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STARS AND CELEBRITIES ON HARLEY-DAVIDSONS

 

 

 

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Sylvester Stallone

On Saturday, Stallone spotted a green and chrome Harley-Davidson Fatboy with custom House of Color skeletons and flames. The bike was built by Lee McKenzie of Rott n' Cycle with co-builder Tommy Richardson of Bogalusa, Louisiana.

The bike had picked up awards at other Easyriders Shows, and captured a first place - Radicals trophy in New Orleans.

Richardson delivered the bike to Stallone and the movie lot was all abuzz about the "gorgeous green bike," said his unit publicist, Sheyrl Main. Richardson also visited the movie lot with Stallone.

Stallone was like a boy in a candy shop at the New Orleans Easyriders Show. He spent more than two hours checking out bikes, including a custom Harley Sportster Led Sled built by Pat Patterson (pictured above.) He has since made a deal to purchase the bike.

 

 

 

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George Clooney

George Clooney takes a ride on his new Harley Davidson motorcycle and stops by for gas Calabasas, California.

 

 

 

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Elvis Presley


Classic American Motorbikes & Harley Davidson Owned by Elvis Elvis Motorbikes - Just Like James Dean with his Triumph T 110 motorbike and Marlon Brando fast and black Harley-Davidson - Elvis also wanted his name to became synonymous with the motorbike icons with his Harley-Davidson PanHead.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Presley’s passing, Rossmeyer has recreated a personalized 1957 Black Harley-Davidson model that Presley once owned. With only 30 motorcycles being customized and individually serial numbered from one to 30, each motorcycle in the elite Elvis Presley Anniversary Bike Signature Series captures Presley’s passion for motorcycles. Although designed to replicate the 1957 model that Elvis owned the replica custom vintage motorcycles will feature a 2007 Softail chassis and drive train maintaining all of today’s engineering and safety features. Motorcycle, number 30 in the series, will be auctioned on eBay on December 8th. The closing date of the auction will be January 8th - Elvis' birthday. Proceeds will benefit Presley Place, which offers transitional housing for homeless families in Memphis.

James Dean's uncle Marcus bought him his first motorcycle, a 1947 Czech Whizzer. Jimmy also owned an English cycle, a Harley Davidson, a 500cc Norton, an Indian 500, an Italian Lancia scooter and a British Triumph T-110, which had "Dean’s Dilemma" painted on the side. In the 1953 movie THE WILD ONE Marlon Brando and most of the Black Rebels ride Triumphs and other British motorcycles, while Lee Marvin and his boys ride Harley-Davidsons. Brando's motorcycle was a 650cc Triumph Thunderbird. Lee Marvin owned a Triumph, a 200cc Tiger Cub where which he frequently competed in desert races. Even Clark Gable enjoyed a ride on his Ariel motorcycle until the studio decided his pastimes was far too dangerous.
Elvis could stroll to the garage and decide which motorbike to fire up for a ride. He had a choice. A vintage Harley Panhead or a Honda Dream, or perhaps a Triumph bike. Most likely it would be his favourite Harley-Davidson Dresser. "Most loved bike Elvis owned was the Harley Dessert. They were police-type bikes. Bigger and close to the ground just what Elvis loved," says Ron Elliot, the proprietor of SuperCycle, a Memphis motorbike shop that took care of all Elvis motorcycle business.

Viva Las Vegas 1964 Sporting comic-book names Lucky Jackson (Elvis) and Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret) the two forge a romance against the backdrop of the Vegas Grand Prix, which Elvis, naturally intends on winning. Typically as in most Elvis movies he needs to achieve his goal through hard work slaving as a hotel employee in order to raise enough cash to fix his racing car.

Roustabout 1964  Elvis plays Charlie Roger a motorcycle rider trying to earn a buck singing in small clubs. He gets a temporary job at Maggie Morgan's Carnival while his bike is being repaired.

Clambake 1967 The heir to an oil fortune Scott Hayward (Elvis) trades places with a water-ski instructor at a Florida hotel to see if girls will like him for himself, rather than his father's money.

Stay Away Joe 1968 Joe Lightcloud (Elvis) returns home after a successful run on the rodeo circuit. He intends to raise cattle with his father (Burgess Meredith). Elvis is slim, tanned; happy and charming. Try to forget the scene in which he sings to the bull!

A Harley-Davidson Museum in the iconic company's hometown, Milwaukee has a collection of 400 bikes. Those on display will include bikes that belonged to celebrities like Evel Knievel and Elvis Presley.

 

 

 

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Dennis Hopper and Easy Rider


Easy Rider was based on a partial screenplay written by Hopper, co-star Peter Fonda, and screenwriter Terry Southern.  Much of the film was actually ad libbed and was originally titled The Loners.

The film was almost as legendary for its soundtrack as it was for the story and characters.  During an anniversary screening at USA Film Festival in Dallas, John Kay of Steppenwolf described how the filmmakers selected music and "placed" it within the film and then showed it to the bands.  This approach was completely reverse of how the rights should have been secured; however, when the bands saw the film and realized how good the music selections were, they all signed off on allowing the clips to be used in the final edit.

There were actually four motorcycles used in the film that had been customized from 1950's Harley-Davidson police bikes.  The bikes were customized by California bike builders Cliff Vaughs and Ben Hardy.  Due to Fonda being the more experienced rider, his bike was more customized.

One of the bikes was wrecked during the filming and the other three bikes were stolen by the end of the film; their whereabouts are still unknown.

Easy Rider is also noted for key supporting roles by legendary film star Jack Nicholson as George Hanson, choreographer Toni Basil as Mary, and Phil Spector as the Connection.  Many film historians agree that no other film better captured the 1960's counter-culture movement better than Easy Rider.  AFI lists the film as one of the best 100 films in the last 100 years of filmmaking.

"Easy Rider was a one-movie revolution in myriad ways," says Alonso Duralde film critic with The Rotten Tomatoes Show on Current.  "It kicked off a period of filmmaking in which, as the saying goes, "anyone with a beard and a script" got a meeting at the major Hollywood studios.  It encapsulated the unease of American youth culture during the Vietnam era.  And it did for the motorcycle what Saturday Night Fever did for disco."

From the motorcycling community perspective, what Easy Rider contributed to the public consciousness can only begin to be unraveled.  The film graced upon facets ranging from the freedom riding brings to the soul to the outsider image to camaraderie amongst riders to the fashion and music of an entire era.

 

 

 

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Clarke Gable and Steve McQueen


Steve McQueen and Clark Gable motorcycles up for auction. A 1970 Kawasaki G31 belonging to actor Steve McQueen and 1934 Harley-Davidson RL formerly owned by Clark Gable went up for auction on November 10 2007 in LA.

The Bonhams and Butterfields auction ran in conjunction with the Love Ride and California Bike week at the Petersen Museum.

The Kawasaki that belonged to the star of The Great Escape and Bullet was hand painted by McQueen’s close friend Von Dutch and is expected to rake in between £7,000 and £10,000.

The RL Harley-Davidson that was owned and ridden by Gone with the Wind actor Clark Gable has been estimated at raking in even more money with a price tag between £12,000 and £17,000.

Dick Messer, director of the Petersen Museum said: “Bonhams is one of the oldest, largest and most active auction houses in the world and it’s an honour to host this auction and preview with them.

“The history, art and people represented in this sale, from the kings of the silver screen, to the king of counter culture (Von Dutch), to hot rods from the personal collection of the founder of this museum (Robert Petersen), is astounding.”

 

 

 

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Jack Nicholson and Easy Rider


Easy Rider (1969) is the late 1960s "road film" tale of a search for freedom (or the illusion of freedom) in a conformist and corrupt America, in the midst of paranoia, bigotry and violence. Released in the year of the Woodstock concert, and made in a year of two tragic assassinations (Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King), the Vietnam War buildup and Nixon's election, the tone of this 'alternative' film is remarkably downbeat and bleak, reflecting the collapse of the idealistic 60s. Easy Rider, one of the first films of its kind, was a ritualistic experience and viewed (often repeatedly) by youthful audiences in the late 1960s as a reflection of their realistic hopes of liberation and fears of the Establishment.

The iconographic, 'buddy' film, actually minimal in terms of its artistic merit and plot, is both memorialized as an image of the popular and historical culture of the time and a story of a contemporary but apocalyptic journey by two self-righteous, drug-fueled, anti-hero (or outlaw) bikers eastward through the American Southwest. Their trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans takes them through limitless, untouched landscapes (icons such as Monument Valley), various towns, a hippie commune, and a graveyard (with hookers), but also through areas where local residents are increasingly narrow-minded and hateful of their long-haired freedom and use of drugs. The film's title refers to their rootlessness and ride to make "easy" money; it is also slang for a pimp who makes his livelihood off the earnings of a prostitute. However, the film's original title was The Loners.

[The names of the two main characters, Wyatt and Billy, suggest the two memorable Western outlaws Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid - or 'Wild Bill' Hickcock. Rather than traveling westward on horses as the frontiersmen did, the two modern-day cowboys travel eastward from Los Angeles - the end of the traditional frontier - on decorated Harley-Davidson choppers on an epic journey into the unknown for the 'American dream'.]

According to slogans on promotional posters, they were on a search:

A man went looking for America and couldn't find it anywhere.

Their costumes combine traditional patriotic symbols with emblems of loneliness, criminality and alienation - the American flag, cowboy decorations, long-hair, and drugs.

Both Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper co-starred, Fonda produced, and 32 year old Hopper directed (his first effort). [It was produced by B.B.S. (formed by Bob Rafelson - the director of Five Easy Pieces (1970), Bert Schneider, and Steve Blauner), already known for the groundbreaking, surrealistic Head (1968), a cult masterpiece that starred the Monkees (from the popular TV series) and was co-written by unemployed actor Jack Nicholson.] Fonda (as lead actor), Hopper (as uncredited second unit director), and Jack Nicholson (as screenwriter) had participated in director Roger Corman's low-budget, definitive LSD film The Trip (1967) a few years earlier. And Fonda had also starred in Roger Corman's and American International's ground-breaking The Wild Angels (1966) - a biker's tale about the 'Hell's Angels'. The first scenes to be shot were on grainy 16 mm. in New Orleans (during Mardi Gras) on a budget of $12,000, afterwards followed by funds for a total budget of $380,000.

This follow-up film to The Wild Angels (1966) premiered at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival and won the festival's award for the Best Film by a new director. The film received two Academy Award nominations: Best Original Screenplay (co-authored by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern - known previously for scripting Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, or... (1964)), and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson in one of his earlier, widely-praised roles as a drunken young lawyer.

Easy Rider surprisingly, was an extremely successful, low-budget (under $400,000), counter-cultural, independent film for the alternative youth/cult market - one of the first of its kind that was an enormous financial success, grossing $40 million worldwide. Its story contained sex, drugs, casual violence, a sacrificial tale (with a shocking, unhappy ending), and a pulsating rock and roll soundtrack reinforcing or commenting on the film's themes. Groups that participated musically included Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, The Band and Bob Dylan.

The pop cultural, mini-revolutionary film was also a reflection of the "New Hollywood," and the first blockbuster hit from a new wave of Hollywood directors (e.g., Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, and Martin Scorsese) that would break with a number of Hollywood conventions. It had little background or historical development of characters, a lack of typical heroes, uneven pacing, jump cuts and flash-forward transitions between scenes, an improvisational style and mood of acting and dialogue, background rock 'n' roll music to complement the narrative, and the equation of motorbikes with freedom on the road rather than with delinquent behaviors.

However, its idyllic view of life and example of personal film-making was overshadowed by the self-absorbent, drug-induced, erratic behavior of the filmmakers, chronicled in Peter Biskind's tell-all Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (1999). And the influential film led to a flurry of equally self-indulgent, anti-Establishment themed films by inferior filmmakers, who overused some of the film's technical tricks and exploited the growing teen-aged market for easy profits. Hopper's success with this film gave him the greenlight from Universal Pictures (and $850,000) for his next project The Last Movie (1971) which ended up being a colossal failure, due in part to reports of drug-induced orgies during filming, and its year-long editing process (delayed by alleged use of psychedelic drugs for 'inspiration').

One morning, two free-wheeling, long-haired, social misfits/dropouts/hippies ride up to La Contenta Bar, south of the border in Mexico. With Jesus (Antonio Mendoza), they walk around the side of the bar through an auto-wrecking dump yard. After Jesus scoops out a small amount of white powder (cocaine) onto a mirror, they both sniff the dope. In Spanish, the thinner, calmer one chuckles: "Si pura vida (Yes, it's pure life.)" Then, he hands a packet of money to Jesus who thumbs through it and smiles. The two bikers, who have presumably orchestrated the decision to buy the cocaine in Mexico, are given cases of the powder in the drug deal.

Before the film cuts to the next scene, the loud noise of a jet engine plays on the soundtrack. In the next scene of their dope deal, they are now in California where they have smuggled the drugs for sale to a dealer. The two are on an airport road next to the touch down point of jet planes at Los Angeles International Airport - the sound of approaching planes is excruciatingly loud. A Rolls Royce pulls into the frame with their Connection (Phil Spector, the famous rock and roll producer in a cameo role). While testing the white powder in the front seat of their white pickup truck, the Connection ducks every time a plane lands. In exchange for the drugs, the Bodyguard (Mac Mashourian) gives a large quantity of cash to one of the bikers in the front seat of the Rolls. The drug deal is finalized to the tune of Steppenwolf's "The Pusher," a song which is overtly against hard-drug pushers and dealing.

You know I smoked a lot of grass
Oh Lord, I popped a lot of pills
But I've never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill
You know I've seen a lot of people walkin' round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Aw, if you live or if you die
God damn the Pusher
God damn, hey I say the Pusher
I said God damn, God damn the Pusher man.
With the stash of money they've made from selling drugs, they have financed their trip, including the purchase of high-handled motorcycles. One of them rolls up the banknotes and stuffs them into a long plastic tube that will be inserted snake-like into the tear-drop shaped gas tank of his stars-and-stripes decorated motorcycle. The two part-time drug dealers are:

a cool and introspective "Captain America" Wyatt (Peter Fonda) on a gleaming, silver-chromed low-riding bike with a 'stars-and-stripes' tear-drop gas tank, wearing a tight leather pants held at the waist by a round belt-buckle and a black leather jacket with an American flag emblazoned on the back; also with a 'stars-and-stripes' helmet
mustached and shaggy, long-haired Billy the Kid (Dennis Hopper), with a tan-colored bush hat, fringed buckskin jacket, shades, and an Indian necklace of animals' teeth.

 

 

 

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Brad Pitt's Chopper


Just got a hold of this story, and thought it a bit to funny to let it go. Story goes that Brad Pitt accidentally fills the OIL tank on his custom chopper with GAS in front of the press (yes, GAS in the OIL tank). Damn must he have felt stupid. My first thought was how the heck can anyone riding a motorcycle be that clueless about their own bike.

But then I digged a little deeper and found this photo on the Cyril Huze blog. That’s supposedly Mr. Pitt kneeling beside his motorcycle wondering what to do next. Looking closer at the bike I thought I’d seen it before, and bingo, I had a photo of it in my wast archive of motorcycle photos I nicked from other peoples websites. I’m pretty sure this is the motorcycle in question, not your average straight off the factory floor bike.

In fact it’s a bottom up custom job built around an early Harley Davidson Shovelhead engine in a rigid frame. If you examine it a bit closer you’ll see that the oil lines go up into the tank, which can only mean that the tank is split in two, an oil and a gas section. That means you have two “gas caps” sitting right next to each other except one is for oil, and you don’t want to put gas in there. Then it makes a little more sense how the heck he could get them mixed up. Still not the wisest of moves, but normally the oil bag sits below the seat and you’d have to be seriously confused to pour gas in there.

So that’s it. Helmet Hair has officially joined the tabloids and started gossiping on celebrities. How could it come to this, it was such a prober blog. One last thing, to Mr. Pitt though. If you want me to cook up some stickers for your tank caps, I’d be happy to do so. Maybe one that says “OIL” and one that says “GAS”, I’d even tell you which sticker to put where if you want.

 

 

 

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The Doobie Brothers


There’s no separating the unparalleled legacy of the Doobie Brothers from their upcoming HOR Records release World Gone Crazy – not that anyone would want to. Nevertheless, the new album may be most remarkable for the extent to which it stands completely on its own. Yes, World Gone Crazy is another chapter in one of the great American music stories, but it’s neither comeback nor nostalgia. An exhibition of aggressive and emotional performances, evocative storytelling, unapologetic attitude and world class musicianship, the collection is its own justification.

In a sense, World Gone Crazy is an analogy for the Doobie Brothers as a whole. With founding members Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons, and 30 year-plus veterans John McFee and Michael Hossack, the Doobies have perfectly honored the band’s legacy with an offering that grows in unexpected new directions.

The songs on World Gone Crazy all feature Johnston and Simmons as writers and lead vocalists. Adding dimension to the project, in some cases there were co-writers involved, as well as some notable contributions or “guest appearances” by other vocalists.

Long time Doobie drummer Michael Hossack, of whom producer Ted Templeman has said “He’s the first band member-drummer in a rock group that was as good as or better than any session player out there…” is the rhythmic backbone of the album, continuing a tradition that began with his drumming on the band’s first hit single, “Listen to the Music”.

Multi-instrumentalist Doobie veteran John McFee says “I just tried to do what I could on this project as a team player to serve the songs and the band”. Modest words from an in demand musician whose work can be heard on classic recordings with such artists as Van Morrison, Steve Miller, the Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Rick James, Link Wray, Glen Campbell, Huey Lewis and the News, the Beach Boys, and many, many others.

“This album has been in the mix for five years, but we didn’t seriously start putting the nuts and bolts together until three years ago,” Johnston says. Simmons adds, “We had been compiling songs with the idea we would eventually do a record. Our old producer Ted Templeman came by tour rehearsals one day and was impressed with how we were sounding. He asked if we were doing any new material or thinking about recording. And that’s where it really started.”

Aside from a few years of inactivity in the mid-eighties, the Doobie Brothers have continued to perform, create and record for over 21 consecutive years. “The Doobies have always been about playing live,” Johnston says. “We’re not a studio hot house group and we’re not a concept album band. We’ve always just brought in the tunes we had, put them together and made an album. That’s the way it’s been from the very first album and that’s still the way it’s being done.”

Reuniting with Templeman, whose first hit record as a producer included the playing of the Doobies’ own John McFee (Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey album featuring the song “Wild Night”), and who produced all the band’s albums through 1980, greatly influenced the project. “I’ve got a lot of songs on my home studio hard drive,” Johnston says. “That was a boon of having Teddy involved. He came up to my house in Northern California and we went through everything.”

“Tommy gave him some demos and I did the same,” Simmons says. “It took off from there. He got together with both of us at different times, went through the material and collected certain songs he wanted to start with. We did a little warm up at a couple places and ended up cutting the basic tracks at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles.”

McFee recounts “Teddy kept asking me to submit songs, but I really felt like this project was the time for me to step back from the songwriting and let Tommy, Pat, and Ted get back to the chemistry that got this train rolling in the first place.” This from a Grammy nominated songwriter with numerous BMI awards to his credit.

Co-writers run the full spectrum from an enthusiastic young fan (P.J. Heinz) Simmons met years ago to musical icon Willie Nelson. The former contributed to the bittersweet love song “Far From Home” after years of musical encouragement from Simmons. The latter was a vocal collaboration as well, with Nelson joining Simmons in the studio for the recording of their composition “I Know We Won”, which features Doobie Brother John McFee (who, as a member of the group Southern Pacific was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s Walkway of Stars) on banjo, mandolin, and lead guitar.

Johnston says recording hasn’t changed much, but that may be the only similarity to earlier albums. “…The way the song comes in has changed a great deal because I’m using software to write. It frees me up to write the drums, bass and everything else. I can sing the background parts and do all the guitar and keyboard parts I had in mind.” This serves as a more complete guide of the writer’s vision when the other players get together to do the actual recording.

Acclaimed pianist Bill Payne (Little Feat), Grammy award winning sax man and long time performing Doobie lineup member Marc Russo, Santana percussionist Karl Perazzo, Tower of Power horn legend Mic Gillette, Ringo Starr’s drummer of choice Gregg Bissonette, Elton John keyboard player Kim Bullard and others joined the process over an extended period. “It’s been on again, off again as much as we’ve been on the road – a lot longer than you normally spend doing an album,” Johnston says. “But we’ve also utilized that time to really fine-tune stuff. It has worked out for the best.”

Simmons agrees. “We were able to reach out a little further to do all the things on the songs we had been imagining, which in the past was not always the case. We’d run out of time or didn’t have the opportunity to do some things we wanted. Because we weren’t rushed with a deadline we were able to get to the end of our ideas so the tunes feel a lot more complete.”

“I had a guy come in and play cello on one track,” Simmons continues. “On another song I wanted to bring in our friend Norton Buffalo on harmonica. It took me a while to get it all arranged, but I was able to get that done. We went a little further this time.”

“A Brighter Day,” Johnston says, is a case in point. “The song went from okay to where it is now solely because it took us so long to do the album. That gave us the chance to sit back, listen and figure out what each song needs.”

The project also gave Templeman an opportunity to address one of his longstanding frustrations. “Nobody,” the band’s first-ever single from their self-titled debut album, was never the recording Templeman hoped it would be – particularly the hard-to-distinguish rhythm section. “The nuts and bolts are the same, but there’s an intro that wasn’t there before,” Johnston says. “John’s doing a new Dobro part and the drum pattern is different.”

As the new album’s lead single, “Nobody” brings things full circle. World Gone Crazy also offers classic Doobie style harmonies and rock edge on “Chateau.” And the rhythm guitar work on “Old Juarez,” unmistakable vocal additions from Michael McDonald on “Don’t Say Goodbye” and doubled guitar work on “Young Man’s Game” ring Doobie true.

“The rest of the tunes go to places the band hasn’t necessarily visited before,” Johnston says. “‘World Gone Crazy,’ ‘A Brighter Day,’ and other songs were written on keyboards, not guitar. The style of songs like ‘Old Juarez’ and ‘New York Dream’ are a departure from anything we’ve ever done.” Simmons’ touching ballad “Far From Home” with his distinctive finger picking guitar work augmented with cello melodies, and “Don’t Say Goodbye” featuring John McFee’s Stéphane Grappelli-like violin intertwined with Norton Buffalo’s beautiful chromonica playing also break new ground.

And if fans have any understanding of what to expect from the Doobie Brothers, it’s probably the unexpected. “In a certain sense, it’s vintage Doobie Brothers,” Simmons says. “It certainly has the two original writers and there’s a certain signature there in terms of the vocal sound that comes from each of us as writers. As far as the songs are concerned, there are elements of things we’ve done in the past and some new ways we’ve applied them. There are also some newer approaches and elements we haven’t used.”

McFee says “The one thing that has always been true of the Doobie Brothers is an avoidance of limiting the music stylistically – it’s always been about making the best music the band can do, no boundaries involved.”

“The band is the band, and that’s a good thing,” Johnston says. “You don’t want to go so far that people say, ‘Who the hell is that?’ The vocals are big identifiers as Pat and I have voices people seem to know. And a song like ‘Old Juarez’ has a Doobie-ish feel even though it’s a Latin style track.”

“That’s been the goal with all of our records,” Simmons sums. “To try to achieve that diversity but at the same time remain true to ourselves.” And if World Gone Crazy is a microcosm of the (greater) Doobie Brothers, then the Doobie Brothers are as appropriate a projection of American music as can be found in one long running association of musicians. “This band represents a lot of American music styles,” Johnston says. “From the finger-picking stuff that Pat does – and John can do as well – to blues, jazz, rock and roll. By the time you get done you’ve got, to lift a song title from another group, an American band.”

Like the nation that spawned the many musical styles they’ve adopted, the Doobie Brothers’ deepest traditions are change, growth, striving and an abiding faith in the future. And so World Gone Crazy pays tribute to the Doobie Brothers legacy the most appropriate way possible … by moving resolutely forward.

 

 

 

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Roland Sands


Roland Sands reveals finished Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cafe Racer.

Roland Sands’ latest project, a café racer, has been unveiled for the first time on his blog.

Only the basics of Harley-Davidson’s weighty street-tracker remain – the rest has been thrown away and replaced with a selection of performance and cosmetic upgrades selected by the Californian former 250 racer.

At the front is a set of Ohlins forks carrying radial brakes and a billet aluminium wheel from Performance Machine, the parent company of Roland Sands Design.

The rear swingarm is replaced with a tubular single-sided arm using Ducati linkages and an Ohlins shock to convert it from the standard twin-shock layout.

Clip-on handlebars and rearsets switch the riding position from sit-up-and-beg to racer.

The exhaust is a 2-1 from Vance and Hines, and appears to be completely un-silenced.

Chain drive replaces the ugly belt fitted as standard. The rear seat and subframe is ditched, completely and replaced by a minimalist single seat behind the standard tank giving a look reminiscent of big-tanked 60’s British café racers, but with a more modern twist.

A set of crash bungs are fitted – which give the impression Roland intends to ride his XR1200 pretty hard!

The paint is given a satanic twist – a pentagram RSD logo and a 666 number over the matt black paint complement the largely black-out chassis.

See full pictures at his blog, here: http://rolandsandsdesign.blogspot.com/2010/03/xr-1200-build.html

 

 

 

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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Terminator 2:Judgement Day, In the year 2029, a computer called Skynet is fighting against a human resistance after nearly destroying
the rest of humanity in 1997.  Skynet has found a way to send back some of it's warriors, called
Terminators, back in time to kill the leader of the resistance. This Harley Davidson Softail Fatboy was used extensively during filming of T2. After production, the movie's producer Mario Kassar, kept the motorcycle for his personal collection.  It was then sold to another private collector from whom the Hollywood Star Cars Museum was able to obtain it and finally 
display it for the public to enjoy.

They've both appeared in famous motorbike scenes on the big screen, but it's not just movie roles that see Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger saddling up.
The actors are both keen motorbike enthusiasts and were pictured riding around Hollywood this weekend on their powerful machines - albeit more in a more conservative manner than their on-screen incarnations.
Arnie, 62, was pictured riding through Malibu with two biker friends taking safety into consideration with a helmet, unlike his character in the Terminator.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1259611/Arnold-Schwarzenegger-Tom-Cruise-motorbikes-spin-California.html#ixzz18AzmzFpW

 

 

 

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Evel Knievel

Evel Knievel once said: "Harley-Davidson is the finest company in the world."
Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/evel_knievel.html#ixzz18B4Dz0Qf
Knievel briefly used a Honda 350cc motorcycle, using it to jump a crate of rattlesnakes and two mountain lions, which was his first known jump. Knievel then used a Norton Motorcycle Company 750cc. He used the Norton for only one year during 1966. Between 1967 and 1968, Knievel jumped using the Triumph Bonneville T120 (with a 650cc engine). Knievel used the Triumph at the Caesars Palace crash on New Year's Eve 1967. When Knievel returned to jumping after the crash, he used Triumph for the remainder of 1968.
Between December 1969 and April 1970, Knievel used the Laverda American Eagle 750cc motorcycle. On December 12, 1970, Knievel would switch to the Harley-Davidson XR-750, the motorcycle with which he is best known for jumping. Knievel would use the XR-750 in association with Harley-Davidson until 1977. However, after his 1977 conviction for the assault of Shelly Saltman, Harley-Davidson withdrew their sponsorship of Knievel.
On September 8, 1974, Knievel attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon on a rocket propelled motorcycle designed by former NASA engineer Robert Truax dubbed the Skycycle X-2. The State of Idaho registered the X-2 as an airplane rather than a motorcycle.
At the tail end of his career, while helping launch the career of his son, Robbie Knievel, Knievel returned to the Triumph T120. However, he only performed wheelies and did not jump after retiring the XR-750.[4]
In 1997, Knievel signed with the California Motorcycle Company to release a limited Evel Knievel Motorcycle. However, the motorcycle was not built to jump, but was rather a V-twin cruiser motorcycle intended to compete with Harley-Davidson street bikes. Knievel promoted the motorcycle at his various public appearances. After the company closed in 2003, Knievel returned to riding modern street Harley-Davidson motorcycles at his public appearances.
Evel's son, Robbie Knievel, is currently selling limited-edition motorcycles from his company, Knievel Motorcycles Manufacturing Inc.[19] Although two of the motorcycles refer to Evel (the Legend Series Evel Commemorative and the Snake River Canyon motorcycle), Evel did not ride Robbie's bikes.

 

 

 

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James Dean


£20,000 James Dean tribute Harley Fat Boy. If you have enough money, you can have anything you want. If the object of your desires is a custom Harley styled like the Porsche Spyder that killed James Dean, star of iconic movie ‘Rebel Without a Cause’, then Shaw Speed and Custom is the place to spend your cash.

Everything on the Spyder is about the attitude – the riding dynamics are of lesser concern than the owner looking and feeling like a badass.

The Roland Sands seat pan sits you far back of the forward-set billet aluminium foot controls and the trials-style bars, stretching you out in a slight hunch.

The Springer front end and Performance Machine Phatail kit (a massive swingarm and 240-section tyre) sit the bike and rider low to the road. Never mind the fact that hard leather seat is slippy and makes it difficult to brace against the 1450cc twin’s torque – it puts you in rebellious state of mind, feeling like you’re on the fringe of acceptable society.

The bike is on the fringe of acceptable handling. At low speed, it’s OK – you need to be reasonably tall to use the steering lock, but above 30mph it seems to develop a lot of inertia, and resists direction change. Of course, the new owner of this bike isn’t likely to want to chase supersport bikes – it’s not about that.

The 2003-spec Fat Boy’s 1450cc is left untouched, with only a Vance and Hines exhaust and a Domino air filter changing performance. So it’s all about the low-rev torque, and small throttle openings being rewarded with the throbbing drive, rather than wringing its neck for high revs.

It gets up to 60mph fuss-free, and holds it in a relaxed way – that’s about all you need to get from one posing location to another. The pipe is loud, but the low-revving motor means you can get away without completely offending onlookers.

Specification
Shaw Harley-Davidson Spyder
Base bike: Harley Fatboy
Price: £20,000
Engine: 1450cc V-twin
Power (est): 80bhp
Torque: 95lbft
Top speed: 105mph

 

 

 

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Jay Leno


Jay bought his WR nearly 30 years ago, from a man who bought it new from the factory in 1946.
Less than two decades after first building their first motor-bicycle, Harley-Davidson had become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world by 1920, with dealers in 67 countries. Back in the day, the proof was in the putting on the racetrack, where H-D was deadlocked into fierce competition with arch-rival Indian. Throughout the 1930s, Harley motorcycles would dominate American racing, thanks primarily to record-breaking star Joe Petrali, who won every race on the national schedule in 1935. Hoping to shake things up and lure private motorcycle owners back into competition, the AMA developed a new racing category, Class C, in 1937. Class C required racing machines to originate as production stock, and limited the field to 45 cubic inch 750cc side valve engines or 30.5 cubic inch 500cc OHV engines, effectively sidelining many higher performance European marques. Unwilling to share the track with the Class C mob, Petrali retired from racing in 1938, clearing the way for a brand new era in American motorcycle racing.
Despite the onset of the war, which severely curtailed the production of civilian vehicles, Harley-Davidson introduced its legendary WR in 1941, designed specifically for Class C competition. Based on the W series, the WR's iron-barreled 738cc V-twin featured a stronger, lighter frame; larger, polished valves and ports; and three-speed transmission with foot clutch and hand gearshift. In order to save the cost of designing a proprietary magneto, H-D used a Wico magneto originally designed for a four-cylinder tractor.
Sold without lights or brakes, the WR was a lean, stripped-down racing machine. Rather than build their own team, Harley-Davidson opened a racing department, designed to assist private owners to modify their individual machines, utilizing the company's thick catalogue of performance parts and accessories. Most importantly, anyone could buy one, from any Harley-Davidson dealership, which effectively leveled the playing field on the race track. By 1948, the WR had won 19 of 23 national championship races, including seven out of the top ten places at Daytona. As sales boomed, the WR earned its worldwide reputation as one of the most beautiful and legendary motorcycles of all time.

 

 

 

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Peter Fonda


The panhead was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine, so nicknamed because of the distinct shape of the rocker covers. The engine is a two-cylinder, two-valve-per-cylinder, pushrod V-twin. The engine replaced the Knucklehead engine in 1948 and was manufactured until 1965 when it was replaced by the shovelhead.
As the design of Harley-Davidson engines has evolved through the years, the distinctive shape of the valve covers has allowed Harley enthusiasts to classify an engine simply by looking at the shape of the covers, and the panhead has covers resembling an upside-down pan.
The "Captain America" chopper used by Peter Fonda in the movie Easy Rider (1969) had a panhead engine, as did the bike ridden by Dennis Hopper's character.
Currently, a number of third-party engine manufacturers produce custom panhead-style engines in a variety of bores, many much larger than the original-design displacements. Each manufacturer includes significant subtle upgrades to the original design to drastically improve the performance and reliability while still providing the original styling and overall engine structure.

The only remaining original "Captain America" Harley Davidson driven by Peter Fonda in Easy Rider was destroyed today along with other bikes and classic cars in a fire at a collector's warehouse in Austin, Texas.

The cause of the fire at Gordon Granger's warehouse, which also claimed the first car owned by Tejano superstar Selena, has yet to be determined, but there's currently a dog sniffing around for gasoline or another accelerant according to KVUE. The cost of the damage is pegged at $100,000 for the warehouse and $1 million to 22 cars and 8 bikes.

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