Archives

August, 2011

Aug 31

2011

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Not-quite-retail TherapyNot-quite-retail Therapy

When it comes to a custom build, if half the fun is in making it, then at least half of that half is represented in the sourcing of the right parts. That elusive auction/ebay/swap meet find, the retro diamond in rough that everyone else missed. The way the air electrifies when you clamp eyes on it and you then try to contain your enthusiasm as you enter into negotiations to make it yours, a moment of infinite potential and fleeting bliss.

Of course, when you finally get it home and inspect the part in the harsh light of post-purchase-reality, more often than not it becomes alarmingly obvious that what you’ve bought is in fact rubbish and you would have been better just making a small fire and burning your money.
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Aug 19

2011

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Taste the GreatnessTaste the Greatness

Honda has a lot to answer for. While still at a malleable young age we were bombarded with imagery like this one. Snap shots of super natural, Moto-4 clad heroes with magical powers of flight, riding wheelie prone monsters, in fancy tri-colour pants. Our tender brains soaked them up like sponges, filing them away deep in our subconscious, under the category “want”.

What Honda didn’t show in the picture is the fractures in the mans shin bones and bruised legs from when he learnt the hard way about kick back, or the fact he carries the water bottle to prevent dehydration from the lather he works himself into trying to start a hot and flooded motor. Most importantly what they failed to illustrate is the gigantic, shit-eating grin this guys wearing under his helmet as he rips along.

We know all this now because 25 years on, we just got one and even though it took more than a week (and one small broken foot bone) to learn how to start it, damn it if it isn’t the silliest fun we’ve had in a decade. Now all we need is the pants to match.

This lucky XR600 is destined for greatness (or perhaps great humiliation) as it will shortly be press ganged into our XR/CL mash up in the honorable role of donor bike A.

Aug 17

2011

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Speedtractor lab takes shapeSpeedtractor lab takes shape

All the greatest ideas in the world remain lifeless and mute without an appropriate lair,laboratory or darkened corner from which to spring. So we finally got our priorities straight, stopped hooning around on the donnor bikes, put down the tasty spare parts and began by building a workshop space.

With floorspace at a ridiculous premium here in Tokyo, we’re having to start the ball rolling with just 13 square meters ( 124 sq ft ) of bare concrete, nestled roughly between Shibuya and Shimokita, but thats enough for buy-in and we figure it provides a wealth of fodder for moody “humble beginnings” quotes once we start to make something of ourselves someway down the track.

High~ish ceiling to give us space to hang parts, timber was the material of choice, fits in with the surrounding landscape and seemed to stand up to the ongoing tremors ok although it lets out some wicked moans during the bigger ones.

Aug 07

2011

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Speedtractor #1 Champion Nami PrintSpeedtractor #1 Champion Nami Print

While earning the #1 plate on the track is beyond most mere mortal’s wildest dreams (cetainly ours) why push yourself to such giddy heights when for far less effort but equally gratifying emotions you can don this two tone 3/4 sleave and be number one anywhere you please.

Colour:
White/Navy Blue, Grey/Navy Blue, White/Black

Sizes (US) :
Mens S, M, L,XL, XXL
Ladies XS, S, M, L

Stock:
Sold out- on orderThe best sprockets on the market.

Aug 06

2011

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T61 ConceptT61 コンセプト

Recently a couple of us felt like images of BSA’s 500cc Catalina scrambler had been strangely finding their way under our noses. Like when we went to get our fortunes told by a tarot card reader, that card with the skeleton on it came up (forgot what that means) and that bag of bones was riding what appeared to be a Catalina Scrambler, go figure. Anyway, we thought if the bike was trying so hard to find us then why fight it, and went to lunch expecting one to have appeared in the workshop before we got back.

Because this is not some TV producer’s fantasy land, but rather, sometimes-shittier-than-TV real life, when we got back nothing had materialized in the driveway and without resources to procure an original, nor the mechanical sympathy to fettle one, we decided to build our own modern day interpretation that we could then happily thrash the pants off.

Most people would have reached for Yamaha’s SR400 as the natural starting point – nice bike, lovely blank canvas, however, to be honest, we’ve seen so many custom SR’s (many of them exceptionally executed too) that we wanted to try an alternative route. Enter the deliciously out of vogue Suzuki Tempter 400 donor bike above and our first step towards the Speedtractor T-61 concept coming to life.
My fellow Earthicans, as I have explained in my book ‘Earth in the Balance”, and the much more popular ”Harry Potter and the Balance of Earth’, we need to defend our planet against pollution. Also dark wizards. And why did ‘I’ have to take a cab? Aww, it’s true. I’ve been hiding it for so long. You know the worst thing about being a slave? They make you work, but they don’t pay you or let you go. Fry! Quit doing the right thing, you jerk! We’re also Santa Claus!