Brad's Norton "S" Commando


Brad is from Tecumseh, ON

" My name is Brad Dawe. i'm a tattooer from eastern Canada. i've got several vintage bikes but this is, by far, my favorite to drive. handles like a dream. it's a 1970 Norton "s". got it in rough shape a couple years ago. spent a winter fixing her up. it's my daily driver. "

The 1970 Norton Commando 750S motorcycle was the old-line British motorcycle maker's game attempt at a sport bike that would fend off Japanese rivals. The 1970 Norton Commando 750S motorcycle was good, but not good enough.

The Norton Commando motorcycle appeared in several configurations during its lifetime, and the "S" model arrived in 1969. Its distinctive high exhaust pipes with heat shields set the Norton Commando 750S motorcycle apart from other Commandos.

More importantly, the S stood for Sport, and magazine reviews raved about the new levels of performance. But despite its 125-mph capabilities, the Norton Commando 750S model slipped into oblivion during the 1970 model year, though the Commando line itself continued on into the mid-1970s.

all pictures copyright : Brad Dawe/Quinlan photographic


Bike Polo


Last month, young Southsiders member Théo, participated in the first bike polo tournament in France, in the city of Toulouse .
In 1891, in the United kingdom, the traditional polo horses were replaced first by bicycle.

The Bike Polo has even become an Olympic sport in 1908. Then he went to the door for nearly a century before reappearing two years ago.On left parkings in major U.S. cities and London and throughout Europe.
The bike polo reborn from its ashes with a more "Urban" version.
Performed with home made mallets and processed Fixies or bicycle, it offers a surprising spectacle, lively and full of contacts.

Simple, powerful, dramatic side with a small "hand-made" almost "trash" and a ski pole ending in a pipe line as a mallet, a bike wheel and a customized temperament gladiator in the arena, flanked a serious sense of humor ... This is the spirit of bike polo.

As an emerging sport and still evolving style of play can vary considerably from one place to another.
Two teams of 3 players compete on a closed rectangular. Cones serve as goals at each end of the field.The ball can be handled in two ways: a "shot" or "shuffle" (pushed). A shooting is done through both ends of the mallet,
then a shuffle is done with the side of the arch. To mark the player must necessarily pull in the opposing goal.
If the ball enters the goal by a "shuffle", the point does not count and play?(Game?) continues.

A player placing his feet on the ground is imposed a penalty. And better not keep her eyes riveted on the ball, under penalty of a collision.
Simple, powerful, dramatic side with a small "hand-made" almost "trash" and a ski pole ending in a pipe line as a mallet, a bike wheel and a customized gladiator temperament in the arena, flanked a serious sense of humor ... This is the spirit of bike polo.


Your Favorite Five #003


Our third "Your Favorite Five" guest is the Man behind Ruby, the French Helmet Conpany that has brought the biker essential accessory to a new Cult Fashion Standart.
By asking designers and celebrities to join his brand, Coste has develloped a range of helmets that you can find in the top fashion boutiques as well as in very serious bike stores.
Jérome has inherited the biking genes by being raised on a single-cylinder Norton saddle by his Father.
Thank you Monsieur Ruby for joining the Southsiders Family.

So here is my dream garage :

1 ) There is no ranking in my list, the first one is the link with your previous guest : Jeff Decker's Crocker Custom.
Beside the fact that I love is work of art on Bronze action sculptures, he just did the perfect custom bike, slick and classy, on a rare national pride base.
I have a special affection for the oil tank.

2 ) My dad's 1935 Norton ES2, a rigid production bike turned into a sweet racing machine.
I've seen my dad racing it since I'm 10, my brother Dimitri - Ateliers RUBY main photographer - and I now have the chance to ride it for special events.
This 75 years old lady is always up and running, balanced and agile, such a thrill to ride.

3 ) The 750 cc Ron Wood’s Norton Flat track race machine.

I love flat trackers in general, the pureness of the global aesthetic of the machines with their flat and long tanks, wide handlebars and giant square numberplates.

I doubt that this wouldn't be linked to the impact of watching "On any Sunday" (AKA Challenge One on french TV), and playing with Evel Knievel Stunt Rider when I was a kid.

This one is special, retro and futuristic at the same time with the two big frame tubes, matching the bulliness of the tyres, expressing fiercely its racing spirit

4 ) This one also seduced me with its bold volumes. I first discovered the Confederate B120 Wraith in the great UK edition of Intersection magazine 5 years ago.

It was a shock ! I'm not really into modern bikes or cars, more drawn by vintage things in metal, leather and wood or Retrofuturistic Customs, and this Muscle Bike is like an UFO, out of any league..
Only fifteen were made of the last version I had the chance to ride in Paris, and to be honest I didn't have the time and maybe the guts to have a real talk with the 1965 cc V-twin JIMS of the 90 000 € bike beetween my legs. I lately met with the inspired founder Matt Chambers and designer Ed Jacobs. I designed for them Confederate helmets made by the Ateliers RUBY that will soon be released. For the next step of our collaboration, we are talking about making 6 pieces of a special edition of the Wraith by les Ateliers RUBY.

Time will Tell…

5 ) For the last one I wanted a dirt bike, the perfect bike in natureo escape. I hesitated with the late sixties Husqvarna MX bikes, because it's my year and I love this red tank with the mirror diecut, and of course for other historic reasons… But finally my choice went to this jewel that represents the start of a long and succesfull dedication to Motocross for Honda : The 1973 Honda CR 250 Elsinore named after the famous california race town of the Elsinore Grand Prix. Once again it is linked to Bruce Brown movie, sorry I can help it.

But the real dream bike is the one that comes out of your mind to real life, like you guys did with the Chanel bike

Ha ha, you like that? rendez-vous next week !


Demasiado Corazon


Cada manaña Estoy quebrado Y por las noches Me despierto
Lacrimas en mi cara Abajo de la lluvia Lonely with my pride Holding in my pain



Gimme one please!


These are some of the shots we've recently done in our studio.
This Honda has been restored and modified by Jean-Claude Barrois.
Check the full story on the Über-addictive Chris Hunter's blog: Bike Exif
This bike has put the whole British industry in danger in the 70's !



Vincent C serie 1951


One of the most desirable bike on earth was on my way last Sunday, my Camera in hand, it was an instant shoot of pleasure...

So sad she was already married ...



Your Favorite Five #002


This Week feature in "Your Favorite Five" is Conrad Leach, painter from London, vintage bikes afficionado.

Thanks for the invite boys ...

Here it is ....
1. Gene Romero's 1970 "Trackmaster Special".

Inspired me to get my own 1970 Trackmaster from Buzz Walneck.
Love the story about how Pete Coleman (Team Triumph) made him change to tank paint to feature Triumph not Trackmaster !

2. Brough Superior Pendine.

Named after the beach in Wales where a lot of sprinting took place in the '20's and '30's
George Brough competed and even won, a few times.
This is the bike to aspire to, for me.

3. 8 Valve 1912 Indian.

Boardtrack racing is the most exotic thing to me. We will never see it again, and the huge crowds it attracted must have made the racing a truely atmospheric event.
The bare knuckle style of the bikes, particularly the early Indians, makes any bike of this period totally covetable.
I am working on a Boardtrack influence bike with Caleb at Cro Customs at the moment.

4. Any 1960's Racing Honda CB750.

I are getting all hot under the collar about these right now ... not exactly sure why, it just feels right.
Lots of research still to do.
Style, Speed and Pedigree. Perfect.
5. Kiyo's Knucklehead.

Kiyo works for the Garage Company.
Probably builds more great bikes than anybody in SoCal at the moment.
I loved this bike the first time I saw it in a photograph.
Got to see it in the flesh last week, it's better than I thought.


Ah ah ! you like that? rendez vous next week...