Saturday, November 30, 2013

Microcar Meet in France

Click on any of the above photos to go to a great Flickr photo album with 175 pictures of a recent microcar meet in France. The attendees all belong to the French microcar online group "Les Doux Dingues" which in english translates as "The Gentle Crazies". The meet culminated in a visit to the amazing museum of Claude LeBihan who founded Amicale Motocars (Friends of Microcars) in the early 80's. If you visit the Flicker album, Claude is the gentleman with white hair lying on the railroad tracks. Great album, thanks for posting the pictures!

There's also an eight minute YouTube video titled "Balade en Microcars" of the event that you can view by clicking on the photo above.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Parilla Olimpia (4T) Owners Manual

I haven't been able to find an owners manual for my Parilla Slughi, but I did find the next best thing. It's an owners manual for the Parilla Olimpia which has the exact same engine as the Slughi. Since they share the same engine, a lot of the information in this manual also applies to the Slughi. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1953 NSU Sportmax Racer

Recently there have been a couple of vintage racers with the old fashioned "dustbin" style fairings that enclose the front wheel of the motorcycle come up for sale. There's something I really love about the look of these old racers, and in my opinion, this 1953 NSU Sportmax which recently sold on ebay has one of the best of the "dustbin" style fairings. The prices of these original racers are way out of my league, but for a future project, I'd love to build a vintage "dustbin" style racer when I find a bike that's the right candidate. 

Another NSU design that has always intrigued me is this totally enclosed two wheel design. I don't know much about it. All I've ever seen is this illustration, so I'm curious if one was ever actually built.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Scootering in Bermuda

I recently returned from a short vacation on the island of Bermuda. Being a small island with gas prices near $10.00 a gallon and strict government regulations on vehicles, scooters are the dominate mode of transportation on the island. With numerous scooter rental shops, they're also an ideal way for for visitors to explore and get around the island. Being from the US, one thing I had to get used to was riding on the left side of the street, and maybe a little more confusing for me were the round-about intersections. The locals are very used to tourist on scooters and I found them to be very polite and accommodating towards gawking tourist on scooters.

The scooter I rented as well as most of the rental scooters I saw are Taiwanese made TGB scooters. The government mandates no motorcycles or scooters over 150cc, so every two wheel vehicle on the island is 150cc or below. I thought I saw a few larger Harley type bikes, but a cab driver explained to me how it's popular with local motorcycle enthusiast to make small 150cc bikes look like Harley's. 

Winding roads along beautiful beaches and lush tropical vegetation made for some very enjoyable rides around the island. 

A few photos from the main city of Hamilton might give you an idea of how popular scooters are in Bermuda. I found myself fantasizing about riding one of my vintage bikes on the island, however you'll see very few old scooters, motorcycles, or cars in Bermuda as government regulations prohibit the importation of vintage and used vehicles. 

Alas all good times come to an end. Time to head home for the beginning of another brutal midwest winter.