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...
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.
S&S Super Stock, 1600cc, S&S carb, engraved air-filter by Tony ‘the engraver’ Reynolds, aftermarket exhausts
Modified aftermarket softail frame, aftermarket sidestand/forwards
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
Paint by Igor of Extreme Paint, engraving by Tony ‘the engraver’ Reynolds (Facebook)
Ben at Hairy Bush
Bike Builders (www. hairybushbikebuilders.co.uk) THANKS TO:
“Ben; Igor; Syd; & Tony...”