Polo Photographer and Motorcyclist


Polo Garat was born in the "Soule", the most eastern region of the French Basque Country. His eye reflects the openness of a world traveller: Europe, Africa, the Caribbean or Latin America. The press often commissions him for the genuine and uncliched photographic approach to his subjects, for his portraits, executed in a bare and uncomplaisant style that attempt to strip off the appearances and show the rawness of the soul. He is also a commercial photographer who regularly works hand in hand with advertising agencies. Co-founder of the collective Odessa in Toulouse where he lives, his work is internationally exhibited and since 2005, he became member of jury for Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s prestigious Bourse 3P.
The Odessa Collective with Odyssey H.D Drag

Polo's personal work, take a look on the Odessa Collective for more photographies.

Polo is a long time motorcyclist too, from is 500 rigid Ajs and a 73 Commando Norton to a new Sportster H.D (nobody's perfect!).
We made last afternoon some pictures of the "oily" Norton a rad racer!

The Commando screamed after a dozen of kickstart in a cloud of smoke.
it's still a wild beast!



Wayfarer, an accessory legend


The Ray-Ban Wayfarer is a design of sunglasses manufactured by Ray-Ban since 1952, when their design was a revolutionary break from the metal eyewear of the past. Wayfarers enjoyed early popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, especially after they were worn by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. Though the sunglasses had faded from the limelight by the 1970s, a lucrative 1982 product placement deal brought Wayfarers to their height of popularity. Since the mid-2000s, the sunglasses have been enjoying a revival.

Wayfarers are sometimes cited as the best-selling design of sunglasses in history and have been called a classic of modern design and one of the most enduring fashion icons of the 20th century.
Wayfarers were designed in 1952 by optical designer Raymond Stegeman, who procured dozens of patents for Bausch and Lomb, Ray-Ban's parent company. The design was a radically new shape, "a mid-century classic to rival Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins." According to design critic Stephen Bayley, the "distinctive trapezoidal frame spoke a non-verbal language that hinted at unstable dangerousness, but one nicely tempered by the sturdy arms which, according to the advertising, gave the frames a 'masculine look.'" Wayfarers, which took advantage of new plastic molding technology, marked the transition between a period of eyewear with thin metal frames and an era of plastic eyewear.

Like Ray-Ban Aviators, Wayfarers were originally marketed as sunglasses for pilots. Despite advertising that predominately targeted men, they quickly rose in popularity among Hollywood starlets. Kim Novak wore Wayfarers on the French Riviera in 1954, and Marilyn Monroe made Wayfarers into a "cult object." Audrey Hepburn's wearing of tortoiseshell Wayfarers sunglasses in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's was the design's turning point, "transforming the Wayfarer into an accessory legend." (Wayfarers sunglasses have gone through numerous design modifications during their history; Hepburn's oversized shades in Breakfast at Tiffany's are an example of the early Wayfarer silhouette.) During the 1950s and 1960s, celebrities including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, James Dean, John F. Kennedy, Roy Orbison, and Andy Warhol were known for wearing Wayfarers.

After Wayfarers' heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, sales declined. Though Wayfarers were worn in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers, only 18,000 pairs were sold in 1981, and Wayfarers were on the verge of discontinuation.

The sunglasses' fate was reversed, however, when in 1982 Ray-Ban signed a $50,000-a-year deal with Unique Product Placement of Burbank, California, to place Ray-Bans in movies and television shows. (Between 1982 and 1987, Ray-Ban sunglasses appeared in over 60 movies and television shows per year; Ray-Ban's product placement efforts have continued through 2007.) Tom Cruise's wearing of Wayfarers in the 1983 movie Risky Business marked the beginning of a Wayfarers phenomenon; 360,000 pairs were sold that year. By 1986, after appearances in Miami Vice, Moonlighting, and The Breakfast Club, sales had reached 1.5 million. Wayfarers rose to popularity among musicians, including Michael Jackson,Johnny Marr, Blondie's Debbie Harry, Madonna, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, and members of U2, and among other celebrities such as Jack Nicholson and even Anna Wintour. Bret Easton Ellis' fiction often name-dropped references to Wayfarers, and Don Henley's 1984 song "The Boys Of Summer" contained the lyric "You got that hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on, baby". Ray-Ban's Wayfarer offerings expanded from two models in 1981 to more than 40 models in 1989, and Wayfarers were the decade's sunglasses of choice.

In the 1990s, the frames again became unpopular. The 1950s revival that fueled the glasses' popularity in the 1980s had lost steam, and Wayfarers were outcompeted by wraparound frames. In 2001, the Wayfarer underwent a significant redesign, with the frames made smaller and less angular, and changed from acetate to a lighter injected plastic. The changes were intended to update the frames' style during a period of unpopularity and to make them easier to wear (the frames' previous tilt made them impossible to perch on top of one's head, for instance).



Norton Vs Triumph II


Over the years the "Lot" department next to ours, has become one of our favorite destination for motorcycle runs. There, on the low tourist season, you will not meet many people. This is just the tip of the world within our reach: fantastic roads and scenery.
After an hour of quiet country roads under the heavy rain, we were at our meeting point with the third Triumph crew, we continued to drive another hour to reach the first stop, drink: wine of Cahors and hearty meals (Aligot, half mashed potatoes, half Cantal cheese:) for warmth ...

We then took the bikes to ride up the night in absolutely deserted scenery.
Of course, with my limited Roadster tank, I fell out of gas; This added a bit of suspence to the fallen of the day...
A good reason to make a hearty dinner with "foie gras" and an Alsatian famous dish.
We fell like stones to sleep!

On Sunday, even on dry road ambience, with a heavy sky, we drove in good conditions.
The are few open restaurants (the biggest problem in our country) at this time of year, so we had to return to the highly touristic village of St Cirq Lapopie.
Then we resumed our trip, until next time...

There's a photo Gallery here

and a video clip below



Matt's 1948 Panhead now for sale


Our friend Matt from Australia sells his rad Panhead 48, so if you guys are interested in, just send him an email ( see bottom of post )and i'm sure you will make both you happy .

Ok, for those that dont know..this is a 1948 panhead....the first year for the pan....the only year for the pan/springer combination.

the bike has an original case and number 48 EL ( Special Sport Solo with the higher 7.0:1 compression ratio)....original hd springer front end and the frame is an original hd straight leg.
Early 48 pans were fitted with black painted cylinders (as is this) not silver painted.
the motor has had a top end freshen up including new valve guides, seats etc. the bottom end is quiet and there was no play to be seen when i had the top end off. everything spun true and tight.

the motor runs smooth, crisp and pulls extremely strong....it does not leak oil from any gasket and does not blow smoke.
The gearbox is an original hd 4 speed. the ratchet top is a new old stock unit....the bike was previously fitted with a tank shift and corresponding shift mechanism....i purchased the ratchet top from the US in an original hd box...new. the gearbox shifts smooth....does not jump out of gear...miss gears or misbehave in any way. the bike is fitted with a belt drive, the clutch has renewed plates, tammer kit, and is now fitted with a mousetrap eliminator setup with my own cable arrangement....this clutch is the lightest clutch i have ever used...i use it with one finger....it does not slip.

The rear brake drum is an original unit and star hub arrangement. bearings are good and always greased. i have had the shoes relined with a very soft compound brake material by a brake specialist.
The springer is an original unit with all tabs in place if you would like to fit a guard. the front drum is original hd as is the star hub. again the linings have been replaced with soft compound and the rockers are always greased.
The bike is fitted with mid mount pegs and controls and suits my riding style and height...5'9". it has handlebars from my 1926 norton flattank...they fitted so well....dogbone risers...and new alloy levers, cables and throttle/grips.

the bike is fitted with 12 volt electrics, new generator, regulator, headlight, 36 ford repro taillight, high and low beam work excellent, taillight works excellent, brake light switch is crap and works when it wants, and i have fitted a new sealed battery that cost me 160 bucks.
The tank is a sporty....very clean inside...painted by me....new fuel tap...does not leak....rear guard is old norton guard i had....has a tyre burn mark on one side....(hard to notice)...painted by me..

The carb is an s and s super e shorty (purchased new from pacific hd)...if you would like to fit another carb go right ahead.....i will give you a linkert m74 to put on it if you want..
The exhaust is a paughco with inline baffles i fitted....it runs medium loud.....with a nice deep note..
The wheels were rebuilt and relaced by Chivos in Parramatta in sydney last year....new spokes....wheels run true and smooth...front tyre is very good....rear tyre is excellent.

this bike is a rare 1948 hd panhead...it is 61 years old....it is ridden on dirt roads...tar....on sunny days and days when its raining....it took me a while to get this bike dialed in and to understand how to start it when its cold....when its hot.....but it rewards me with serious fun and satisfaction now that i understand it. That said... i have done all the hard work in getting this bike running correctly...and being reliable.
this bike is registered until mid august 2010 in NSW.

This bike is featured in the latest issue of DicE magazine....
I have uploaded a small video on youtube of the bike...three pumps....three priming kicks...ignition on....kick..... fire....i run this bike from cold and adjust the idle down after its warm...
I am selling this bike to finance other bike projects.....it is advertised elsewhere and i reserve the right to end the auction early if required...

I can deliver the bike to sydney for 100 dollars and to canberra for 50 dollars.
If you have any queries email me....if you want to talk to me email me your number i will call you....

thanks for your time.
Matt : email machineshed@bigpond.com



Gaillon "Hill" Race 2009


it was the 110 years of the Gaillon "hill" race in Normandy. This event reserved for cars until 1928, is held on 26 and 27 September 2009 with a rally on Saturday and 2 races on Sunday. As you can see on the pictures, there was a strong majority of English Gentlemen with fabulous machines including some chassis fitted with air cooled engines changed for water cooled, the American la France is simply a fire truck chassis fitted with a 14 liters engine !.
The tricycle is a Buchet Motor De Dion Bouton engined from 1898. I loved the small AC motor 4 cylinder 1300 racing perforated in every part, made solely for runs and "hill" races.
Those big V8 Curtiss engines,makes some music worthy of an AC/DC concert !.

Jean Claude Barrois

Hey! don't forget the Biiiig pictures Gallery



The Major's bobber


I asked Tom a few days ago to tell us more about him and his very nice bobber made by himself. Find bellow what he sent me.
Thanks Tom for your email and once again we like your bobber here at the Southsiders,its a cool, simple and very nice bike.

My Name is Tom Lorenz (my friend call me "Major") I was born in Vienna in 1969
I always loved the vintage British bikes but I could not find the right one to buy in Vienna so I decided to build my own one. As I started to build the bike, I did not know anything about Triumph-motors, I just know how it should look like in the End.
I bout a Thunderbird 6T Frame from 1952 and a T110 Engine from 1955 in Germany and start to work in 2006.
After 2,5 Years of sweat, anger and pain, it was done. A garage build bobber.

The Bike:

Frame: Triumph Thunderbird 6T 1952
Engine: Triumph T110 1955 with Aluminium Head,750ccm Big bore and two Amal Monoblock Carburettors
Wheels: Avon Front 19" Back 18"
Tank: Wassell Banana Tank
Transmission: original Thunderbird 6T with belt-drive
Ignition: Joe Hunt Magneto
Electricity: Dynamo 12V

Take time to visit Tom's blog : http://bobbercrew.blogspot.com/



The Cliff House, San Francisco


The first night we arrived in San Francisco with my friends Vincent and Come going to Half Moon Bay we stopped in the Cliff House for dinner. It was just a 100 m from our hotel, The Seal Rock Inn and it reminded me my hometown Biarritz. It was a really cool night...

all pictures courtesy of : the cliff house project

The Cliff House is a restaurant perched on the headlands on the cliffs just north of Ocean Beach on the western side of San Francisco, California. It overlooks the site of the former Sutro Baths and a room-sized camera obscura and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service.

Cliff House has had five major incarnations since its beginnings in 1858. That year, Samuel Brannan, a prosperous ex-Mormon elder from Maine, bought for $1,500 the lumber salvaged from a ship that foundered on the basalt cliffs below. With this material he built the first Cliff House. The second Cliff house was built for Captain Junius G. Foster, but it was a long trek from the city and hosted mostly horseback riders, small game hunters or picnickers on day outings. With the opening of the Point Lobos toll road a year later, the Cliff House became successful with the Carriage trade for Sunday travel.

The builders of the toll road constructed a two mile speedway beside it where well-to-do San Franciscans raced their horses along the way. On weekends, there was little room at the Cliff House hitching racks for tethering the horses for the thousands of rigs. Soon, omnibus railways and streetcar lines made it to near Lone Mountain where passengers transferred to stagecoach lines to the beach. The growth of Golden Gate Park attracted beach travelers in search of meals and a look at the Sea Lions sunning themselves on Seal Rock, just off the cliffs to visit the area.

In 1877, the toll road, now Geary Boulevard, was purchased by the City for around $25,000. In 1883, after a few years of downturn, the Cliff House was bought by Adolph Sutro who had solved the problems of ventilating and draining the mines of the Comstock Lode and become a multimillionaire. After a few years of quiet management by J.M. Wilkens, the Cliff House was severely damaged by an explosion of the schooner, Parallel, that went aground under the reasons of dynamite. The blast was heard a hundred miles away and demolished the entire north wing of the tavern. The building was repaired, but was later completely destroyed on Christmas night 1894 due to a defective flue. Wilkens was unable to save the guest register, which included the signatures of three Presidents and dozens of illustrious world-famous visitors.

In 1896, Adolph Sutro built a new Cliff House, a seven story Victorian Chateau, called by some "the Gingerbread Palace", below his estate on the bluffs of Sutro Heights. This was the same year work began on the famous Sutro Baths, which included six of the largest indoor swimming pools north of the Restaurant that included a museum, skating rink and other pleasure grounds. Great throngs of San Franciscans arrived on steam trains, bicycles, carts and horse wagons on Sunday excursions.

The Cliff House and Sutro Baths survived the 1906 earthquake with little damage but burned to the ground on the evening of September 7, 1907. Dr. Emma Merritt, Sutro's daughter, commissioned a rebuilding of the restaurant in a neo-classical style that was completed within two years and is the basis of the structure seen today. In 1937, George and Leo Whitney purchased the Cliff House, complementing their Playland-at-the-Beach attraction nearby and extensively remodeling it into an American roadhouse. The building was acquired by the National Park Service in 1977 and became part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Many of Whitney's additions were removed and the building was restored to its 1909 appearance. In 2003, an extensive further renovation added a new two-story wing overlooking the Sutro Bath ruins.

Cliff House in background, past Sutro Bath Ruins, 2008.The site overlooks the Seal Rock and the former site of the Sutro Baths. More than thirty ships have been pounded to pieces on the southern shore of the Golden Gate below the Cliff House. The area immediately around Cliff House is part of the setting of Jack London's novel The Scarlet Plague (1912).