Here’s a cool product for that favorite old leather jacket with a failed zipper. FixnZip was made to fix broken zippers or zippers that have come undone. Installation is claimed to be as simple as placing the FixnZip in place on a zipper and tightening the thumbscrew that locks it in place. Available in three different sizes in a light or dark nickel finish and works on metal and plastic zippers. $9.99 single or $24.99 3-pack (small, medium and large). MC
Alternators for old Brits
Owners of vintage British singles and twins will want to know about Alton’s line of 12-volt alternators to replace original 6-volt generators. Made in France, the upgraded units provide a higher output (up to 150 watts max) so owners can run better lighting and maintain battery charge. The permanent magnet, brushless alternators are maintenance free and have been designed to look as authentic as possible. Nine models for Ariel, Norton, BSA, AJS, Matchless, Triumph, Vincent and Velocette. Price: $500-$590. MC
Chances are you’ve heard of cross-country endurance rider Erwin G. “Cannon Ball” Baker or you’re at least familiar with his famous “Cannon Ball” nickname, a moniker bestowed upon him by a New York City newspaper reporter after Baker successfully completed his epic 1914 cross-country ride aboard a 7 horsepower, two-speed, 1914 Indian Twin. Starting in San Diego, California, and ending in New York City 11 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes later, Baker smashed the previous record set by Volney Davis in 1911, also aboard a 7 horsepower Indian Twin, completing the trip nine days faster than Davis.
That ride made Baker famous, and his epic cross-country rides continue to inspire enthusiasts more than 100 years later. Ignoring the maybe funny but actually awful film, Cannonball Run, featuring Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and a very young Jackie Chan, Baker’s rides are the direct inspiration behind today’s Race of the Century Motorcycle Cannonball, first run in 2010 and every two years since.
When 1972 Daytona 200 winner and AMA Hall of Famer Don Emde heard about that first 2010 retrospective race, it got him to thinking about the challenges Baker faced in 1914 and the effort it must have taken to ride cross-country at a time when, especially west of the Mississippi, good roads were essentially non-existent. That set Emde on a course to reconstruct Baker’s 1914 ride, which he did in 2014, leaving San Diego, California, at 9 a.m. on May 3, exactly 100 years to the minute from Baker’s 1914 start, and arriving in New York City on May 14 after an 11-day ride, just like Baker.
Surprisingly, the real story in Emde’s engaging book, Finding Cannon Ball’s Trail, isn’t his 2014 centennial ride, it’s the years leading up to the ride, particularly 2012 when he and fellow adventurer Joe Colombero started tracing Baker’s route, recreating and mapping it as best they could for the planned 2014 run. As Emde and Columbero mapped the route they explored and discovered the places Baker visited and the challenges he faced crossing the country. They learned about his troubles, his tactics and his victories, acquiring a new appreciation for Baker’s exploits a century ago. It was no easy ride then, and 100 years later Emde and his 2014 ride crew still had to fight poor roads and weather, just as Baker did, to make their way to New York City.
Rich in history and richly illustrated with period and contemporary photos and maps, Finding Cannon Ball’s Trail is far more than a simple recounting of Baker’s ride. It’s a full profile of Baker the man, the rider and the entrepreneur (Baker copyrighted his nickname and worked his rides to his best financial gain) and a must-read for anyone interested in the early days of motorcycling in general and the exploits of Erwin G. “Cannon Ball” Baker in particular as seen through the lenses of the past and present. Emde Books: 167 pages, $25. To order a copy, visit our store. MC
Enjoy PRIVATE access to the world famous Barber Motorsports Museum
We will debut our 2017 product line at the Barber Vintage Museum among the largest collection of vintage motorcycles on the planet.
World Wide Product Launch!
We will be unveiling our newest and most advanced gear to date, including an all-new helmet category never produced by SCHUBERTH, over 30 new graphics, and an all new communication system!
Be in the know!
Invited media guests will receive the same press kit released at Intermot in Cologne. Media will have unrestricted use of pictures, product information, and presentations on all our newest products.
Hear directly from our CEO Jan Becker and Product Manager Tommy Shultz on what SCHUBERTH has planned for 2017.
Click here to RSVP
John Calicchio racing at Ascot Park in 1982. Photo courtesy John Calicchio.
John Calicchio, the founder of JRC Engineering and a major force in developing competition-winning Triumph dirt trackers in the 1970s, has been named Grand Marshal for the 2016 Bonneville Vintage GP. Triumph is the featured marque for this year’s Labor Day weekend event, Sept. 2-4, 2016, at Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly Miller Motorsports Park) outside Tooele, Utah.
Calicchio’s introduction to Triumph motorcycles came in 1968 when he went to work for Bultaco, Honda, Triumph and Yamaha dealer Award Motors in Costa Mesa, California. He bought his first Triumph in 1969, salvaging a customer’s broken 1968 Bonneville. In 1970 he opened his own shop, John’s Racing Cycles, and started racing flat track and TT – on a Triumph, naturally.
Calicchio’s dream was to secure a Triumph dealership, but when that didn’t pan out he instead founded JRC Engineering in 1975, manufacturing replacement and specialty parts for Triumph motorcycles including performance clutch parts and aluminum connecting rods. A racer as well as wrench and designer, Calicchio was a regular at California dirt track venues like Ascot Park, where he could be found leading the pack on one his fully developed and kitted Triumph race bikes. By the late 1970s, Calicchio was offering performance street bikes base on the lessons he’d learned on the dirt – what was probably the original street tracker!
When Triumph America closed in 1983 Calicchio acquired the company’s stock and became an original equipment parts supplier. He was appointed the distributor for the post-Meriden Les Harris Triumph Bonneville, but insurance and other issues nixed any U.S. sales.
Calicchio’s career took a detour when he got into designing computer software, a necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention situation created when software he purchased from an outside vendor failed to work as promised. The growing software business led Calicchio to sell JRC Engineering to Bill Getty, who along with his wife, Maria, still runs the business today. Yet Calicchio’s love of Triumphs and motorcycling never really abated, and so a few years back he decided to re-embrace his first love, restoring Triumphs and building custom, high-performance variants of the classic Bonneville through his new company, Triumph Classic Motorcycles. Calicchio currently offers three different bikes, all based on the classic Triumph Bonneville and powered by balanced and built 650cc, 750cc or 800cc Triumph engines with 5-speed transmission. A return to his first love, Calicchio’s newest venture is simply the continuation of what he started back in the 1970s.
Calicchio will have all three versions of his new Triumphs at Bonneville and will help judge the Motorcycle Classics Vintage Bike Show on Saturday, Sept. 3. He’ll show off his bikes, mill around the track and share his history with the Triumph brand. This will be a unique opportunity to meet and learn about the man who did more to make Triumph famous on California’s dirt tracks back in the 1970s than anyone else. Don’t miss it!!
Triumph T160 primary chain conversion
Australian Triumph specialists Classic-Triumph have introduced a primary drive conversion kit for Triumph T160 owners. The stock T160 duplex chain hasn’t been available for years, so Classic-Triumph created a kit to replace the T160’s duplex cush-drive hub with a custom triplex hub that can be paired with a stock T150 triplex sprocket, chain and chain adjuster/slipper. The new hub has also been designed to give longer cush-drive rubber life, another issue with the stock T160. $258 (plus postage). MC
Condor Products’ Motorcycle Garage Dolly was designed to make storing and moving motorcycles easy. The integrated Condor Wheel Chock makes for easy loading — just push your bike into the chock and it stays upright without any additional tie-downs or fasteners — and sturdy 4-inch wheels make it easy to swivel around the garage for storage. The carriage can be expanded as needed to accommodate just about any motorcycle ever made. Made of lightweight aluminum, it folds for easy storage. $444. MC