Sunday, August 03, 2008
JJ, from Vintage Motorcycles Online, mentioned he was going to Japan on a business trip. 'Bring back some cool Japanese motorcycle magazines!' I asked, and he amply supplied me with the latest issues.
Japanese motorcycle publishing is so intriguingly different than US or European print, but in ways which are hard to define. The first impression is of heft - the paper stock is thick and glossy, and the photo quality is superb. There is an integration and celebration of 'lifestyle' with content, which includes blurring the edges between journalism and commerce - sometimes it's hard to discern where the ads begin. There's also a lack of machismo; even though Hot Bike is basically a 'Custom Culture' magazine, there are goofy photos of Japanese owners gleefully showing off their custom Harleys.
The great coincidence, and why I'm mentioning this magazine in particular, is coverage of several local events, including a ride with our SF based AMCA chapter (Yerba Buena), and the Legends of the Motorcyle Concours (highlighting the customs of Shinya Kimura).
In the top photo at the Legends, my '33 Velocette KTT and '28 TT90 Sunbeam are lined up on the grass after the Legends ride on Sunday. The lower page shows our break at Alice's Restaurant on Skyline Blvd, and I'm in the far right corner beside my Sunbeam, with, Kim and Pete Young behind the bike.
Rick Najera, president of the Yerba Buena chapter, and his '55 Harley Panhead 'Martha', on which he rides to events all over the country, are featured in a spread on unrestored (or at least, un-chopped!) bikes. The page shown includes some of the other relics in his basement; it looks like one of my 'other people's garages' posts, using a much more talented photographer. It's a nice shot of Ricky as well.
Bottom pic shows one of our Yerba Buena day rides in the East Bay, to the town of Port Costa, which is essentially a bar at the end of a good motorcycle road. I wasn't able to make this ride, but the lower right photo shows some of our members, crusty lot that they are. Brian Stearns, who sold his 50-miles-from-new '49 Triumph Speed Twin at the Monterey Auction, is on far left. The bottom left photo shows Rick with Max Schaaf of the 4Q Conditioning blog, whose amazing garage I featured in a previous post.
If you're a Harley fan, a subscription to Hot Bike will set you back $187.50/year in the US...such is the price of quality paper stock.