Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A little bit of everything motorcycles

G'day, it’s been a quiet few weeks since I wrote, which doesn't mean that there hasn't been much motorcycle activity to speak of, au contraire it's been a little bit of everything motorcycles that needs to be unpacked, so I'll get stuck in.

I've been drawing lots. Lots and lots of motorbikes of course. 


I took a certification course on Copic Markers to learn something new. The colouring effect I have been achieving with watercolours and other mixed mediums wasn't cutting it, and I liked what I read about the Copic colouring system.

The course was money well spent as I got a full understanding of the different techniques used Ddwith these rather remarkable markers. I got a crash course in colour selection and the Copic colour Wheel, I was shown how to use shadows with different tones of the same colours, taught blending colour techniques for stunning flat finish effects, and a bunch of Markers, Inks and reference books.

I think the results speak for themselves, so here are three of my favourites I've done so far. Let me know what you reckon in the comments below.


 It's the first time I've really been happy with my drawings, they really look great when framed up with the black matt board so I smacked a hefty price on em and stuck em up on my Etsy store for sale. If anyone actually buys one I'll probably take a heart attack. I've also been focussing on my freelance writing on Envato Studio, and the results have been really encouraging. So much so that I have had to rethink how I approach this last six months of my sabbatical. It's really starting to pick up and keep me busy alongside drawing and making stuff.

I want to spend more time in the saddle than in the chair on wheels in the office, but the balance so far has been pretty good and I just have to find the tipping point where I can make enough to live off, without having to ever go back to the 9-5 grind so I can ride more.

Speaking of motorcycles, I've decided that I've done my time with the DRZ and I'm thinking I'm going to sell it. That will be some coin in the bank for my next project, but more on that later.

I've loved having Dizzy, but at the time of it’s coming along I was working 9-5 in the city and using it for belting around commuting. Now working from home, I don’t need the extra rego, insurance plus general expenses of running a two bike garage. Things aren't super tight yet, but I'm totally missing a regular wage, so it makes sense to consolidate.

I'm getting itchy feet when it comes to the launch of what I have been thinking could be the ultimate all rounder, the S1000XR, and I have the annual crave for touring. Usually as Winter seeps in and the rides get shorter, I pine for longer rides and start dreaming up long rides up the coast or back West inland. I want to get back to where I grew up, and revisit where we scattered our parents ashes in the Lake Alexandrina.

I want to ride to far north NSW and visit my sister, I want to ride the Dingo Fence, I want to do the Nullarbor, and I want to ride the Grampians on the way home.

Not that I can’t do any of that on a naked literbike, but I've started pining for another touring machine. I want to live off my bike, or at least be able to. My blogging mate Experimental Ghost is not helping this situation with his taunting images of touring the East Coast wearing a Daily Bikers t-shirt!

Having fallen in love with the Bavarian variety myself, I know there is really only one way to do that properly. The GS. It’s been in production for 30 + years and can lay claim to top of the pile of adventure motorcycles, and it has recently gotten, what I understand as leaps and bounds better in the engine department.

 I rode a 2012 R1200GS around the UK and I did 1,000 miles on it, moaning the whole time. I fairly made up my mind at that point that I didn't like them much at all. I couldn't work out what was going on with the steering, the lack of dive under hard braking going into corners...it's completely different with the BMW telelever vs telescopic fork setup. I felt like I had no idea what the bike was doing going into corners because of that missing dive, or some shit. I dunno. Just couldn't work it out at the time.

I have been educating myself on the ways of the telelever front end and I must say I am intrigued more now than I have ever been. I must ride a new model soon, and now that I know it's not diving on purpose because of the telelever front end, maybe I can learn to really dig it.

Funny thing though, these BMW crew, of late they have been reverting back to the telescopic fork setup on a couple of new models of late. The R nine T, the S1000RR and S1000R...but that doesn't mean the telelever is redundant by any means. It's most likely to feed the advanced electronics in those suspension setups (bar the nine T).This guy on a visordown forum explains Telelever well:
It is clever though - it's very stable, has extreme rigidity and where a normal tele's steering quickens up under braking and loses stability, the Telelever actually slows the steering because of the only slight change in geometry. Also, raising the front of the T/lever bike quickens the steering. Telever forks operate on a fulcrum, not in a straight up & down fashion. As to this thing about 'lack of feel', well a well-known World Championship endurance racer said: 'The reason there's no feel, is because there's nothing wrong' Read more.
And as if BMW knew I wasn't feeling befuddled enough, this week they go and announce the 2016 R1200GS Triple Black.

The second I eyeballed it, I had that tingle in the bottom of my bawbag, it gawked back at me all angry looking, pointy & sharp and very very black. Three kinds of black, triple black.
BMW Motorrad has unveiled a number of new liveries on selected models in its 2016 line-up, as well as announcing the R 1200 GS TripleBlack — a special edition model where the name just about says it all. The central fuel tank cover, fuel tank side panels and front mudguard are all in black metallic, together with black anodised fork slider tubes. The frame is grey, in combination with the engine, gearbox and swingarm. A new black-grey seat with "GS" application on the passenger seat and spokes — normally a special equipment feature — round out the changes. Read more.
And as if all the planets aligned to deliver me a message that I should pursue this line of thinking, it turns out I may get a tax return this year, just in time. Wasting no time I've organised test rides on both bikes, the 2015 R1200GS and the S1000XR in the next week or so.

I noticed a revived PR drive from Moto Guzzi this week too, in the form of a kind-of custom bike builder website called ‘Customise Your V7’, a swanky little online app that allows you to mess around with parts and colours and be shown how that looks straight away. Nifty.

My favourite was the Scrambler style in Stone, with a paired back classic look, really nice effort from MG. Undoubtedly right now it's all about Scramblers with Triumph, Ducati, BMW all making or planning on making their own versions of Scramblers.

Then no sooner than I sit penning this soliloquy does the phone ring and it’s an old contact who is now working with Urban Moto Imports, inviting me to the launch of the new MV Agusta models (woo the Dragster!) and 2016 lineups. Also to lead us into temptation this week, GoPro announces the smallest, most compact beast of an action cam called the Hero4 Session. This will be a must have, check it out on their site here.

So basically my heads a mess with motorcycles; social mediaing motorcycles in the morning, drawing motorcycles in the afternoon, riding motorcycles whenever I feel like it. I could be better off financially, but I couldn’t be happier.

Whatever happens will happen anyway, no point fighting it. Until next time, stay upright. * Source: Bikesales