Les Triplettes de Bonneville


The French Touch....

"Les triplettes de Bonneville".... why this name? Seems strange, no? It's simply refering to a French-Belgian-Quebecois cartoon which has had a good success in France: "les triplettes de Belleville" (2003) (Belleville is a popular district of Paris)... Bonneville? No need to explain I guess.

Let's be patriotic, it's not often that France is at the top when it comes to motorcycle.
But more than that, it's the story of those four pals that's amazing and how what you can imagine as a heavy drinking dinner challenge turned into such a big enterprise.

Those four guys decided to go to Bonneville Salt Flats, just for the curiosity and observe how things were going out there, with the idea to compete, but at another time....

That was the beginning, we were in 2007... But, what is after all not surprising when you know those characters, they got more and more involved in the challenge.
So, as it's decided to buy an airline ticket to go to Utah and as they got luggage with them, why not transport a machine, maybe not able to win but not ridiculous on the salt....

So what? A bike? A car? .... great idea but no money. So the machine has to be transported IN the suitcases, obvious. Funny but obvious.

Then the good sized machine, available in France for a cheap price was a Mobylette.... very famous here, not very performant but famous, almost all workers were using that to go to Renault assembly lines in the post war period, millions of them have been sold in France . 49,9cc about 1.5hp max at 4000 rpm, max speed 45 km/h nothing to go to the moon with.... and nothing to beat records at Bonneville with either.

That's where our four musketeers began to take it more seriously "if we build something to go there, let's make it right".... here we go.
None of them was really acquainted with this two stroke engine.... they found Didier even though he was a skilled man, ready to help but too busy on other projects of less than 100cc bikes engines.... who finally completly transformed the performances and even build a second engine even more powerful, the first one being there as a spare then.

They transformed the cycle itself to be as low as possible, made different body works to fight air resistance and here they go. The frame can completly be disassembled to enter the suitcases... let's go to Wendover.

Imagine, four French guys opening their suitcases, there... on the salt, under the eyes of a multitude of wealthy and crafty american speedfans.... Everybody was astounded and they became the mascots of the 2008 speed week.

The machine called "Saline Contender" is a Motobécane Mobylette (pronounced MO-BE-LET) with a 49,9 cc 2-stroke engine. It can be a sidecar OR a solo bike. And it's a vintage one (before 1956).The job was so well done that it passed all the tests of the SCTA controls easily.

It runs on gasoline (120 octane as provided by the organisers) but the team also entered the bike in the 'fuel' class (in which you can use any mixture you want) just to double their chances to bring records back home.

They finally came back with 4 records : one for each team member (or suitcase carrier) ! They won the following Vintage 50cc classes : sidecar gasoline at 54.5 mph, sidecar fuel at 55 mph, solo naked fuel at 55 mph, and solo naked gas at 57 mph, all at about 10,000 rpm despite the heat (37-40∞ C or 90∞ F) and the altitude (1280 m or 4000 ft.)..

Hmmm.......Not bad for a machine initially designed to carry a 45 year-old worker from home to the factory and back,.... including the baguette and the bèret..... at an average speed of 35/40 kmh.

So.... they folded back the machine in their suitcases, the trophies and the bèrets too and flew back to France ready for another story....

Cocoricooo (they are not rookies anymore but proud roosters)!

To be continued

Text by Elmo
thanks to Jean Caillou



London Calling !


The new exhibition of Nick Clements is a great opportunity to cross the Channel.
The Royal College of Art is a place where we can meet this Thursday, before we make a detour by the Brooklands circuit.
See you there!



Aston Martin DB6


Sometimes life makes you gifts, you can have the car or the girl, and more rarely both, my buddy "S" is lucky and he used it well ...
Which one will be the hardest to keep at home?

Shot with Hasselblad and Kodak Ektar 100

This DB6 Mk1 automatic is in its original Dubonnet red with black leather trim and black carpets.

This is a 1966 automatic with matching numbers and an odometer reading of 96,000 miles. Annual MoT certificates dating back to 1977 suggest that the mileage is genuine.

It was restored around 10-15 years ago.

History of the DB6
The DB6 was announced and shown to the public for the first time at the London Motor show in October 1965 and shares its general specification with the DB5.
The most obvious difference between the DB6 and DB5 were changes made to the rear body, the rear spoiler or KAMM tail and the lengthened wheel base to realise a 4 seat capability, reduced cost of production and an improvement in performance through reducing drag and lift at speed. Other changes led to modification to the front to reduce lift, improve cooling and this led to the fitting of quarter bumper bars as opposed to the full width ones fitted to the DB5. The use of unequal length trailing arms for the rear axle, required to enable the adoption of an increased wheelbase, also had the benefit of increasing the rear end roll stiffness which further improved the general stability of the new DB6.
Despite all of the modification for the DB6, weight was only marginally increased and the no cost option of a full Vantage specification engine realised a performance for the DB6, which rivalled that achieved by the DB4 GT some years earlier and never achieved with the DB5.
On the road, the DB6 is noticeably more steady and in general use, a more comfortable car with noticeably better internal room for driver and passenger alike. General handling is at least as good as the earlier DB5 and the ride generally is more controlled and comfortable. All in all, the DB6 though planned as an interim model, had indeed achieved a worthwhile gain over its predecessor, all be it at the expense of some of the purity of line exhibited by the DB4 and 5.
While the general specification of the DB6 resembled closely that of the DB5, its achievable maximum speed went up to 148 mph from 141 mph with correspondingly improved acceleration.



1964 Duo Glide


This 1964 Duo Glide was abandoned for years at the bottom of local H.D dealer. When "F" started to work as commercial in the garage, he immediately spotted this machine, as nobody was interested by, he restored it with the help of
Paintjob was done by MBS.
The engine is now tuned and reliable with a double ignition, S&S cylinders and pistons, Jim's strenghtened pushrods and valves springs, Electronic ignition by Mallory, Delkron crankases, Andrews suicidal clutch, and double disk brakes by Performance machine.

L e t's g o f o r a R i d e !


your Favorite Five #015


Our passion for bikes can take several forms, but two main categories can be found.

The speed one with the stress on the performance of the machines.... and the design one with the stress on the look of the machines and what symbols it stands for.

The two can be mixed and many exemples of successful mechanic AND aesthetic concepts have allways existed. This can be a lifetime research for the biker.

Lennard Schurmanns
, a young painter and designer from Holland, has made this his permanent quest. He is searching for every trends and drives us through his blog "Bubblevisor" pages, in a world, his world made of vintage and modern customs and cafe-racers.

The Magical Internet : We can access to wonderful bank of images; the world is ours, all you need is to know how to search.

Lennard is a good explorer.

LS. "here's my favourite five"

I don't have lot of info about most of these bikes.
since my blog is mostly visual I wanted to do the same with my top five.

Bianchi 203 Trials Special (250 cc 74 mmx 58 mm)
Bianchi made in Italy from 1897 to 1967,
this lovely 1964 model which has been given a trials make over by Il Signore Inzoli.

Strip-teaser drag racer
santapod 1967

The Lowe Bros Nitro burning Honda 90 ( Bored out to 100cc) Bonneville
Racer at the El Camino Show.

george brown super nero
Full Story here

BMW world record-braking 750k

In 1929 Ernst Henne set up the first of a total of 76 world records on
a 750 cc supercharged motorcycle derived from the R 37, posting a
record speed of 216.75 km/h. This motorcycle was continuously evolved
by Sepp Hopf and Rudolf Schleicher and, in its final version of 1935,
managed to claim a new absolute world record for BMW on 27th September
1935 with a top speed of 256 km\h.
Ernst Henne

Technical data
Engine / Displacement: 2-cylinder / 749 cc
Bore x Stroke: 83 x 68 mm
Power: approx. 100 bhp
Weight: 150 kg
Top Speed: 256 km/h (world record)



The "Barthelemy" Speciale


Tuning of motorbikes is nothing like a recent fashion. At all times pilots, for their own needs, tried to improve the performances of engines and cycle itself .

Results were sometimes disappointing and rarely, like here, the work was a success, mechanically and aesthetically speaking.

This machine was born in 1922 in the creative brain of a pilot: Barthelemy, official shop keeper in Paris of the english brand ABC: "All British engineering Co", company created by engineer Granville Bradshaw and manufactured by the english plane maker Sopwith.

The ABC company became famous on tracks like Brooklands, with a 400 cc flat twin engine. Its capacity, between two categories, put it in the 500cc one, that is to say that its performances inferior in its category made it poorly competitive.

In France those bikes were manufactured by Gnome & Rhone, a french plane maker, which chose for post war restructuring reasons, to build ABC bikes before building its own.

This was the departing point of the engine tuning of Barthelemy. Capacity increases to 500cc, the engine is equipped with a magneto and two carburettors. Timing and the rockers system are changed. Barthelemy add an oil radiator and oil filter for the engine had a tendency to overheat, which gave it the nickname " glow worm " for, at night it happened that the cylinders turned to red...

The engine was intially equipped with an electric starter and an air compressor which Barthelemy took off in order to lower the weight.

Then the real work began, Barthelemy built bronze cylinder heads with inner rockers on pin bearings, new cylinders were turned, news rods were forged at "home" and mounted on rolls.

The oil tank is placed in the front underneath the gas tank which improves cooling. The oil pump is changed for a big flow one.

The gear change of the ABC 4 speed gear-box is made by a long shifter throuph an H guide... like on the cars.

The cycle itself was soon improved, but rather with existing components: the frame and the fork are from a Gnome & Rhone D4, frame was just hardened by aluminium wales, the tank is from a Motobecane.

The present owner found this mix in a junk shop and retraced its history and after 4 years of restoration made it look like Barthelemy's realisation.

This is the kind of encounters you can make at the local swap meet.

text: Thanks to Motos d'hier