

(ink sketch)

My main revelation of the show was finding out about an event that was held last year called the Hack Bike Derby and event put together by Andrew Denham from The Bicycle Academy. The event was an invitational for a group of 17 bicycle makers were set the challenge to build a bike in the spirit of the pre mountain bike klunkers with a budget of no more than £300. The bikes also had to be fitted with the same tyres to further level the playing field. 

Adi Gilbert did an incredible job of the poster.
Bell Helmets were provided and sharpies were let loose to create individual helmets.
Some very inventive bikes were constructed like the one seen above with a long wheelbase provided by the off set steering!
Love the double forks on Ted James' steed!

Sven Cycles

(ink sketch)

I've been following Sven Cycles since I saw their bikes at Bespoke last year. I love the classic look that they achieve due to their obvious sympathy to vintage aesthetics. The looks are coupled intrinsically with high quality modern components to produce bikes that work to the customers requirements.

Brelis Custom Cycles

(ink sketch)

There was something that caught my eye on this Brelis belt driven fixed wheel machine in the New Builders area, possibly the lugwork. Brelis is a one man operation from Istanbul, Burcak Erbil, qualified in both Metallurgical and Mechanical engineering. Frame building started as an extension of his interest in cycling he is now pursuing it with more vigour and I wish him the best of luck.

Ted James Designs

Not only does Ted make a mean Klunker he is also more well known as a very talented frame and component builder, he was chosen by Reynolds to build the first 921 stainless frame for testing. Find out more about Ted James and his skills at tedjamesdesign.com

More Photos....

 Adjustable Geometry Bike with 3 Channel Analogue Data Recorder

Bike Shed Pop In

On the 7th April I dropped off some artwork and prints to the Bike Shed venue in Hoxton, London a great place to get your dose of custom motorcycle culture or just a decent drink and a bite to eat. Whilst I was there I got a little bit of sketchbook time in before my parking ran out...

Triumph Chopper
(ink sketch)

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Vintage Motor Scooter Club Extravaganza 2016

After sketching more and more scooters over the last few months I decided to travel to Coventry for the Vintage Motor Scooter Club Extravaganza. It turned out to be a great show with a range of machines from classic Lambrettas and Vespas through more obscure models onto full on customs. There were a few machines that I would have loved to sketch but unfortunately couldn't get a good point to sketch them from, as it got really busy. I did however get to sketch some great machines and here are the results of my days sketching.

1965 Maicoletta

(ink sketch)

I first saw one of these Maico scooters at the NEC show last year and was impressed with the styling and solid look to them. This scooter for the time was expensive but really well engineered. It was very well received in the UK, so much so that when Maico stopped making the Maicoletta in 1966 the UK importer built more from the spare parts they had left up until late 1967. With front and rear suspension and a 4 speed gear box with a heal toe change on the floor this well built large scooter was  a luxury machine. With this came a high price and so they were only produced for 11 years. With a young demographic that came with scooters there was a limited amount of customers and so they couldn't compete with the Italian rivals.

1960 BSA Sunbeam

(ink sketch)

Designed by Edward Turner, the general manager and chief designer at Triumph this scooter was also sold under the Triumph mark as the Triumph Tigress. A prototype of the 250cc BSA Sunbeam was first shown at the 1958 Earls Court Cycle and Motor Cycle Show. The 2 stroke engine was a developed from the BSA Bantam engine, where the 4 stroke was an entirely new parallel-twin which was gear driven to the gearbox. Final drive was by chain in an enclosed oil bath.

This particular Sunbeam was restored between 1983 and 1986. The scooter has been regularly used for holidays club runs and displays since. Only modification has been an electronic charging regulator.

Also woned and restored by the same owner was this 1959 BSA Sunbeam Trials Special. An intriguing machine that I wished I had more time to sketch.

Sting, Quadrophenia, Vespa GS Replica

(ink sketch)

I've been wanting to sketch a Mod scooter for a while and this was a perfect choice for a sketch. It's an exact replica of Stings scooter from the film Quadrophenia. The owner has spent a long time sourcing all the parts to get it right. Apparently one of the hardest parts to find was the amber lamps on the front. Prop makers for the film would have stuck what they could find at the time on the scooters to get them to look right.

More Photos...

 1960 Moto Rumi Bold'or
 1957 Cushman Eagle
1966  Triumph  T10 Automatic

 Kieft "Harlequin"
 1967 Lambretta 125 Super Starstream

Monday 11 April 2016

77th Pioneer Run for Veteran Motorcycles

I’m always incredibly spoilt for choice at the Sunbeam MCC’s Pioneer Run as there are so many amazing veteran machines in attendance. I sketch in pencil at the finish line and ink them when I’m back in the studio, as there are only a few hours to gather as many examples as possible in the sketchbook, before the weary travellers decide to go home. Due to the nature of the event I rarely get to speak to the owners as they are normally refreshing themselves (with tea, chips and ice-cream!) after the ride from Tattenham Corner. Consequently, much of the information contained below has been obtained after the event.

1904/5 White & Poppe 427cc

(ink sketch)

I had never seen this motorcycle mark before, and I’m unlikely to see another. Made by the White & Poppe motor company, this is an early example of the motorcycles made by this firm between 1902 and 1914. It is single speed, with no clutch, like many of these veteran machines. This particular motorcycle has completed the Pioneer Run for the past 20 years with its current owner. It was one of the first machines to arrive and so it obviously is quite a reliable and quick machine. The current owner has had custody for over 20 years and the previous keeper had it for four decades. I hope the next owner (as it is currently for sale) will ride it with as much enthusiasm and respect as its previous custodians. 

1903 Kerry 2¼hp Ladies Model

(ink sketch)

The Pioneer Run is always a good place to spot ladies models, which are always aesthetically intriguing as they are designed primarily with the impracticalities of ladies’ skirts in mind. Sammy Miller stopped to say hello whilst I sketched the Kerry and mentioned that around 75 manufacturers were producing ladies models during this period. After the war the production of the ladies model declined, perhaps due to the fact it was then more acceptable for women to wear trousers in practical situations. This Kerry was the first of two ladies models I sketched this year, with this one ridden by Vincent Belgraver, from Holland. He had restored this example fairly extensively, trying to retain as much of the original as possible over a period of time, and has completed quite a few Pioneer Run since.

1902 G. Valliere 182cc

(ink sketch)

I saw this remarkable machine at 2015’s Pioneer Run and was intrigued by the various wooden boxes and wires. I wondered whether it used period electrics as it certainly  looked the part. Luckily, this year as I finished sketching the G. Valliere, the owner, Andrew Heaps, introduced himself and I managed to find out more.
The engine is an early clip on two-stoke which the owner, a keen veteran bicycle collector, came upon by chance and immediately snapped it up as his expert eye told him it was intended for a very early motorcycle. With no documentation and little historical information on these engines, it took a while to work out how to get it working reliably. The wiring is actually quite simple, using a period coil (c. 1902) to the rear of the frame and a modern battery in the adjacent box. The spark is timed by the contact breaker on the timing side. A more modern condenser is to be found in one of the foremost boxes, completing the puzzle. 

1910 Hobart 292cc Ladies Model

(ink sketch)

The second ladies model of the day was this Hobart. I was rather taken with the arrangement of the tank and mounted controls. Hobart Bird & Co.,Wolverhampton, started out as many did as a bicycle manufacturer in 1892. The company’s first venture into motorcycles in 1901 was an autocycle with an inclined engine which was widely used and became known as the Handy Hobart. Manufacture of the Handy continued, alongside another model with a vertical engine, which was introduced in 1903, until 1906, when manufacture stopped and Hobart became a supplier.

In 1910 the firm returned to motorcycle manufacture with machines such as this ladies model and made motorcycles into the early 1920s, with a couple of name changes to McKenzie Hobart in 1922 and Hobart-Acme in 1924. After this, Hobart ceased to appear as a motorcycle marque, though did continue to supply its own engine to other firms for several years afterwards.

1914 Matchless 7hp Model 8B motorcycle combination

(ink sketch)

My final sketch of the weekend was this heavy looking Matchless combination, which appears more than capable of touring the country, and then some. I love the utilitarian look, with its substantial kick start, electric lighting and sprocket driven speedometer. This model 8B was the predecessor to the Model H which was offered as a combination only and was produced until 1927. The restoration of this particular combination was undertaken by apprentices at the Norton Villiers Plumstead factory in the 1960s. Not a bad pedigree seeing that the Plumstead factory has its roots in the Matchless brand.

More Photos...

 1914 Morgan
1914 Morgan
 1914 Wolf
 1913 Centaur

 1904 Rover Forecar

 1899 Dechamps Tricycle...
..complete with wheelie bar.
 1913 Terrot Zedel
 1912 Stewart  "Stella"