Wednesday, 11 March 2015

#BringBackClarkson




For petrolheads the world over, this week's shock-horror news didn't come from MotoGP or from Formula 1. Instead, we're all reeling from the news that the BBC has suspended Jeremy Clarkson and has cancelled the broadcasting of the remaining episodes of this season's Top Gear show, because apparently Clarkson punched a production assistant while the show's team were filming in Yorkshire. As a result, the future of Top Gear is up in the air; the contracts of all three presenters (Clarkson, James "Captain Slow" May and Richard Hammond) were coming up for renewal and, if Clarkson's contract is not renewed, it is possible that the other two presenters will not be renewing theirs.

Now, while Clarkson may be loud, opinionated and larger than life, and despite the fact that he professes to dislike motorcyclists (despite co-hosting the show with two of them), we really like the man (I mean, he punched Piers Morgan - well done that man!) and his politically incorrect attitude which is a breath of fresh air in today's PC nanny-state world; we think that Aunty Beeb has over-reacted on this occasion. We would have thought that BBC top brass, of all people, would have understood that the Jeremy Clarkson we all see on the box is just a persona and a caricature, as is Hammond's slight gaucheness and May's professorial pedantry.

So that is why we've signed the online petition to bring back Clarkson and why we stand up and say: JE SUIS CLARKSON.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

EICMA 2014

Well, it’s that time of year again. In the motorcycling world, early November is EICMA time – two days of stampeding from one stand to another as the manufacturers present their new offerings with varying levels of pomp and circumstance, punctuated by brief stops to gulp down an overpriced, soggy pseudo-panino and a Nastro Azzuro. And once again, I’ll be making the trip out to Milan to see – and drool over, in some cases – all the new and shiny bikes that the manufacturers will be unleashing on the high street in 2015. Naturally I’ll also be checking out some of the brand-new riding gear that we’ll all be wanting to find under the Christmas tree this year.


However, to spice things up a bit, this year I’ll be going by bike (hey, I didn’t go on a holiday road trip this summer, so this ought to make up for it). Let’s see: one man, his bike and three countries – what could possibly go wrong? As I wend my merry way across southern Europe, I’ll be posting to Instagram (@Thruxtonian) and live-tweeting (when I’m not riding, that is: I’m one head and a couple of arms short of being able to faff around with a smartphone and keep a 150 bhp – at the crank – bike on the straight and narrow), as well as posting a daily summary of my trials and tribulations on our Facebook page.

Anyway, enough hot air; I’d better get back to packing my bags and brushing up on my Pidgin Italian. Ci vediamo in Milano!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

CT Scuderia

Precision timepieces and motor vehicles - be they cars, motorcycles, ‘planes or boats - have always gone hand-in-hand, since it’s vitally important to be able to record speed, distance and time. Indeed, the first gauges to find their way onto dashboards were mechanical and, more often than not, made by watch manufacturers, which meant that for many years speedometers and tachometers closely resembled the chronometers from which they evolved.
 
Not surprisingly, this one's called the "Dashboard"
As the years went by, many watch manufacturers underlined the close ties between both worlds, with such masterpieces as the Rolex Daytona, and the TAG Heuer Monaco (which was even made in Gulf Racing colours).
 
The Corsa wouldn't look out of place at the Goodwood Revival
Fast forward to the present day and we have watch company Contatempo Scuderia: with a name like that their intentions and inspiration are clear. And their products not only breathe technological precision, with their superb mechanisms, but also suggest a heady scent made up of hot rubber, petrol and warm clutch plates, underlined by a sharp tang of Bonneville salt. [...]