Thursday, August 26, 2010


 The October edition of Cycle World magazine is out in print, and includes my review of Falcon Motorcycle's 'Kestrel', as part of CW's 'World's Coolest Bikes' series.  Thanks to editor in chief Mark Hoyer for including the piece in this issue, and for a skilled editing job (most instructive, actually, how a few minor tweaks can integrate my florid writing style to the 'feel' of a modern motorcycle mag).
If you're not a subscriber, find it on the IS the biggest circulation motorcycle magazine in the world, so your local grocery store might have it.  Cycle World has always included a few vintage motorcycle articles among the hyperbike shootouts.  Their 'Rolling Concours' events are the best possible concept for a motorcycle show, where your show bike MUST be ridden on their day tour (75 miles or so) to be eligible for a prize...not just onto the podium!


Anonymous said...

BIG congratulations, Paul! An impressive accomplishment, and the byline we all aspire to.

I’ll be reading through it with my espresso this afternoon.

Always supportively,


Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

Nice article – regarding the bike the devil is in the detail, a two stroke filler cap on a four stoke bike! Somewhat akin to being a circumcised Palestinian.



Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,


I had some stuff published in CW when Brian Catterson was there.

Anyway, it looks good. I see Brian Blades is still producing masterful photos. He's still the best, IMO.

Love that bike too! You did well. Thanks for keeping me in the press release loop. Any news on the Brough Superior front?


Anonymous said...


Great work as usual, I'd expect nothing less. The machine is amazing, and your words do it tremendous justice.

A side note. I've meant to email you for some time. I noticed in the comments on your blog about Aermacchi and H-D someone mentioned the Berliners, saying they had a negative impact on the motorcycle industry. He's not the first to say something about them. However, I believe they were responsible for propping up some of the British companies to the end -- even delivering bags of cash so they (AMC) could meet payroll. Just some thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations and I love the article — beautifully written and a good insight into Barry's approach.



Anonymous said...

Cool article Paul, even with the retro (paper) approach to publishing! Can't wait to get my copy.

Cheers, JR

Anonymous said...

Congrats, Paul, on "placing" an article in the world's number one motorcycle magazine. I'll make a special stop at the local B & N to have a look. Next step, Classic Bike or The Classic Motorcycle or, even better, Classic Racer. And all your fans are indeed waiting for a Vanity Fair debut.

Re the Berliners, mentioned in a previous post. I think it's safe to say their reputation is mixed among those who pay attention to such things. The interest last year in the Ducati Apollo project brought them back to the limelight, if briefly, and the current issue of Motorcycle Classics has a detailed article on the genesis of the "legendary" Norton P11 desert racer (as well as the recreation of the original prototype). The P11 was the fruit of a three-way collaboration among the Berliners, Bob Blair of ZDS Motors in LA, and Blair's resident mechanical genius Steve Zabaro, the latter principally responsible for the recreation featured in the article. There Zabaro (who ought to know) recounts the story of the Berliners keeping AMC going in the early to mid-60s with paid-in-advance orders for Nortons and Matchlesses--I don't think they did much with AJS--something he confirmed to me in a long phone conversation sometime last year. There's further back-up in Bill Cakebread's AMC memoir, Motorcycle Apprentice: Matchless--In Name and Repution, where the author writes of the elation felt on the shop floor when the ship left for America, chock full of British product.

The Berliners get their due--i.e., a pretty thorough and fair treatment--in their entry on wikipedia, obviously a labor of some love by the author, who appears primarily to be a Ducati enthusiast. As a kid, I grew up in the Berliners' backyard in NJ--or was it the other way around--and we used to hang on the fence on a regular basis to see what came and went, things at the time we could only dream of. When you read the history of AMC (among other British manufacturers), e.g., in Cakebread's memoir or in Bert Hopwood's Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry, you quickly see that Joe and Mike Berliner had a lot more on the ball than the suits who sat on the boards in London, Birmingham, and Meriden.

Thanks for all the Pebble Beach goodies.


James J. Ward
Professor of History
Director, Honors Program
Cedar Crest College

Anonymous said...

Thank you Paul.
You have such a brilliant blog, I am quite addicted to it. When I try to write my own I think "how would the vintagent do this" thankyou for that inspiration.

BW. Eric

Anonymous said...

Nice words but is this The Vintagent blog or a website to promote Kestrel motorcycles? The number of pics and the attention to this modern replica are excessive for a blog that used to focus on Vintage bikes.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Paul - nicely done. It is good to know that more motorcyclists will get to see and enjoy your work. I know they'll appreciate it, as I do. Wishing you continued success.
Titus McGauty

Troop said...

Top notch work as always. I am a CW subscriber, so I eagerly await my copy to peruse. Those willy nilly features on vintage cycles keep me re-upping. they know just when to run another before i cancel. Praise be to Mr. Hoyer for carrying the torch where Mr. Edwards left off.

And to the poster who suspects you of pandering to the Falcon crew, all I can say is that the more I see of this Kestrel machine the more I am amazed at what can be done with patience and a deep respect for what these machines can become. Ian apparently sees them as no one else does. Thank God he takes the time to share! Cheers, and keep the faith!

Neil said...

Well written, sir.