Dave Twomey in Los Angeles
"Like many of you, I have been on an ongoing quest for the perfect saddlebags. Originally I had used some $12 army surplus bread-bags. Sloppy is a personal trademark of mine, so for a long time this worked out fine for both of us."
"Then one day at an imports store, inspiration struck as I laid eyes on what appeared to be brown leather-covered hatboxes. Their tops were round like my fender and their bottoms were flat like my exhaust. Turned out they were the vinyl stretched over lightweight wooden frames. These were going to make great, rigid saddlebags."
"But I couldn't stop there. The brown element was too different from the old grey mare. No, I would need a full complement of luggage to pull it off. From ebay, I grabbed a cheap leather tool bag for the front. This, I kept for exactly one ride as it wanted to help with the braking. Later, I found a better companion, a new, german army surplus vinyl map-bag."
"I removed the front fender and took off the rear rack to reveal the curve of the rear fender. I replaced the rear signals with some smaller ones which helps mimic the ratio of the front trio. I managed to mount the boxes over the plunger suspension with the aid of strong-ties, merconium, and the good wishes of little children. I love the way they echo the lines of the rear end as well as the bulky projection of the cylinders."
"The bags are easy to load and unload and each is roomy enough to hold my (matching) tool clutch and a small picnic (seen here in front of Wright's Freeman house). Not bad for a coupla $25 hat boxes. Enduro, eat your heart out."
"I've been sitting on these pictures for you. This one is of the Ennis house, a Frank Lloyd Wright texture-block house, the interior of which has starred in several movies, including Blade Runner where it served as Deckard's apartment."
"This picture shows the Bradbury building in downtown L.A. The wrought-iron staircases and elevator inside served as a backdrop for the final showdown with the remaining replicants."
"The latest improvements are a Honda petcock and a PLA brake-light switch from Gerald."
In late 2002 I unwrapped my engineless M1 purchased directly from Dong-Tian. After all the paperwork and hassle with the freight forwarders, the pungent smell of rubber and insecticide was sweeter than perfume.
After some research I had decided to go with a BMW /2 powerplant. To secure an engine I went to the yahoo group Slash 2 Conversions. These guys have /2 bikes with later engines in them, so I figured they might have a spare, old engine lying around. I was right. For $100 I procured a 1960 R60/2 engine which had suffered the trauma of a violent "jug-ectomy". I tore it down to the crank and cleaned the slingers and all the garden waste out of the case, which I put in a baggie.
The engine mounts line right up. Now my machine was starting to look like a bike so I had my loyal pup guard it around the clock.
No electronics came with the engine or the bike so I bought an aftermarket electronic ignition from MZ-B. The advance and coil are now buried deep in the frame.
I cobbled together this circuit diagram from the M1 and MZ-B documents.
Finally I am on the road. The dog is commanded to defend the bike with her life. The finned metal box under the tank is the voltage regulator. The "Frankenheader" will have to be painted high-heat black. Also I soon realized the CJ mirror gave me a great view of my shoulders and not much else. The front wheel pogos and needs a runway to stop. These issues will have to be addressed.
The famous Angeles Crest—best road in town. I now have BMW mirrors. Front signals are now on crude brackets attached to the fender bolt. The chimney air-cleaner is gone in favor of the R71 style part from Blitz Bikes.
Also new is the Ural front wheel and from F2, a Ural twin leading shoe front brake. This is a popular mod. If you want to do it you should know you will have to hack off at least part of your fork-lugs and will have to make some kind of shim to shift the wheel back in line. Jim Bryant was an indispensable source during the construction of my bike.
To tilt the karmic balance back a little I agreed to design a logo for the Beijing Dragons Motorcycle Club. This design was my fave but was not chosen.
The first draft on a napkin of the official design. It would eventually be pirated for sidecar covers and who knows what else.
Hey, who's that in my one-horse garage? Why it's Jim Bryant himself, stopping by on his US tour to make repairs.
I have decided to take photos of my bike in front of notable architecture all over LA. Here is Frank Lloyd Wright's Derby house.
Here she is at Wright's Barnsdall...
...or "Hollyhock" house.
This is the ride in her prettiest incarnation. Check out the chrome mufflers and awesome horn supplied by Gerald of LRM. Dog is off duty so the bike is gated and chained.
A kid arrives on the planet and catches me without a sidecar. No problem. A few bunjees and a car seat and we are ready to go. Later I realized that this was not safe. I should have put the seat rear facing.
Time to represent at the 22nd. annual Love Ride to Castaic Lake. We got lots of looks and thumbs up as usual.
My guess is that 98.5% of the bikes were Harleys which is a shame. As you can see you'll find less chrome in the cart-return at the supermarket.