Back Street Heroes - - EVENT -

ark ‘Paddy’ Parish was all too aware that he’d never get around to build­ing his dream bike, so talked to a com­pany who he’d bought a few parts from. They said they could build him just the ma­chine that he wanted so he sold his bike, paid out a size­able wad of fold­ing, and waited for his new bike to be built. Var­i­ous emails ar­rived to show him the progress, and a few trips to see the frame and other parts ar­rive gave hope but, after a few months, that hope started to fade away. More parts, and more bills, ar­rived, but the bike didn’t seem to be get­ting any closer to a com­plete and run­ning mo­tor­cy­cle. Sev­eral thou­sand pounds later, Paddy got the idea that he’d never see the bike fin­ished, so he paid the com­pany a visit, viewed what was essen­tially lit­tle more than a pile of parts, and de­cided there and then that the sorry tale had to be brought to a halt. He took that pile of bits away be­fore any more ex­cuses could be made as to why he still hadn’t got a fin­ished bike...

M

While that brought one chap­ter to a close, he still needed some­one to build his de­sired chop­per. Chat­ting amongst friends, he was given the name of Ben at the su­perbly monikered Hairy Bush Bike Builders, and so took a trip over to see him, tak­ing the ‘bike’ (a loose term re­fer­ring to a pile of bolted-to­gether parts of un­known ori­gin atop a pair of spoked wheels) with him. It didn’t take Ben long to as­cer­tain that the cre­ation be­fore him, lit­tle more than a death trap, had been as­sem­bled by some­one who had less of a clue in cus­tom bike build­ing than Mary Berry – ba­si­cally, all of the af­ter­mar­ket parts that’d been cob­bled to­gether were never ever meant to be on the same bike... they were all very nice, high-qual­ity parts from the likes of Zo­diac, Cus­tom Chrome, etc., but it was ob­vi­ous they were in­tended for var­i­ous dif­fer­ent mod­els of Har­ley, and’d never just bolt straight to­gether. Yes, they could be ‘mas­saged’ to fit, but that mas­sag­ing’d in­volve very many pieces of heavy-duty work­shop ma­chin­ery.

Ben had to strip the bike right back to its con­stituent parts and start from scratch. He be­gan by get­ting the wheels aligned, then the sec­ondary drive clear­ance sorted, and then the gear­box fit­ted and aligned, fol­lowed by the big S&S pow­er­plant. It’d ac­tu­ally’ve been eas­ier to start with brand new parts, as some du­bi­ous work had to be un­done, but at least Paddy now had the knowl­edge that, this time, the work was be­ing done prop­erly!

Us­ing as many of the orig­i­nally sourced af­ter­mar­ket parts as pos­si­ble means that it’s not very easy to as­cer­tain what they are, and where they came from, aside from the fact that they were from large af­ter­mar­ket parts com­pa­nies. Ben also called on his net­work of con­tacts for the fin­ish­ing touches on the bike; Syd at Caer Urfa Leather sup­plied the hand-tooled seat (with a mo­tif to suit the bike); the crazily tal­ented (and also straight crazy) Igor of Ex­treme Paint did the amaz­ing art­work; while sim­i­larly bonkers (in a good way) Tony ‘the en­graver’ Reynolds ap­plied his tal­ents to the strik­ing twin skull head­lights and air-cleaner cover. As an aside, when Paddy and Ben went to see Igor, not only did his port­fo­lio start off with pictures of the fair­ground rides and the like which he’d painted while in the Moscow State Cir­cus (yes, re­ally), but the meet­ing ended with Paddy say­ing that Igor could do pretty much what­ever he wanted, as long as the bike wasn’t green… thank­fully, he ab­so­lutely adores the zom­bie/skull/ gorefest that now cov­ers the fuel and oil tanks, frame and mud­guards.

In fact, to say that Paddy’s happy with the end re­sult is like say­ing the afore­men­tioned Mary Berry knows her way around the kitchen – he’s bloody ec­static, and the fact that the bike has won shows since be­ing fin­ished is just the ic­ing on the cake… sorry, I’ll get me coat.

EN­GINE:

S&S Su­per Stock, 1600cc, S&S carb, engraved air-fil­ter by Tony ‘the en­graver’ Reynolds, af­ter­mar­ket ex­hausts

FRAME:

Mod­i­fied af­ter­mar­ket sof­t­ail frame, af­ter­mar­ket side­stand/for­wards

STUFF:

Un­known wheels/discs/forks, Zo­diac yokes, H-D calipers, one-off fat ‘bars, engraved head­lights, af­ter­mar­ket tank with pop-up filler cap/ built-in speedo, af­ter­mar­ket mud­guards/horse­shoe oil tank, one-off seat Caer Urfa Leather (0191 426 2174, www.caerur­faleather.co.uk),

250/40x18” Avon Venom rear tyre, bespoke wiring loom, af­ter­mar­ket electrics com­po­nents

FIN­ISH:

Paint by Igor of Ex­treme Paint, en­grav­ing by Tony ‘the en­graver’ Reynolds (Face­book)

EN­GI­NEER­ING:

Ben at Hairy Bush

Bike Builders (www. hairy­bush­bike­builders.co.uk) THANKS TO:

“Ben; Igor; Syd; & Tony...”

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