LIFE BEFORE BONES…
Tony has owned and ridden everything from standard scooters and street racers, through to cut-downs and chops… and he’s enjoyed them all. Indeed he built a DTC style street racer at the same time he was transforming Bones into Bones Returns. Tony takes up the story: “I got interested in scooters from quite young. My grandfather had a Lambretta TV175, though I wasn’t aware of it back then. That would’ve been where my interest in scooters began.
“My first scooter was a Starstream in 1983 and in 1984 I had a go at building my first chopper scooter from what had once been an Li125. I was young and didn’t have much money, but I did have a lot of enthusiasm. I extended the forks and did all the engineering work myself, it handled the way most Lambretta chops do with extended forks, a bit rough! It sat too low as well.
“I was young, daft and without a care in the world back then. My furthest ride ever on a scooter was to Isle of Wight in 1985. It took 12 hours, after which I did a passable John Wayne walk for the weekend. I drifted off the scene for a while, and worked abroad for a few years. When I came back a mate of mine told me where the frame of Bones was. I bought it back in 2015, then set about building the scooter chopper I’d always wanted but couldn’t afford in the 80s, a show winner!
“Bones Returns was inspired by my all-time favourite custom chop Illusion, I fabricated and built it all myself in a mate’s workshop. Cutting off the fork tube and welding on a set of Harley springers proved to be probably the best thing I’ve done to it.
“With the springers it handles properly, it was quite scary to ride with extended Lammy forks, it took about a year to build the chop, a big chunk of which was waiting for parts to arrive, or for work I’d farmed out (paint, engraving, plating etc.) to be done.
“When I built Bones in the 80s I wasn’t too bothered about it sitting low and being uncomfortable to ride over distance. I think a seat with more padding is a must, maybe even before the gold-plated and engraved hubs are done. I’m looking forward to riding and showing Bones Returns this year.”