From the Blog


It’s been a busy time in the Hall household over the last week or so. Speedway duties on Saturday night and a VERY late night due to a crowded programme has played havoc with the body clock to start with. I don’t do late nights like I used to 🙂

Then there has been the de-Christmas-ing of the house. When Mrs H does decorations, she does DECORATIONS! But that’s all done and packed away for another 12 months and the house looks a little more normal than it has. Christmas time was great, though, catching up with the family and veg-ing out as well.

I gave the bike a really good clean and detail on the weekend, quite a deal more searching than the usual tubby it receives. Despite its age and the fact that some of the paint doesn’t match, it still scrubs up well. I ALMOST bought another one just after new year. Another Gen 4 with only 44000ks on the clock. It looked and rode like a new bike but I dithered around for too long making up my mind and someone else bought it, silly me.

Above is the official Marc Marquez video of the annual Superprestigio indoor flat track even in Spain. It must be a great event to see and Marquez finally managed to win it at the third attempt, beating former MotoGp rider Tony Elias with American flat track hotshot, Brad Baker in third. What do MotoGp riders do in the off-season when there are no race bikes to ride? They ride bikes!

Here and elsewhere I have expressed my bemusement with the current cafe racer craze. It seems to me that it consists of beginning with a bike that was entirely forgettable in its day, hacking it up and then reassembling it into something that is still forgettable but now also completely unsuitable for any purpose apart from parking it in the corner and saying (with a totally mystifying sense of achievement) “Look what I’ve done.” Such is NOT the case with Steve Klose’s Yamaha XV500 cafe about which I encourage you to read in the link below.

Steve Klose does the XV550

This bike ticks all the boxes and stands as a monument to how cafe racers SHOULD be done. Most importantly, the proportions are close to perfect. Perhaps Steve’s age (62) is some clue as to how this job has been done so beautifully. No hipster, man bun here. Just sound engineering, great craftsmanship and a keen eye for aesthetics. I am sure that, if you haven’t seen it before, you will love it. I know, I do.

Finally, news in that DORNA is about to give the contract for supplying Moto2 engines to Triumph with their new version of the 675 triple being earmarked for the job from the end of this year. A good move but it doesn’t so anything to ally the fears of many, myself included, that Moto2 is becoming an increasingly irrelevant category.

Going to be a busy couple of weeks, too. Music practice tonight and Wednesday night in final preparation for the Illawarra Folk Festival gig on Friday (good thing I’m not at all superstitious, it’s the 13th) and some essential yard maintenance that has *somehow* gotten away from me over the Christmas/New Year break. The following weekend it’s back to the Speedway (21st) and then off to Phillip Island on Tuesday for the annual pilgrimage to the Island Classic. No rest for the retired.

Catch you again soon.


  1. Martino says:

    Phil, I totally agree with your comments about much of what is passed off as ‘cafe racers’ these days. Mostly bikes that never had any desirability or performance, and made more unrideable and even less desirable.
    Steve Klose’s rendition is pretty close to the mark – if you will excuse the pun – though I don’t like the wheels or that dangerous headlight peak, but a fine effort.
    That Superprestigio flat track seemed a bit lame. The surface was so smooth and slick that the riders couldn’t get up any real speed, but then I’d hate to see anyone get hurt.