Friday, September 17, 2010

The Snakecharmer

She wanted me dead, that was clear. I could come up with no other reasoning for why she conducted herself in such a hostile manner. With her carbon cans barking like a tortured lap dog the Snakecharmer was hellbound on delivering pain. And not the kind of pain that you just walk off. No, she wanted to deliver the kind of pain that burns for weeks. Where every shower is a constant reminder of your failures. The kind of pain that forces you to sleep on your stomach eschewing blanket or even sheet. The type of pain that your wife not only doesn't care about, but actively mocks. And who could blame her? She was a bike built for a different age. An age before drug resistant infections and air quality standards.

Powered by the finest premix technology a 1979 Yamaha corporation had to offer, she was both reckless and beautiful. A homogenized concoction of 400cc bits from the entire Hamamatsu product line. RD400 top, XS400 front, YZ400 rear, IT400 middle. Much like Cher, she was an intoxicating half-breed. The result of an ill-conceived tryst between a street racing father and hare & hound mother. She was in two words - a Dirty Cafe. With a 'choose your own adventure' illustration for a paint job she would rule the gravel strewn grounds of the Portland Container Yards. Spewing both rock and fuel in an unfettered rage against the injustice of all things pure. She was both magic and magician. And then, without fanfare or ballyhoo, she sputtered and died. No dramatic fireball, no gasping seizure of piston or rod - just the slightest of backfires and then silence. Some say it was a fouled plug, others, that she was just too beautiful to live. Whatever the reason, the Charmer's flailing heart had finally stopped. Her dirt encrusted carapace is now enshrined amongst the rafters of the Slabtown whisketeria, where she looks down longingly on the drunken patrons. Even in her misted cylinder sleep she appears tense and brooding. The Snakecharmer was handsome killer - plain and simple.

Pure hipster horseshit 

The inspiration and the reality - the Snakecharmer in all her stock glory

Stage one featured the 'Elderly Statesman' handlebar bend

Looking sassy by the dumpsters

Bondo, oil paint, and rattlecan - the graphic badges of a Container Yard Vet

A bike isn't truly a bike until it gets a number - The Snakecharmer got #42

"If you choose to battle the fierce serpent turn to pg. 68"
"If you choose to flee the writhing beast turn to pg.24"

It's a damned fact of the Icon garage...

Shaved and smoothed

Dual carbon silencers straight from Kowloon - $100 - thanks eBay


  1. I'd like to see Willy G ride the "Snakecharmer"...

  2. Berets and Premix don't blend very well. Unless it's a vespa.

  3. i enjoied the pics of the icon bikes. i'm thinking of enscribing "always something" on the top clamp of my sv. that is so true. i just got the forks sorted out and had my first ride of the summer. yeesh. i rode all through last year- even the winter, and i only now got the bike back on the road. as soon as i did, the speedo has failed me.
    it's always something.

  4. What are the tire specs?!


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