Don’t worry, there were no shady or underhand goings-on, well, going on (that’s if you don’t count me appropriating someone else’s bike for an hour or so without their knowledge). Around eighteen months ago I had visited Rob Parfitt in his workshop tucked away in deepest East Anglia for the purposes of photographing his Honda CB750 (‘Grey Matter’, 100% Biker #244) although, obviously, on that occasion he knew full well what I was doing, being the owner and everything. Back then, Rob was kind enough to give me a quick look at some of his future projects, one of which was an overhaul of his father’s motorcycle. That bike being a mighty Yamaha XS650 for which I have a great affection, I made him promise to keep me updated with progress.
A few months later, Rob emailed me to say that the bike was ready but he hadn’t told his Dad that it was being photographed for a magazine feature. So, Michael Parfitt, I have to say here and now that yes, we went behind your back but I hope you won’t be too cross with your son (me, I live miles away, you can say what you like about me!).
This particular motorcycle is a bit more than just another XS650. It has real sentimental value to both Michael and his son, as Rob explains: “The XS is a UK bike and my Dad bought it in 1981 when he was eighteen years old. The bike was just four years old then. He kept it for some years and then sold it to buy a Kawasaki GPZ1100. But a few years later he sold the GPZ on and then managed to convince the guy who’d bought the XS650 to sell it back to him. He’s had it ever since and it was the very first bike that I sat on as a kid.”
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Over the last couple of years, very few if any motorcycles have inspired such bafflement and scratching of heads as Dan Duggan’s Honda CX500
Every project starts somewhere and this one began at the Bike Shed Show at Tobacco Dock in London or, to be more accurate, when my mate Matt Donaldson turned to me and said, “I bet you can’t build a bike good enough for here.” Well, that set me to work!
Jarno comes from a family with petrol in their blood. His father races classic motorcycles and Jarno was raised on a farm where the barns are full of motorcycles instead of cows! This is his very first project, the Jarno Bastian Special
CUSTOMBIKE Messe Bad Salzuflen, Germany
Sometimes what is missing from a show is more interesting than what’s present. With the German show Custombike celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the event remains a showcase for European customising in all its diversity— with the additional benefit of a focus on parts that are homologated and approved for Europe
It’s not often that I have to sneak in and photograph a motorcycle without the owner knowing anything about it—something that was made tougher in this case by the said motorcycle being kept at said owner’s house
Spike And Bob's Big Swedish Adventure: Part 5
In 1979 Hasse took Caprice to the Norrtälje show for the first time, but he had changes for the bike in mind and, during the winter, he picked up a jammer frame and a set of 20-inch tubes.
There's No Place Like Chrome
When settling down to write a feature for a magazine, it’s necessary to have two things, nay, three things in front of you. A computer is useful, it saves all that messy ink and blotting paper that we used in those long gone school days, a strong hot mug of tea should also be on the desk (goes without saying), and finally, a set of scribbled notes that a couple of months ago resembled a detailed description of a motorcycle, but that by now, are largely illegible…
Over the last few years Death Machines of London has produced a number of pioneering builds, some of which you will have seen in these pages, not least the Air Force One Moto Guzzi from the cover of 100% Biker #231. Just when you think they can’t possibly surpass the last build, designer James Hilton of DMOL and engineer Ray Petty of Ray Petty Meccanica raise the bar just a little bit more. And that’s just what they’ve done again…
Today motorcycle customizing is a phenomenon that spans the entire globe, of that there can be little doubt. However, it’s still all too easy to think that building custom bikes is primarily confined to Europe and the United States and often, even in these days of social media and instant information, we don’t hear about what’s going on in other parts of the world
After the Harley-Davidson Sportster, I would wager that the Yamaha XS650 is the most popular choice for a custom bike across the world
This Sonoran Desert city is hot in more ways than one, a destination that mixes business and pleasure in a special way
Judge hires all-important offensive line coach
After interviewing a few candidates, Joe Judge hired Rob Sale to coach his offensive line. Sale previously worked with Judge during their time together at Alabama under Nick Saban.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
How the Strand Lost Its Workers
The owner says the bookstore’s hanging by a thread—and staff say they’re the ones paying the price.
Motor mounts to fit a 12-valve Cummins B-series engine into a ’73-’89 square body GM 4x4
STOCK TRADING APP COMPANY ROBINHOOD FILES PLAN TO GO PUBLIC
Stock trading app company Robinhood said this week that it has submitted a confidential plan to go public later this year.
DAYS'S BEN TO CIARA: REMEMBER OUR LOVE
A distraught Ben confides in Jake about the situation with Ciara. Jake suggests giving Ciara the memory serum, but Ben notes there are a few issues with that. Jake thinks Ben needs to talk to Ciara and do whatever he can to jog her memory. “Jake pretty much slaps the sense into Ben because Ben is getting beat up by this on a few different rounds trying to get her to remember,” explains Robert Scott Wilson (Ben). “Jake tells him to get over there and keep fighting. Not that Ben’s giving up, but Jake is the one to kind of light a fire under him, so he takes his advice.”
THE RIGHT TO AN ABORTION ISN'T GOING AWAY
WHILE OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE WOULD LEAD TO NEW RESTRICTIONS IN MANY STATES, LEGAL ACCESS TO ABORTION WOULD BE UNAFFECTED IN MOST OF THE COUNTRY.
US SENDS TEAM TO DETROIT TO INVESTIGATE TESLA-SEMI CRASH
The U.S. government’s highway safety agency is sending a team to Detroit to investigate a crash involving a Tesla that drove beneath a semitrailer.