We're stoked to sponsor some upcoming Brittown screenings over the summer. From Chicago to Paris, these guys are going to be trotting the globe spreading the gospel about Meatball and his love for old British iron and all kinds of racing. Zack and Scott will be raffling off a few Biltwell helmets at the events and we're proud to contribute.

Read a review of the DVD on Bikernet or visit the official Brittown site and buy a copy.

Gypsy Caravan

Crandall is at it again.


Homebuilt Pigeon from the Kalamazoo Cobra

Husband, father, artist, BMX lifer and motorcycle rider... this is Scott Towne. He has more fun in his little finger than most of us have in entire lives. You can read about that fun on a daily basis here. Scott's blog is called deliveranting, and it's a goodie. So is this artwork Scott noodled for a Biltwell t-shirt:

Thanks for keeping it real with hardcore integrity, Scott. I love you.

-- McGoo

Wednesday Night

The Pub

Joe Wood and The Lonely Ones!

If you are in North County San Diego a few of us are going to Ride over to Hensley’s Flying Elephant Pub and see Joe Wood & the Lonely Ones play. Its not a bike night and I'm not associated in anyway with this place or the band but they both rule and the food is Rad!

Spare tire!

So I did a little favor for Christian at Xian Leather a while back and he offered to make me a belt in return. He asked if I had any ideas, so being the jerk I am, I came up with the most difficult pattern I could think of. Not on purpose, I just figured it would look cool. After I thought about it, I should have asked for something less time consuming, so Christian man, I am in your debt. This thing is an heirloom! Modeled after the Avon MKII on the back of my Triumph at the time, it now matches the Avon on the back of my current Sportster. THANKS!


Garage Company

I rode by the other day just to see what was going on and these 2 were in the back getting finished up. Craftsmanship 2nd to none!

Ventura Back To The Beach Event

Was Great and here are my fav pics I got from there. If you want pics of more bikes check out this thread on the Jockey Journal there are a few people that have posted more pics.


Great Ridin Weekend!

So my bike has been back together for only about 2 weeks now and I am lovin the weather. Headed up to Ventura this weekend. Caught up with Caleb, Matt, Will, and J.D. We rode up the coast to Malibu and then back to Calebs and stayed in Long Beach for the swap sunday morning. Definitely one of the funnest weekends I've had in awhile. Riding out here is just plain Rad! The guys have some great bikes and a totally fun crew. No attitudes, great weather, met some new friends and mos def gotta go back up soon to do it again. Wes won his class at the Back to the beach event too! What a Great Weekend!


Chris, Bill and I have returned in one piece (three pieces, actually) from the El Diablo Run. It will be business as usual around here starting tomorrow. To everyone who left messages and sent emails in our absence, thanks for your patience and understanding. Photos from our debauched weekend are flowing in by the minute, and as soon as we get all of them we'll share a link to our photobucket. In the mean time, please enjoy this awesome image created by our friend and fellow Diablo Runner Eric Rudehog from Las Vegas. I've seen them all, and this one is by far my favorite.

-- McGoo

Long Story about the Long Way EDR

Billdozer, '06 Triumph T100, So Cal

Brooks, '77 Moto Guzzi, So Cal

Joel, 103" RevTech, 4-speed, jockey shift-rigid, So Cal

Nick, modded Suzuki Bandit, Arizona

Rouser Rob, Buell 1200 in a rigid Flyrite Smokin' Gun. Texas

Wow. Hard to describe without writing a book. I'll try to make it short as possible. Suffice it to say it was my personal best trip on two wheels yet, and makes me want to do more long rides. I think getting out and riding for days is maybe the most traditional thing any of us can really do. Immense thanks to those who rode with me, please see their mugs and bikes above. I could not have asked for a more diverse, hardy and experienced crew, I'd ride anywhere with any one of you again, anytime.

You can see more pics on my flickr site, and I'll add more as the guys get them to me.

Started from my house about 5:30 AM and took the EDR route through the hills and met Joel in El Centro, which is near the border where a week later a couple hundred EDR riders would cross on their way to San Felipe. I pulled up about 20 minutes late to find Joel with his float bowl off and a worried look on his face. Float was stuck so he cleaned it all out and had it back together and working by the time I wolfed down some breakfast. We rode east from there towards Vail, AZ to the Spartan Frameworks compound. We met up with Brooks on his trusty Guzzi along the way, shooting text messages back and forth at each gas stop until we ended up at the same crossroads within minutes of each other. The most eventful episode along the way was Joel getting a ticket for no turn signals. Damn that CHP! Nick met us at George and Wendy's not long after we got there. We drank and talked and had a great time hanging with the Counes', absorbing every bit of the hospitality they could throw at us. I can't say thanks enough to them, it was a great way to start the trip. That day was 400+, I'm not going to figure out the exact miles but it was somewhere around there for me and I was glad to crash out with a belly full of beer when we finally did.

Killer breakfast and then George and Wendy hoped on their bikes and escorted us the 60 or so miles to the border. When we left them at the border gas station I think we all went in four different directions, looking like total clowns. It was pretty easy to read George's mind as he looked at us, thinking we were never going to make it with skills like that. To prove the point, not long after crossing the border and making it through the most congested part of Nogales, I dropped my new little digital video camera and watched it get run over twice before a paper boy handed it to me and told me in perfect English, "I think it's all fucked up!" Thanks. It was. Oh well. No videos from me. We averaged about 75-85 along the toll highway, designated a "Hassle-Free Zone" by the state of Sonora, Mexico. We were anxious to make some miles so we hit our target in Guayamas well before dark and settled right into a beautiful old hotel right on the coast. Happened to be a big Mexican wedding going on there that night, complete with screaming kids, booming musica and explosives right outside our door in the middle of the night. Sweet! Welcome to Mexico, gringos!

In Guaymas we heard from Rouser Rob who started in Texas and was with Mark Allen and his buddy from St. Louis. They were in Mazatlan and Mark's friend had a crash and was at the hospital getting bandaged up. I'll let them tell their story, I'm looking forward to hearing it in detail as I don't think I was sober enough when we finally met them up north to get it all straight. Rob, left them and headed north to Los Mochis which was our goal for the day. We didn't have as many miles to burn up that day, so we got off the toll road and explored around on the free road. Not such a great idea, we ended up just cruising around a town or two, catching the watchful and creepy eyes of several Policias. At one point we avoided a motocicleta copper by taking a couple small neighborhood streets and hauling balls back to the highway. We met Rob at the ferry in Los Mochis not long after he rolled in, again, text messages giving each other updates along the way made meeting up surprisingly easy. The ferry cost was about $150 US total, for a bike and rider. We got tickets and then headed out to town where we cruised a few shady backstreets that had the locals looking at us like we were wearing horns or something. Pretty funny vibe. Good seafood, beers and conversations ended with Rouser getting a swazi t-shirt off a local and us heading back to the boat. We loaded up on the boat about 10-ish. Riding a motorcycle into a big ship was surreal and interesting. We lashed them down to handrails and went above to an area with airline style seats and a scattering of passengers. I love sleeping aboard ships, and went right to sleep. I woke up when about 6:00AM when I felt the bow-thrusters pushing us into position in the port of La Paz.

Finally in baja! La Paz was beautiful and well-gringoed with a nice Malaecon littered with good breakfast spots. About an hour to get through customs, relaxing food, charged phones and back on the road, it felt good to be heading north. No more toll roads and desolate, mucho twisty two-lane highways in generally good condition, with great vistas landed us in Loreto for lunch. We didn't spend much time there, just enough to have one more in a long list of airing out sore feet, eating good, a few beers and back on the road to Mulege, one of my favorite spots along the Sea of Cortez reachable by non-off road bikes. Lots of small bays and white sand beaches are found along this route and are classic baja. Any would be a good choice, but we headed all the way to the small coastal town. We stopped abd asked a local dude if there was still a little bar at the end of the road that I fell in love with a few years back when down there pitting for the Baja 1000. Of course, he said and then went into a big story about how he used to have a Triumph like mine but way older. Obviously I pushed to find out more about the bike and where it might be, but he assured me it was in Mexico City last he heard and all he had was the mufflers. We made our way down the bumpy road with the guys on rigids bouncing all over thinking I was a jackass for this choice. Once we got to the end, they agreed it was worth it. There is a little bar that looks like a set from Gilligan's Island, but real. We parked, got beers and took baths in the warm water right in front of the cantina. The local dude showed up with the mufflers! They looked like they were off a later OIF bike and I wasn't interested in strapping them to my back, but we were interested in all his stories of banditos, rattlesnakes and history lesson on Mexican trucking and fishing in the 50's and 60's. We finally settled down and had the best meal of the trip and slept on the beach. We woke to the typical brilliant Sea of Cortez sunrise. It was hard to leave this spot, but Joel found coffee one cantina down and we finally got moving. More great twistys, elevation changes and warmer weather as we headed north towards the old French-built port town of Santa Rosalia. Brooks thought it would be good to slow a bit and spend some more time along the way, and we did. The town was one I had only blasted through before and I am glad we stopped and explored around. The French influence is obvious in Santa Rosalia where thee is more wood construction than anywhere else on the peninsula (that I've seen) and by the Eifel (yes, the tower guy) designed steel church that is still in use. Fresh bread, local dance lessons, and a trip into the back room of an alabaster sculpture studio made it memorable. A one-minute conversation with a total douche on a big Beemer with his old lady made me really glad I was with the guys in our crew and not that cat. From there we headed inland to a true oasis along a river, San Ignacio where we sat in a ancient square and tripped out a bunch of ADV riders with every form of GPS safety net, long travel suspension and wicking fabric gear one could pile on a bike and body. They of course tripped on Rob and Joel for riding rigids through this area where these bikes have just never been seen. We thought we might stay at Guerrero Negro, the border of Baja South and the state of Baja North. We made it in record time and decided to press on since the town in mine and Joel's memory held nothing of particular interest. This is the stretch of highway where there are no real gas stations for over 200 miles. We did pretty good stopping and buying it in antifreeze bottles from liquor stores, but eventually skipped one and ran out in a beautiful spot along the highway. Nick and Brooks had the biggest tanks, so we sent them up to the next spot with our extra containers and made a sign that said "GAS?" on a notebook. Sure enough, about 20 minutes later a dude from Vista (about 20 minutes from my house) stopped with a gas can. He freaked on the bikes (he's got some late model softail at home) and called us lots of names, and made us take all the gas and his can too, once it was empty. We met up with the other guys just shy of Santa Maria where an enterprising local had a ton of gas and we filled up. Trying in vain to make it to San Quitin where I knew a good place on the bay with a great bar and some cabanas, we finally gave up when we pulled into El Rosario and saw a sign for a "Turista Hotel". The manager was surprised to see us and even let us park the bikes in a room that was under construction. It was dark and Joel's kick only, mag-fired Rev Tech was barely putting any juice to his headlight. His tailight had fallen off about 800 miles earlier, so that didn't matter. We bungee'd my SureFire flashlight to his bedroll to make that last hour or two and had him ride in front of Nick who had two headlights. I know Joel was relieved to stop for the night. We didn't even make it to Mama Espinoza's for the famous lobster burritos that night, but managed to eat and get in real beds, which was all that mattered at that point.

We topped up on gas right next to the famous lobster spot at the edge of town and met a Dutch dude in his 70's who was on an old Honda CX500, the jap copy of a Guzzi, towing a small, custom-built trailer. This dude had soul for days. He had been on the road over a year and had started in South America, somewhere I regretfully can't recall. I would have liked to met him the night before but we had lots of miles to go this day and hung out for a while admiring him and his kit and finally hit the road. It didn't seem to take long and we were in the little town of Colonet, about 100 miles south of Ensenada, where my family shares a little block house on the beach. After a couple tacos Joel discovered his rear exhaust only held on by the mounts, nothing holding it to the head, and a pretty bad intake leak from a lost bolt there too. He's a seasoned baja traveler so we left our gear with him and headed down the 7 mile dirt road to my house just to show the other guys what I had been bragging about for the last few days. I couldn't believe how good my T100 handled the washboard and I beat that thing down the whole way and nothing fell off. Rouser Rob on his venerable Flyrite made it only a couple minutes behind me and Nick and Brooks with our suspended machines. We screwed around a while and talked about coming back again on bikes some day and then bombed back to check Joel's progress. The bike fought a little, but eventually Joel got one nut on the head and the air leak all but gone and we motored ever north. Stopped in the next town and he found a bolt the right size, and the convoy was back in business. From there we blasted into and out of Ensenada without even a gas stop and went backwards on the EDR route to San Felipe. We stopped just south of the last Federale check point and I made the guys all pose for a tired portrait as the sun set. At this point we figured we made it. I had to go to Ruben's to see if all was ready for the EDR coming two days later. Rob and Nick followed Brooks on to Puertocitas about 50 miles south of San Felipe where they camped out and soaked in the natural hot springs right on the coast the next morning. Joel with no headlight by this time rode next to me and we took it easy the last 25 or so miles in to town where we checked in at Kiki's where we got a room and launched into EDR-prep mode.

4-16 through 4-22 was an entirely different experience and one I enjoyed, but a total contrast the precluding week. I'll let everyone else tell those stories because as good as they are, this is really the part of the EDR that I remember from this year. Thanks again to my ever-understanding wife for gladly giving me the freedom to do stupid shit, my business partners and friends for letting me skip out on all the pre-EDR mayhem and planning and to my friends from the Long Way. Now, let's start planning an Alaska trip...



Any port in a storm...

Broke shifter, or just plain broke? Do what our friend Steve Crandall did: weld the broken toe piece to an old vise grip and clamp it onto your engine's shifter shaft. Viola! shifting problem solved AND your bike now has an emergency tool kit on board.

EDR Pre Party

Wednesday from 4 til midnight come park your bike at Biltwell HQ and walk over to Hard Hats and enjoy some of the cheapest Pabst and Chili Dogs anywhere. Only the best!

Foundry Art Show

I met Matt from Foundry Moto yesterday, great guy and they are putting out some really nice style with their bikes. Check out their art show coming up on May2-3 in Phoenix AZ.

Up and runnin!

Got my lower end back from Ken at Moreland Choppers friday night and he did a great job! 24 hours later I had the bike back together and yesterday put the better part of 130 miles on it. I'm a transplant from Oklahoma and getting to ride up and down the coastline is Rad! The bike ran great yesterday and so far so good. I need to safety wire a few more things, dish the wheels a little and see ya in Mexico!


Something fun for the Chop Meet...

Another silly motorcycle project wasn't on my radar this year, but my friend Rob Warren had a CL450 basket case that was collecting dust in his garage, so he graciously volunteered it to me if I agreed to to do something with it.

I stared at the hulking mass for nearly four months before finding the gumption to get it started. This is where it stands after two very productive weeks.

The front end is off Bill's '97 XL Cheapo project. Bob at Temecula Motorcycle Repair bored the trees to accept the steer tube off the CL's original front end and viola! instant dirt tracker.

I'm very pleased with the wheel package that's going into this bike. The front wheel is a 19" take-off Indian rim laced to a Narrowglide Sporty front hub with stock caliper and some aftermarket disk my friend Kim had laying around. The rear wheel is still in progress, but it will have a powdercoated Excel 18" dirt bike rim with an early '70's CR250 drum rear hub. All wheel parts have been painted black to hide a multitude of nicks and sins.

The swingarm is an eBay find for nine dollars, and it might be the coolest part on the bike. I think it came off the same early '70's Honda dirt bike, but I can't remember. In any case, it needs to be narrowed 1" to fit on the CL450 frame. When the plastic arrives this week I'll post other photos... I bought a dirt tracker tank and fender from GP Glassworks in Wyoming. Mr. Lasiter is the king of this stuff, and what he sold me looks amazing.

-- McGoo

Leather Tooler Pan and Foam Pack!

We did this with our helmets and its worked out great! This is for all you leather tooling craftsmen out there that need a great canvas at a great price. Its a 5 pack of our seat pan and foam so you can focus on working your magic with the leather and not have to worry about shaping foam or making a pan. Contact me via e-mail at chris@biltwellinc.com with your location and pics of samples of your work. Remember I'm on the El Diablo Run through tuesday April 22 so you won't hear from me til after that.

Seats by Matt

We ran into Matt Hurtado of Working Mans Customs in Austin TX at the Round Up last weekend and he had some seats he had done with our pan. Matt does some great work as you can see. If your looking for a great set up check out his site or e-mail him at matt@workingmanscustoms.com


Another Fuzzy Weekend...

This is Whitneye and Jason Kidd. They run the show at Flyrite Choppers in Austin, TX. FRC is a Biltwell distributor in good standing, and the Kidds are our friends. Flyrite is a two-time sponsor of the El Diablo Run, and Jason always build a cool bike for going on the ride. This year is no exception:

Jason and Whitneye hosted an open house at FRC HQ in Austin last weekend, and we were there. The event was populated mostly by members of Jason's car club, but there were some cool bikes in the house, too. Here are some photos of the festivities:

Thanks for Jason, Whitneye and everyone else in the Lone Star state for the hospitality and good times.

-- McGoo


I'm gonna have to try and make one of these!


More Crandall Adventures

Our buddy Steve is always into something. Riding his shit ass old Jap bike around in the worst weather. He's new to motorcycling and weather reports, but not new riding the wild thunder. He's also a great designer, artist, writer, etc. Check out his blog for a little road trip report on his most recent misadventure. Thanks Steve, you are keeping it real, brother...