1972 BSA A65 Lightning bobber
By guest writer Ian Lee.
Everyone should have a hobby. Something removed from everyday employment in order to keep one’s sanity. Today’s feature bike is a result of keeping work and play separate, of escapism of the best kind, that of custom motorcycle building. A civil engineer by trade, Aaron Rubio’s true passion is building and riding custom bikes, which he tries his hardest to be able to do at least once a week. Recent comments about a BSA and electrical wiring prompted Aaron to send pics of his 1972 BSA A65 Lightning bobber into Pipeburn, to show solidarity in not having every little aspect of your bike perfectly tucked away and looking neat. In Aaron’s own words “I do believe clean wiring has it’s place, but exposed wiring helps define the soul of a bike”. True, and we love this bike for all it’s touches, exposed wiring and all.
Aaron’s bike had already begun to be modified by the time he got it, the previous owner hardtailing the rear end. On top of this custom rear there sits a vintage Harley front fender, as Aaron says ‘with 40 years of rust and three layers of paint all showing beautifully’. Flashes of red break up the dark aesthetic of the Beeza, the Ballistic battery, fuel lines and spark plug leads standing out. To top off the red highlights, the chain tensioner is now a custom skateboard wheel setup.
Aaron decided to stick with British marques, choosing a Triumph fuel tank to replace the original unit. It has been sanded and clearcoated, flanked either side by brand new brass BSA badges that have been painted black, and distressed to fit in with the patina of the bike. Sitting proud next to the fuel tank is a vintage Smith & Wesson pistol group, mounted on the custom suicide shift Aaron fashioned from tube he found in his backyard. In keeping with the weaponry theme of the shifter, a munitions round has been cut down and mounted on the kickstart lever, adding to the awesome this bike possesses.
This BSA bobber is low-slung, metallic and mean. It’s rough finish shows it’s there to be ridden, not to be hauled around on a trailer. Red highlights, put up against the brass touches of the stoplamp, seat springs and battery belt hold down, all work together with the dark aura the bike produces. It’s not meant to be pretty, and it shows that Aaron’s hobby is far removed from his everyday employment, cos you would hope the finish on the railway bridges he designs isn’t as rough. And all this from someone who has only been customising bikes for the past two years now. I’ll leave the last word to Aaron: “I wanted my bike to look like it could take a beating, that it could be ridden hard and put away wet… not some primadonna bike you would be scared to get a water spot on”.