The World Tour's Grandma got 4th place In the '86 Baja 1000

Our friend Don at Vagabond Chopper recently put a new clutch on one of the World Tour. As I stopped by to pick it up, Don told me that he was going through a pile of old magazines he had in his shop and stumbled on the World Tour's grandma in a Cycle World from 1986.  The article was entitled "Harley's Comet: How a Sportster Finished 4th in the Baja 1000".  I texted the photo of the article to Christian who immediately commented  "Damn the guys had the peanut tank! Well-Made bike and ballsy riders!" One of the two main ballsy riders in question were Hollywood producer David Marcus Farrow and his good friend Jim Jackson a Hollywood stuntman.

Cycle World April 1987

Cycle World April 1987

Farrow the driving force behind the Harley is a man of manic intensity who lights up a room like a floodlamp...The Harley-Davidson was a natural outgrowth of Farrow two loves: racing in the desert in Baja and all things American.
— Cycle World 1987

I immediately went to work. I wanted to hear the story first hand; I already imagined myself picking up the phone asking a few questions and listening to the incredible stories this guy must have experienced back in the pre-GPS era roaming the Baja Peninsula at full speed on a Sporty!

Baja100_Harley_Comet_1987
Jackson is also thinking about a bike he calls the Baja Sport a dual purpose Harley-Davidson a la BMW R80 G/S, it would be a stock 883 or 1100 Sportster with subtle changes like a little more suspension travel at each end. I bet it could be made to sell for $6000!
— Cycle World 1987


Unfortunately, the scavenging web hunt came to a halt too soon. Right after I found this vintage American Motorcyclist article on Google archives, I landed on the Skagit Valley Herald obituary page. I paused to make sure this was the correct David Farrow, and although I had never met him I felt sad, we had a connection. I had missed the adventurer by a month. He had just passed away at his house in the Skagit Valley in Washington. 

When I said, adventurer, it might be an understatement, going through his bio I discovered that the Baja 1000 on a Sporty was just one of his many feats. He did it all from Airforce Mechanic to prospecting for gold and Uranium in Arizona and New Mexico ( we also had the land of enchantment in common!), he was an actor, a producer, and a motorcycle racer. He eventually became an avid pilot. 

Had I just decided to have the work done on the World Tour a couple of months earlier I might have had a taped interview of Farrow's incredible adventures. It is what it is, but I feel fortunate to have stumbled on this incredible story. 

Godspeed David Farrow and thanks for tackling the Baja 1000 with a Harley-Davidson Sportster. The World Tour is a proud descendant of the Comet!

 

Ace Cafe Orlando Grand Opening ! ♣️

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Meet us there ♣️

ACE CAFE ORLANDO GRAND OPENING MAY 19th-21st

Unless you have been living in a cave you should know that Ace Cafe Orlando is opening this coming weekend in glorious downtown Orlando. No need to go to Disney with the kids this weekend grab your bike and let's behave like kids. We are heading North on Saturday to meet with our friends from Dime City Cycles that are displaying one of their beautiful builds there and of course, the gang from Standard Motorcycles as Orlando is their turf. Come and check out our World Tour kit on a couple of bikes.

We are happy to see the Ace on this side of the pond and are hoping it will be as fun, hell, even more than its British counterpart. If you don't know much about the original ace here is the lowdown:

The Ace Cafe is a former transport cafe in Stonebridge, northwest London, England which has been extensively redeveloped becoming a functions and entertainment venue. It is historically a notable venue in motorcycle culture which originally operated from 1938 until 1969, then re-opened on the original site in 1997.

Check out the Saturday and Sunday schedule as for Friday see The Event Schedule

Saturday, May 20, 2017

  • 7:00 a.m. - Kick-start Saturday morning and drive in for an early morning cuppa with Carbs & Caffeine!
  • Ace Cafe’s Cool Cars for Kids to benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. For a $15 donation per car, participants can be a part of the opening weekend car show and receive a limited-edition Ace Cafe grand opening t-shirt.
  • 9:00 a.m. - Hungry? Start the day with a bang at Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch
  • 10:00 a.m. - Car Show! Running until 3:00 p.m. plus free activities in the car park starting with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging Ace fans until 5:00 p.m.
  • Raffle continues to win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
  • Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
  • Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
  • 4:00 p.m. - DJ White Lightning - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 5:00 p.m. - Rocket 88 - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 8:00 p.m. - DJ Pandora - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 8:30 p.m. - Band TBD - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 10:00 p.m. - DJ Pandora - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 10:30 p.m. - Cumberland Gap - Outside Car Park Stage

Sunday, May 21, 2017

  • 7:00 a.m. - Kickstart Sunday morning and ride in for an early morning cuppa and Ace’s Bacon of the Week with Bikes & Bacon!

  • 9:00 a.m. - Ace’s 4-Banger Brunch kicks off again

  • 10 a.m. - Free activities in the car park starting, with a variety of local partners and vendors engaging motor fans until 5pm.
  • 1:00 p.m. - Chris McNeil Stunt Show - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 2:00 p.m. - Full lunch menu service begins
  • Raffle continues: win a BMW RnineT Racer to benefit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
  • Registration continues to win a trip for 2 to the 24th Annual Ace Cafe London Reunion Weekend
  • Live painting and sculpting continues by Japanese chopsticks painter Makoto Endo, Spanish artist Antonio Merinero and American sculptor Michael Ulman
  • 4:00 p.m. - DJ White Lightning - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 5:00 p.m. - Quarter Mile Rebels - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 8:00 p.m. - DJ TBD - Outside Car Park Stage
  • 8:30 p.m. - Bird Dog Bobby - Inside Ace Cafe Stage

See you there!

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Back From Daytona 2017

Back From Daytona 2017

Daytona bike week is always good times for us three at Hugo Moto. First it is only three hours away from our garage in Fort Lauderdale, second, it is always a great place to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Where The Hell Have You Been?

 

We went through a whirlwind. We followed the white rabbit into its hole, we embraced the adventure of the exciting and somewhat terrifying world that bootstrapping a business can be. Hugo Moto is now a synergy in between different people, companies, countries, cultures. Mostly it is a concentrated juice of passion for motorcycles and the dream of getting a lot of you excited about riding for the first time, or back on a motorcycle again.

Enchanted by Merlin

Meeting the good people of @merlinbikegear today in balmy 2C UK weather #lovely #motoadventure #motorcyclediaries

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Sometime after our last blogpost, wishing you all happy 2017, I flew to London, UK to meet my dad. Together we headed Northwest to Birmingham, where the Merlin Partnership headquarters are located. Fueled by tea and fantastic Thai and Indian food we worked relentlessly on the next step with the Merlin team: Steven the bright leader, and his sons James the designer and Patrick an efficient ginger with a great sense of humor. There was also Nigel, a wise businessman who listened mostly but made efficient remarks, and Mark, a brilliant guy with the perfect mix of British humor and French hedonism. We looked at the new beautiful and technical riding jackets, jeans, and boots the team had come up with for 2017. The line up is impressive , cool and well thought out. We were particularly excited about the Hamstall Outlast Wax jacket and the fully CE armored Axe flannel riding shirt. All this goodness soon available in the U.S. at Revzilla.com and many other awesome shops.

The Pursuit of Pleasure With Hedon

From there we hung further with Mark, Merlin global sales guy who also happens to be an agent/rep for the beautifully crafted Hedon helmets. The word Hedon, pronounced "Head-on" in Brit, derives from Hedonism, something that all of us that ride are intimate with. Mark took us to the Hedon Workshop in London. Tucked away in a very cool looking old brick building, the workshop was busy with a few lovely ladies and gents taking care of business, each appointed with a personal heater to brave the London cold and wet winter in a not so well insulated building.


 
Mark showed us how Hedon helmets were put together on a large wooden table: the different calf leather colors contrasted with the brass, copper and shiny gold hardware.

He also pulled out a copper leaf helmet, "All laid down by hand!" he insisted, "an art piece  for your head or your house really".

This place was inspiring, a Charlie and the chocolate factory of sorts but for riders. At last, Mark opened a gorgeous, jewelry like, black box, inside sat the brand new Heroine full face helmet by Hedon. It was love at first sight; we had to touch it, put it on, get personal with this artistic piece of helmetery. Dad and I looked at each other and smiled; we had to bring Hedon to the U.S.

As it turned out they already had a rep on the West Coast, we asked for the East. And just like that on a business trip that was somewhat preplanned, something magical happened. Hedon along with Merlin was now part of the Hugo Moto ecosystem. 
To be honest we get excited by lots of motorcycle products, especially when the design and function are well thought out, but in the end, it is about the people. Later on, as I started working with Ben "the Aussie" global sales manager at Hedon, I knew we were working with the right people. His philosophy and true love for the ride transpired through every of our conversations. Behind motorcycle brands, are exceptional, passionate people that work day in and day out to bring to you the rider products that hopefully bring form and function to your ride. Something that you ride with pleasure for many miles and make your own.

The Not-So-Long Way South

We flew back from London to Montpellier in the South of France. We wanted to meet the mythic Eric Lobo. Eric rode a Harley Davidson around the World not once but twice. No GPS, no credit cards and solo. The first time with a Road King the second time with a Dyna Street Bob with skies, a Hedon helmet, and EMC shocks (rather synchronuous don't you think?) Yes, you read it right, he put skies on his bike to cross the Arctic from Siberia to Alaska and then on to Canada. We met Eric at his house in the South of France near Aix-en-Provence, what was supposed to be a two-hour interview turned into a five hours of Scotch drinking, story sharing, late lunch eating experience. I am still working on the blogpost about this interview, so keep your eyes peeled. Eric is the kind of adventurer everyone wishes to meet, generous, fun and full of fantastic riding stories. Refreshingly,  Eric has high hopes for humanity: “People are fundamentally good” he repeated a few times.

Without his road angels--as he calls the helping hand along the road--he would have never been able to complete his two incredible feats. When we left Eric, something had happened. We had connected on a human level; we had the same passion and beliefs, even our bike the World Tour was a lighter cousin to his all-terrain Dyna.

As I hugged and patted Eric on his back to bid him farewell, he said: “I know we are going to do something together!”
Fast forward to today March 1st, 2017 almost three weeks since I met Eric, I have just started to translate his book “Road Angels: Artic Dream” from French to English. The photographs are just stunning, while his epic journey is thrilling. Our goal is to have the english version ready for Sturgis this year. Eric is planning to bring his bike over and sit in one of his biker friend's bar to share his stories and his book with all of you day dreamers. 
One of the many amazing shots Eric Lobo brought back from his epic around the world ride. (Photo credit: Eric Lobo/Artic Dream)

One of the many amazing shots Eric Lobo brought back from his epic around the world ride. (Photo credit: Eric Lobo/Artic Dream)

Well, this is what we have been up to in the past three months. We flew around, met more people passionate about riding and the ride. The World Tour kit is moving along nicely; we hit a snag to manufacture the Harley hubs for the enduro wheels we wanted to sell with the kit. It seems we have found a solution right on our doorstep with the guys over at Yelvington USA,in Tampa. Most of the kit will now be manufactured in the U.S. We believe we should be able to ship the first kits by the end of May. We have also made the decision to make both the full kit available and its parts individually. Our online store will reflect this in the next month or so.

We want everyone to find what they need for their ride. We have a lot more good news that should come after Daytona bike week; one of them has to do with helping you guys out to put your kit together,  stay tuned! If you are at bike week come and see us we will cruise by Yelvington USA booth. My friends, adventurers, riders and daydreammers the best is yet to come.

Fondly,

Nico