Showing posts with label Vintage Bikes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vintage Bikes. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vintage Iron at Bob Ohman's Old Bike Ride #8

This past Sunday was a gloriously sunny and warm day in Golden, Colorado where the Norton Colorado Motorcycle Club sponsored the Eight iteration of Bob Ohman's "Old Bike Ride"

The DAU (Denver Area Uralisti), almost in its entirety, met up near the Golden Hotel where the Old Bike Ride would start from and we cruised into the street area next to the hotel in a stately formation of four Urals.  Our motorcycles were not "old enough" per se to ride the ride but we figured since the design really has been unchanged since the late 30's, it was OK to show up to spectate.  I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed seeing the motorcycles in person:

The DAU Fleet is in.....

A lovely example of a Norton


BMW R90 and a Moto Guzzi

Harley Davidson Flat Head, from both sides
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

Another shot of the red hot Moto Guzzi

British Springfield Arms (BSA) and a Norton

A very nice condition BMW /2
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

My first look at a Chiang-Jang Sidecar Rig, this one with a BMW R90 Engine
These rigs are made in China from plans bought from the Russians, who then moved onto making the 
present day Ural design sidecar rigs.

A magnificent example of a Vincent Black Shadow

A BMW /2 Sidecar Rig, with fitting passenger
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

Note the dog's "doggles"

A closer look at the BMW /2 Tug, check out the turn indicator on the grip!

The man with the plan: Bob Ohman, here giving the Rider's Briefing just before the ride started
Awesome job organizing the ride Bob!  Thank you.

Most of the DAU in attendance waited till all the vintage riders had roared out of the vicinity of the Golden Hotel and we rode over to the twin rock towers which mark the entrance to Lookout Moutain Road off of 19th street in Golden.

Since the plan by the riders was to ride to the top of Lookout Mountain and rally at the Buffalo Bill Museum, we knew they would return back the way they went up and we could capture the following pictures.  Sorry about the quality, I apparently have to practice shooting fast moving objects more!

Here's DAU member Steffen and his wife Jody onboard their Ural Retro, coming off of Lookout Mountain

The red hot Moto Guzzi winging its way down the mountain

Another sidecar rig coming off the mountain, the tug appears to be a BMW K100, not sure who makes the sidecar

The iconic R90S

The Chiang-Jang proving it can hang with the other motorcycles

One of the two beautiful Vincents that made a showing for this OBR
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

Here goes the BMW Sidecar Rig, dog happily gazing at us as they zipped by

The classic looking BSA motorcycle and rider zooms by

A vintage Honda makes its run up the mountain

Following closely behind the Honda, was this pretty yellow Ducati
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

The DAU as we prepared to leave for lunch

We're always looking for new members!
photo courtesy of John aka SPAT

Here's last years report and pictures of the Old Bike Ride #7

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beemer R90S Safety Videos

The R90S Beemer Airhead motorcycle was instantly an icon of the 70's when it first came out. Take a look at these safety videos put out originally by BMW and placed on youtube for your viewing pleasure by

Check out the guy's riding outfit, I am thinking the color of his leathers was more red than pink in real life and it was just the crude state of color film technology perhaps? Then again, his rain gear is even more flamboyantly pinkish! He rides though like I wish I would ride all the time.

Some of the stuff he's shown doing though, like passing cars while going up a mountain, is not what's done around here. Apparently it's all one way traffic in Germany up the particular mountains that the films were shot in but even it that were the case here, I doubt cagers would take kindly to motorcycles zooming past them while on the way up or down the mountain!

Part 1 of the safety video. Direct link here.

Part 2 of the safety video. Direct link here.

99% of the rider's actions and the narrator's advice holds true today as it did the day the film was shot. I invite Irondad's feedback of course in light of modern day traffic patterns and his experience as a motorcycle safety instructor.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Italian Iron Heaven is here in Denver

Attention Ducatistis, Guzzitistis, MV Augusta and all riders of Italian Iron!

Jim Dillard's VintageMotos museum located in downtown Denver is, in my opinion, Heaven on earth for fans and cognoscenti alike of Italian motorcycles, scooters and vintage mopeds. Oh sure, he's got British motorcycles such as BSAs, AJS and a truly beautiful Velocette Valiant but it's Italian curves and rolling art that mostly grace his museum. Jim's motorcycles range from 1933-1990, from 68 marques and 13 countries, but Italian iron is definitely his main passion.

Alas, no Beemers for yours truly to drool over, but trust me in that the motorcycles on display at VintageMotos will make any diehard Beemer rider consider "straying" from the path of Teutonic motorcycling!

Unlike some of the other area museums, this one has more than a couple hundred motorcycles, scooters and mopeds on display. When I left, I was in a daze of information overload. Jim Dillard, personally guided me through his treasure trove and the wealth of information he directed at me was impressive.

The building housing the museum is unremarkable, the signage advertising the place is minimalist at best. However, step through the unassuming entrance and down the steps and this sight greets you:

750 Ducati, bellissima!

You step onto the floor of the building's basement and the sheer number of motorcycles and mopeds on display hits you like a buzzing swarm of moped riders in Florence's traffic.

I had met Jim Dillard back during Bob Ohman's Old Bike Ride #7: LINK when he showed up in a beautifully restored Laverda motorcycle. I found out then he had a museum and today I finally had time to ride and see it.

For instance, here's a row of MV Augusta motorcycles, I love the fairings on these motorcycles!

Lovely fairings on these MV Augustas

Jim's oldest motorcycle, a 1933 Puch
Wikipedia link to Puch Motorcycle History

Velocette's 200cc Valiant
Wikipedia list of Velocette Motorcycles

Italian DEMM 48cc Moped for Kids

Not all of Jim's collection of motorcycles have their information plaques yet but here's one, a German IMME motorcycle, that did:

1950 IMME R100, you could buy an option spare tire carrier

Two beautiful Laverdas and a Cagiva

A large portion of Jim Dillard's collection is small motorcycles/mopeds. I'd never given it much thought but as he explained, post-WWII, people in Europe needed transportation and small mopeds and motorcycles filled that need. For instance, take this adaptation of a 1933 38cc Mosquito engine by Garelli on a regular bicycle:

Check out the monocoque body construction on this German moped:

A bit more info on this moped here

The French built eight million of these Velo Solex 38cc mopeds which produced 200 mpg and a max speed of 20 mph.

I really liked the flowing lines on this 1956 Moto Rumi Formichino:

Then there was a motorcycle with a Boxer-like engine much like my beloved Beemers. Turns out to have been made by IFA in East Germany before the Iron Curtain came down:

An East German Boxer Engine....who knew?

There is a plethora of other marques in the collection, some names I'd seen such as BSA, Bianchi, Benelli, Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Jawa, Moto Morini. However, some of the now defunct marques were an education for me: Capriolo (a kind of Deer), NSU, Ganna, Moto Gitan, Fuchs, Puch, Monet Goyon, F.B. Mondial, Moto Parilla, Guazzoni, Moto Comet, Berneg, ISO, Franchi and many, many others.

Some were surprises: Ferrari and Maserati? The best one though was:

Aermacchi Harley Davidson?!
Some information from wikipedia: LINK

I plan several more trips to Jim Dillard's Vintage Motos Museum. If you ride Italian Iron or just need to go to see this magnificent collection of motorcycles. Do it soon, you'll be hooked.

Jim Dillard, left, the happy owner of Vintage Motos and Jack Frost, the lucky guy who gets to help work on the motorcycles!

The entry fee is a paltry $7 and kids get in free. The museum's hours and location are at their website:

My GPS took me down a rather convoluted way. Here's what I recommend. Take I-25 to the 20th Street exit and head east into Denver. After Blake Street which runs one way south, turn north on Walnut Street and take it to 28th Street. The museum is on the corner of 28th and Walnut.

I did mention the museum's signage is a bit minimalist?

As I finish writing this, the newfound lust for Italian Iron that was generated by the sights at this museum is finally subsiding. For you Italian motorcycle riders out there, you're missing out if you don't go to this museum and see the motorcycles that came before yours!

Information links on the many marques at this museum, and much more: LINK

I'll see you there. Ciao!