Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sammy red-bottom paint job

Monday, May 30, 2011

Visit to Chabott Engineering, Azusa, CA.

Welcome to ACMC SU11. Visit us at the cafeteria on Wednesday, June 1st 12-2pm.

I've been e-mailing Chabott about a group tour of Shinya Kimura's workshop. They invited me to come to see his shop preemptively. I called Mike out of the blue in the morning and we went in the afternoon. Marcus has been here before as well, and I'm sure he was as blown away as we were. It's a small shop, but inspiring in many ways.
Shinya was putting on some racing numbers for his motorcycle, the famous Spike. He's taking it to Bonneville in August. There's limitless videos of Spike starting up, but it is actually an interesting process to see in person.

Our Humble hosts. I brought a six pack and we were allowed to just walk around and look at the copious amounts of really unique items, not just machinery.

We will be visiting in the near future, possibly as our first event for the term. Limited capacity sadly. More TBA.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Alright guys, I know its been a while but heres a treat for all of you: We went to meet the Wrenchmonkees.

Since Vinh and I are in France for INSEAD, for our spring break, we figured we might as well make a pilgrimage to the Wrenchmonkees. First impressions, the shop is really humble in contrast to what one might think. The only thing that indicates that if it even exists is this big white van with their name hand-painted on it. After dilly dallying and wondering if they were even open, we walked into their garage and met Nicholas. Real humble, real friendly guy, actually offered us tea and coffee which we all said yes to but quickly forgot about when we saw what was brewing in the shop.


1. brand-new Triumph Bonneville production custom.  They are coming up with kits for new bikes and they are using clay to make the primary molds!

2. Harley Davidson Sportster custom. Its for a French customer in Africa for offroad use.  Lifted suspension, improved electronics, dirt tracker stance, fatter tires and the meanest stance you have ever seen.

3. Motoguzzi- bare-metal, everything.

I talked with Nicholas a bit more about how he gets the bikes overseas and who his customers are, the whereabouts of our favorite bikes, Monkey #15 and Gorilla Punch, and about jackasses like other custom companies copying their style (spanish, cafe racer dreams) and Carpy (what-an-ass) taking credit for the Gorilla Punch seat that they designed and built themselves. So several things about the Wrenchmonkees that we always wondered:

So who does all the designs?
All of them do. As they work, they all put in their own two cents.

Dont they butt heads? each other and with the customer?
Yeap. pretty much all the time. They all pour their hearts into it and they argue like the rest of us mortals do to come to a consensus on what looks best.

How heavily do the frames get modified?
Not much apparently. They cant modify the frames much cept the ride height and maybe the back end of the frame. nothing structural cause the Danish government is utterly anal about everything from wheelbase length, to missing body panels. The monkees actually have to work their way around the law and make the best of what they are allowed to do to make the bikes to make em look good as they do. This usually includes things like making the round frame ends, switching out forks, making small performance upgrades, drilling holes in stock parts. This also explains why they dont have any hardtailed customs. And no, they also cant ship frames from overseas either so thats a bummer.

Arnt the Club Black bikes on drag swingarms?
Yea. They also are not street-legal.  They are called Club Black cause they are literally sitting in a night club called Black. (bummer)

So no customers in the US?
Nope. the americans just dont understand the high prices. Its a necessity for the Danish because of their high taxes (which they dont resent cause the benefits are epicly awesome. paid maternity leave, free college, free healthcare.... in the end, they wind up with the same amount of spending money as we do) 

Who does that amazing stitching and who makes the seats?
The Monkees just make a seat pan. a flat pan. thats it. They outsource the seat foam and stitch-work to a upholstery shop elsewhere. They actually have had so many of their seats made by the same guy that they dont need to explain to them how exactly they want it anymore. they just send it, and the upholsterer gets it done.

The rest of the story, need I say more? It was just epic.

Honda CMX500 I havnt seen this on their site before...


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

spanish biker goggles

 classic glass goggles. aaaaaaawww yeaaaaaaaa

Sunday, January 30, 2011

From France with love.

Till I find a scooter for cheap, this is my 2 wheeled ride: Gitane HT100 250euros!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Japanese Magazines

Took a trip to Kinokuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo today and picked up 2 magazines you wouldn't find in your average bookstore.

Unfortunately I can't read Japanese, so I basically bought these for the photos.  The First one covered vintage bikes and had some drool worthy bikes featured.

And the second one covered the custom scooter scene in Japan, a subculture rarely seen by Americans.  Although I don't think I would own one of these myself, I was interested in learning more about this wild movement they have going on over there.