i managed to put aside little bit ot time for hemingway and went to meet a very cool gentleman, biker to the bone, author of an upcoming book Discovering the Motorcycle, Armand Ensanian
(PLUS A SHORT INTERVIEW AT THE END)
thanks to my friend i got in contact with son of armand, who invited me to the meetup. they were shooting some more photos for his book. below is me and the author, armand ensanian. and we park anywhere, eat that no parking sign. and disregard my mad hair, focus on his cool mustache :)
armand is working on this for some time already, i was told 6 years in making at this point. that’s some devotion. good projects take time. armand was there with his family and friends, young crowd on their bikes, having good time and that’s what it is about. if we don’t ride, we meet, or meet when ride. and just yap about the bikes 24/7 with your buddies. never get’s old. so they all met here in brooklyn, invited people and everybody had a camera, so i felt right like at home
danny, his son, told me, the book will be from the beginning of invention of wheel.. just kidding. no cavemen inventing stone wheel stories. sometimes around from the time when some smart guy who had bicycle decided to mount a motor on it. we might never know if it was done to be faster because of work (maybe a postman), to be faster because of ones ego, to beat all his buddies on bicycles or just to impress the ladies. lot of books stick to one topic, either brand or riding style. armand is frying a bigger fish - 'just' a plain history of motorcycles. but all of them ;) as one website described it
"Discovering the Motorcycle is a full-throttle, never-before completed history and cultural evaluation of motorcycling from 1867 to the present."
there you have it. if you appreciate hard work, collecting photos, pouring ones knowledge into a book - go and get it. it is available anywhere and everywhere.
here is the home link to it's master:
1. first - who are you, what do you do in few sentences:
I am a marketing executive who spent many years as a writer and columnists...including Popular Photography, Popular Mechanics, Video Review, etc.
2. first time on a bike
In 1967 when a friend let me ride his Honda 160 down an alley. I crashed into trash cans since I had no lessons
3. first owned bike
4. what other bike(s) did you have / do you have
too many to list, but includes 1941 Indian Sport Scout and Ariel Square 4, a lot of vintage stuff and a modern Speed Triple
5. is there a favorite bike, why that one
My favorite bike is the one that I am riding at the time. If there was one I had to choose as my only bike, I would take my 1968 Triumph TR6R
(answer like a true buddhist - only now counts, amen. the one under our butts right now is the best one. and then my enfield :D i kiid i kiid, to each his/her own. to me my enfield)
6. now - i saw the description of you on your website - you do have ‘credentials’ to do a project like this :D but my question is why. what pushed you to this, why did you start this
My credentials are 50 years of riding and wrenching motorcycles. I am also a certified Kawasaki mechanic. Combine that with my writing background...why not a definitive book on motorcycles. The idea of the book was inspired by someone asking me how many bikes I have had and to list them. I then began telling the story about each
(hmm hmm, 'how many bikes did you have a which ones' :)))) okay okay, yeah, some questions will repeat forever, so I hope you answer these and many more in the book and thanks for answering them again for me :D - patience award)
7. can you say something about the process of creating the content of the book? is it your riding stories? other people’s riding stories? is it a technical book? is it ‘all motorcycles ever build’ book? did you contact all the bike manufacturers in the world? :)) say what you can about that
This book covers all of motorcycling for those who ride and those that do not. There is not a single compilation that can provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of this subject. It was inspired by Floyd Clymer's Motor Scrapbook series from the 1940s. It is NOT a catalog of bikes, even though I reference and picture hundreds.It covers enough technical matter to educate. It also contains something very unique...a chapter on the history of the development of the engine. I feature several notable people throughout the book.
8. since you are finishing the book - are you in your last phase adding the last photos? was that the reason of your photo trip to brooklyn?
I am always adding photos since I finished writing...so far over 80. That brings the photos far above a thousand.There is always something new to share. The Brooklyn shoot was to prepare some lifestyle photos for an updated website once the book is out
and since i love longer rides, multiple day trips and always look up to the people who crossed countries or continents - i have to ask few more questions
9. you are a rider and you did long distance trips - tell me little bit about that. where everywhere, on what bike(s)
I have had my share of long rides....covering much of the US, and even in the Former Soviet Union
10. your worst bike trip memory
...an 8 hour ride to Vermont in torrential rain after I had decided to take the front fender off of my bike to make it look cool. The splash from the front tire was like a fire hose blasting in my face as I had an open helmet. I ended up attaching a pizza box to the front forks. It looked stupid and I learned my lesson about removing front fenders
11. your best bike trip memory
A magical 20 minute ride through a mountain forest in Upstate NY on a 1968 Triumph TR6R (I had a few). The temperature, the cadence, the exhaust note, the road, the colors, the smell...all worked together
12. advice for young or first time riders who want to ride further than just the nearest cafe (long distance riders)
Check tire pressure, chain tension, lights and brakes, and ALWAYS carry rain gear...but above all....understand that you are invisible to automobiles...this is one video game that does not give second chances.
Sir, good luck with the book!