Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DAILY INSPIRATION: Forth Bridge - Scotland

Finished 1890

Some images I come across are just too awe-inspiring to not investigate further. Yes, typically they're motorcycle or design related, however the image below struck me in another way. Behold Scotland's Forth Bridge:

I think as humans we all have an innate fascination with colossal objects, whether naturally evolved or human made. Equally important to the object itself in sheer awe-factor is it's environment. It's the reason seeing the Monument Valley "mittens" against a barren dessert makes you reevaluate your life priorities and the Sears Tower amongst slightly shorter buildings looks like a dick measuring contest. The world of concept art is founded on that internal feeling of being stunned by something that's far outside your normal image bank and is the reason so many people are enamored by it. For me, the above image was most inspiring for just those reasons; design and environment. The truss-work of the bridge looks like someone gave Confederate a Ducati Trellis frame and told them to multiply by Tim Allen. The design was clearly in response to the engineer behind one of the earlier proposals for this project having a previous bridge of his COLLAPSE while a train was using it for it's intended purpose, killing all 75 passengers on board. All this just 4 years before construction on the Forth bridge was to begin. 
The plot thickened and my interest grew. 

Oh I get it. Yea that should work.
Above, new bridge designers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker reveal the magicery behind what will become the world's longest single cantilevered bridge span - gigantic men with heavy beards will hold it up by sitting on it. Makes sense. The blueprint behind them must have been drawn before Bouch's Tay Bridge collapsed because by my calculations the Forth bridge got at least 350% more supports. Adding all those supports was no small feat and the bridge would take a total of 7 years to construct. 63 men died during the construction and a log book of accidents and sickness recorded over 26,000 entries. In summation the bridge that was designed to collapse less took 12 fewer lives. 
What really sparked my interest beyond the horrifying background story of the Forth bridge was the early black and white construction photos. If I may bring this runaway passenger train (punpunpun) full circle, it's these historic photos that trigger that same allure that concept art does. It's the monolithic structure being erected seemingly far outside it's destined time period that is so captivating.
It's real life concept art. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

GEAR: Filson Lightweight Work Vest

Lightweight Work Vest


"A machine-washable Antique Tin Cloth vest with abrasion- and wind-resistant properties. It includes heritage sidewinder pockets, front-access pockets and a shooting patch design on the shoulder."

This would make a great Fall/Winter shop vest. I never like working in long sleeves but could always use an extra layer in the colder months. It's got a nice assortment of front and side loading pockets for shop EDC. The shooters patch on the shoulder also means you can shoot clays at a moments notice if need be. A must for Chicago. It's going on the list. 

  • Seattle Fit
  • 1 flap pocket, 1 flap patch pocket, 2 front-access pockets, 2 sidewinder pockets
  • 3 button closure with corozo buttons
  • Double front loader pockets, One double chest pocket with flap closure
  • 10-oz. Antique Tin Cloth
  • Shooting patch design on shoulder
  • Dry finish Antique Tin Cloth is extremely abrasion resistant

Friday, September 12, 2014

DAILY INSPIRATION: ICON 1000 - Old Ghost 1984 Kawasaki GPZ900R

Quite possibly one of the raddest and most well put together bike releases to date. 

Old Ghost
1984 Kawasaki GPZ900R

SHORT FILM: Prism Motorcycles

Friday, September 5, 2014

DAILY INSPIRATION: Daniel Peter's "Cabin Fever" - 1995 Honda XR650L

Cabin Fever
1995 Honda XR650L

Daniel and I met back at Rockerbox a year or two ago. He's a photographer by trade and spends his off-time getting out to race AHRMA events on his Yamaha SR500. After flipping through a few photos of his SR for me on his phone I was already on board with his aesthetic vision. His SR is of course very purpose built being a race bike but still has tasteful modern touches that are a great blend of form and function. You can tell Daniel is clearly opposed to things that are ugly, regardless of how function driven they are. When I had caught wind that Daniel had an XR650 under the knife as a personal project I was fully tuned in. He brought the bike to this past weekends Parts & Labor Day event at the shop and I can tell you that seeing and hearing this bike in person makes you wonder why you're riding anything but an XR650. Without knowing every square inch of a stock XR the amount of work that has gone into this bike can escape you. The craftsmanship is flawless to the point where you'd think this was some specialty model that must have flown under your radar all these years. Here's Daniel with the full background story on his new ride, "Cabin Fever".

"About this time last year, I came to realize I desired a motorcycle that didn’t exist: 70s styling; twin shocks; air cooled; powerful yet light and reliable, with enough ground clearance and suspension for riding trails; electric start…I was drawing a blank. Then I took a long look at the 1995 XR650L sitting in my shop. The performance was there but the looks were seriously lacking. Awkward, all plastic bodywork, purple side covers...good enough for a dirt bike but not quite the pony that would turn heads. So I set off to build a bike that fit my needs perfectly."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

EVENT: Parts & Labor Day Wrap Up

As hard as I tried to stress out about this past Saturday's super last minute event everything just kept falling into place. I'm usually really good about building up crippling anxiety over minor hurdles and tight deadlines by mentally embellishing the issue. It works great. All you need is a small glint of possible failure and you knead it up from there until you've baked it into a nice dense loaf of debilitating panic. I hadn't had time to get a flyer together until 5 days before the event, the forecast called for an 80% chance of earth shattering T-Storms, and the city was a ghost town due to the holiday weekend. There was plenty of trauma fuel to go around. Saturday morning rolled around and I woke up fearing the day would be filled with effort and struggle, yielding minimal results.
I was banking on the T-Storms doing the whole day in with one fell swoop. Surprisingly they missed Chicago by miles, unleashing all their terror on the folks of Gary, Indiana. Instead, the sky opened up and the sun blasted us throughout the day, making the moto ride we had planned around Chicago entirely possible. It was a huge relief and gave me hope that the day had not been lost. 
I was still concerned about the lack of fair warning and the holiday weekend deterring people from attending. Then one by one bike's started filing in, even before the kick-off time of 2PM, until the entire block was stuffed with custom vintage metal and the shop was bustling with gleaming event-goers. The oh-so generous folks at Metric Coffee were there doling out their cold-pressed caffeine to pick people up before our jaunt around the city. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

SHORTFILM: Tamarit Spanish Motorcycles

DREAMONE50: WSJ View Finders

Ryan Plett and crew came by the studio yesterday to shoot a feature for an upcoming Wall Street Journal section called View Finders. Ryan's touring the country right now stacking up some amazing content for the column. You can follow him and the column  here:


After we wrapped up Maria Papathanasiou hopped on the Dream for a quick impromptu (iPhone) photo shoot. The Golden Hour lighting and vacant industrial district was too much to pass up.

Friday, August 29, 2014

COME PARTY: DreamONE50 Unveil, Deus Chicago Romp, Una Maes Party...Motorcycles and Free Drinks. No Brainer.

It's going down tomorrow! Honda DreamONE50 unveiling, Deus sponsored ride around Chicago, Party at Una Maes with free beer and giveaways! What else do you want? 
...for it not to rain? Yea, sure, but Metric Coffee will be there to dole out enough caffeine to make you mentally impervious to sky water so we've got you covered. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DREAMONE50: Aww Shoot

Spent the day with Pat Daly shooting the 1962 Honda Dream 150 build. I've had my head down in this bike for so long that I keep forgetting what it looked like when we pulled it out of the barn over a year ago. It feels pretty good when a bike that hasn't run in 40+ years starts on the first kick every time. If only I fit on it...

Come check out the Dream, ride and party with us this Saturday for the Parts & Labor event!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

EVENT: Parts & Labor (Day) - Chicago

Come check out the HQ of my new venture, DRAFT Studio, this Saturday the 30th. The Dream ONE50 build will be on display. There will also be a moto ride around Chicago sponsored by Deus ex Machina. The ride will end at Una Maes where there will be free beer by Goose Island and cocktails from Letherbee Gin. Red Wing Heritage will be releasing a new boot and there will be pop ups from Juniper Ridge and Filson. We may also have goodies to give away for ride participants.  Party goes till 10!

We're still working on building the foundation of DRAFT Studio so bare with us over our sleepless and dragged out launch period. 
God Speed,

Monday, August 25, 2014

PHOTOG: Wheels & Waves 2014 by Laurent Nivalle

Wheels & Waves 2014
Photo set by Laurent Nivalle

If this doesn't put Wheels & Waves on your Bucket List then I can't help you. A selection of amazing photos from literally hundreds of desktop worth shots by Laurent Nivalle. Check out the full albums through the link above.