Wednesday, 2 April 2014

…And Now For the Motorcycles

I've been building motorcycles for many years, but in this blog post I'm going to focus just on what I've done over the past year. A couple of these bikes are my own, and a couple were done for customers. It's a close call, but I think I actually enjoy building bikes more than cars; they're more satisfying because they come together quickly, and you can visualise the finished product almost right from the start. 

Survivor Customs Rotax 604 Thunderbike


I built this bike for myself, and purely with fun in mind. Built from a 2002 CCM Supermoto, I custom-made the rear subframe and exhaust system, twin shock and shortened some the rear swinging arm, modified the CCM street tracker tank for a more slimline look and added Yamaha R6 forks, 19" wheels and tracker tyres.  Hopefully I'll be taking this to some DTRA meetings and Dirt Quake III, but I'm also planning to use it on the road as a minimalist street tracker because it'll be a shame to not be able to ride it whenever I want. The above photo is of the bike in a 99% finished state, it's totally done now though so I'll put up some more pictures when I get it on the road.

Harley Davidson Shovelhead


This bike belongs to my good mate and customer Josh Bedford. He asked me to hardtail his old, tired-out Shovelhead frame but also gave me total creative license to get the job done. With Josh being a fellow BMXer I decided to model the back end around the Skyway TA dropouts which turned out better than I'd imagined. The next step was to get the old Shovelhead in the jig and chop off the rear end, replacing it with a new sleek and rigid rear end. Then I narrowed the mudguard, made a tall sissy bar, mounted the tank and oil bag, and also fabricated a custom seat pan the full height of the sissy bar which isn't shown in the photo. I thoroughly enjoyed building this bike, jobs like this make it easy to get up in the morning. 

Josh is an awesome screenprinter based in Sheffield, check out Wisdom Print Makers if you need any custom work and you won't be disappointed.

Harley Davidson Ironhead


Another customer from Sheffield, this time he had a really badly modified Ironhead frame that he asked me to sort out. The welds on it were absolutely shocking and looked like they'd been put on with a catapult; they all needed to be removed, and the frame itself needed some straightening too. I got the bike on the jig, chopped out all the birdshit welds, straightened up the frame and re-welded it with the TIG, and also removed the angle bar and bits of box section used for gussets and replaced them with tubing. Once I was happy with how the frame looked and its strength I took it off the jig, fitted the back wheel, widened the front mud guard to snugly fit the tyre, and made a neat little sissy bar and seat pan to complete the back end. Then I shortened and narrowed some girder forks to give it the nice, low, 'squat' look that it has in the picture above. Apart from a few other bits of lathe work, that was my work on this bike complete.

Survivor Customs Rotax Dirt Bobber


This is another of my own bikes, and if you've seen this one before you'll know that it's an ongoing project that's constantly changing whenever I feel like it. The bike has changed even since the above photo, it's now running a 604 Rotax motor instead of the 560 and I've changed the handlebars, tank and rear mudguard. These might be subtle changes but they're important to me; I like to put ideas into practice and this bike allows me the freedom to do that. There's way too much to list about this bike here so I'll put up a more detailed post about it soon. This bike will also be going sideways at Dirt Quake III, whether I'm on it or underneath it!

If you'd like to know more about any of these bikes just ask, otherwise keep your eyes peeled for more on some of these projects. Don't forget to have a look at my post on some of the cars I've been working on too...

Cheers

Mike







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