Tag Archives: france


Story and Photos by ITN European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo

Salut à toi American rider,

Confinement in France is over. YES!!! … Finally almost done … More or less ended … But it’s still quite complicated  … In fact since the morning of Monday the 11th May we can get out from home but … we are not authorized to go more than 100km from home (means 62 miles). And none restaurant, theater, stadium or concert places is opened …

Ok, I can deal with it. Two months without riding never happened to me before … I’m almost getting mad with it … Let’s go. Ride it man!!

Studying the map, I’ve decided to go to the little city of MONTEREAU FAULT YONNE, an historical place in the French history. Here, in 1814, the BOSS, Napoleon (not Springsteen), won his last battle … before having some “trouble” with the all rest of Europe …

So, riding along tiny roads, it’s exactly 100km from home at the crow flies …it means I would have a round trip of about 230km this sunny Sunday 17th of May. The idea was having a cool lil ride, learning about history of my Nation and bringing home a maximum of cool pix.

The weather was simply perfect. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday. Keep bucolic my friend!

On my way, I made a stop at the SAFRAN’s aerial museum. It was closed, not a problem, got my fist cool pic of the day!

And did you know that no more that 50km from Paris center we have petroleum, with oil exploitation sites ? If I’m not wrong we have about 65 oil wells around Paris.

And some big oil refineries …

Nice villages after amazing sites …

It took me finally 3 hours to reach my destination …

And I already had some cool pix in my camera … But the best was yet to come.


Or simply Montereau, which is a commune in the SEINE ET MARNE department in the Île de France region which in turn is in north-central France.

The city takes its name from its geographical position on the confluence of the YONNE and the SEINE rivers. Fault, also spelled faut comes from the verb faillir (“to fail”) in its old meaning to fall. Montereau is where the Yonne falls into the Seine. Historically, the city has sported a strong industrial base and thus has strong blue collar roots. In recent decades, unemployment has become an increasing problem, especially within the immigrant community.

And finally, He was still there, waiting for me … the absolute idol of the French people …

The Battle of Montereau (18 February 1814) was fought during the War of the Sixth Coalition between an Imperial French army army led by Emperor Napoleon himself and a corps of Austrians and Württembergers commanded by Crown Prince Frederick William of Württemberg. While Napoleon’s army mauled an Allied army under Von Blücher, the main Allied army commanded by Prince of Schawarzenberg advanced to a position dangerously close to Paris. Gathering up his outnumbered forces, Napoleon rushed his soldiers south to deal with Schwarzenberg. Hearing of the approach of the French emperor, the Allied commander ordered a withdrawal, but 17 February saw his rear guards overrun or brushed aside.

Ordered to hold Montereau until nightfall on the 18th, the Crown Prince of Württemberg posted a strong force on the north bank of the Seine River. All morning and past noon, the Allies stoutly held off a series of French attacks. However, under increasing French pressure, the Crown Prince’s lines buckled in the afternoon and his troops ran for the single bridge to their rear. Brilliantly the French cavalry got among the fugitives, captured the spans over both the Seine and Yonne rivers and seized Montereau. The Allied force suffered heavy losses and the defeat confirmed Schwarzenberg’s decision to continue the retreat to the city of Troyes.


See there a reenactment for the century of the battle:

It was the last Napoleon’s victory …

And time for me to come back home crossing the French campaign. Short but great ride in this half deconfined country with such a strange ambiance … no one on the roads, except some lost bikers like me …

Hope you can freely ride now in your State, in the USA my American friend. Take care and be safe in your daily life. See ya soon on the road, who knows?

Hervé, your French rider friend


Story and Photos by ITN European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo

Salut à toi American rider,

In this confined Europe / France, if it’s still not possible to ride, at least we can talk / dream about this motorcycle world we love so much … Today, let me introduce to your knowledge an amazing young French artist, a future great, that I didn’t meet on the road but …on Instagram. And lucky me, after some emails, this pleasant young lady sent me her press kit and has accepted that I write some lines about her artwork.

Her name is Noémie MARMORAT, she is 26 years old and she is a product designer and artist in the motorcycle and automotive world. Passionate about drawing since she was very young, she studied applied arts to become a product designer. Noemie is from Macon – France, county of Burgundy (a city in east-central France, home to near 34,000 residents, who are referred to in French as Mâconnais. The city gave its name to the nearby vineyards and wine ‘appellation’).

It’s by becoming a designer that she became more interested in the world of cars and motorcycles. She comes from a biker family and she has always been passionate about this business.

When her twin brother got his first motorcycle, he asked her to draw him, it was a Kawasaki ninja 300. She has never drawn a motorcycle before.

Finding that the result was quite satisfying, she started drawing some motorcycles and cars for fun and posting them on social networks.

People started to follow her work and contact her to draw their motorcycles or cars. From that moment on, she combined my two greatest passions: motorcycling and drawing.

GASOLINE MAAB, under this nickname, which is meant to be both a feminine nickname and a reference to motor sports, hides a young woman with a good pencil stroke and an assertive style (MAAB for: Motorcycle/ Automotive/Aviation/Boat).

When she was little, she says, we all tried our hand at drawing timidly with pencil crayons or, more frankly, with felttip pens and coloured pencils.

And then there are those who have acted out that the drawing was not meant for them. She is one of those people who never really let go of the pencil.

In fact, unlike most people, she just kept drawing as she grew up, it developed her sense of observation.

Whatever the artistic environment in which one evolves, it seems important to her to develop one’s sensibility and one’s line with «classic»; manual tools while being aware of the possibilities offered by digital today.

«I draw every day and I see my line change, I still have a lot of things to learn, it’s endless and that’s probably what I like the most».

She mainly use promarkers and crayons. Recently the posca, to accentuate the light and give even more relief to certain parts/parts of the car and motorcycle.

Her style of drawing wants to be as close as possible to reality. Through observation and reflection, she was able to understand how light interacts with materials.

Her goal for each work is to make it difficult to discern between the drawing and the object.

Depending on the model, she spend between 10/20 hours on each drawing to bring them to life.

Today she makes the drawings on personal orders. Just send her a high definition picture of your car/motorcycle.

She plans to develop her business in the aviation and shipping sectors as well (Hence her artist name Gasoline MAAB – motorcycle/Automotive/ Aviation/boat).

«Triumph was the first brand I worked with, first Triumph Switzerland and then Triumph France. I have exhibited for Triumph on many events such as the inauguration of the triple RS treet at Triumph Elysée motor in Paris, also for the Best of British in Paris and with Triumph Switzerland at the Ace cafe Luzern”.

As a designer by profession, she worked for a few months in a company but she realized that she was missing the contact, the human adventures and the travels.

Since then, from magical encounters in heterogeneous places, she packs and unpacks her paintings every month (and sometimes more), and she enjoys this rich and nomadic life. She has many great joys, through the diversity of the places and the variety of people she meets.

Exhibition at Indian Motorcycle Paris Etoile with Indian France for a VIP evening in the presence of the brand’s greatest ambassadors.

What started as a family service quickly became a small business. Trained as a designer, Noémie now makes a living from her mechanical art.

Do you want a personalized artwork for your car or motorcycle ?

Are you looking for an original gift for a motorsport enthusiast ? For a birthday ? A sponsor ?

Send her your best photos in HQ and GASOLINE MAAB will take care of sublimating your work.  She allows you to touch your dreams or memories with your fingertips.

« What’s different enriches me », said a certain Saint Exupery. My pencil stroke is my most beautiful alibi to discover and invest places and meet you.

Fill up with gasoline !

PHONE: 06 35 52 01 99




Oh to do this again soon…

Yep, this is the look I get when I ask our little girl Stella, what she wants to do today. I’m pretty sure she is thinking, “seriously? We do the same thing every day”.

Herve’ Rebollo, Nyla Griffith, Jack & Wendy McIntyre, Marilyn Stemp, & Rod Woodruff in Verona, Italy January 2020. Lucky to get out without the virus I suppose.

Well it’s day whatever, and we are all hoping for the world to get back to normal. It may take a bit, but we will get there. As you can see, we’ve been drinking a bit much, but I’m sure we aren’t much different than everyone else. Me (Jack McIntyre), well I’m in Philadelphia while Marilyn Stemp, she’s currently out at her home in the Buffalo Chip grounds. Philly is pretty much shut down, the view below is Market Street, there are usually so many cars & people out walking, you can’t even see the street color. I have my bike & RV all ready to roll, and I work in my home office every day at all kinds of crazy times, but it helps to pass the endless days. Marilyn sent me these pics yesterday from the Chip & Wall, approaching the Chip. Both are shut down tight. HOWEVER, soon this virus will pass and this place will be filled with visitors just roaring to let loose. Our European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo has said just about the same thing for Paris, where he lives. Herve’ sends me funny texts every few days, he’s in the same boat that we are over here, making it day to day. EXCEPT, he is in Paris and takes the most beautiful rides on his FXR all over France and the neighboring countries. He sent me this quiz last night, guessing he failed. I thuink this represents how his mind was slipping one day, lol:

And yes… being French, he has the necessities as well.So, I’ll let you all get back to whatever it is you were doing, if anything, but soon, we will gather at the Buffalo Chip for one hell of a party.


Story and Photos by ITN European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo

Salut à toi American rider,

Hope everything is alright for you and your family my friend, in this strange period of Corona-virus confinement.

As the situation is quite serious in Europe, I’m confined at home for five weeks now but I’m still dreaming about roads, motorcycling and bikes … And I think it’s time I introduce to your motorcycle culture a new information: have you ever seen this absolutely beautiful amazing French boardtrack?????

But, first…do you know the PETERBOROUGH MOTORCYCLE and ANTIQUE MUSEUM in Australia??? I suppose there is a large probability that the answer is “no” … Located on the comer of Kitchener and Jervois street, just off the main road, the museum is housed in a former historic Baptist Church and offers bed and breakfast accommodation in the separate Tennyson Hall, which was built in 1913 as a men’s prayer room.

Ian and Belinda Spooner opened the museum in 2008, and as well as housing numerous interesting antiques, the majority of space is taken up by Ian’s collection of motorcycles, many of which have never been seen or heard of in Australia. Ian started buying motorcycles in his teens, and although the word “collector” was not mentioned, he simply admitted that he “couldn’t get rid of anything”. And Ian continues to add to his inventory to the point where the church hall is putting some constraint on how much can be displayed.

Situated in the mid-north of South Australia. Peterborough is approximately 260km/161 miles north of the city of Adelaide and a pleasant three-hour drive on the A32, which is part of the Barrier Hwy to Broken Hill… a place quite improbable for any self-respecting American /European biker and where you certainly do not expect to come across some of the French motorcycles exhibited here.

This superb little museum gathers a collection of about 60 motorcycles … proudly run by Ian and Belinda … to whom it is better to phone before disembarking unexpectedly at their home for a visit … Which might not happen because they might have gone for a walk…

A private collection of motorcycles from 12 countries around the world ranging from 50cc to 1000cc. There are other interesting collectables amongst the motorcycles including a White Star Line First Class egg cup which has been validated as either being from the famous Titanic or her sister ship the Olympic. There is a particular emphasis on Italian models in the motorcycle collection: Negrini, Paloma, Gitane, Cimatti and Malagutti are among the 50ccs. The 125ccs include Motobecane, Puch, Malanca and a Villa made by Walter and Francesco Villa. See a MV Augusta 150 RS and a 1921 French racing bike. The 250ccs on show are a Jawa, an Ossa Wildfire raced and owned by Dennis Crane and Bultaco. Also on display are 350cc Aermacchi, Cossack and Jawa, a 500cc Laverda Montjuic, 750cc Honda Automatic and Moto Guzzi S3, 850cc Moto Guzzi  MK 1 Le Mans and a magnificent 1000cc Laverda Jota.

There are some amazing and very rare machines that have been lovingly restored and maintained. The Museum’s owner still rides several of the bikes and will stop to chat with enthusiast or novice alike.

There is something reassuring about museums, be they public or private collections, as they offer an open window into another time that can be shared by all. The curators and private collectors are the gatekeepers of worlds past, and this is never more true when it comes to motorcycle collections.

The first thing that is noticeable about the exhibits is the large number of impressive small capacity European made two-strokes from the 50’s, 60’s, and 1970’s. This is offset, to a degree, by machines like the 1981 1000cc Laverda Jota triple and a 1971 Honda 750 automatic, which was sold in the U.S. but never made its way to Australia. Ian also has on display several French vintage racing motorcycles in the shape of a very rare 1921 Yvels with a 250cc Villiers racing engine and a France which used a 350cc Jap engine.

Several years ago the photographer Phil Aynsley, visited the Peterborough Motorcycle Museum and while the majority of the shots he took were indeed taken on the backdrop he thought it would make for some nice images to take two of the bikes in the collection to a location a few kilometers out of town. This why we can now admire these amazing following photos … The bikes in question were of similar appearance so would ‘work’ together and he wanted a shot to show them in the countryside so as to give some idea of the museum’s remoteness. Thankfully the collection’s owner (Ian Spooner), liked the idea so transporting the bikes was easily done. The weather also co-operated.

Very little is known about this France racer from 1927. The frame was built in Paris (and it and the oil tank bear a resemblance to those used for some TERROT models). A 350cc JAP motor is used. The bike was later displayed on an old workshop/factory wall.

In 1942 it was taken to Germany by the Wehrmacht and then reappeared on the wall of an old brewery in Saxonia/Heliues, from where it was purchased & restored. It was later bought to Australia.

The YVEL’S was produced from 1921 until 1924 at 94 Rue Lauriston, Paris. Two models were built – one with a 250 JAP motor and the other (shown here) with a Villiers racing (not production) motor.

They were originally constructed to compete in the Grand Prix I’ACF of 1921 (in which the rider Vernise finished 9th and last in the 250 class, one hour & nine minutes behind the winner).

The two speed 2-stroke used 1:25 oil/petrol mixture and made 8.5hp. Top speed of 90kph.

I’m almost sure that BILLY LANE himself would be mad about this red tires French boardtrack racer!!!

So, my American friend, next time you ride in Australia, you now know where you have to go …

See ya soon on the road, who knows?

Hervé, your French biker friend.


Story and Photos by ITN European Reporter Herve’ Rebollo

Salut à toi American rider,

Right before Christmas I was studying maps to find some tiny roads for my next monthly ride. I wanted to go to visit my daughter who is being living in the magnificent city of Lille in the north of France, near by the Belgian border. It was a good opportunity to have a beer in Belgium (a great specialty of this country) and a coffee at the local Harley Davidson dealer in MONS city. Continue reading JANUARY RIDE TO THE BELGIAN LIBERATOR