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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chicks Dig Guys With Skills. You Know, Like Nunchuck Skills; Bowstaff Skills; Computer Hacking Skills; Pinstriping Skills...



They're building Royal Enfield motorcycles:
 
That's a very cool bike. The company was founded in England in the 1850s; they originally made sewing needles. Then came boneshakers, springs for seats for "safety bicycles," and then bicycles themselves. Then rifle parts --that's where the "Enfield" moniker came from, and their slogan for all their stuff: Made like a gun. Then came motorcycle precursors: tricycles and quadricycles with small engines. They tried making cars around the turn of the twentieth century. They looked like lightly armored personnel carriers and had eight-horsepower engines, not considered enough to mow your lawn while sitting down nowadays. They got over that urge and started making true motorcycles, and sold a bunch to the army for World War I. They had a neato one with a stretcher sidecar.

The company was a pioneer in using the saddle tank (a fuel tank that sits atop and straddles the frame) which you see the fellow in the video striping so ably. In the late forties, the company opened up a shop in Madras, India, to supply motorcycles to the Indian army.  At first they just assembled parts sent from England; they eventually made the whole thing themselves. They made one design, unchanged, for thirty straight years. England gave up manufacturing pretty much anything in the second half of the twentieth century, and started importing the bikes from India.

Hand skills like that fellow in the video displays are always show-stoppers in any manufactory.

16 comments:

dadofhomeschoolers said...

I knew a guy who could do that to cars. freehand, no guide.

But it took him a 6 pack first thing in the morning for the shake to stop.

Steve

SippicanCottage said...

Hello Steve- Thanks for reading and commenting.

I do believe I also fit the description "dad of homeschoolers."

misterarthur said...

When I was a kid, we used to go to junk yards and get old motorcycle gas tanks and hang 'em on the top tube of our bikes. Wanted to pretend we were bad. None as nice as these, of course.

dadofhomeschoolers said...

got two.

the first one leaves in August to study to become an electrical engineer.

ever feel like you were the dumbest one in the house?

SippicanCottage said...

I got two, too. Heir and a Spare.

As far as being the dumbest in the house, you have no idea:

My son invented President Math

julie said...

"Chicks dig skills..."

Yes. Yes, they do.

Also, did you see that guy's painting clothes? Immaculate.

John Lien said...

Almost bought a Royal Enfield a few years back. Their military model caught my eye. But, for the money, you could get much more with a used bike. So, after hemming and hawing over it for quite some time, I have no bike.

After spending some years in the machine shop (as a hobby) I am amazed how good the eye can get in terms of seeing straight, parallel, square, out of round, etc. I believe most folks who don't build things don't realize how precise humans can get just by eyeballing it.

Johnny Glendale said...

I dunno about chicks, but when it comes to pin-striping, I doubt there is a guy out there who didn't watch this until the very end. I can't even read my own handwriting.

Deborah said...

Not to mention the brush the man was using. It probably costs a small fortune, if my experience in sign painting is worth anything.

dadofhomeschoolers said...

ROTFL. well done!

I am glad to see you didn't condemn him to the brain suckers.

The EE's first polysylable word was "carburetor", from his favorite book "The Victoria British Triumph Spitfire and GT-6 Spare Parts Catalog"

Which grew to this
http://thefire.org/article/12638.html

which helped to pay for his schooling.

Steve

Thud said...

Sipp, the high tech engines and chassis of Formula 1 cars and engines for many high performance cars are still designed and made in England as is more quality kit than people think. Not all skills have gone overseas or disapeared for ever thank Christ.

MissyW said...

Having done a similar thing back in the art school days on the then boyfriend's Norton, but not all that fabulously, the key seems to be using whatever squirrel hair brush will make the right size line, running the paint through a fine screen to de-blob it, and experimenting with ratios of thinner to paint to get the flow just right. Conclusion: don't try this at home unless a just okay job is acceptable. If you do, always work over clear coat so you can wipe it off. A lot. I loved this video. What a craftsman.

SamArtDog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SamArtDog said...

I'm pretty sure that both the pin-striper and the President-counter do what they do so well by following the diagrams on the inside of their skulls.

My dog's name is Garrett, too. He's as smart as a whip.

Moist von Lipwig said...

His proud smile at the end is just priceless..

goodfood24 said...

Begging yr pardon and to increase yr massive street-cred, please let me mention that the "Safety Bicycle" was not introduced by adding a saddle with springs to a Penny-Farthing, but followed the invention of the bush roller chain by Renold, and perfected by Brampton Brothers in the 1890s. This allowed a bicycle's drive wheel to be the back wheel, and of the same size as the front wheel. Hence, Safety Bicycle, as it was so much safer than the Penny-Farthing.