Thursday, February 5, 2009

VMS: Vancouver Motorcycle Show, addendum

A while ago I was reading one of my favourite BLOGS (Key West Diary) where conchscooter was making a comparison between a BMW and a Bonneville, not really a review but more impressionistic, and there was some chitter-chatter in the comments:

"Thursday, January 29, 2009 8:11:00 AM EST
Conchscooter said...
Sieg Heil! I thought Bruno Ganz as Hitler in "Downfall" was masterful. And this version was absolutely hilarious!!Of course it would have been off the charts for Hitler to ride a Brough or a I guess a VFR from the Axis was the best he could permit himself...
Jack, when you get to Key West I will lay in the parking lot and you can ride over me with your water buffalo"

"Thursday, January 29, 2009 12:23:00 PM EST
irondad said...
This was a thoughtful review. I'd choose the Triumph to ride. Can identify with both bikes.

I've been called "not much to look at but functional". BMW

My outsides are looking more aged but the insides are a finely tuned machine. Bonneville"

I have a journalistic style of photography, not humourous in the journalistic style of my colleague Jack Riepe of Twisted Roads of whom I admire for his light-hearted way he looks at the world but journalistic in the way my photography has been tempered by my many years of shooting photos on the streets of East Vancouver ("street photography"). I am trying to say that I take a lot of photos and you only get to see a small portion of them. While at the VMS this year there was a static display of vintage bikes

(Triumph, Vancouver Motorcycle Show, Vancouver, BC January, 2009)

I can't really see the gauges from my angle and I am unsure whether or not Tachometers are standard equipment or not. I have had numerous motorcycles in my riding career (since the late 60's) and I cannot think of any bike I have ever owned which did not come with a Tach as standard equipment. Cruisers I can understand as they are not performance machines but I have never owned a cruiser . The closest thing I had that resembled a cruiser was my Suzuki GS1100L which I purchased new back in 1981 but it was really a sport bike with "laid back" handlebars.

(Triumph "955")

If you squint you can see TWO round gauge clusters which would appear to have a Speedometer AND a TACHometer, and an OIL cooler too

(Triumph Bonneville "750")

Now here's a shot of the Bonneville "750" and you can clearly see TWO round gauges, so this one should have a TACH and SPEEDO . Notice that these old machines have a KICK STARTER. I wished my bike had a manual kick starter. I wonder if Jack Riepe's 75 year old K75 has a manual Kick Starter. I guess that's why it's called a K75. Like fine wine it has to be aged in order to achieve perfection. I know that Jack has been riding for a very long time, perhaps Kick starters hadn't been invented yet ? I'm sure he will chime in soon to let us know.


You learn something new every day. Did you know that the 1969 Trimph Trident 750 held the land speed record ? I didn't. The record was set during September 2008. I don't know how come it took 39 years

(1969 Triumph Trident "750" body #240)

Here it is "in the flesh" so to speak. I wanted to touch it but it was behind a roped area and on a rotating pedestal. When I saw it I immediately thought of my colleague down in KW (Key West) and snapped this photo. Something like this would be perfect down on the roads in KW where all the roads are straight and there are barely any twisties in sight.


(Triumph TRW, circa 1950's)

This TRW also had a "spring cushioned" seat and canvas saddle bags. (Note: it was hard to take a full view due to the crowds and narrow isles)

Take a look at the following, can you guess what it is ? Looks like a "gear shift" handle . . .

(1924 Brough Superior "SS80")


Here's a close-up view of the engine, A thing of beauty and complicated.

(Engine: Brough Superior "SS80")

Now I didn't know it at the time but Irondad just made a post about Police Bikes The RCMP had a police display at the motorcyle show

(RCMP:IRSU Police Bike)

It's a Harley, something or other. (I know nothing about HD models)


We asked the people at the booth what IRSU meant and everyone was scrambling to find out for us. It's not an easy acronym to decipher. Wish my name ended in "Riepe" for I know he will devise something appropriate. Finally after much searching she came back and said that IRSU stands for: Integrated Road Safety Unit.

(Brough Superior "ss80")

I just love the look of old technology, but if it broke it would be a door stop, UNLESS of course, I belonged to the MAC-PAC "Eating & Wrenching Society" . I could give that famous Harp Seal Sorry look and Brian Curry will come to my rescue.


  1. Dear Bobskoot:

    I have no idea how I missed that January 29th posting on Key West Dairy, but Conch calling my dignified K75 a "water buffalo" was the funniest thing I had heard all week. I laughed my ass off tonight.

    For the record, I think the Triumph is one of the most beautiful bikes currently in production. Not only does that retro style really appeal to me, but the folks at Triumph know something about paint jobs too.

    My first bike, a Kawsaki 750 Triple did come with a kick starter -- exclusively. I was a kid then and could jump up and down. The K75 doesn't need a kick starter. The starter button is micro-touch sensitive, and starts the engine in two seconds -- or less.

    Bob, you flatter me me too much. I am going to draft a series of quasi serious pieces in the next few days. Let's see if I can pull these off. The current issue of the BMW MOA's Owners News is carrying a story I wrote, titled "169 Pounds Between Here And Tennessee." This piece is a combination of scientific fact, and my interpretation of the facts (which is almost the same thing).

    I can hardly wait for the weather to break so I can do some fresh ride reports.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  2. Bobskoot...nice pictures...These bikes were glorious in their days. I onced tried a 1934 BSA 500 cc and the power pull on it was so amzingly different. It wanted to throw you off the bike head first. Never experienced anything like it

  3. I love my Triumph Adventurer. A sweet little rumble and a smooth easy ride. Love my Aprilia Scooter though too.

  4. The whole Bonneville tachometer thing will be explained next week when I have sorted out my new instrument in my head (3600 rpm in 5th gear = um, 60mph indicated I think).
    People like Vincents, but they were known to mechanics of the era as "The Plumber's nightmare" thanks to all the oil lines everywhere. I like the Brough Superior not least because the lines are prettier but also because the designer called it Superior and pissed off his Dad who grumbled that his Broughs must by inference be Inferiors...I never owned a Triumph in my youth because I rode a lot and needed reliability and whatever else nostalgia bound modern riders think, Triumphs were known even back then for vibrating, leaking oil and breaking their wiring harnesses and thus not running. My modern Bonneville is a thing of joy, unlike Riepe's K75. Phftt!

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