Thursday, 31 March 2011


This is how we build chops in the land of rain. Jap power, decent brakes, and a rake that'll let you go round a corner without near certain death occurring. Yeah we do HDs and dripper old brit twins too, but Jappers rock cos they work.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

rain again

it may indeed be raining - but today is a good day ;) - so here's a mild caff hinckley to remind you that dry roads and long days won't be far now.

My parts are on order and should be here soon- just gotta drop the head and barrels off at Ian's for his skilled attention.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Always loved the slick lines of kawasaki's GPZ series (ok, the 550 never set the world alight, but all the others were kool as); here's a tidy example for ya.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Sorry, that's the title these pix are under - in fact, I'm gonna change the title of the blog to 'nicked pix r us' - there will be more original material soon, honest! How long has that promise been hangin' around?

Whatever, I REALLY like this er, groovy sporty. Black mags, skinny caff seat, mini tank and bodacious 2 - into- 1 are tickin' ALL the vida boxes. Proceed directly to the top o' the 'klass class'.

Chain drive is more juicy. Or oily, really.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

from the vida files

You've seen this one before, I'm sure; either a bratstyle or crazyorange sportster, I think belonging to the author of the most excellent 'with evo spo' blog.

I love this shot just because it's kind of evocative of good times, good bikes, long nights, you get the picture.

There's something a little 'cartoon' about the Jap sporty style, with those tiny tanks and fenders, but I guess that's what makes it look so kool.

Saturday, 26 March 2011


If you refer to an xl harley as a 'girl's bike', you are probably the sort of tweaker who buys one for the wife to complement the 'badass bagger' you pay the stealership to polish for you.

I feel much better now!

Have a great weekend - no engine building for me, just gonna do the garden with the kids. Sun is shinin'...

Friday, 25 March 2011

More Hard up stuff

Here's some more fine work from my favourite budget frame builder- another of their fairly-formulaic GSXR builds, seen here at the London International show. I dig the rear fender treatment, and the (Indian Larry ???) tank looks smart too.

My plans are kind of on hold- maybe the GSXR will be a ratty streetfighter this year, depending on budget...

As to the current rebuild action, all good so far. Local hero Ian Borrowman is gonna hone the cylinders, check the head and install my valve seals, and get hold of some new rings, and tasty non-leak James gaskets, then all back to me to bolt back together...then fingers , and everything else, crossed!

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Yeah, and some totally gratuitous Le Mans shots- vintage Guzzi with USDs and mags, hmmm good.

As to my own engine build- I have the heads off, cleaned up (a bit) and valves apart- strangely for an engine where the rear pot was smoking, both heads/barrels/pistons etc look very similar to each other- the only real difference i've found is the exhaust gasket on the affected pot is totally shot- could this be my problem, I wonder? Your feedback is REALLY appreciated, go on, use the comment box...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Thank God for Haynes manuals - tho' sometimes you wanna torch 'em, they're basically pretty good. Mine has been seeing some heavy action lately - my sporty's top end has been stripped down to the bone, awaiting new rings, a hone and head/valves check.

Makes a nice change for me to be doing some proper biker stuff, not just messin' around on me blog!

I will take a pic or two - and this probably sounds very daft, especially to any seasoned mechanics out there - but I don't want to jinx my chances of success by posting loadsa pix, crowing over what a all-tound top-bloke I am; and then the bugger still smokes/won't start/generally takes some kinda dump when I put it back together.

I am not 'mechanically minded' as such, but there is something you just can't describe about turning spanners on a beautifully designed engine...

Monday, 21 March 2011


OK, my 'apehanger heroes' series has been tongue-in-cheek - so today's post comes with a little more reverence. Alright, a whole lot more respect, for one of the REAL heroes of the chopper world, Mr David Mann, RIP . I've never seen this piece before, but stumbled across on one of my frequent internet time-wasting sessions. Enjoy.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

ess arrr #2

More hard evidence that the SR500 Yam is one of the custom world's best-kept secrets. What a cracking little bike it is, and a great foundation for a fresh project.

Dunno much about Trojan, they could be getting a right proper googling anytime soon!

Friday, 18 March 2011


Always the best trophy category in any custom bike show!

Many of you may be familiar with Robbie from Durham and some of the amazing builds that emerge from his shed way up in the frozen North. He's been in the mags loads of times, and is very clever at both engine stuff and fabrication, and on to of that has a killer eye for original design and great style. Here's the proof, how about a fine chop with a NSU car engine?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


How's this for a little cracker? Yam's SR500 has been the staple of many of the original Bratstyle builds, and it's easy to see why. Fins, narrow profile, nice round cases...all the hallmarks of a cafe-correct motor. Everything else is bang-on here,, skinny tank, black mags, and period hoops look just SOOO right.

Am I right in thinking the SR was a forerunner of the XT600 trail motor? I seem to remember them being 'related' in some way...

Monday, 14 March 2011


All kinds of stuff goin' on with this Chica build - board tracker, cafe, 60s chopper...maybe it doesn't make you think 'gotta have it' like most of his stuff, but pretty nice all the same. Chica's work is an object lesson in fit, finish and quality.

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Isn't that nice? Funny how a seat can totally make a bike. USDs, mags and killa brakes/shox don't hurt, either.

Friday, 11 March 2011


Amother in my unofficial series paying homage to what it without doubt the custom bike world's greatest achievement, the unfeasible apehanger. Here, the righteous brother in question is actually in on the joke, it's one of the lads from the excellent 'sideburn' flat traker 'zine, who bent up these nutty apes to annoy the Triumph/sportsbike faithful. It worked, by all accounts...

Thursday, 10 March 2011

cafe time again

random cafe shots for of which looks like it gets used a whole lot more than the other one!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


Trikes are definitely OK in my book, and this here is a fine example. The pic is from Blue's BSH blog again, from LICS. Got a feeling this is gonna be in the mag next month.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

apehanger heroes #1

Definitely built with covering long distances in mind, even the mind-snappin' truck-style exhaust stacks pale into insignificance compared to the feat of chopper alchemy that is THOSE BARS.

Terrible pun- you could say he's, er, 'raised the bar'.

Seriously though, this dude really is a bit of a legend- if you google image 'apehanger', he's first up. Respect!

Monday, 7 March 2011

cafe time again

How's this for a Y2K cafe-style? Yam XJR power = big cubes, big torque, big smiles. Great stance too, that dinky hump seat looks almost cartoonish with the massive lump and tank. Kinda makes me wonder why we don't see more like this.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Close encounter of the turd kind

That is NOT a comment on this crackin' little sporty, by the way, but a terrible play on words I should have resisted. That surely is Devil's Tower, Wyoming, no?

Short shocks, binned fenders and lane-splitter bars make this yet another nifty backyard build- looks like a late-model 1200, so easy to live with too.

I used to write a blog which kinda turned into a sportster fest, but they'll always be one of my favourite motorcycles, as I like things which leave enuff bread in my pocket to buy beer and other important supplies (and feed the kids, I guess, if I really must).

Saturday, 5 March 2011

LICS style

As in London International Custom show- no, sadly I didn't go, but luckily Blue from BSH blog was there to bring us some great shots like this 'ere crackin' GSXR chopper. (Apologies for nicking your stuff).

I'm loving the 'old and new' vibe to this bike, tho'superstition (ridiculous I know) rules out green bikes. Period.

There's a trad-style large scale bike expo coming to Bournemouth (my home town) in May, I WILL be going to that one, and rest assured , vidaMOTO will be - for once- crammed with pics you really won't have seen before.

Friday, 4 March 2011


ok,they're 10 a penny- or dime a dozen for our friends across the pond- but bandits are just a great design.Who'd have thought an ageing oil-coolled lump in a basic Harris-ripoff frame would have become one of the best-selling bikes of all time? I guess, as I read of 'em somewhere, that joe public knows a bargain when he's sees one. I always thought they only need a little to make a great streetbike, as we can see here. Paint, polish, a few trick bits and plenty of stainless, and robert's yer father's brother. Oh, and a few quid too.

Thursday, 3 March 2011


mind-snappin' panhead (replica???) choppa from the master Chica.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011


A bit of a 1990s flava goin' on here, what with the wide tank and gixer lump- but that was always a pretty good look in my view. The tail piece work on this bike is a bit too severe for my taste; I reckon lower and longer would have kept the look more in proportion. Whichever way you cut it, this is a great bike, and ideal for hooning around at silly speeds. Get on, shut up, an' hang on!!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


More timeless class from master builder Chica...lines is lines, right?