just words

A quick note from the the editor.

With my kid ahem.. “graduating”… from fifth grade (eyeroll) and some family to go and visit I’ll be off the grid and out of town till Tuesday or so.  In the mean time I have some posts scheduled to hold things over.  But in the mean time please don’t hesitate to keep sending bikes and projects in.  I’m backed up on a lot of e-mails but I promise I will get to them all eventually.  I might have to go with several pics/posts a day for a while when I get back.

Thanks everyone and wish me luck on my 300 mile drive south into a tropical storm!

Steve Ducharme

OK here’s the idea I’ve been kicking around. Call me crazy…

OK fine. Lets start here. This is a link to what I was talking about in my last post. Go take a quick look I’ll wait.

OK, if you’re back…

This is the portfolio site I’ve been using to host some of my “better” work from my recent interest in taking “better” photographs (as opposed to simple snapshots I’ve clicked away at for 10 years now).  The link is directly to the Motorcycle folder but all my odds-n-ends are on there if you want to poke around.  To be honest,  while I’ve got a lot of room for improvement  I’m am totally  hooked.   It’s to the point that I’ll soon be fastening a Pelican Case to the tail of my DR650 so I can take the the New Nikon DSLR and assorted lenses  along with me and hopefully  combine riding and photography. What’s on the site at the moment are some of the “lucky shots” and better photographs of mine from past posts and such taken with a fairly simple Olympus point and shoot camera, I’m now in the possession of far superior equipment and I think/hope rapidly improving technique.

So… my goal.

What I’d eventually like to do is make these images available for purchase  through the site as either high quality, un-watermarked prints (framed or otherwise) or they can be printed on all sorts of items from coffee cups to mouse pads to T-shirts etc etc. And actually  the way the site is set up, you can do that now for what are very reasonable prices (and no money to me at all which for now I totally am cool with) but I’m hoping to get MUCH better quality material available after this spring and summers events in Daytona, Riding Into History, “hopefully” Barbers Vintage Days and probably a trip to Deals Gap for the annual 2-stroke rally.   I also will probably be branching out into classic muscle cars with the Turkey Rod Run in April, The Concourse D’elegance in Amelia Island and a few really nice car shows in the North Florida area.  Heck I”m going to try and make the classic Wooden Boat Show in Mt Dora too.  We’ll see.

What I’ll likely end up doing is leaving a business card with a link to the website on it for the owners “if ” I think I’ve got something special that they may want to get a print of…  or not… whatever.  I’ll be there either way taking a photo of their rides so it’s not going to be hurting anyone.  Of course anything on the site will be available to anyone who wants to buy one weather they own it or not.

Other things I’m looking into..

To avoid any copyright problems, for now I will only do it with photographs that I have personally taken.  This is a hobby and I don’t feel like getting sued for copyright infringement due to a misunderstanding.  However, if  I can work something out with permissions,  I would like to set up a template or watermark for each photo on the blog that has appeared on the site that might read something like “Kawasaki KZ900 – Owner John Smith – As seen on Motorcycle Photo Of The Day Feb 30 2013”  or some such headline or logo or watermark.  You (or anyone really)  would then have the option of purchasing, well, whatever, from a high quality framed photograph to a coffee cup.

I’ve been holding off because..I have not promoted this yet because

A) I have to test out ALL the products to see the quality of what actually gets delivered and the quality of the imagery and text.  I simply  will not do this if it looks like crap. and I can’t assure that you’ll get what you’re hoping for.  That means I have to do some testing as to print quality, color ranges etc etc etc.. to make sure that happens in each and every case.

B) I’m trying to sort out a mechanism to do this for past photographs that have been sent to me on behalf of the owners who may want a print of their bike from a particular day.  Copyrights has to be established

C)  A lot of the photographs I actually own and have posted on would need to be cleaned up for better quality printing.

D) Lots other stuff that I’m sure I haven’t thought of yet but my lawyer friend will warn me about.

To be clear.

I do NOT expect to get rich off of this.  A whimsical hopeful fantasy (that will probably never happen) is that the sale of a few t-shirts or coffee mugs might eventually offset a very tiny bit of my travel costs.  But what the heck, I’ll be going to these events either way and taking all these photographs either way.  It can’t hurt to give it a shot.  And no,  I don’t expect to compete with the Killboys  of the world who just flat out own certain market segments.  This all started essentially as a result of some inquiries I’ve gotten over the last year about prints being available…  and me getting a new camera.

So!  If you’re still reading this far, thanks for your patience and I hope t have more on this soon enough.

Thanks and Ride Safe!

OK.. and brief apology, a New Years resolution and small hint about the future.

First, a brief apology and new resolve.

Looking at my site stats I continue to be amazed at the reach that this blog has had.  The other day I did a google search on an unusual model KZ900 and it put me right back to a blogpost of my own.   I’d done it a few years back and forgotten about it.  I had a surge of  stupidity and pride all in one moment!  What really surprised me was that (through no efforts of my own) those hits were at the top of the google search which I have been assured is no small feat.  Indeed Typing  Motorcycle photo will ghost script my site out as the top hit.  I’m really of astounded by that!

NOW….  All that said…  I do acknowledge and accept that I have a certain responsibility to my readers and that I’ve been slipping (badly) lately.  And the truth is I have no credible excuse.  Even when I am in fact swamped I can always schedule posts to pop up automatically days/weeks/months/years in advance.   The last quarter of 2012 (or so) on this blog was not exactly my finest effort. Yes there were some quality posts here and there but I was absent for far too many stretches. Everyone has ups and downs in their personal life and I will not bore you with the details suffice it to say that compared to people who have “real” problems in this world I am still a very blessed person. I have decent health, a decent job, a secure family, I enjoy a warm climate and I have a  garage filled with bikes and projects (albeit neglected of late).

So…simply put, I resolve to shut up and take stock in what’s going right and forge ahead!  Spring is right around the corner and looking at the calendar i see that there will be more chances to get close to quality motorcycles than ever.  I’m going to get all over that.  Stay tuned.

P.S.  I know I’ve made a few cryptic references to an upcoming “announcement” and that a few of you have been curious as to what I’m up to.  It something that I reeeeally really want to get right so I’m hesitant to put it out there just yet but I just want to say CLEARLY that it does NOT IN ANY WAY (and never ever will) involve outside advertising of any sort as a few of you have worried about.   It may eventually put a few small shekels in my pocket and what I hope will be some REALLY cool stuff in your hands but it would be completely “in house operation” as they say.  If you’ve read this far, lets just say that efforts to significantly improve my photography has opened up a few avenues.

Sorry folks. I had a medium sized dose of chaos here combined with just a pinch of “burnout”…

Sorry folks. I had a big dose of chaos here combined with a pinch of “burnout” here so I just forced myself to take a break. I should have been more upfront but it more or less just crept over me and held on.

The good news is I’m back on track with some nice submittals waiting to go and the even better news (for me anyway) is that I’ve fueled my photography fire with some sweet new Nikon DSLR equipment. WAY overdue, especially for a photography based blog. The old Olympus was (still IS actually) a great little camera but it was past to upgrade.

Anyway, blah blah blah… Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Stay tuned.

Oh and by the way… I Wanted to say THANKS! We passed 1.5 million posts recently.

I don’t check the counter all that often anymore but I just thought I’d once again extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone for stopping by and contributing to the blog. It is VERY much appreciated!

From the “official counter” 1,551,778 views all-time

And to celebrate…hmmm.. lets see… How about two of my biggest joys in life!!
From about 6 years back, my Daughter sitting on a Kawasaki H2 750 Triple. That was a happy garage THAT day for sure.

… and apparently Roberts, Ago and Hailwood and Mann are also quitting the AMA over this. Good for them.

Insanely damaging to the AMA and it reputation. As if that could get any worse..

From Cycle News.

Yesterday the AMA got word that Dave Despain and Dick Mann had resigned from its Motorcycle Hall of Fame in the wake of the Nobby Clark scandal, today they will get word from two-time AMA Grand National Champion and three-time 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts that he following suit.

“I just got wind of it yesterday when somebody sent me something on Dave Despain resigning,” Roberts said this morning from his home in Hickman, California. “And now I find out that Dick Mann has resigned. I just emailed Chris Carter and asked him where I send my shit back. I don’t get it. If Dick Mann is resigning from the Hall of Fame, I don’t need to be in it. It’s bad that it has to come to this, but what are you going to do. If Nobby [Clark] doesn’t deserve to be in there, nobody does.”

In addition to working with the likes of Jim Redman, Mike Hailwood and Giacomo Agostini early in his career, Clark was a mechanic on the Yamaha team that helped lead Roberts to his three 500cc World Championships in 1978, ’79 and ’80.

And more on Mr Clark Taken from a Roadracing World Bio.

For 25 years, Clark was one of the world’s leading motorcycle race mechanics. In addition to 17 FIM Grand Prix world titles, earned in classes ranging from 50cc to 500cc, he won three Daytona 200s, one Daytona 100, four Imola 200s and eight Italian championships working with some of the greatest motorcycle racers in history.

Clark not only excelled at the highest level, tuning for some of history’s greatest racers, but also worked with racing’s most memorable personalities, including Hall of Famers Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini and Roberts.

“Of course they all loved to race,” Clark said. “Mike, especially, loved to race and more than Kenny and more than Ago, the money didn’t come into it with Mike. He just loved to race. If he could have raced seven days a week, he would have done that. Mike also was the best at racing around problems with the bike. He would still try to win, and think he could win, no matter what.

“Kenny, I respect him for coming in from America and winning,” Clark continued. “It was different in every way, a different league, a different culture. Even the dogs, when you whistled at them, they would look at you and say, ‘I don’t understand that kind of whistle.’ But Kenny adapted and progressed and he represented the vanguard of American riders coming to Europe.”

Clark was born Sept. 29, 1936, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). He studied engineering at Bulawayo Technical High School and did his apprenticeship for Rhodesia Railways. As a vibrant motorcycling counter-culture developed in Zimbabwe, Clark’s high-school friend, Gary Hocking, built a reputation first on the streets of Bulawayo then on local racetracks. Hocking’s exploits ultimately took him to Europe, and he encouraged Clark to follow.

In 1960, Hocking got a ride with MV Agusta and hired Clark as his tuner. That year, Hocking was runner up in 125, 250 and 350cc FIM World Championships. In 1961, he won the 350 and 500cc titles on bikes tuned by Clark.

Clark went to work for the factory Honda team and Jim Redman following Hocking’s death in a Formula One car crash in 1962. He stayed with Honda, where he worked with Hailwood, and then joined a Yamaha satellite team in 1971. The following year, he moved to the Yamaha factory team.

By the way… Maybe it’s the warmer winter and the spring air but the reader submissions have been outstanding lately! Thanks Everyone!

You folks have been sending me some really great stuff lately. If you haven’t seen it posted yet please bear with me. As these things go of course, I’m slammed with other obligations and short on time the moment but I will get it all up there.

I actually look forward to the break so PLEASE keep them coming. I won’t forget you..