Monday, December 28, 2009

SoleX Büggi!

Once again, the Dutch show unprecedented engineering skills, this time with a buggy, or, to judge by the pronounciation of the cameraman/builder, a "büggi".

Although the Giant Centipedes aren't thinking of joining the responsibilities of fatherhood just yet, this would make a fitting Christmas present:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grindfest '09!

The video from this year's gutsmashing, sleeptrashing VéloSoleX-tour. Denmark, Germany, Poland, Czech and back:

For those who haven't seen it yet, here's the Stuka Tour:

 ... straight from a world of grind.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Steve McQueen, 24 hours VeloSoleX-driver spills it.

"When you're racing, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." - Steve McQueen, Le Mans (1971)

With this memorable quote, the king of cool sets things straight in the cruel world of 24 hours racing. Even though the film is mostly about Porsches and Ferraris, the famous line goes beyond racing with gas pedals, seat belts and four wheels.

McQueen, a reknown motorcyclist, was riding some quality French gear during the filming of Le Mans, as seen on these pictures:

Giant Centipedes don't take lightly on an endorsement from racing icon #1, hence our banner at the top of this site.

"When you're grinding, it's life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." - Giant Centipedes, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SoleX-crash of the month!

This month's VeloSoleX-crash is a 2006 classic from the French Rock'n Solex festival, a student festival offering a delicate, but not very novel, combo of SoleX-races and rock acts.

This video is actually an extended version, showing the crash from several angles:

"What ... what are you doing? Grinding me?!"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pimp My SoleX, Superman!

Danish superhero 'Duksedrengen' is here seen riding his supercharged silver sparkle VéloSoleX whilst bashing Copenhagen scum:

The tv series Duksedrengen set Danish tv sets afire in the late 80’s featuring a fast SoleX and signature good guy/bad punk dichotomy whose like had not been seen since WWII.

In 2002, the series inspired a Comic book telling the tale of French moped superiority to a much younger generation:

We are yet to see Warner Bros. picking up on the idea and presenting Christian Bale with a BatSoleX 5000 in 2011.

"Duksedrengen. Bringing SoleX to the masses since 1989."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This SoleX be trippin'!

Finally, the black 5000, Sarte Sara, has reclaimed its rightful place in the GC-register, now listed under 'grindworthy'. Having fitted the black beauty with a not-so-bent flywheel, gently sanded and readjusted the breaker points, we were getting ready for some good ol' SoleXin', but still, the engine wasn't party-prone.

The error turned out to be the spark plug. Somehow, the centre electrode had problems making it all work out with the ground electrode, so a new and harmonic spark plug was found, and as a result, tonnes of torque rained down on the Giant Centipedes.

The only thing missing now is that the Vélo be equipped with razor-sharp javelin-like spinners that can bring justice to the punks who dared stealing her on that cursed September night.
- "Grind him in the groin, I say!"

Saturday, October 24, 2009

French Sibling-in-Arms - part deux

Stopping by the French world tourers' FB-page, we found a few pictures we wanted to share.
These photos reek of sheer class and explorer's spirit:

Don't sleep. Grind.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

VéloSoleX-touring: Siblings-in-Arms attempt to cross the world!

We are both glad and mad to see that there is serious Vélo-touring competition in the world. French Ophelie and Paul-Henri Vanthournout are right now taking on an immense journey, planning to visit more than 20 countries on their fierce 3800's:

A picture taken of the two globetrotters in Spain before they leave for South America:

Their site is available in French, Spanish and English and, as far as their English posts go, they're now hitting the roads of Chile.
Crossing the Andes supposedly was a hassle with less than one Hp and a fine selection of heavy spare parts and outdoor equipment!

We salute these French siblings and will keep this site updated with news from the world-touring grindermen.

Chaos reigns!

 - I don't know what you're saying, but you're wearing a rug as a hat.
Here, the French are having a go at craziness with this deranged and utterly chaotic fête de la VéloSoleX:

Presented with this brainsick display of SoleX-madness it is hard to see how Danish director Lars von Trier could ever have challenged the French notion of what is comme il faut with this fox/renard:

"Keep grinding", the fox said.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Velo-killer #1

The arch nemesis of the VéloSoleX isn't a Kreidler. Nor is it gas prices, climate change awareness, drowsy truckers or the abhorrent Hungarian/Chinese manufacturing standards of the 21st century. No, the only real party-pooper in immense solex touring sorties is heat. Death by heat.
When the going gets too hot, the so-called "vapor lock" occurs. This means that the gasoline has gotten so hot that its low density affects the carb's ability to dispense sufficient fuel to the engine and, as a consequence, it dies with a sickening and highly demoralizing "bwwoooooo".

This has never affected Giant Centipedes' determination to reach far destinations during hot European summer days, though. A solution has so far been to rest at day and grind on when evening, night and morning bring cooler temperatures.
However, considering the continental climate of Russia, where summers can get really hot, and the prospects of only exploring the more Eastern latitudes at night, we are currently thinking of ways to relief the engines from the great heat. One solution is, ironically, to insulate different parts of the engine, making sure that there isn't too big a transmission of heat from the engine, exhaust etc. to the circulating fuel.

Another solution is to combine this with some sort of fuel radiator that can help keeping the fuel cool at day.

A more temporary solution proposed to us by Dutch velo wizard, Joan Majoor, is to add a small amount of diesel in the fuel mix. This will hinder vapor lock from occuring because the boiling point of diesel is higher than that of gasoline. However, this will of course not prevent the fuel or engines from running (too) hot.

On display is the Refrigolex 5000™:

Oh yes, there is modding to be done!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!"

The new solex has arrived! It sports a somewhat used look, but apart from that and a rotten gasket, it's a mighty fine moped. The engine sounds great and will probably sound a lot better when equipped with a high end Chinese gasket.

And it isn't even red:

Considering the shape it's in, it would be a shame to go totally scavenge on it and leave it to rust. So the orange newbie might as well be our future project. Distant future project.

Keep grinding it! Again! Again!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mopeds, MC's and monsoon

Giant Centipedes took part in the annual closing of "Bakken", the world's oldest amusement park located a few kilometres outside Copenhagen. Every year, thousands of MC's gather on the streets of Nørrebro and ride out to the park.

The velos were there and we made a video to share:

Keep it cool!

The Dutch are surely cookin'! Here's a prototype 40mm cylinder that Jouke Rottiné from Solexnoord has crafted.

What's new? It's a nikasil cylinder, meaning that the inner coating is super durable, whilst the rest of the cylinder - which is made of alloy - should allow for notable better cooling than the stock cast iron cylinder.
Price, availability and release date is still kept a secret - or at least kept in Dutch. However, the design sounds promising indeed, and if the prices are reasonable Giant Centipedes might even consider placing an order.
We'll keep you updated. For more pictures, here's more.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Scandinavian Tour '08: CPH - STOCKHOLM - OSLO

And now a little video of what it's all about: VéloSoleX-touring!

This is the video from our first trip that took us a little north to Stockholm in Sweden and Oslo in Norway. We didn't film much on this trip, hence the lack of location diversity:

Hopefully, we'll be cruising through some more woods next year.

Still grindin'!

New 5000 to join the flock!

This monday, Giant Centipedes will have a new gun in their rack. An old 5000 has been sighted, and contact has been made with the profane future ex-owner who either doesn't appreciate beauty or is contemplating spending his life in miserable moped-celibacy. Anyhow, that is not for us to worry about nor pity. Neither do we worry about the color of the 5000 (apparently it has been painted red).
The bike will most likely be used as spare parts and a great deal of its engine should be brought along on the tour next summer. What's more, the delirious seller is including some extra parts in the price: a flywheel, a carburettor and an extra fuel tank.

Pics will follow.

Keep grinding!
- GC HQ, Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Endorser of the SoleX turns 75!

On the 28th of September, French actor, model and mopedist Brigitte Bardot turned 75.
Giant Centipedes salute her and her sound choice of transportation with these pictures:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Give it back, you, you ... rascal!

Two weeks ago was a darn mess for Giant Centipedes. Half of the gang's raison d'être was bluntly taken away one September night. Stolen, to be precise. The black 5000, named Sarte Sara ("Sensitive Sara") in true Chuck Yeager-style, was suddenly missing from an otherwise pretty secure parking garage.
The velo was reported stolen and action was taken. Flyers were distributed without the slightest care for the wellbeing of Finnish woods and were soon hanging from every street corner and in every shop, promising a solid bounty, should Sarte Sara be returned to the hands of her rightful owner.

The bike was found a few days after, not far away from the garage it was stolen from. It had taken a beating, but we praised its return. Besides, it could have been worse:
The plastic casing for the rotor was missing, so was the front plate covering the engine and the plastic return pipe. The rear tire was flat, and the floorboard was missing too.

The only real menace caused by these scooter-amoeba was that the fans on the rotor had been bent in a quite uncool manner.

Obviously, the juveniles didn't know what they were dealing with and couldn't grasp the full scale of 0,78 hp tugging like mad at the front wheel. One of them probably lost all control of the moped when faced with the abundance of power and was, hopefully, thrown of the bike with enormous velocity.


The Crazy Teufel Bash!

Heavy fumes are gathering on the Copenhagen moped scene. In September, Teufelskerle, a reknown - but not rival - moped gang, hosted a great, gut-kickin' party at their headquarters in Valby.
Teufelskerle mostly drive slick'n'shiny things that allow for a change of gear - Kreidlers, ol' Herculeses etc. - and do it with noteworthy passion. Some of their members, however, showed up armed with a couple of hot-lookin' 2200's.

Giant Centipedes joined the moped-fiesta with their flashy back patches. Here, the Orange Beast takes part in a solex-eat-solex dragracing standoff against a chic 1700:

An internal Giant Centipedes dragoff was also arranged, with the Orange Beast finding itself outgrinded by its black contestant. That, however, was not due to inferior motor power from the Orange Beast's side, but to a missing pedal that came off during some steep hills in Czech.

Royal means of transportation

With great power comes great responsibility. That also goes for the Danish prince consort, Prince Henri - the Danish/French equivalent to Queen Victoria's spouse, Prince Albert. Here he is seen heading out for a match of tennis on his original 3800 near the Royal summer resort.

Giant Centipedes never miss a chance to celebrate and honour the Royal Family. During preparations for the Scandinavian Tour in '08, the black velo was fitted with a portrait of the Crown Prince, his Australian wife-to-be and their son all dressed up in traditional greenlandic clothes:

The idyllic nature of the portrait has, however, after a few thousand kilometres, somehow faded:

More pictures of the royal 3800 follow on this link.


The Dutch are true velo connoisseurs. Their tradition of arranging outrageous races with the friction driven machines around obscure, tiny, never-heard-of-before villages is top$-solexmanship. Furthermore, the Dutch have amassed a great deal of esoteric knowledge on the fine art of tuning solexes.

Watch as these guys are pushing the outside of the envelope:

Keep grinding!

The Velo isn't history!

In spite of it being a rather curious sight nowadays, and the obsolete nature of its machinery, the velo isn't dead. Neither is it history.

Here are a few pictures of our velos posing whilst history is serving as backdrop.

Here at the Brandenburger Tor, Berlin

In front of a Russian built T-34, Gdansk, Poland
At the main gate of Birkenau. An eerie location.

A MIG-17 somewhere in Poland.

In front of Kronborg, Denmark, the birth place of Hamlet. If he existed, that is.

Hopefully we'll snap some pictures of the ol' French ladies at the Red Square next year...

"We could not calculate directions between Copenhagen, Denmark and Russian Federation, Moscow"

Google Maps have difficulties concerning ex-soviet road distances. Belarus (White Russia) is depicted as one big white stain east of Poland. No road names, nor detailed satelite photos are to be found.

However, Paint had no problems suggesting a delicate route to Moscow:

Keep grinding!

This is not an exit!