Street Use


Scooter Contraption

I can’t tell what this is for. Might be a portable night market stall (for food?). There’s a generator on the tail and a light bulb hanging in the middle. Seems to be in Korea. That’s all I know.  (Thanks Dave Gray)


Posted on July 3, 2009 at 10:03 am | comments

Generator Motor Car

Some kind of home-made vehicle from China. I appreciate the wooden wheels and bamboo combined with what looks like a cheap honda generator motor. (Via here.)


Posted on August 26, 2008 at 11:52 am | comments

Last-minute Chimneys


I’ve lost track of where I found this, but these chimneys look like a last-minute idea. No clue on why they need so many. Perhaps it is a community kitchen?

Posted on April 12, 2008 at 5:00 am | comments

Public Mobile Phone Numbers Stickers

Apparently the norm in South Korea is to post your cell number in the window of your parked car, since in all probability, your car is blocking someone else’s. They will need to call you to move your car. Used to be the numbers were scribbled notes. But Younghee Jung  has noticed recently that the practice is becoming formal, and now the numbers get fancy print stickers. The numbers in his photos below are scrambled (by him) at the end.

200801 Seoul 0051 S

200801 Seoul 0005 S

He writes:

…putting owner’s mobile number printed on the front window seems to be on its way to become a norm for car owners in korea. and often its not a scribbled note anymore. the parking convention in korean cities does require leaving the contact information on the car, as people may have no alternative in resting your car without blocking other cars’ exit route, for instance.

(Via Jan Chipchase)

Posted on April 10, 2008 at 5:00 am | comments

More Homemade Trucks


From China, I think.


Russian, I think.


Cuban, I believe.

Posted on April 5, 2008 at 5:00 am | comments

Polish Home-made Tractors

In the ’60s Poland it was almost impossible to acquire a tractor in Poland. Agricultural machines produced by the country were available mainly for state-owned enterprises. For private farmers these tractors were too expensive and they weren’t even robust or efficient enough for the mountain region. Out of necessity they constructed their own machines using spare parts and bits and pieces from whatever machines they could find. Including decommissioned army vehicles and pre-WWI German machines.


Lukasz Skąpski, “The Machines”, 2005-2007, Courtesy Żak Gallery.

Posted on February 5, 2008 at 4:58 pm | comments

Handle Bar Adaption in Lagos

In Lagos Nigeria the traffic so bad and thick that the handle bars on the ubiquitous motorcycles are pinned back to make it easier for the bikes to navigate fast between rows of stuck cars.

Lagos Motorbike

It was hard to extract a decent picture from the Current video, but you can see it fine at about 6:30 on the clip here.

Posted on January 28, 2008 at 9:44 pm | comments

Cuban Motor Bike

What an elegant design. A wonderfully sleek bicycle is given a motor  and gas tank in Cuba to make a motor bike.


A close up view with annotations shows a different home-made motor bike in Cuba, collected by Ernesto Oroza. The detail of the soda bottle gas tank is wonderful. This design uses the motor’s rotor to directly power the tire.


Posted on January 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm | comments

Go Cart Haulers

From Zeraga’s Flickr pool.

1029076197 04E6E37C56

In Perú from Huánuco to Tingo Maria, where the road from the Pacific coast across the Andes finds its way towards the Amazon lowlands. This is near the top of the last mountain pass. From there, soapbox rider can enjoy a vertical 1000 meters of gravity assisted ride. As these kids help stranded truck drivers along the road, they’re called bomberos (firemen). They transport drinks, food and spare parts to broken trucks.

Posted on January 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm | comments

Homemade Sled

Good sleds are hard to find these days. Might be liability issues, since a fast sled can be dangerous for little kids. You can make a dangerous fast sled using an old pair of skis and a plastic tub “sled.”  Jeff Potter, chief blogger at on Out Your Backdoor wrote to me with instructions:

124946 Sled.Bardy

My brother Tim created a neat homebrew sled design. I made a couple of them for our kids for Xmas. What you do is take a plastic tub sled ($10 hardware store) and screw a pair of XC skis to the bottom of it. You can also use downhill skis—better for rough use. You can add a spacer of 1×3 firring between sled and ski to get some height for floating better over fresh snow. Use short, stout screws, Gorilla Glue (expands) and big washers to avoid pull-thru. Then glue foam-padding into the inside. This sled runs straight, smooth and far. Definitely the fastest on the hill. You’ll be a big hit!

It’s dangerous because you can’t steer. But it’s fast. Pictures and inspiration were found on Out Your Backdoor.

Posted on at 4:48 pm | comments