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Grace Jones & Adam Ant once made ads for Honda and they’re MAGNIFICENT!



When was the last time you saw a bike advertisement this bonkers on TV?

You can’t think can you and do you know why? Because here in the UK (and across most of the ‘western world’) motorcycle sales are rubbish and nobody seems to know how to market a two -wheeled machine anymore.

There was a time however when that wasn’t the case. And that time was the 1980s.

Now, before we get all starry-eyed over the decade, it’s worth noting that the world was about as bleak then with its nuclear war threat and insular politics as it is now, but there was one difference; the pop acts of the time were full of excess, artistic wealth and utterly off-the-charts inspirational craziness.

So if you were an advertising executive at Honda, why wouldn’t you choose the woman who wrote one of the filthiest songs of all time to sell your new Honda Scooters!

Answer: there is no reason NOT TO! Especially when you can bring in renowned dandy highwayman Adam Ant for double the fun…

And once the world saw that, what do you think they did? They naturally got Grace Jones to do an entire spot on her own of course…

Nope, we have no idea either. But you can’t deny it’s effective… Because you’re already considering going out to your local Honda dealer aren’t you? Sure, it’s because you’re worried that Grace will visit you in your dreams this evening if you don’t, but a sale is a sale!

In fact, Grace and Adam (we’re on first name terms) weren’t the only music stars to get in on the Honda action either. Just look at how enigmatic this end-of-the-world Max Mad vision’esque advert featuring Miles Davis is.

Even pop-synth legends Devo got in on the act:

Now look at this 2013 YouTube video for the NSS300 Forza. Where did we all start going wrong? Nobody wants to be the asinine couple sharing a quiet ride on a trip to the beach… We want to be the physically empowering Grace Jones stalking her little, British popstar prey with all of the elegance and threat of a Tiger dancing around a Pigeon.

Maybe we’ll see some entirely new creative thinking coming during this year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan next week, but unless Honda bring Kanye West on stage popping a wheelie whilst sat backwards an all-electric Fireblade, we’re going to be disappointed now that we’ve seen what was happening nearly forty years ago.

Note: The Scooter that’s being sold by Honda in the ’80s adverts is the four-stroke Honda Elite. Why doesn’t anyone make pop-up lights anymore?

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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