Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Gloves and new a new Ruby!

Last week, I took the kids to the Long Beach show to look at the new bikes. Besides almost having a nervous breakdown from bad kids, I saw two cool things. That's right, only two. The first was the 896 Ducati Hyper Motard. It's about time they built this bike as a usable city bike. The bigger one is fast and all, but handles like crap at low speeds, and is a bit heavy for the zig zagging of LA traffic negotiations. I had a 750 Monster once. It was perfect. It was way lighter than the 900 and still did 120 on the freeway. I keep wondering if the bike manufacturers are paying attention to the growing number of younger riders and small wallets. It certainly is the reality from where I sit. The other cool thing I saw was a range of California made gloves from Lee Parks Design. These are spectacular! I ordered the "Tour" model which is short, and the "Sport" model which are more like gauntlet style. They arrived at GLORY yesterday and are available in the shop now. We'll hopefully get them up on the website this week. I also spent some time with our good friends from Ruby. They brought me this new Black & White Cheque! I've got only one size MED in the shop right now. There were only two, but one went to Texas on Friday. We're also going to start the Glory/Coop model Ruby! Coop and I will start the design process soon. It will be killer!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Season upon us!

It's been a while since the last post, but We're back. With the X-Mas season rapidly approaching, we've been getting the store packed with some pretty good gear. We just got an ass load of Red Wings in as well as a load of Clarks. The Barbour stock is holding strong, and there's tons of good Penguin stuff. This weekend, I met up with our French friends from Ruby. They were in town for the LA Auto show appearance of Confederate Motorcycles. An interesting move by Confederate by showing at the Auto show instead of the MC show, but I think I know their reasons.
Over at the MotorWorks, we've got a very nice '47 Royal Enfield finally up on the lift getting sorted, and a few Triumphs getting back on the road. The progress on the '54 Vincent is back on track, and we just bought a '62 Triumph that's going to get over built for on of us to ride on the Melee!

Monday, September 7, 2009

RIP Goose

Our very dear friend and brother Goose Yamasaki died this morning in Tokyo. He has been part of the Glory family since we first met him in 2004. Over the years, Goose became a great friend and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his lovely wife Ryoko. Godspeed on your next journey my friend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Vincent party and Garage Sale! August 14th & 15th

It's going to be a busy week getting ready for the weekend's events. It's been a while since we've done anything cool over at the shop, so I figure that we should make this one spectacular. 
I'm really excited about having "Big Sid" Biberman and his son Matthew here. Sid is one of the best Vincent tuners who's ever been, and matthew has just written a great book documenting their build of the "Vincati" (a Vincent twin motor in a Ducati chassis). So, from 3:00-7:00 on Friday the 14th, we'll have the Vincati in the shop and Big Sid and Matthew will be signing books.
It should be a really cool afternoon and definitely a once in a lifetime chance to see the bike. As the afternoon progresses, we will have the Southern California Norton Owners Club "Prince of Darkness" ride meet at the shop around 7:00 or so. That's always a fun little ride. They'll leave the shop and plow through Hollywood to Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. If you've never been to Bob's on a Friday night, it's a great time. They do a Classic car night on Fridays and although over run with old men, it really is a good time. OK, so after the good clean fun, it's off to the Big Foot Lodge. This is going to be a great party. We're teaming up with the tea bags from DicE Magazine for a night of booze soaked mayhem. There will be plenty of bike parking, cheap beer, and women of questionable moral character.  Can it get any better you ask?  YES. The evening will be DJ'd by legendary artist Coop! Holy Crap!
On Saturday morning after we wake up from the party, it's our first annual Glory Garage Sale. We're clearing out all of the stuff from our store room as well as having a massive sale on the good stuff that's in the shop right now. It's not just the crap we can't sell, this is top of the line good stuff. Look for "you're killing me Larry" prices and remember CASH IS KING! We will be doing some heavy bargaining for greenbacks, but we're not really interested in helping the credit card companies make more money off of us all.  Fight the Power. The garage sale will start at 10:00, so get here early, the good stuff will go fast. What a weekend...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shadow Drag Bike!

Last Saturday, I got a call from Steve Crocker telling me about a Black Shadow that was listed on Craig's List in Nevada. He was calling me to turn me onto the listing. After I explained that I didn't have enough money at the moment to buy lunch, it was decided that if the bike could be had, we would go in on it together with the purpose of restoring and selling. Steve had talked to the owner a bit, but it made more sense for me to take over the negotiations seeing as I speak fluent "white trash biker". After many hours on the phone, and the reaching of a price that would stop the contacting of the other guys wanting to buy it, a deal was struck. A few days later, I'm in my truck heading off to the Nevada desert with a big pile of cash. My wife was sure that I'd be in a shallow grave by noon, and kept phoning me to make sure I wasn't dead yet.  See, the bike has been holed up in a garage is partial disassembly since the early 1970's. It was owned by a guy who was a self described "Harley guy" and the poor Vincent was surrounded by Iron Sportster motors and shitty aftermarket HD parts for many years. He played it up like he wasn't really in love with the Vin, but I noticed that he head a photo of a restored Shadow in his wallet. Having sold my own Vincent hen times were tough, I understood his pain.
A few hours later, I'm on the road with a Shadow in the truck, and no gunshot wounds. Mission complete. The bike is spectacular. It's a verified matching #'s Shadow that was built in '54 and first registered in the states in '55. The history that I was given is that it came out of Roth's shop in the late 60's and made it's way to Las Vegas. This I will need to verify, so the hunt for info has begun. Luckily, "Big Sid" Biberman will be at Glory in a few weeks, and there are still a bunch of the old boys from the Roth crew still kicking around LA. I'm sure we'll have the history wrapped up in a week or two.
As expected, there are shit loads of mods. First, EVERYTHING has been chromed. It has two front heads with massive DelOrto's. The tank has been cut away to allow the velocity stack on the rear cylinder to jut out. It's got an 18" Boranni with a spool front hub and no brake. The rear is a 16' Boranni with no brake or sprocket(?). It's also been made "hard tail". It's missing lots of minor head parts like rocker arms and push rods. Let's just say it's going to be quite a re-build. My two favorite thing that the guy told me when I was picking it up was 1. "the crank looks like a god damned mirror and spins all day" 2. " I had a picture of some weird loking guy next to the bike with a monkey sitting on it". 
It's things like this that remind me to not complain about the everyday problems in life.... I'll be posting more info as it comes in, and trying to document the entire thing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Venice Vintage MC rally

Yesterday, I went to the rally in Venice Beach put on by the Venice Vintage MC Club. I don't really know much about the club, but I do know that this was the second event like this that they've put on. The set up was this: meet at the site of the event, go for a ride up PCH to the Rock Store then back to Venice for BBQ, music and a bike "contest". Bobby from the Bigfoot Lodge had a beer tent to keep the riders "hydrated". It was in all a great day. I've got some nasty sunburn, and I think a couple of old guys fell over from Heat Stroke towards the end. I hope that these guys keep doing these things. And I guess that Glory needs to get a bit more involved. We will be having a massive event at the shop on August 14th with legendary Vincent tuner "Big Sid" Biberman and his son Matthew. That is going to be killer! look for more info on this and the Glory web site as we finish the details!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moto Melee

I'm finally back on the planet after the Moto Melee and the 4th of July holiday. What a great couple of weeks. It's making it very hard to get back into the daily grind of business as usual. The Melee was really fun this year. Loads of good bikes an a crew of people that I only see once a year, but wish it was more. It also makes me wonder why Los Angeles has such a shit motorcycle scene.  San Francisco is such a great mc town. I've been to some other good cities as well, but SF is the best. Maybe it's just the vibe of the city in general, but it seems like there's a whole community built around vintage bikes. You have to hand it to Harley Welch and Jeff Guzaitis for creating this thing. It really is my favorite thing to do. I look forward to it all year. As always, there were exploding bikes and drunken shenanigans, and that's what makes this thing so much fun. I try and explain it like this: the year I blew apart my Vincent gearbox on day 2, I still had an absolutely brilliant time. It's all part of the experience. This year on day 3, I awoke in Fort Bragg bright and early. As I opened the door to my second floor hotel room, I looked to my right to see the beautiful Northern California morning. I then looked to my left to see my Norton had been carried up a fight of stairs and perched on a second floor balcony by mysterious elves during the night. My first reaction was a broad smile. My second reaction was laughter. I know that this would upset many owners of vintage machines, but it just made me glad to be on this journey with people who after a few drinks would think that this was a good idea. Brilliant!  So as the real world makes it's way back in, and I go back to the frantic chasing of nickels and dimes, I can look at a cell phone shot of my trusty Norton perched high above a cheap motel parking lot and keep carrying on. All the while thinking about what I'll ride next year. So, to Harley, Jeff and Deb, thanks for that reminder that I need to try and enjoy this life every now and then, and providing the event to do it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

new janitor

Friday was the first day in over a year that I worked behind the counter at Glory. I've been busy doing bikes and getting the Glory Motor Works shop opened, but now I'm back at Glory two days a week. The funny thing was that I really enjoyed it. I forgot what it was like to be able to interact with the customers, and see the people's reaction to the stuff that we have in the shop. The shop was in serious need of some re-arranging, but there's lots of good gear in there. I also stuck a killer '47 Royal Enfield in the window.
I ripped the place apart and it's still not put back together.I also forgot about folding. Now that we have so much clothing, I realized that the folding can go on all day. I think that we need to hire a part time folder / duster preferably in a French maids outfit.
I'm looking forward to being in that place on Fridays and Saturdays for a while. I've kind of ignored that shop for a while, but now I'm back on it. When I got home, Kristina and I talked about all of the cool stuff that we've had in Glory over the years. I should really kick myself in the ass for not photographing it all better. Hard to believe it's been almost 10 years. I'm actually looking forward to the next 10...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The bikes are piling up...

We've been getting loads of bikes coming through the doors of the new Motor Works shop. Some good, some bad. I've forgotten what it was like to have to constantly turn out work everyday, and take in most projects and quick repair jobs. In a way it's no fun, but tit's certainly keeping me on my toes. I've got a great '48 Rapide going up on the lift that hasn't been run in over 10 years. The great thing about Vincents is that they are so god-damned bullet proof. About every other day I boot myself in the ass for selling my Comet. I've still got a nice line on a Comet motor that I want to stuff into my featherbed frame. I'm going to try and work out some horse trading to get that motor in my grubby mitts. The shop is still in the "set up" mode. I swear I'll finish it soon. If all goes well, today I'll buy all of the steel to finish making the shelving that sits over head high (well, my head) . That should clear up the floor and allow me to finish my interior decorating. Because as we all know, the most important part of setting up a bike shop is the interior decorating.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Japan Re-Cap

I'm back from Japan for a few days now, and back to the grind stone. The jet lag has faded and it's back to finishing some bikes at the Motor Works, and starting to make the next round of Glory gear. The Flat Head exhibition is always a real kick in the ass. I look at tall of the great stuff that these guys make, and it really makes me wonder what happened to the American clothing industry. It's kind of a shame that the best classic American style clothes are built by Japanese companies. It's even more of a shame that no one in the USA seems to give a shit that there are some companies that only produce their goods here.  In fact, I can't really figure out what we produce in the USA anymore. Starbucks? Shit rap music? Who knows?I'm no economist, nor do I pretend to be overly aware of trade policies, but as a normal guy with a small business, it just seems that the American manufacturing industry (or lack of) is a source of the countries problems. We have lost the idea of self sufficiency. Do you really need to buy vegetable from Mexico when there's a farm down the street? Clothing is a great example. The USA was the power house of making clothing not too long ago. If Americans bought more clothing made in America, it seems to me that the once booming apparel manufacturing industry would put a lot of people back to work. This should carry over to all industries.  These people have jobs / money to spend on goods. People without jobs have no money. People with no money do not spend money.  Simple right?Our industries, however, have to get off of their asses and produce good stuff (I'm talking to you Detroit & Milwaukee). The fact is that at our small level in the denim world, we're able to produce our gear in Los Angeles and still make a decent profit. We can't buy fucking mink coats or helicopters, but we can buy groceries and support our families. Do you think that this bank bailout money will actually open growth capital for small business? Not a fucking chance. All of those billions are staying in the banking system to be traded back and forth between the fuckers that almost collapsed the world. It's disgusting. The GREED of large corporations have literally  strangled us all....Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
Japan was great, and it looks like Glory will be reaching more and more shops in Japan. Hopefully next will be our own back yard... 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Flat Head Exhibtion

The past few days have been spent talking a bit broken through a translator, but I think the point is getting across. The Flat Head has tons of customers all over Japan, and they all seem to really like the Glory gear. The leather jackets are a big hit. They really are killer. We're also seeing a really good response with the Coop shirts. They'll also be available in the US store. Last night I went to dinner with  Mr. Kobayachi (Flat Head president), some famous Japanese comedians, some customers, and the entire staff of the Flat Head. It was great. Everyone got really drunk and I taught them filthy sex slang. I even made some new stuff up. "heel juicer" being my favorite new one. It could also make it's way onto a Glory shirt...It's also very funny to ear a Japanese guy say "hot carl".  Today is more of the same. It also looks like I'll be back in August for the "Super Weekend" in Nagano. It's a massive hot rod show in one of the stadiums that they had the Olympics in a few years back.

Monday, May 11, 2009

In Japan

I arrived in Tokyo yesterday afternoon. Upon arrival, the plane was stormed by guys in bio-hazard suits and thermal temperature guns. They were looking for the swine flu. Luckily, mine was up my ass in a balloon.  After they released us from quarantine, it was straight onto the train and then to the sight of the Flat Head Exhibition. Unfortunately Aya, my voice in Japan and head of the Glory Japan empire, has taken ill and was in the hospital. I hope she gets better quick! It will definitely not be the same trip without her. The exhibition space is very cool, much better than last year. I also checked out all of the new Flat Head gear last night. Those guys sure do make great stuff. I can't really think of a better company to have Glory associated with over here. After we set the booth up, it was some cheap noodles and off to the hotel. Today is the first day of the exhibition, and I'm ready for the buckets of orders!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tokyo, here I come!

Very early Sunday morning, I will be in the air on my way to Tokyo. I'm heading over to the semi-yearly exhibition put on by the Japanese denim company The Flat Head . We started working with the Flat Head last year. Through a chance meeting with Kazoo from Lightning Magazine, I met Mr Kobayashi , the head honcho at the Flat Head. I've always been a big fan of the gear that these guys make. You know how you always hear the stories about Japanese denim companies buying up all of the old sewing machines and looms, well, I was in the room where they all sit. The attention to detail and the love of American denim in that company, should make Levis hang their heads in shame. It's sad that the love of an American  icon like denim jeans is being kept alive by a few small American companies, and many not so small Japanese companies. Anyway, these guys make spectacular clothes. you get the picture....
Since last year, the Flat Head has been working as our exclusive Japanese distributor, and I couldn't be happier. They have a remarkable staff and they operate near Nagano which is a few hours North of Tokyo. It's also caused us to dramatically pay attention to the details of our denim as well as lighting a fire under my ass to make new stuff. The Exhibition that I will be attending is only for  Flat Head customers ( they have enough to warrant their own little trade show...). So I will spend the next week or so talking through my translator Aya. She has the unfortunate job of not only babysitting me while I'm in Japan, but having to crack the whip when I'm dragging my ass making the Glory goods for the Japanese market.  So hopefully, I return with shit loads of orders for Glory as well as buying some of the great Flat Head products to sell in our shop.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Get ready for X-Mas 2009! We've just finished the prototypes for our new range of Leather Jackets. The fist two models that we will be producing are the MANX and the RAPIDE. The Manx sports the red stripes on the front, as well as extra padding on the elbows and shoulders. The Rapide is the in town or touring version with two front pockets and all black construction (except for a few hidden details in red...) We use some exceptional steer hides that are heavy enough in weight, but still very wearable and soft. It was tough to find leather that had the right look and shine, but not be too heavy to ever wear in Southern California. The jackets are made right here in the USA, and I couldn't be happier with the results. The prototypes are lined in Chambray, but I may go with a plaid for the production. Not sure yet. The price is going to land at about $695 for the RAPIDE, and $750 for the MANX. They should be ready for October or Sept. of this year. The first run will be a limited Edition of 50 each that will be hand numbered! These came out perfect, and I'm really happy with them. We'll soon put a link on the GLORY site for pre-orders.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Open for Business!

Our long awaited Glory Motor Works shop is finally ready for Los Angeles's sick and tired 
(bikes). I've spent a little longer than I should of on the build out, but it's close enough to start working. Obviously, we'll work on all British machines and American V-twins of all eras, but we'll also take in the stray Italian, German or Jap.... Bring it on. The new shop is located at 2467 Fletcher Drive in Silverlake. It's definitely by appointment only, so don't drop by to check it out unless you have coffee and/or chocolate doughnuts. Not all chocolate, but the normal raised kind with chocolate on top. That is very important. We've started it all off with a couple of Triumphs, a 30's Sport Scout and a late 30's HD 45. Call for appointment (323) 270-5679.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Andrew Gray Studio

Yesterday at Willow Springs, I watched my friend Andrew kick some serious ass on a Guzzi and a 160cc Honda. His last run on the Honda was cut short by a dead battery.... I've known Andrew Gray for quite a few years. Andrew is a furniture designer and finisher. About six or seven years ago, he opened the Andrew Gray Studio across the street from Glory. He's probably one of the best in Los Angeles.  He just moved his workshop to bigger facilities, and his old shop is where we're housing the new Glory Motor Works. Andrew has spent years doing really high end finishing and re-finishing projects, but I think that his real calling is designing furniture. If you're outfitting your new house bought with the bail -out checks for $1,000,000.00 that we all received from the federal government, give Andrew a call. We need to support artist who spend all of their money on motorcycles!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

American Denim

We're just finishing our new run of denim. We're making 1955's and Hill Climbers. I remember when e started making denim. I figured that it would be easy. We've certainly been through a lot of ulcers and even more money over the years, but it's been worth it. The original idea was to update the fit of 1940's and 50's jeans. I know no one believes me, but we really did use two different bikes when we made the pattern for the 1955's. Will Hoover (who is now making crap for Vans) Put up with some serious shit from me when we made our first run. Seeing as I had no idea how to make jeans, Will had to deal with my freak outs  when little things would go wrong.
After Will had had enough, we had Slappy take the reigns. I first met Slappy when I worked for Deluxe in the early 90's. I'm fairly certain that he's responsible for the big pants craze to hit skateboarding around the same time. He has a high threshold for my pretending I'm a fashion designer outbursts. Although, he wouldn't call me back once for six months because there was a mess downtown and he knew he'd beat me up if I had a wig out on him. We fixed that situation later on with some couples therapy. Anyway, if anyone tells you it's easy to make jeans, poke them in the eye. This new batch that we made was primarily done for Japan, so the details are better than we've ever done. Our jeans are the best.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I got a note today from Hans the German. Hans Sures and his lovely wife Elke Bock are responsible for the Glory book as well as many of the images that we use for catalogues and on the website. Like Sonny and Cher, only making images instead of good vibes.  They currently are a couple of Germans living in London, but I want them to come to the USA. Hans has done many of the Harley Europe catalogues as well as done work for many big time companies like Shelby Cobra and Land Rover; whoever the hell they are. Hans the German is the idea / layout man. Elke is the photo gal. She is a top notch portrait documenter, and is also no slouch at shooting bikes. They've combined their talents to start up a design house called Twenty- Three so if your on that side of the pond or this side. Hit them up for some work. The more work that they get from other people, the more "liberal" the payment terms get for Glory.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coop Shirts

For years, people have asked me and Coop why we haven't done any "projects" together. Since we've teamed up with  The Flat Head Co. to sell our Glory stuff to Japan, I've been on the spot to come up plenty of new stuff. I'm cranking out tee designs made specially for Japan, and then it hit me that the Coop images would be great.  So me and Ruth picked some good designs and Cooper made a good Glory Utility logo. Off we go! The shirts are being made for the Japanese market primarily, but will also be available at the Glory shop and on the website. Coop is also gearing up for a big show in a few weeks at the Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City. The new painting are killer!  The Coop / Glory shirts should be on our site very soon...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Blue Star

This morning I met up with Director Gary Chapman in downtown LA. I've known Gary for about as long as I've lived in LA. He was even around helping me build out Glory when we first moved in way back in 1999. Gary is one talented fellow when it comes to most thing having to do with art ( you should see his interpretive dancing). He also owns the '39 Chief that we used in Hell Ride as well as a few other oil spewing old heaps. A few years ago, Gary directed a great animated movie called Valiant. Animated Nazi Hawks and War hero Pigeons! If you haven't seen it, check it out.
We had breakfast at the Blue Star Restaurant . The Blue Star is a great place surrounded by LA's scrap yards and recycling centers. Rusty metal and aluminum shards everywhere! Our good friend Paul Greenstein (more about him later) cooks breakfast there every Saturday morning. It' a great spot and should really become a Saturday morning meeting spot for those of you who actually get to ride motorcycles for fun. The corn beef hash is killer!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shop is getting close

Today we finally started moving some tools into the new shop.  The bikes are starting to pile up, so we're trying to at least start working before I'm finished with my pansy interior decorating. I still have to weld all of the shelving together, and hang all of the naked lady pictures, but at lest it can start knocking some work out. When it's all finished, we're going to have a BBQ / orgy  to get the shop started right. Probably sometime in May...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The wonderful world of fashion

Today was spent in the ass crack of California, pushing a Norton Commando from spot to spot for photos. It was the typical editorial shoot for a high end fashion magazine. Hot model chick done up in goofy "biker" clothes and the ever present "bad Boy" male model. It was total Zoolander.
To his defense, he took to riding the bike very well and he was a pretty nice guy. Of course, the bike kept fouling plugs. It was being dropped off to the shop to be re-jetted. I guess I should have done that before taking it on the photo shoot. We shot at Club Ed which I'm all too familiar with. I've done a few photo shoots there, and we spent a lot of time there while filming Hell Ride.  Lots of interesting characters creeping around there...  This could be the birthplace of meth labs. 

Ruby Belvedere

I walked into the shop the other day, and was handed the newest Ruby  helmet from Paris. This is the Belvedere and sports a clear flip up face shield. I've given it a few miles around town, and will give it the business of the LA freeways tonight. As expected, the finish quality is shockingly good. 
Hank seemed to like it, and that always count for a lot. He has been recruited by several massive marketing firms to provide suit wearing squares with a leg up on what the kids are digging. He's hip to your jive...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DiCe tees

                                                                                        photo: Dimitri Coste
A while back, I designed four t-shirts for our good friends at DiCe Magazine . For fall this year, We're releasing the 1st of the 4 in a series. These will be printed on our Glory shirts instead of those shitty blanks that the Limeys use.  1st will be the "knuckle duster" then the machine gun & the "clean works". If you're not familiar with the magazine, check it out. I pull up flash backs and repressed memories in the back in my "Dr. Glory" advice column. Fight the Power!