Happy Monday all you out there in internet land. I hope that your weekend’s were filled with fun and frolics and that you are all starting to get into the Christmas spirit, and I don’t mean that bottle of Whisky you have stashed ready for the holidays. Personally I have spent most of the weekend putting up decorations and cleaning a film of mud and road grime off the bike. It really is not the most pleasant time of year to ride a bike and that all pervading dampness in the air can make things corrode quicker than Valentino Rossi round Valencia.
One of my other hobbies, yes I do have a life away from motorcycles, is photography. I love to get out and take pictures of just about everything that catches my eye. Of course I have taken some pics of bikes; one of my favorites is a self portrait that I took on a local road at 6 am one summer Sunday. Normally I don’t surface at that hour but I had noticed the potential for this shot and the only time I could manage to get an empty road was then….I suffer for my art! Anyway, I would not exactly call that an iconic motorcycling photo, but there are a few of them out and now they are here, enjoy!
On May 26, 1975, in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London, Evel Knievel crashed while trying to jump over 13 London Buses. This photo is remarkable because it shows the inevitable outcome of a stunt that Knievel knew was going to fail. There was just not enough ramp to get the speed necessary to make the jump. Despite this he went ahead and the inevitable happened, was he mad to do so? I think yes, but he was also the consummate showman and would never think of letting down his public, even if it did mean risking his own life and breaking a few bones.
In 1969 the motorcycling world changed forever. Before then big high performance bikes were the domain of the American companies. The likes of Honda produced smaller twin cylinder machines that were cheap but didn’t really set the world on fire. Then the CB750 Four arrived and bikers couldn’t get enough of it. The story is that this machine also brought the Z900 into existence, making Kawasaki up the capacity from a planned 750cc to the now iconic 900. Mr. Honda deserves a big thank you, if it hadn’t been for him what would we be riding about on now?
Then there is this incredible photo, looking at it you would believe that it is just a great photo of a wheelie, but look closer , it is so much more than that. It is a great photo that captures the “oh shit” moment that we have all had. The rider is Dennis Ireland, TT rider and all round fast guy, and he is trying very , very hard to shut the throttle, just take a look at his right hand!
The details are sketchy about the photo, the photographer was Don Morley and he was laying on the track to take the photo. It I s said that the bike flipped and bounced over him leaving him shaken but not injured. Mr Ireland on the other hand probably suffered a broken pelvis although other accounts say a broken back. As for the bike it was a two stroke 500 or 750, either a Kawasaki, or Suzuki or a Yamaha….does it matter, it is a great photo?
And finally there is this, the one that made the rest of the world realize that they would never be as cool as us!
I don’t think there is much more that needs to be said except