Friday, 30 November 2012


So once again the weekend is upon us. It looks like the weather is going to be pretty chilly this weekend, but don't let that discourage you from hitting the road on your iron horse. Let's hope that this photograph will encourage you to make the most of your bike this weekend! Just remember: keep the rubber side down and your knees in the breeze and... Enjoy the Ride!

Have bike, will travel...

Editor's note: If you have any photos of your motorcycle road trips and travels that you would like to see published on The Thruxtonian, don't hesitate to send them in. I can't promise that each and every pic will be published but we'll do our best! We would preferably want landscape or townscape photos featuring classic, vintage, cafe racer and custom bikes, whether loaded to the gills with luggage or not. Submit your photos to:

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Elephants in the snow

As winter draws closer, temperatures drop and road conditions become more and more dangerous and treacherous.

Of course, modern motorcycling gear is fantastic, keeping you warm and dry without being too bulky and hindering your movements on the bike. But how did riders cope in the good old days before the existence of Goretex, Thinsulate, Cordura and so on? The other day I came across this short French documentary film from 1970 about the fabled Elefantentreffen motorcycle rally in Germany. The most high-tech clothing in sight is the Belstaff wax-cotton jacket, and full-face helmets for road use didn’t exist yet. But that didn’t stop hundreds of riders from braving sub-zero temperatures, sleet, snow and black ice to get to the Nürburgring, including 80-year old Robert Sexé (note the prudish spelling of his surname in the opening credits – “Autres temps, autres moeurs” as the French would say), a journalist who had already been round the world a few times by bike.


So we really don’t have any excuse for not riding once temperatures drop into single figures. Just get a cheap winter hack, invest in some good riding gear and get out there on the road – who knows, you might even like it!

Film footage © INA

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Keeping it Simple

The Suzuki Savage (or Boulevard S40 as it’s been called since 2005) is hardly the type of bike that is likely to keep you up all night in a “gotta have that bike” kind of frenzy. Proof of that is the amount of them one can see on the roads. In my 20+ years of motorcycling, I myself have seen three of them in the flesh – and one of those was sitting forlornly in a corner of the Suzuki dealership where I bought my first bike (a 400cc Suzuki Bandit). Even the Dealer Principal dissed it when I showed curiosity about it. “Oh no, you wouldn’t be wanting that one…” So we’re obviously talking about a seriously underwhelming machine here.

Ryca CS-1: Rebel with a parking ticket

But the Savage/S40’s dowdy looks and decidedly lacklustre performance figures didn’t deter ex-NASA technician Casey Stevenson when, along with his business associate Ryan Rajewski, he decided to make it the basis of their company’s activity – even if making aftermarket conversion kits and parts might initially strike one as a rather elaborate form of corporate suicide. Stevenson claims that he was looking for a simple single-cylinder machine to get him around L.A.’s urban sprawl in style. The fact that he ended up forking out his foldable for a Savage can only be ascribed to the fact that NASA must encourage “thinking outside the box”.

Once he had the bike in his workshop (and no doubt with the thought “what the fuck have I just done?” ringing round his mind) he decided that he was going to turn motorcycling’s equivalent of Nora Batty’s wrinkled stockings into… a café racer. [...]

Thursday, 22 November 2012

The Thruxtonian would like to wish all its American readers a great Thanksgiving Holiday!



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Attention all Graphic Designers!

In the on-going bid to revamp The Thruxtonian and to make the blog progress to greater horizons, I think that it is time to create an eye-catching logo for it. Unfortunately I have neither the know-how nor the tools for the job.

The Thruxtonian is therefore looking for a generous graphic designer who would be ready to create a logotype for the blog and who would be ready to do so in his/her own time and “pour la gloire”, as our Gallic friends would say. This is because The Thruxtonian is a non-profit concern and that its Editor and General Dogsbody (four stars) is very much broke!

So if you are a graphic designer who is into bikes, or a graphic design student who wants to practice your future trade, email me at and we’ll discuss the project.

Enjoy the Ride!


Friday, 16 November 2012

Have a great weekend!

It’s not every day that The Thruxtonian offers you a double helping, but this is Friday evening, so sit back and enjoy the video. It’ll no doubt give you ideas about how to spend the two most important days of the week! Enjoy the Ride!

I suggest you watch the video in fullscreen mode, it's worth it!

Carry On Valencia

Three blokes, three 125cc bikes, £125 apiece. Their mission (and they accepted it): to get to the final round of the MotoGP World Championship in Valencia, Spain, without mishap. What could possibly go wrong?

Last year Steve Keys, Danny-John Jules (of Red Dwarf fame) and Matt Roberts (roving reporter for the BBC’s coverage of MotoGP, world-famous for his quiff and snappy sartorial style) rode from the UK to Valencia aboard a trio of Yamaha R1 sports bikes for the Riders for Health charity. This year however, they decided they had to do things a bit differently, and Challenge 125 was born. It involved putting one lucky youngster through the CBT and then unleashing him (or her) on the roads of continental Europe. So Steve and Danny were joined by George Nickless.

 Challenge 125 trailer

According to original plans, their adventure should have taken place earlier in the year and taken them to Italy, but this isn’t a perfect world, there were various setbacks and so they decided to go back to Valencia. I had the pleasure of catching up with the lads when they bivvied in Sitges, on the eve of their final charge down to the MotoGP track in Valencia, and I must say that I spent a pleasant evening in the company of three great blokes and pukka bike enthusiasts to boot. Steve, Danny: if you’re looking for your third man for next year’s derring-do, give me a shout and I’ll put the day job on hold for a couple of weeks!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Rider Down: Luis Carreira

It is with great sadness that The Thruxtonian has learned of the death of Luis Carreira during today’s qualifying session at the Macau Grand Prix.

Portuguese rider Luis Carreira

The Portuguese rider came off at Fisherman’s Bend, the right-hander that connects the fast blast down to the Reservoir from the Melco Hairpin with the straight that runs along the Reservoir’s seaboard side. Although emergency medical crews were quick to attend the fallen rider, Carreira was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 36 years of age.

The plucky, smiling racer had become a well-known figure in road racing, participating regularly in the Macau Grand Prix, the Isle of Man TT and the North West 200. He had also had wild card races in the World Superbike Championship as well as having competed in several endurance races. He will be sorely missed by road racing fans and fellow competitors alike.

Although, as road racing fans, we are aware that death is one of the risks of the sport that we love so much, it is always heart-wrenching to hear that another racer has paid the ultimate price to this cruel mistress... Sleep well, Luis.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Onwards and Upwards

After a rather prolonged period of inaction - much to our regret here at The Thruxtonian - I am happy to announce that business will soon be resumed and that the blog will be progressing onwards and upwards.

Amongst the changes that are in the offing are a dedicated Twitter account and Facebook page, to give The Thruxtonian greater visibility and to make it easier for you, the reader to access and read the articles. This will also enable you to contact the blog and leave comments, observations, as well as photos and videos that you believe might be of interest to The Thruxtonian. In fact, in the short term we will be further developing reader input to the blog - who knows, your input might even end up published right here! But we'll jump off that bridge when we reach it, as the saying goes.

The aim is to gradually turn The Thruxtonian into a key blog in the world of motorcycling and motorcyclists, albeit with a marked slant towards classic and vintage bikes, café racers and custom motorcycles, along with the fashion and lifestyle aspects that go with them. I'm looking forwards to your company in this new chapter in The Thruxtonian's adventure.

Enjoy the ride!