The Persuaders

Just because nice days are coming back and i was wondering what could be a nice week-end on the Riviera. Cheers

Laurent's Norton Dominator

I just quickly took a pict of my friend Laurent and his Norton Domi he almost finished to restore.
I will make a full post on this Dominator as soon as he will gave me the "OK"...


Ze new studio

This is the future "Ze" Photography studio, hope we"ll make some great sessions inside
Benoit(Zecombi) and Theo

color scheme: mat black, neutral grey, kaki, and white

800 Square feet

A new departure...


George Formby, No Limit

Burlesque and spectacular this movie about the TT race is from 1935.

Mr N.Y.C Cummings a Norton Racer

Kenny(1s) and Doug MacRae(918) from Daytona

A few days ago i ask Kenny Cummings to tell us more about him and his life as a musician and a Norton rider.
We all know him thru is website but i wanted more from him.
You will find bellow what he sent me.

Hi Frank,

I grew up in Seattle, Washington. I started playing piano when I was 4 years old, and began playing in bands when I was 13.
I was quite successful with my music in Seattle, but, after a chance visit to New York City, I knew that this was where I needed to be. I moved to New York a week after my 22nd birthday, and began working in a recording/rehearsal studio used by internationally renowned artists. There, I made many contacts and ended up working and touring with musicians from Elvis Costello and Aretha Franklin to Midnight Oil. After a few years, I decided that I needed more time to work on my own music, so I quit touring and landed a day job in a small company that publishes and distributes high-end art and photography books.
At that point, I finally had enough stability in my life to buy my first Norton Commando, a 1974 MKII. I'd had dirt bikes as a kid, but this was my first true street bike.

I rescued the bike from a Harley dealer in West Virginia for a fair price. I don't think I'd been so excited since I was a kid at Christmas time. If only I'd known how much my life was going to change!

Around this time, my band, Shelby, was formed. We got a great recording contract with a large indie label, Gigantic, and put out our full-length CD "The Luxury of Time". Many songs on our initial EP and on "the Luxury of Time" are about riding, although the connection may not be immediately apparent.

Owning a Norton in New York has its built-in challenges. People live in apartments with no private garages, and there are very few public places in which you can work on your bike. At first I had to wrench on the sidewalk in front of my apartment building. Later, I found a garage in the East Village, where I could park the bike and keep my tools, leathers, etc. I rented a 3' x 7' space there for many years, and completely restored my Commando in that spot. I rode the bike almost every day, whether just pottering around New York, or taking it on long, spirited weekend mountain rides. I became quite competent at wrenching and maintaining the bike; it was well-ridden but was polished and clean all the time. I LOVED my bike.

I decided to keep a web log (long before the word "blog" was used) of my bike stuff. It is still out there at http://www.nycnorton.com

A few years into glorious Commando ownership, I traveled to a big concours show in Park City, Utah, to look at the pretty bikes. A vintage race was being held there at the time, and, as I walked through the show I could hear the race bikes buzzing by, and decided to take a walk up to the paddock. I was absolutely floored at what I saw: Manx Nortons, Commandos,Triumphs of all sorts, CR750 Hondas, Goldstars, Matchless G50s, lots of Ducati 250 and 350s, etc. As I stood there with my mouth wide open, a racer pulled in on his Manx with oil leaking out of the tank, did a quick repair, and shouted at me to give him a push to start. When that bike fired up in front of me the hook was set.... This was where I needed to be--at the race track.

my Seeley at Grattan in June, 2008 (photo credit Doug MacRae)

Sometime around 2002 I bought a rusty 1962 Featherbed ES2 frame and Commando motor and began accumulating the parts to build a Commando-based Featherbed Racer. Again, a new learning curve. I immediately realized that there are very few parts you can buy off the shelf to make a race bike. You have to fabricate most of them yourself. I began putting considerable time and money into this bike, building a moderately tuned motor and getting the chassis sorted. I had no idea what I was doing, really, but had such intense motivation that no one could tell me different. After a year of steady work the bike was almost ready to go, but its owner had never even been on a race track before. I knew that it was time to face facts - either I had to learn how to race or I had to sell the bike to someone who could give it what it deserved. So I took a racing
school, renting a modern Ducati 900ss for my 2-day session, and came home with a racing license. That year, I took my Featherbed out to Mid Ohio, which is one of the biggest vintage-racing events in the US. I'll never forget lining up in the grid for my first race and seeing the names on the backs of the leathers in front of me: "Springsteen", "Nixon". WOW.
at Barber in October, 2008 (photo credit Esther Montoro)

I took 6th place in my first race in the rain! I thought I was so fast, but I was really SLOW! I went to 6 events that year, crashing out of my last race in October. Time to re-evaluate and repair. All winter I worked on making the bike more of a racer and less of a café racer. I spent the next two seasons getting as much seat-time as possible on the track, and began to figure it
all out. I became friends with fellow New Yorker Dave Roper (the only American ever to win the Isle Of Man) and we'd share expenses traveling to races together. During the long drives I would quietly pick his brain about racing. I think his mojo rubbed off, as I won my first race after we traveled up to Quebec together.

my 1st place plaque at Daytona this year (photo credit Esther Montoro). In 2007, I decided to do as much of the AHRMA national series as possible, starting with Daytona and ending at Barber. By the end I had won several races and was able to clinch the National BEARS (British, European, American Racing Series) 750 class. However, as I became faster, my poor old Featherbed began to show its weaknesses and
was cracking at almost every race, sometimes necessitating a complete teardown before the next outing. I had taken a friend's Seeley Commando out for a lap at Mid Ohio that year and immediately knew that I had to have one.
Over the winter, I contacted John Woods in the UK, and within six weeks I had the most beautiful frame and parts in my hands, ready to build up for 2008. Working with John was the best experience I've had with a racing supplier. In 2008, I began winning with the 1968 Seeley Commando, and although I never felt a miraculous change from the Featherbed (a testament to how well a Featherbed frame is designed), my lap times went down significantly. Two-thirds of the way through 2008, I had clinched the BEARS championship again.

2009 is here, and I fared quite well at Daytona in March, taking a 2nd and 1st in BEARS, and 3rd in Formula 750. I'm tentatively planning on running most of the AHRMA series and will focus more on the F750 class this year. I am looking forward to running with the big dogs.

I still love my bikes. Sadly, my street bike doesn't see much action these days. Once you're on the track, you never go back. Or something like that.

-Kenny Cummings

The Video :

Listen to Shelby's track "the wait"


Southsiders' Blog , 1 Year

One year ago we started the Southsiders blog.

Twelwe monthes and four hundred twenty six post later we would like to thank you all for your support.
From L.A to Tokyo, from Oslo to Sydney we met a lot of Motorcycles lovers, we received a lot of comments and we told a lot of stories about you guys all over the world.
We are all inspired by the same passion. Classics, racers, bobbers we all have in our garage a bike who make us keep on getting younger ...
As a psychotherapy, blogging is working as a "valve" in our heads making our vision of life funnier than real !
It's also for us a good reason to take more and more pictures and movies to share with you.
Today we would like to take one minute to thank a few people that we met during this year in person or thru email.
Thank you Paul for your help , you're THE reference for all of us.
Thank you Amaryllis and Ian , you make us work harder
Thank you Bill "Hoofhearted" , one day we will bring a bike in El Mirage
Thank you Keith, I hope we 'll make some music together one day.
Thank you Yves, The story is just beginning!

Frank, Vincent, Laurent & Benoit


And now ladies and gentlemen...

after the pics: the video.

For Sale- A vendre

By Laurent

My father is a mechanic, he works on bikes, classic bikes and cars. Since a long time, he loves the german BMW's.
10 years ago, in a swap meet located in the north of Toulouse, he bought this bikes and restored it. This R27 built in 1967. The engine is rebuilt, front and rear KONI shock absorbers are new, the seats are DENFIELD ones, I renew the rims, spokes and niples. This bike is single as shown, with the particularity where the engine is mounted on rubbers to absorbe vibrations.
To start an other project, he decide to sell this bike, so if you are interested contact us

Contact Laurent: tomas.laurent@libertysurf.fr


Another Manx, Another life

My friend Bill "Hoofhearted" from Riverside (SoCal) answered the Post of "the smoked Manx" by sending me the story and evolution of his own Manx Norton.
This guy is great, you must follow this story

I was living in Ireland when I built it. I'm now back home in California. I still have the Norton but not the motor. As I told you I broke it at a time where you couldn't get parts. The Norton now has an old Weslake speedway engine in it.

As the years pass I no longer road race it but I do run it at El Mirage and Bonneville and am proud to say it hold its class record at both venues. I took very few photos of it but here are a few that I did take. The seat was on because I was going to the Isle of Man (as a spectator not racer) and my wife was coming along.

Going to the Isle of Man

I've owned the Norton since 1967 and it has evolved over the years. Heres a few more photos to give you a better choice for your blog.
I should explain the photos. The first is the Norton in the lights at El Mirage. It ran 129.917mph (208kph?). The second is at Bonneville 2007 and the third is after I got it built and running and fourth is from 1974 getting ready for a trip to the Isle of Man. Take care.

at El Mirage

at Bonneville

The origin 1967

Just for a laugh there is a video of the Norton on youtube. It was taken in 2007 at El Mirage. There was a cross wind and they weren't letting the cars run but they let the bikes run. I was about a mile out when I got hit by a gust of wind. But the Norton still managed to run 123 mph. There is also a nice little 1947 350 BSA belonging to a friend, Scott Baxter.

I am curious to know where you are in France. Just don't tell me you live in the Luberon or I'll have to come visit you! Having seen a lot of travel shows on France I am slightly jealous. It seems to be a beautiful country that has managed to retain its character and charm. My wife wants me to retire and move to the Luberon. I wish I was rich enough to do that.

Bill i'm not living in the Luberon, i'm from the Basque Country (Biarritz) which is in the south west of France on the Atlantic coast 25 km from Spain. Its also a beautiful country ( good food & good wine) where you're very welcome. Just let me know next time you cross the Ocean.
Thanks again for this great Story


From Sutro Bay ... to Biarritz

The first time i've been to Sutro was during my trip with the Southsiders to attend the Legend of the Motorcycles in Half Moon Bay.
During 4 days we stood at the Seal Rock Inn in San Francisco near the Cliff house and i had since the first minute the feeling that i knew this place before ...
Now i know why

Sutro Bay (California) : The Cliff House
Biarritz (Basque Country) : The Belza House


Rolling Rudge

Last week-end our good friend Jean-Claude Barrois made us a gift... We made his bike's test !
We went on our private test track and he told us his machine.
After the ceremony preparations, (spark-plug adjustments, oiling and greasing of rockers and chains), the engine started second kick. The open pipes makes loud, loud music...
We made each our laps, the bike is impressive: light and powerfull.
The engine don't like idle so one only thing to do: open the throttle and enjoy the fun!

Many thanks to Jean-Claude for this rare pleasure.

Jean-Claude starting the red Devil

Daniel's back too fast !

The time where oily engine was normal...

"Da Bull" Laurent

Speedy Jean-Jacques

and me...

I could't resist to show you a Gallery with more pics


Andy Warhol comes to Paris

Andy Warhol comes to Paris in a major exhibition of his trademark society portraits but a famous image of Yves Saint Laurent will be missing after a dispute over whether the late couturier was an artist or a mere designer.

"Warhol's Wide World," which opens this week, presents some 140 of the 1,000 or so portraits of actors, stars and assorted jet set personalities turned out by the "Pope of Pop" from the 1960s until his death in 1987.

The exhibition opens in the Grand Palais on March 18 and runs until July 13.
By James Mackenzie : Reuters


Good taste,good vibe, wth this kind of gene we must follow this guy.

James Perse was born in Los Angeles, California in 1972. James's childhood was split between the beach, the hockey rink and the floor of his father's innovative Los Angeles boutique, Maxfield. Early on, James was more interested in sports, but with Maxfield at the forefront of putting Los Angeles on the fashion map, James received an incidental education on cutting edge fashion from Europe and Asia, on modern architecture and furniture design, on the elegant and the clean-line.

His passion for minimalist architecture influenced by warm west-coast indoor outdoor living and the casual clothing that's inspired by it, ultimately resulted in James' personal design philosophy and aesthetic - low maintenance high fashion - emphasizing elegance and comfort, and pairing sophistication with simplicity. James has applied this visionary approach in every step of defining and developing the brand.

Combining a vintage style with a modern look, the James Perse Cruiser blends comfort with sleek form. Each James Perse Cruiser is custom built and includes a limited edition serial number. A limited supply is available now.

If you're in L.A go and take a look at : 8914 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles CA 90069



Last week-end was the annual swap-meet in Toulouse. An occasion to meet friends, take some pics and maybe to find a new motorcycle...
Magnat Debon 1929 instruments

1933 500cc Alcyon 

Henderson "Deluxe" model, rare in our country,  for 45.000€ she's gone back home...

Norton N15 freshly imported from US , a "Vibrator" bargain at 6700€

rare G.Martin  Zurcher engined with a brass (plated?) tank
The Saturday Team Yves J. Hayat (right) Jean-Claude Barrois(center) and me.
Yves just came to buy his first vintage bike : A 1923 ZS Monet Goyon, Brooklands Villers powered and whatcha power!!!

hé hé Manx cases just 2 or 3 bits and the bike is complete...

4 valves Rudge engine, Yum that's remember me something goood!

Special part for the vintagent

I made a pics Gallery for yours eyes only