Written by Martin Hodgson
The last time we visited the rural village of Hino in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan we brought to you Custom Works ZON’s incredible American V-Twin mud muncher that’s been ripping it up in the Suzuka Mountain Range. At the time we teased that while Yuichi San had recently done some work for BMW his bread and butter was cool as can be old school choppers. Returning to his shop, that is a step back in time to custom Harley craftsmen of old, we find his latest creation. A stunning 1947 Knucklehead Chopper with all the fruit for both King and Queen.
We were lucky enough to have local photographer and moto journo Tom Bing cover the Bike Shed show for us. He is friends with the Bike Shed crew and a lot of the bike builders, so it was great to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the bikes on display. Words and photos by Tom Bing.
It’s got to be the most exciting weekend of the year in the UK for custom bike lovers. It’s funny, when you’re anywhere near the ‘inner folds’ of something like the Bike Shed, you feel strangely proud of the achievements of all the people who have worked so hard to make the event come together yet again. It feels like a community event – not something you just attend as a punter, but something we are all a part of.
Photography by Nick Fraser.
After a two year hiatus, the Throttle Roll Motorcycle Show was back with a vengeance last weekend, as the sound of rockabilly music and motorcycles reverberated through the back streets of Waterloo, Sydney. This year, Throttle Roll was held in an old paint factory that’s been turned into an ultra-hip creative warehouse space called Commune – and that name and venue is fitting for the show. The definition of a commune is a close-knit community of people who share common interests, and we definitely saw a community of liked minded individuals who came together over their love of custom motorcycles, music, food, beer and just having a bloody good time.
The Colt Wrangler from New Braunfels, Texas, has become well known for building clean and classy looking smaller café racers and electric bikes. So when a customer contacted him a few years ago about customising his Harley-Davidson Dyna Fat Bob, Colt got a little bit worried. “I thought to myself, ‘Does this guy really want to bring this bike to me? Maybe he’s at the wrong shop.’” The customer, Marc Snoddy, didn’t have the wrong shop and was adamant he wanted the former bull rider to build him a bike, saying he would ride the bike over and bring some photos for reference. “I feared that he was going to show me pictures of a really awful bobber with ape hangers that he wanted to replicate.” Luckily, Colt was pleasantly surprised when Marc showed him a picture of the “Gorilla” built by Rough Crafts. That got Colt excited, as he’d always been a fan of Rough Crafts and was looking forward to building a murdered out Harley on a much needed diet. We like to call it the Slim Bob diet.
It’s crazy to think that nine years ago we featured a few bikes from a random little show in Portland called the ‘One Moto Show’. Then it its second year, it had 75 bikes and around 1500 bike enthusiasts come through the doors to check out this ‘new wave’ of custom bikes. But ten years later…
Please spare a thought for the poor old chopper. King of the custom scene for almost 40 years, the resurgence of the bobber and cafe look in the first decade of the Noughties has, in some eyes, relegated it to uncool school ever since. Of course, custom bike tastes wax and wane like Australian Prime Ministers…
Argentina’s Lucky Customs have done more for 1980’s AMF Harley Davidson than anyone else in recent years. A few months back we ran a show-stopping turbo salt racer from the Cordoba-based business and now they’ve followed up with this spectacular blacked-out 1984 Evo chopper dubbed ‘Rock’n’Rolla’.
In the late 1950s Lucas, a large Birmingham UK-based manufacturer who built electrical components for the automotive industry, made a drastic change that would send waves across the industry. The days of the dynamo/magneto were over and coil ignition was in; sixty odd years later they’re still going strong. So while many would succumb and fail, the good gentleman down the road at Birmingham Small Arms embraced the challenge. What they produced all those years ago provides the heart of this brilliant Oregon-based Bobber. Forged from the hands of David Bright, it’s a 1965 BSA A50 that takes its name from your first unfiltered reaction, “Uhh Yeah Dude”.