Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day Entertainment

Well it's Christmas Day, the kids are noisily playing with/destroying their presents, her inside is in the kitchen fighting a losing battle with the turkey and the sprouts and the father-in-law is droning on about his prize turnips...

Anyway, here's something to keep you occupied and to help you keep your sanity. It's a behind-the-scenes look at what makes people want to participate in one of motorcycling's most legendary and prestigious events, the Isle of Man TT Races. As a point of interest it was produced and broadcast by Al-Jazeera's English-language news channel. We hope that they don't mind our publishing it here, because it really is an interesting little documentary that a lot of people will overlook - mainly because of its source in many cases.

Oh and please excuse the fact that the video window is so small: it's an issue that we're looking into. Until we can sort out a larger-sized video window, just play it in full-screen mode.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Cheer

Now that it seems obvious that the Mayans got it wrong (cue the "Journalist's Curse"! - Ed), The Thruxtonian would like to wish all our readers and friends, as well as their families and loved ones, a very Merry Christmas, and much Health and Happiness for 2013! We hope that Santa will leave all the presents you've asked for under the tree and that the Christmas dinner will be copious and cooked to perfection! See you all next year and Enjoy the Ride!!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Newtown, Connecticut

After the sickening events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, The Thruxtonian would like to manifest its condolences to, and solidarity with, the inhabitants of Newtown, whose lives were forever changed by yesterday's senseless and cowardly act. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the victims, their families and their community at this harrowing time.

This violence must stop. NOW.

Marc Michon
Editor, The Thruxtonian

Friday, 14 December 2012

Stella Alpina

It's the weekend before Christmas and you should all probably be submitting to the hell of last-minute Chrimbo shopping - you know, choosing that tasteful present for the mother-in-law, stocking up on booze, etc. - but if you can, why not wheel the bike out and get away from it all for a couple of hours? Here's a bit of inspiration in the shape of the Stellalpina, the latest custom creation to come from the Mantua-based Italian Harley-Davidson dealer and tuner Roberto Rossi (no relation to "The Doctor", as far as I know). There is also a Roberto Rossi blog.

Enjoy the Ride!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Obituary: Reverend Graham Hullett

It is with great sadness that The Thruxtonian has learned of the passing of Father Graham Hullett on 5th December. He was 80 years old.

Reverend Frederick Graham Hullett is notably famous for having been the charismatic leader of the renowned 59 Club during its golden era in the 1960s.

Father Graham - the Ton-up Vicar

His love of motorcycling took off during his National Service, most of which he spent aboard a Matchless G3 in Germany. Once he had returned to Civvy Street, the young priest volunteered to collaborate with the legendary youth club, since this would combine his religious duties with his enthusiasm for bikes. The Church hierarchy readily accepted, not least because the previous Club leader, Rev. William Shergold (affectionately known as “Father Bill”) wished to move on to other things.

The 59 Club prospered under Father Graham’s leadership and went from being a youth club that welcomed Rockers and ton-up boys to becoming a fully-fledged motorcycle club. Rev. Hullett would rarely miss a club ride and regularly led club outings to the TT races on the Isle of Man, but also took members several times to the Dragon Rally in Wales and the Elefantentreffen rally in what was then West Germany. Thanks to these runs, the 59 Club gained its international fame. [...]

Friday, 7 December 2012

Cover-up Chic

When your go-to crash hat is an open-face lid, some kind of facial protection is necessary, particularly on long rides. And if you can look cool into the bargain, then all the better.

Protecting that pretty face

Naturally, classic bikers and ton-up rockers will choose the WW2 fighter pilot’s white silk scarf, which deals pretty adequately with both of the above issues. Of course, a “proper job” silk scarf doesn’t come cheap, it’ll get dirty very quickly and it’s a pain in the proverbial to clean, not to mention that putting it on takes a bit of practice and can’t always be done at a moment’s notice.

Cash-strapped riders, or those seeking practicality, on the other hand, don’t have much of a choice. You either have the good old bandanna, which has its limitations, or the neck tube, which is more practical and versatile, albeit usually about as cool as a barbecue at Lucifer’s gaff. But now Sunday Speedshop, a French start-up, has solved the problem. It has taken the humble and frumpy neck tube and turned it into something funky.

Ready to ride

Sunday Speedshop offers a wide range of designs, going from chequered flag prints for street racers, to paisley-inspired colourways for the refined motorcyclist who likes to get around with a modicum of style and elegance. The neck tubes are made of lycra with a silk-touch finish, giving them that luxury feel borrowed from the aforementioned silk scarf, combined with the practicality of man-made fibre: they’re easy to wash and dry quickly which means that you can stay smart even on long road trips. What’s more, the wide range of designs, along with a relatively cheap price, means that you can afford to acquire several of them to suit your mood, dress code or bike.

Which one will I wear today?

You can find the whole Sunday Speedshop range here.

All photos © Sunday Speedshop 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Permission to come aboard?

Just to prove that motorcycle journalism isn't always fun and games, the French journalist Laurent Cochet, from Moto Journal magazine, suffered a freak accident while road-testing the 2013 Yamaha FJR 1300. Whilst riding at walking pace on the port of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, in France, one of the bike's side panniers snagged a bollard, which projected the bike and its somewhat startled rider into the drink. Fortunately, the bike landed on one of the pleeasure port's walkways, while Cochet landed aboard a yacht moored alongside it. Despite the spectacular nature of the crash (see video below), the Gallic journo only suffered a badly sprained thumb, although I guess that the bike will be declared a write-off. Get well soon, Laurent!

P.S. At The Thruxtonian we'd love to see a copy of the accident statement: we're sure that it would make for some pretty comic reading!

Video footage © Moto Journal