Saturday, February 20, 2010


Complicated tales take time to recount properly, and this one is no exception, with plenty of 'unfortunately/fortunately' personal tidbits thrown into the mix. I'll dwell on the fortunate, barring a note that my 6-year-old Mac PowerBook finally bit the dust... but Fortunately I had just purchased a fully supercharged MacBook Pro to replace my ageing but trusty silver Mac. Thanks are due to Mimi at Apple for the killer deal, and to a generous sponsor of The Vintagent for making it all possible. Now there's four on the floor, a blown hemi, and we're leaving long black streaks on the internet.

As scrutineers of my sidebar have noted, the massive pile of parts which supplemented my income for the past 25 years (used to refurbish hundreds of motorcycles) is rapidly shrinking, for I've steered my ship into the parlous waters of Motorcycle Writing. To answer a very common question about this website, I have always had a 'day job', and the answer to The Question is, 'no TV'. Yes, greatly ironic given my involvement with Classic Motorcycle Roadshow, but life would be dull without such paradoxes. I rely on friends to Tivo my appearances on the tube, however brief.

Last Friday witnessed the VintaSprinter fully loaded with 2400lbs of spares, bounding southwards for a powerhouse weekend of horsetrading, gladhanding, dealmaking, and visionary hard work.

First on the agenda was the 'Inspiration' event at Santa Monica airport, hosted by Rin Tanaka. I've long been a fan of fabulously obsessive books on motorcycle jackets, helmets, riding apparel, and obscure subjects like SoCal surf T-shirts from the late 1960s. His 'My FreeDamn' series has become the de facto handbook of the vintage collectible clothing movement, and a constellation of Japanese and American clothing makers hover around his star, making faithful reproductions or re-introductions of iconic shoe, motorcycle, or clothing designs. More on all this later, suffice to say there was plenty to marvel over at the event.

My local representative of this Movement is Kiya Babzani (above), proprietor of Self Edge here in S.F., a shop stocked with limited-edition Japanese denim and other übercool stuff... including my '28 Sunbeam TT90, currently on display in the shop window!

Justin from Glory Sales & Service had a booth as well, with his Norton Atlas café racer standing guard over the period and modern gear on offer.

My business wasn't with clothing per se, but with Ian and Amaryllis of Falcon Motorcycles.

Falcon and The Vintagent have teamed up to create new business,, which is already 'live', but will be filled with content in the next few weeks - again, stay tuned! We're very excited to offer a wholly new perspective on our favorite subject, combined with products we personally endorse as the very best available anywhere. We're roping the pinnacle of talent for the website, including Nick Clements (below), who among his other projects is a major contributor to Men's File magazine (they're doing it Right. Full review coming shortly). Nick's 'period' photographic setups are so good they boggle the mind. It's going to be very exciting to see what he comes up with for CaféRacers!