“FLYIN’ HIGH IN OREGON” | RAY GORDON, STETSON & THE SEE SEE CREW GO NUTS

*HIPSTER ALERT* Ray Gordon and crew are back at it again! You call this working, Ray? Fucksake. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes film Ray shot with friends from Stetson, Hurst Racing Tires, and a couple of my favorite people in the world– Thor Drake, and Tori George at See See Motor Coffee.

“We went out and had one of the best days of our lives on Parsons Farm on Sauvies Island in Oregon. Yeah, it was a planned shoot but the fun was as authentic as it gets. It wasn’t a job. No money changed hands. Every summer I like to do a big self-promotion shoot. This was me being selfish and cramming all of my likes in one fun day. Incredible day with great friends! Thor & Tori from See See Motorcycles, Cody Adams from Hurst Tires, Kenny Wright from Motogalore,  Jimmy 2Bottles, Casey, Meredith, Charity and the Parson brothers, John and Paul who own the farm.” 

–Ray Gordon

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STEVE McQUEEN AKA HARVEY MUSHMAN RIDES AGAIN | VINTAGE SI

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A great article from 1971 unearthed from the Sports Illustrated archives– Steve McQueen discussing desert bike riding with Bud Ekins & Malcolm Smith, Racing in the 12 Hours of Sebring with Pete Revson, The Great Escape, his son Chad, and much more.

McQueen even recalls exactly when he was bitten by the off-road bug– “Well, I was riding along Sepulveda with Dennis Hopper when we saw these guys bopping and bumping through the weeds near there, off the road. It was Keenan Wynn and another guy on these strange machines, dirt bikes they called them. We asked Keenan if he could climb that cliff. ‘Watch this,’ he says. Varoom! Right up to the top. Dennis and I were standing there with our eyes out to here. The very next day I went out and bought me a 500-cc Triumph dirt bike.”

Read on friends, read on.

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Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle. Below is an article from SI magazine, 1971.

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HARVEY ON THE LAM

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By Robert F. Jones

By any name, Steve McQueen gets all revved up over dirt bikes.

Slamming one across the California Desert is now his Great Escape.

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The opening scene: California’s Mojave Desert at high noon. Dead silence. Through the shimmering heat waves, Mount San Jacinto seems to writhe on the horizon like a dying brontosaurus. The spines of the cactus at foreground right are in sharp focus, the gleaming spearpoints of a vegetable army. In the shadow of a boulder, sudden movement. A Gila monster raises its beadwork head and flicks its tongue, alert to the distant sound that is just beginning to insinuate itself into the desert’s quiet. A sudden, ululating whine, the invading noise rapidly gains strength as four distorted dots on the horizon weave closer. The dots take on color and shape s they approach: a quartet of red and chrome motorcycles, stunting and racketing through the puckerbushes, their riders vaulting the ridges and slaloming through the cactus at 70 mph. Their ominous, mechanical verve sends the Gila monster– descendant of the dinosaurs– scuttling for shelter. The camers zooms in on the lead rider’s face, sun-blackened and jut-jawed under his helmet. Up music and credits: hold onto your popcorn, folks–

Harvey Mushman rides again!

That scenario, or one like it, takes place nearly every weekend in the desert surrounding Palm Springs. Harvey Mushman is the ocassional pseudonym of Steve McQueen, movie actor and motor sportsman, when he goes a-racing. His companions on those fast, racking transits of the wasteland often include the best of the desert-riding breed: Bud Ekins or Roger Riddell, Mert Lawwill or Malcolm Smith. Now and then a smaller figure on a smaller bike trails behind, slower but only a touch less skillful in his handling of the desert’s harsh nuance– Chad McQueen, the actor’s 10-year-old son.

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June 13th, 1971 – Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle in the Mojave Desert — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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STEVE McQUEEN’s 1971 HUSKY 400 CROSS UP FOR AUCTION | BUY IT NOW!

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June 13th, 1971– Steve McQueen riding his Husqvarna 400 motorcycle in the Mojave Desert, get a good look at that old school Bell helmet — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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On May 14th, Bonhams will auction Steve McQueen’s iconic 1971 Husqvarna 400 cross motorcycle– along with various racing trophies won by the “King of cool” himself.  What’s that?  Husky who?

With its signature red and chrome glistening gas tank, the Husqvarna (or “Husky” as it’s affectionately known) was a stunning beauty of a bike, and a mud-slinging beast on the American motocross circuit. Back in the 1960s, the increasingly popular sport of American motocross was bogged down by clumsily modified (not to mention heavy) Harley-Davidson, Triumph & BSA road bikes.  It was lumbering in antiquity and in dire need of innovation.  Enter Edison Dye.

While on a motorcycle tour of Europe, Dye took particular note of European motocross and the lighter-weight, nimble, two-stroke bikes that were in stark contrast to the American scene.  Swedish maker Husqvarna particulary stood out with their alloy engine components, and distinctive exhaust.  He asked motorcycling legend Malcolm Smith (Steve McQueen’s riding chum in “On Any Sunday”) to take a Husky and put it through its paces for him.  Upon Smith’s glowing review, Edison Dye decided to sign on as Husqvarna’s U.S. importer.  The Screamin’ Swede was about to take American motocross by storm.

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June 13th, 1971– Steve McQueen riding his favorite motocross bike, the Husqvarna 400 Cross, in the Mojave Desert — Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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TSY’s FAVE FIVE ON SOUTHSIDERS MC | ICONIC BIKES THAT MADE HISTORY

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Our friends over at SouthSiders MC run one of the hands-down, best bike sites going, and were kind enough to feature TSY in their ongoing feature called “Your Favorite Five”, which pretty much speaks for itself.  Picking just five bikes is near impossible, so there may be a sequel coming up…

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Via SouthSiders MC–

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Blogs have become an incredible tool of communication, bringing over a decade a level of power to the multimedia publishing that print barely reached in a century.

Nevertheless, the rules remain the same : real & exclusive content, real writing, real photography make the difference that provides readers and not zappers. The Selvedge Yard is among the best true web publications. Based on the fascination for “Americana” and the American style, his maker, Jon Patrick is also a fashion contibutor to the Italian men’s fashion ruler GQ. Jon’s roots are plugged into the American Movie History.
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Some for beauty, some for brawn – all for their importance. How do you pick five? Should I stick to the classics, so its apples to apples? We’ll see…
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Harley Davidson XR-750

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Harley Davidson’s dominating, and sexy as all hell, flat track racer. First introduced in 1970, and seriously upgraded in 1972 as the aluminum “Alloy XR”, it not only became an icon on the dirt track, it was also Evel Knievel‘s weapon of choice. With its classic H-D orange/black graphic appeal and clean, uncluttered form – it’s a bike for the ages.
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Husqvarna 1970 400 Cross
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Husky’s icon that became synonymous with another icon – Steve McQueen. Featured in his 1971 film, On Any Sunday, Husqvarnas were the most badass and beautiful motocross bikes of their day, with their 400 Cross becoming a highly coveted classic. The legendary Malcolm Smith tore it up alongside McQueen on an innovative eight-speed Husky 250, which he also used to handily dominate the competitive off-road circuit. Hell yeah, Husky!
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1953 Triumph Blackbird

In the 1950s, there were more Triumphs sold in the U.S. than any other country. Their top-end Thunderbird 650cc vertical twin, with a little tinkering, could top out at 130 mph. A great bike, but fairly limited in offering. They were available in one color only – blue. So when public demand cried-out for a black Triumph, they finally released the Blackbird in 1953 – and it still slays me every time I lay eyes on her. Another important note – Brando, a motorcyclist himself, rode his own ’50 Thunderbird in the iconic film, “The Wild One”.

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HUSQVARNA | THE SCREAMIN’ SWEDE THAT STARTED A RACING REVOLUTION

The bike that got American motocross off the ground-- the 1963 Husqvarna (Husky) Racer.

The bike that got American motocross off the ground– the 1963 Husqvarna (Husky) Racer. This unrestored bike is No. 59 of just 100 250cc race machines Husqvarna built in ’63.

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With its signature red and chrome glistening gas tank, the Husqvarna (or “Husky” as it’s affectionately known) was a stunning beauty of a bike, and a mud-slinging beast on the American motocross circuit. Back in the 1960s, the increasingly popular sport of American motocross was bogged down by clumsily modified (not to mention heavy) Harley-Davidson, Triumph & BSA road bikes.  It was lumbering in antiquity and in dire need of innovation.  Enter Edison Dye.

While on a motorcycle tour of Europe, Dye took particular note of European motocross and the lighter-weight, nimble, two-stroke bikes that were in stark contrast to the American scene.  Swedish maker Husqvarna particulary stood out with their alloy engine components, and distinctive exhaust.  He asked motorcycling legend Malcolm Smith (Steve McQueen’s riding chum in “On Any Sunday”) to take a Husky and put it through its paces for him.  Upon Smith’s glowing review, Edison Dye decided to sign on as Husqvarna’s U.S. importer.  The Screamin’ Swede was about to take American motocross by storm.

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Heikki Mikkola, the “Flyin’ Finn” was one of the most popular and feared motocross racers of the 1970s. During his illustrious career, Mikkola collected four World Grand Prix Motocross Championship titles.  Mikkola won the 1974 World Grand Prix 500cc Championship on a Husqvarna.

Heikki Mikkola, the “Flyin’ Finn” was one of the most popular and feared motocross racers of the 1970s. During his illustrious career, Mikkola collected four World Grand Prix Motocross Championship titles. In 1974 he won the World Grand Prix 500cc Championship on a Husqvarna.

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