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BRIT IRON is all about classic British bikes
December 15, 2016

December 2016

I think it’s great that Christmas happens to fall at the end of the year. By this time, we’re all beat up and ready for a break, right? And what a great time it is. Not much riding, though, but a great chance to work on your bike. I’ve got lots to do on mine...but after the holidays. Hope you enjoy your Holiday too, and from my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It’s going to be a good one.

ABOVE: From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.

We started on October 19, 2010 (my father’s birthday, that’s how I remember). Our goal then was to become the world’s greatest website about our beloved Classic British Motorcycles. And to do what we can to spread the word in hopes of ushering in a new generation of Classic Brit Bike Nuts. For that, I remain forever hopeful. Without new blood, we are doomed to extinction, the same way it happened to Model T’s. There was a time when Model T Fords were red hot on the collector car scene because legions of fans had grown up with them. As these guys grew older and began retiring and dying off, interest in Model T’s subsided with them. The next generation was coming up by this time, and they were into pre-war stuff (1930s cars, which led to the street rod movement). Then those guys started getting old and those cars lost some of their luster. The next crop were guys like me who were into 50s and 60s cars and muscle cars. At some point, we’ll be too old also, then it will be turbocharged rice-grinders, and after that, electric cars, then autonomous cars...Lordy, make me stop!! The same this has been happening to Brit bikes for years, and very few new people are coming in. So, our hobby is shrinking. We all need to do what we can to spread the word about these gorgeous pieces of history. How about getting your bike out and taking it to some shows, car shows maybe, or those street fairs that are so popular these days. Hang out and answer questions about your bike. A lot of new people get exposed that way. I’m doing my humble part with this website. In October we broke 200,000 page-views (hits) per month, trouncing our previous record, made the previous month by over 30,000 hits. In November, it had dropped down to 189,432 hits, which is still our second-best month ever. Below is a breakdown of our traffic over the past year-and-a-half or so. We were at 134,000 hits a year ago in September, so we’ve made a lot of progress, and it just keeps growing. I have all of you to thank for that. And it renews my faith in the future of our beloved Brit bikes.

ABOVE: As you can see from the chart above, our traffic has been building steadily over the past year-and-a-half, with over a 50% increase this October over last October. While there are always ups-and-downs, month-to-month, the general trend is up, and we have you to thank for it.

There’s still time to shop for that Brit bike nut in your life. Please visit our all new Online Store & Gift Center. We’ve got lots of cool stuff for sale, all through Amazon, so you can count on fast shipping and a great return policy. So buy with confidence. And please buy here, it’s one of the ways we support this website. Thank you.

Not much happening with the Yellow Bike since last month. There it sits, carbs freshly rebuilt and ready to install. I’ve got some decisions to make regarding painting the tank and other parts, and making new side covers out of a set of old 1979 covers. Custom all the way, baby. It’s just a little too chilly right now, and I’m recovering from shoulder surgery, so there are my excuses. Soon enough though, I should get that ambition bug and I’ll get on it and take it to the next step. Then the next step...then the next...

My wife Pam and I are headed to Las Vegas for Motorcycle Auction Week. Mecum’s Vintage Motorcycle auction runs for 4 days, Wednesday through Saturday, January 25th through the 28th. It’s at the South Point Hotel & Casino again, and it’s a great venue for an event this big. Mecum is claiming they will have 1,000 bikes at this 4-day auction. I’m not actually buying or selling anything this year, but for me, it’s the world’s largest motorcycle show. Bonham’s Auctions is having a one-day auction there also on Thursday, Jan 26 at the Rio Hotel & Casino, and they should have a couple of hundred bikes also. These events are a blast, and if you stay at the South Point, you’ll be right in the middle of the action, sharing elevators with fellow bike fans. It’s one big party, and what better place for that than Vegas. Hope to see you there.

My latest column with Thunder Roads Mid-Atlantic Magazine just came out for December. This installment is all about British choppers and bobbers. Not choppers built in England, but rather choppers and bobbers built right here in the good ol’ US of A, but with British motorcycle engines. Want to see some cool Triumph, BSA, Vincent and even Square Four choppers? Email me here and I’ll send you a free copy of the December issue of Thunder Roads Mid-Atlantic, with my British Chopper article. Make sure you include your name, FULL MAILING ADDRESS, and which article you’d like. You have a few choices:
Triumph Bonneville
History of BSA
History of Vincent
History of Matchless
British Indian motorcycles
Enclosed bikes from Britain
Barber Museum
British Choppers
Let me know if you have a preference, otherwise you’ll be getting the Chopper article. Unfortunately, this offer does not extend to those living outside the USA, postage is just too expensive. Sorry. Please make sure you give me your NAME AND ADDRESS.

After many years of living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I sold my Pleasanton home 1-1/2 years ago and moved up to Sonora, aka the Gold Country. We absolutely love it, living in the country, and when we go into town, the small town ways of its citizenry are equally charming. It’s loads of fun for folks like us raised in the big city where people look at you funny if you say hello, to now meet perfect strangers in the grocery isle that will spend 20 minutes talking with you about the weather, or your shoes, or their dog (which everyone carries with them everywhere up here). As an example of this ‘laid-back country attitude’, I took a picture of this sign in front of a store in Downtown Sonora. The Sportsman has it all. Where else can you buy beer, knives, guns & ammo all in one place? When I went in there looking for Christmas gifts, there were people sitting at the bar drinking, and a few steps down, they were selling firearms. God I love country living!

Have a wonderful Christmas Season and a fantastic New Year.


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