World Surf Spot 5 : Mundaka (Euzkadi)

A Famous Wave Returns to Spain

One of Europe's most famous waves disappeared three years ago, delivering a shock to the international surf community as well as a blow to tourism in the Basque village of Mundaka. But now the waves are rolling again.

The last Sunday of September in this Basque town on the Spanish coast wallows in an idyllic, late-summer quiet. Fitness-happy old men take their sagging bellies for a walk in the mirror-like sea. "Twenty times back and forth, then I'll be done," one of them says, while his wife, having planted a parasol in the sand, attends to the lives of the rich and famous in her magazine.

Mundaka, Spain, about forty kilometers northeast of Bilbao, isn't known as a haven for senior citizens. It's a famous surf Mecca, featuring Europe's best left-breaking wave. Surfers used to gather here every autumn for a professional contest -- until three years ago, when the wave simply disappeared, leaving Mundaka and its beaches to the retirees.

But now the wave is back, and so is the contest. The world-class "Billabong Pro Mundaka" runs this year from October 3-14, bringing flocks of surfers and tourists to the former fishing village.
The wave disappeared in the winter of 2003, after a local shipyard company called Murueta S.A. dredged the Guernica estuary at the mouth of the Oka River, ruining what turned out to be a very important sandbar. The dredging changed the flow of the river so drastically that the coastal seawater just blubbered and swayed where it used to rear up into a speeding curl. It was a catastrophe, not just for surfers but also for tourism in Mundaka -- not to mention the local hip clothing shops that had thrived in the area's bustling surf culture.
Thanks to : Sören Meschede

3feet of clean surf in Bilbao and Mundaka last week end


Chateau La Tertre Roteboeuf ... Amazing

The history of Chateau Le Tertre-Rôteboeuf differs from others.

The estate has humble beginnings, virtually unknown until 1985 (even the 1986 edition of Féret devotes a desultory single line entry to the estate, nestled within "miscellany" section next to nobodies such as "Chateau Belille-Mondotte" and "Rochebelle".) This is a property that became an overnight sensation in the mid-1980's having spent several years honing techniques that have become common practice these days Its origins lie with a non-descript vineyard named Le Tertre that was owned by François Mitjavile's future father-in-law.

After he passed away in 1961, it was inherited by his daughter Miloute who rented it out to her cousins that lived at Chateau Bellefond-Belcier where the wine was vinified. Meanwhile, François Mitjavile was enduring a 9 to 5 job at his family's successful haulage business, courting then marrying Miloute and spending the odd weekend together at her cousins' chateau in Saint Emilion.

Unsuited to the rat race, Mitjavile made a pivotal life-changing decision and migrated with his wife to Bordeaux to reassume her/their rightful inheritance and try his hand at winemaking. After a two year apprenticeship at Chateau Figeac from 1975 until 1977 he returned to Le Tertre and suffixed Rôtebeouf in order to differentiate it from several other similar sounding estates in the area, the name deriving from a nearby hill once ploughed by cattle (its literal translation is the unsavoury "hill of the belching beef").


The Silver Board Project

The Silver Surfer (or Norrin Radd) is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Jack Kirby. The character first appears in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), the first of a three-issue arc fans and historians call "The Galactus Trilogy".

Originally a young astronomer of the planet Zenn-La, Norrin Radd made a bargain with a being, pledging himself to serve as his herald in order to save his home-world from destruction by the fearsome cosmic entity known as Galactus. Imbued in return with a tiny portion of Galactus' Power Cosmic, Radd acquired great powers and a new version of his original appearance. Galactus also created for Radd a surfboard-like craft — modeled after a childhood fantasy of his — on which he would travel at speeds beyond that of light.

Known from then on as the Silver Surfer, Radd began to roam the cosmos searching for new planets for Galactus to consume. When his travels finally took him to Earth, the Surfer came face-to-face with the Fantastic Four, a team of powerful superheroes that helped him to rediscover his nobility of spirit. Betraying Galactus, the Surfer saved Earth but was punished in return by being exiled there.

The Chanel " Silver Board " Project :
A couple years ago and as every summer season Chanel ask me to design a new surfboard
the theme of the collection was the Silver Surfer...

This was the first season where i used a truster instead of a longboard and i ask my friend Philippe Barland to shape it as he knows how to do.
The grey color was matching with the grey of the collection but it was pretty hard to obtain this kind of color on a board so we had to paint it... Momo from Toulouse did it.

I like this board so much 'cause it looks like a gun or a sword.

pics by Benoit Guerry


A Norton Atlas History

After the Norton 16H here comes the atlas...

Many thanks to Paul D'Orleans, (owner of the grey Norton Atlas featured on this publication)

The Norton twin has a mixed history in the eyes of collectors, and has never achieved the level of desirability of even the humble sidevalve models from the 20's. First laid out in 1947 as a response to the huge success of Edward Turner's lovely Triumph Speed Twin (fully 10 years after that sensational debut), the new Model 7 'Dominator' of 1948 was designed by a protege of Turner's, Bert Hopwood, which did nothing to dispel the image of a 'copycat' machine.

The Model 7 engine was installed in the cycle parts of the ES2 single, with Roadholder forks and 'Garden Gate' (so-called due to its tendency to feel 'hinged' while racing - so much for Norton roadholding!) plunger frame.

The reputation of Norton was at the time completely built on their immortal 79x100mm singles; 16H, Model 18, International, and Manx. While a few vertical twins had managed successes in competition by 1948 (see post on the Wicksteed blown Triumph), it was obvious to any motorcyclist interested in competition that this new design was really not a Thoroughbred, and contrary to the claim of the Triumph 'GP', this design had no Grand Prix future at all.

Nortons seemed almost embarrassed at the introduction of the Model 7, which is understandable given their corporate culture and history. Norton had spent the previous 20 years trouncing their competition in International racing with their well-developed singles. They must have eaten a bit of Humble Pie to be forced to create a twin-cylinder machine to compete with Triumph in sales, but thus was the economic reality of postwar Britain. The demand for big Singles was on the wane, and every major factory in Britain began to produce twin-cylinder machines (even Velocette - but theirs was the 'LE'). The above photo shows the new Model 7 at the Earl's Court Motorcycle Show in 1948; with Bert Hopwood himself and Joe Craig, maestro of the Race Shop, with his hand on the seat. What Joe is thinking to bring that curious smile to his face is worth conjecture; we need a Caption Contest!
Here's mine; 'This golden goose better pay for my 4 cylinder racer...'

The Model 7 engine was installed in the Manx's Featherbed frame in 1951, becoming the Model 88 Dominator. In response to American demand for More Power, the capacity was increased in 1956 to 600cc (the Model 99), and in 1961 the frame top rails were pinched together to make the Slimline frame (requiring less of a bow-leg to sit comfortably), and the 650SS model was introduced, which was truly Norton's answer to the Triumph Bonneville. The Atlas arrived in 1962, as the trump card to the Bonnie (which didn't grow to 750cc until 1973).

The Atlas was named after the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) developed in 1957, which formed the backbone of US Air Force nuclear deterrent strategy ('Mutually Assured Destruction' - MAD). It was soon adapted by NASA to launch satellites into orbit, then humans too, as the chief booster of the Mercury space project, which by 1962 had launched John Glenn into orbit. With a namesake of such awesome and threatening power, perhaps it was fated that the Atlas gained a mixed reputation.

What the buyer got with the Atlas: Cycle parts which were the Gold Standard of motorcycle handling from 1951 until the late 1980s - the Featherbed frame (designed by Rex and Cromie McCandless in 1949), and the Roadholder forks (designed before WW2, after the BMW tele forks). An excellent gearbox, developed from the Sturmey-Archer design from the early 1920's (Norton purchased the design in the early 1930s, and continued to develop the 'box until the final Commando in 1978). Electrics which were at least modern (ie, an alternator), if not quite in Japanese e-start territory (that came in 1975 on the MkIII Commando). The tinware was attractive, if not as pretty as a Triumph, with deeply valanced chrome mudguards and a big chrome Norton flash badge. Weight was 435lbs or so with a bit of fuel. The clutch wasn't really up to the job of handling the massive torque of the new low-compression engine (7.6:1), and tended to slip when the throttle was suddenly opened. As for the engine itself, it developed 50hp @ 6800rpm, not that you would want to stay at such revs for long; luckily, the Atlas developed power all over the place, from almost no revs, and didn't need to have its neck wrung to build up speed.

Which certainly echoes my own experience. An Atlas was my first British motorcycle, when as a young lad I was a budding Rocker. In 1985; I read an ad in Citybike magazine for a 'low-mileage, fully rebuilt' '65 Norton Atlas 750cc ($800!), so I hitched a ride from SF to Santa Cruz to pick it up. I was a complete newbie to Britbikes, and didn't think much of the fact that the gas tank had been trimmed at the bottom (where it wraps over the frame tubes), the front fender was missing, and worst of all, the headstock had been altered to give more 'rake' to the forks.

It ran fine, and I rode it back to San Francisco over Skyline Blvd, testing the limits of the new machine, soon discovering that the bike shook so badly over 90mph that I literally couldn't see straight - everything became a blur. I had read all the literature I could find about this model, and had been warned, but it was still surprising to experience such vibration, especially as my previous bikes had been smooth vintage BMWs and Hondas. I kept that first Atlas for about 3 years, making some improvements, but the fact remained that I had bought a dog. After rebuilding the engine completely after only 3000 miles, I sold it along, vowing never to own another one.

My second Atlas (!) was a racer in a nickel-plated Wideline frame, Manx fiberglass tank, and huge Fontana magnesium brake. The engine had been beautifully worked over, with larger carbs (magnesium bodied Amal Concentrics - and I bet you've never seen a pair!), big valves, high-compression pistons, a genuine gold Lucas Racing magneto, Manx alloy oil tank, alloy rims, and a home-made rear disc brake setup. Shockingly enough, it was fully epuipped for the road, 'ish', as the 2-into-1 exhaust with reverse cone megaphone was devoid of silencing. The engine was much smoother than that first Atlas, and had been clearly built up by an expert. It was understandably a bit of a monster on the road, although the power was amazing, and it was certainly the fastest vertical twin I've ever owned.

My third Atlas hardly counts, as it was a basket case, and was resold before I had turned a wrench, to a fellow who wanted to build a Triton. Such was the fate of many an Atlas, I fear; the temptation to ditch the Hopwood vertical twin in favor of the Edward Turner Triumph was too great. And you must admit, Turner had a flair for proportion and detail which eluded Hopwood - the Norton engine is attractive, but workmanlike and not especially beautiful (sacrilege!). While the performance gain from adding a Triumph twin engine of 650cc capacity is nil, the Triton lives on today as a means of improving the handling of the Triumph powerplant.

Last year I bought my current 1966 model, in silver, for two reasons: 1. Whenever my path crosses with local collector Mike Shiro, always seen riding a 60's British twin (Triumph, Norton, Matchless), he looks so damn cool. 2. The Atlas was a known quantity, bog standard, in lovely condition, and didn't smoke or rattle. The Atlas is an underappreciated model here in the US, with a deserved reputation for bad vibration; thus they can be found very reasonably.

As per its reputation, the Norton 'Featherbed' frame is solid as a rock, with a bit of rake to the forks, requiring modest effort around bends. You don't 'think' this machine through corners, you nudge it, and it will do whatever you ask. It's possible to change 'line' in the midst of a corner, even a fast one, and while it always feels safe, it isn't necessarily agile.

Last summer I spent a week riding this Atlas through some of the twistiest roads CA has to offer - I mean 5 hours continuous riding through 30-50mph corners. At some points, with a passenger on board, I could feel myself really pushing the handlebars when changing direction quickly; this never got tiring, but it was noticeably different for me, having become used to smaller machines. I'm sure many riders, used to modern machines, would prefer the stability of the Norton, as it feels safe as a house.

As the 750cc vertical twin is decried for its vibration, I was a bit worried about riding it for a week, wondering if my hands would swell and my fillings fall out. But I came to understand the bike, and found its sweet spots, so that by Friday I could report an extremely smooth and very comfortable ride. The character of the machine changes dramatically when the throttle is twisted past Medium. When power is needed, say for overtaking cars, the Atlas surges forward like the rocket for which it's named, without any fuss or drama, but certainly with vibes.

But, if the throttle is used judiciously, the Atlas is actually an exceptional Sports-Tourer, requiring few gear changes even in rapidly changing conditions. I found it almost never necessary to use first or second gear, except when starting from a dead stop. Even in 20mph hairpins, third gear would suffice, and a gentle twist of the throttle would see the bike surging forward out of the bend. With a passenger, the Atlas has power enough to handle just about any hill or bend with disdain; such is its Manx heritage, and the breeding shows. I suppose I've made peace with the model after all these years.

Thanks Paul for your great help.  The Vintagent


Monclar Swap meet

Do you like swap meets?

Monclar's Swap meet  is interesting for those who likes really old machines,There's no plastic here. for me it's a good source of inspiration...
enjoy the gallery me made for you as a virtual visit



1981 – 2008, 27 years of English bikes…and more to come

I was 18 when my friend Vincent talked to me for the first time about a Triumph that I had to see before I bought the BMW I had chosen…
This was in June 1981 and since then I never imagined riding other way than on an English bike…

April 2002, after 21 years of good old loyal services, I decide to “break up” with my Triumph and acquire for the first time a Norton Commando.
I wanted a European model with gear change on the left same as on Triumph T140 that I knew by heart.
see previous post

It would be a 850 MK3 Commando interstate from 1977 with only 9000 miles on clock.
When I discovered my new motorcycle I decided firmly to make it an every day Norton that I could use whenever I wanted, easily and without any restraint.
In some way from this classic, bike I wanted to make a modern and trustable one. Transformations were necessary…

First of all the breaking system with a floating disk package of 300 mm on the front,
a grimeca caliper, a new master cylinder, all together allowing an optimal efficiency.
Rear break had also been significantly improved: by change of original “master cylinder” made of steel that rust inside and never miss to block the hose. The new stainless steel “master cylinder” from (MAP) definitively solved this global problem of all MK3.

Wheels have been reconditioned by Patrick with alloy akront 18” WM3 and WM4 rims. This allowed the use of modern tyres (bridgestone BT45).
The way it modified the handling is really radical. The end of K81 had come!
The stainless steel spokes allow an easy maintenance.

-standard ignition has been replaced by an electronical “boyer”
Girling rear shocks too old fashioned are replaced by Ikon shocks (Koni in French slang) adjustable in compression and also in rebound, the improvement is also very sensitive.
-on the transmission side, the primary is made by RGM with belt. The weight gained is really impressive (14 kg includind electric start devices ) and as a matter of fact maintenance is much easier. The loss of the electrical starter is the other side of the medal.

-Another important modification has been the replacement of iron cylinders by a pair of Steve Maney aluminium “cylinders”, which allow not only a 5 kg weight gain but also a better heat dissipation.
-Finally, the carb kit with Sudco intake manifold and Mikuni single carb used:
again this modification is radical and on the contrary of what is often said must not be considered as vital organ suppression! In the end the engine works a lot better with no doubt.
the idle is extremely easy to obtain when engine is cold as well as when it is hot, idle speed is very easy to rectify in a second.Thanks to the adjusting screw. This brings a lot more flexibility in low revs and an amazing progression in going up the high revs and this is thanks to the intermediate jets.

for make-up, of course a black painting with Norton logo made by Momo (MBS) in Toulouse, then some details such as replacement of rear light by a more ancient one and the front mudguard in aluminium allow to give lighter appearance to the MK3 that Time made a bit too heavy.

The Norton design is perfectly matching with my expectation of a motorcycle:

stylish, brutal and…sexy! For me in the classic bike world it is the
closest to perfection.


A Norton ES 2 History

The Norton Model ES2 was first introduced in the late 1920s using a '3 tube CS1' frame, and the basics of the earlier OHV motor, redesigned with rear-mounted magneto and enclosed pushrods. The frame design was soon to be changed for the traditional twin rear tube cradle frame, which was to remain in production in various guise until the introduction of the Featherbed frame in the mid 50s.

The ES2 proved to be an immensely popular mount for the serious motorcyclist, and good examples are always in demand.
Thanks to the Motorbike search engine

Thanks to : Pushrod-Performance

The ES2 made its debut at the 1927 Olympia Show and was generally produced to a more up to date specification than the Model 18. It featured the overhead valve engine as fitted to the Model 18, but with the magneto resited behind the cylinder, the drive coming off the primary chain.

The frame was of a new full cradle design which was also used on the brand new overhead camshaft CS1 machine. The petrol tank was of the saddle type then coming into vogue; by 1929, all the old flat tanks had been eliminated on Nortons. For 1931, there was a redesign of the right side crankcase to enable the magneto drive to be taken off the inlet camshaft. This was standardised on all other OHV and SV machines at the same time. A second drive side main bearing was added in 1934 along with valve guide oil pipes. The ES2 had its valve gear enclosed in 1938. There was an option of plunger rear suspension in 1939 as well as the International petrol tank.

During the year, with war clouds looming, all Norton production was turned over to side valve machines for the military. Production was resumed after the war with the plunger frame and telescopic forks now standard; then the engine internals received a lot of attention in 1948, with a number of modifications being incorporated. The laid down gearbox was fitted from 1950 and in 1951 a larger 3.5 gallon petrol tank was put onto the ES2 as well as other machines in the range. In 1952, the frame became a swinging arm type with Girling rear dampers; the 8" front brake was introduced in 1954; many changes occurred in 1957, most notably a new cylinder head with integral pushrod tunnels, and then in 1959 a change to alternator and coil ignition. In the same year the frame was replaced by the Wideline Featherbed, followed by the Slimline in 1961 until production ceased in 1963.

The letters 'ES' are thought to represent 'enclosed springs'.


Virtual vist

During the 50th Bultaco Anniversary, located in Bassella Spain, Photographs and Journalists had the possibility to visit the Bassella Museum!
After a strong rainning morning, it was a great pleasure for me to spend few hours to visit this fabulous site.

The woody roof offers a warm temperature inside the rooms. Lots of unique machines like the Ossa "monocasquo", the 4 cylinders two-strokes racing Derbi, the Bultaco racing car, lots of Norton, Triumph, Royal-Enfield flat tanks.

The underground floor was reserved to a splendid and unbelievable BMW exposition, Rennsports, Police, racing, road and prototypes were presented.
If you spend few vacations days in Catalunya, don't hesitate to stop here, you will spend a great moment!!
Thanks to Mister Soler!

take your ticket and follow the link to the 

World Surf Spot 4 : Jeffrey's Bay

Thanks to surfline.com
The surf zone known as "J-Bay" to virtually every surfer on the planet is as complex as its name is simple. Not only has it been a perennial contender for world's-best-wave status; it's seen extraordinary social development in recent decades, with massive growth of its tourist industry matched by similar growth in the importance of surfing to the local economy.

Jeffreys Bay lies on the southern South African coastline, around 45 miles west of Port Elizabeth and several hours' drive east of Capetown. The township and most of the surf sits on the western tip of the bay, which stretches off to the east in a massive 15-mile arc of sand and rock- and fish-filled ocean -- strangely similar in dimensions and character to Grajagan Bay, its great Indonesian rival.

J-Bay's surf demands analysis. It relies on a long, curving lava reef that begins as a jagged south-facing outcrop and continues for at least a mile down the inside edge of the bay. Gaps in the reef line are supplanted by sand flow from beaches to the west, occasionally altering the character of some of the sections. From the top, J-Bay consists of Magnatubes, a peaky right and semi-left, more exposed to swell than most of the stretch, yet never linking to the major lineup, instead fizzling into a small sandy bay between it and the next section; Boneyards, a quick hollow right reef that predominates on smaller days and an occasional left, begins to close out toward the start of J-Bay's splendid premier section; Supertubes, an aptly named long slabby powerful wall, drawing larger swell energy from the upper reefs and funneling it for around 200 yards, letting the skilled surfer dictate the terms of a ride without ever seeming weak or unchallenging; Impossibles, often also aptly named, a series of shallow lava beds with long deepwater holes interrupting the wave, except during times of unusual sand buildup when the whole 150-yard section can become an extended barrel; Tubes, where the wave begins to slow and ease into the final connected section of wave; the Point, a mellow, playful wall flowing down into a final closeout across weed-softened reef and Albatross, farther across the bay, which is another piece of reef featuring a quick right. Some diehard J-Bay surfers claim that Albatross operates as the end section on extremely rare giant days.

J-Bay's main sections are not open to everyday swells. A strong storm from the southwest, or the unusual southeast, is needed to push waves into the bay. Such storms are almost always accompanied by offshore southwest winds.

The christening is thought to have occurred around Easter of 1964 when a crew of Capetown surfers, in route to a contest in Port Elizabeth, stopped for fish and chips at Coetzee's Fish Shop and stumbled on The Point. By then Jeffreys Bay was also a town, but a pretty sleepy little one - just a hotel, a few stores, and some vacation houses built by wealthy inland farmers who'd come down to the coast for Christmas. Aside from the harsh dusty township on the northern fringes, where apartheid held the black African population in check, it must've looked a bit like some little coastal town north of San Francisco, or maybe Lennox Head in Australia. In other words, a perfect escape zone for South African surf hippies looking for a way out, and as J-Bay's reputation grew, down they came; guys like "Shorty" Bronkhorst, Bruce Gold, Ant Van Den Heuvel, and others who decided that if being a surfer in 1960s South Africa meant going feral, then feral they would go.

In 1978, the Santa Barbara filmmaker Greg Huglin released his great surf movie Fantasea, complete with perhaps the best Jeffreys ever shot: roaring 6- to 10-foot walls being massacred by a classic lineup of the day's champions, who'd raced down from the Gunston 500 event 700 miles north in Durban. The movie cemented J-Bay as one of the must-visits on the steadily growing world good-wave adventure tour, coincidentally just as Grajagan was slowly coming to public light.

J-Bay's remote aspect and lack of development made it a favored escape route for a new kind of surfer: the shady expatriate. Miki Dora and Mike Tabeling were just two Americans who decided they'd found somewhere with two key attributes -- excellent right-breaking waves and no U.S. Embassy for thousands of miles. But Jeffreys today is a somewhat far cry from Hippie Central. The point is lined with houses and well-maintained parking lots, and literally thousands of big holiday apartments and summer homes have sprung up all over the place in the past 15 years. Surfers are important citizens in J-Bay. Cheron Kraak -- owner of Country Feeling Clothing and Billabong South Africa and the only female senior surf industry owner operator in the world --employs more than 200 people and runs the biggest business in town. If you surf on good days, you'll run into members of the Jeffreys Bay Underground, the heavy locals, who wear white rash vests with their insignia over their full suits. And if you go surfing on smaller days, you'll run into a pack of incredible pint-size grommets, soon to be leaving arguably the world's best wave in search of validity on the WQS. -- Nick Carroll, January 2001


Just for Waiting ...

You will discover soon a Story of a beautiful machine made by a Great guy from Les Charentes (France).
Just for waiting, find here a picture of Vincent on this amazing Racer ...


La Grange Des Pères... Its Unbelievable

I tell you if you wanna buy a Great, Unbelievable and Amazing wine you can go for it, this La Grange Des Péres is a Must buy

Robert Parker on Grange des Peres:
"Voluptuously-textured, with superb concentration, this full-bodied, beautifully pure, intense, layered wine is a dead-ringer for a top-notch Chateauneuf du Pape or Coteaux de Baux. Availability is limited, but readers who have access to it should consider buying it by the case. This estate’s wines are terribly hard to locate in the United States, selling out instantly upon arrival on our shores. Nevertheless, it is important for The Wine Advocate to report on them as doing so may inspire young winemakers in the Languedoc to follow in the footsteps of Laurent Vaille, the dedicated, highly talented winemaker of Domaine La Grange des Peres."

Founded in 1992, Grange des Peres has quickly become arguably the greatest and most respected domaine in the entire Languedoc region. Located in the village of Aniane, the estate is run by former physiotherapist Laurent Vaillé. His impeccable resumé includes stints with Gerard Chave and Francois Coche-Dury, and, as Andrew Jefford writes in The New France, "...this background in wine-craftsmanship is evident in every bottle that comes from his cellar." The red sees up to two years in wood, but the oak comes across as seamlessly integrated even upon release. There are also incredibly miniscule quantities of a suave, polished white, made from Roussanne and Chardonnay. Extremely conscientious viticulture -- low-cropping young vines, harvesting ripe and healthy fruit -- are de rigeur here.


Falcon Motorcycles New Space

Today Falcon kindly send us in "Avant Première" the pictures of their new space they just open in Downtown Los Angeles.
We are very proud to share those pics with you.
A big thanks to Amaryllis and Ian

cuidado al Lobo !!

Oh Oh Norton is over there

we wish you great adventures in this new space