Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I thought I was a dedicated Vintagent, but this notion has been blown out of the water by recent events. To begin; I have a Facebook page, which has proven a useful medium to share photos and short notes with friends and family. I guiltily admit that my page was established to spy on my daughter's activities, but she's almost out of the house now, and Facebook will remain. I've stumbled across 'clubs' recently - tonight I discovered the Velocette Facebook Fan Club totally at random, while searching for a web address on Google. It's not much of a site, just a start really, but if I didn't realize it existed, how will others find it? I digress.
On the 'fan photo' page was the image you see below - a Velocette tattoo. Not just a logo, but a full line drawing of a 1958 Velocette Mark 1 Clubman (originally drawn by Steve Ruffle). I was flabbergasted - I've seen plenty of Harley tattoos, but NEVER have I seen such an elaborate tattoo of a Velocette. I made a 'comment' on the photo, and was shortly rewarded by a photo of his OTHER arm; an 'x-ray' drawing of a Venom 500cc ohv engine, originally seen in Motorcycle News; both drawings can be found in the Bruce Main-Smith Velocette 'Service Series'.

I had a friend 20 years ago by the name of Paladin, who deserves a post all his own. Paladin was a Triumph man to the core, and built/modified/rode all manner of twins, especially a Triton with silver Featherbed chassis. Paladin, while schockingly scruffy in an old-school Biker kind of way (his leathers looked as if they were never removed, ever), was also a fine artist, a talent which extended to the art of tattoing. I don't recall anyone claiming to have had 'work' done by Paladin, but he certainly practiced on his own body, and had the most amazing Triumphs with hard men and busty women racing across his arms and chest, and suns setting / rising on either arm, an orange glow backlighting their progress across his limbs. They were beautiful, if dirty. When he died in his sleep, likely his heart protesting so many amphetamines, his skin was removed and sent to a tattoo museum in Japan.

I invite you to send photos of your motorcycle tattoos, and if enough arrive I'll create a photo album.


David Stuebe said...

Thanks for making my arms famous LOL

tattoos by my friend Michelle Heart in Chicago 10 years ago, she now tattoos in Des Moines Iowa at Skin kitchen

Anonymous said...

Well I never thought I'd be responding to a query for tats but I took this picture at the salt flats a while back.