I bought the bike, a GSX-R 750 Slingshot with a Hard Up Choppers frame, back in 2013, and rode it as it was for a while, but it came with a few issues. It had one fuse that supplied the whole bike, and the coils were just bouncing around in the electrics box, which caused more than one 'mystery' breakdown! The original look of the bike was great, with its clip-on 'bars and its tiny peanut tank, but the 60-mile range was impractical to say the least, and the original headlight had all the candlepower of a sick glow-worm, which made night-riding a matter of prayers, guesswork, and an almost psychic knowledge of Sussex roads.
After meeting the bike’s original builder at a show, I discovered that it’d been finished in a rush for a show, and was s’posed to come back to them for proper wiring, setting up, and a few other bits but, once it’d gone out the door, they’d never seen it again. I decided it was time to take it off the road, and sort it out once and for all… things don’t quite work like that, though, do they?
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I’M A SEMI-PRO SHED BUILDER, WHO BUILDS UNDER THE NAME DIRTY DICK’S… I SAY ‘SEMIPRO’ BECAUSE I’VE ONLY, AT THE TIME OF WRITING, SOLD TWO BIKES (AND, USUALLY, I GET PAID IN BEER FOR ANY OTHER WORK I DO).
I BOUGHT MY ENFIELD, A 2001 350 BULLET, IN SHROPSHIRE IN JUNE 2019, WITH JUST 11,000 MILES ON THE CLOCK. IT WAS IN TRIALS TRIM, BUT I ALREADY HAD IN MY HEAD WHAT I WANTED TO DO WITH IT – MAKE IT INTO A ‘50S-STYLE CUSTOM, BASED LOOSELY AROUND AN INDIAN SCOUT THAT I’D SEEN PICTURES OF.
OVER THE LAST YEAR OR SO, MANY OF US’VE HAD TO FOREGO THE JOY OF SEARCHING FOR PARTS AT AUTO-JUMBLES, SHOWS AND BREAKER’S YARDS, RELYING ON EITHER THE HIT-AND-MISS OF INTERNET AUCTION SITES, OR TURNING TO OUR OWN STOCK OF PARTS, WHEN LOOKING AT BUILDING OR MODIFYING A BIKE.
PEOPLE ALWAYS SAY CUSTOM BIKES’RE EXPENSIVE, THAT ONLY THE RICH CAN HAVE ‘EM, BUT IF YOU REALLY WANT ONE THERE’S ALWAYS A WAY…
LEAF IT OUT
THE SUZUKI LS650 IS PERHAPS BEST KNOWN FOR HAVING ONE OF THE LEAST SUITED AND MOST RANDOM MODEL NAMES IN MOTORCYCLING HISTORY – THE SAVAGE.
I DECIDED I NEEDED A BIKE FOR MYSELF AS A KEEPER (RATHER THAN THE USUAL BUILD IT, SELL IT, FUND THE NEXT ONE), BUT TIME AND FUNDS WERE GOING TO GET TIGHT. I WANTED A ‘60S/’70S-STYLE HARDTAIL WITH A DECENT-SIZED MOTOR, SINGLE OR TWIN, AND SOMETHING I DIDN’T HAVE TO DO ANY FRAME MODIFICATIONS TO.
SOME FOLK SAY WORK’S A NECESSARY EVIL, OTHERS MAKE THE MOST OF THEIR SITUATION. A GOOD FRIEND ONCE SAID TO ME THAT IT’S THE LITTLE VICTORIES THAT COUNT WHEN AT WORK, USING THEIR MACHINERY TO MAKE BIKE PARTS, BLAGGING FREE STATIONARY, OR JUST HAVING A POO ON THEIR TIME…
BACK TO THE EIGHTIES!
AFTER THE STYLISTIC EXCESSES OF THE 1970S, THE 1980S SAW A KIND OF DIRECTION CHANGE IN CUSTOM BIKE BUILDING – ONE WHICH RESULTED IN NO SMALL PART FROM THE ABUNDANCE OF FAST, RELIABLE FOUR-CYLINDER MOTORCYCLES FROM THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN.
MY GOAL WAS TO CREATE A CAFÉ RACER WITH STYLING FROM THE FIFTIES – ROUND CURVES THAT’D MAKE IT POP.
3 DIRT DIGGERS
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS DIRT DIGGERS, HELD AT THE EDDIE WRIGHT SPEEDWAY STADIUM IN SCUNTHORPE, HAS BECOME THE NUMBER ONE, ALL-COMERS-WELCOME BIKE RACE IN THE UK.
LiDAR MAPPING A GOLD MINE
When Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia, wanted to open more of its areas to public tours, they asked Inspired Intelligence, a family owned and operated drone business in Buford, Georgia, to help. Inspired Intelligence CEO and founder Nir Pe’er explained, “Besides drone technology, we also used new, amazing cutting-edge technology called LiDAR.
How four master builders defined the path of the 2021 BMW R 18
THE SUZUKI HAYABUSA
Suzuki said the first Hayabusa invented a new category called Ultimate Sport. We said, “Yeah, right,”…until we rode it.
WITH CLASSIC 4X4 DESIGN CUES AND AN OLD-SCHOOL 4X4 DRIVELINE IN A PINT-SIZE PACKAGE, IT’S LIKE DRIVING THE JEEP WRANGLER’S LITTLE BROTHER. BUT IT’S NOT FOR SALE HERE.
Yoyo Chang turned a hunch born in an English high school cafeteria into a next-generation payments app backed by serious, well-heeled investors
The Fintech Revolution Is Finally Here— And So Are the Regulators
SPEAKING IN OCTOBER to his banking brethren at the world’s biggest payments confab—the annual Sibos conference— Jamie Dimon didn’t mince words.
HOSPITALS CAN CARE FOR MEDICARE PATIENTS AT HOME IN PANDEMIC
Hospitals will be allowed to care for Medicare patients in their own homes during the pandemic under a government program announced Wednesday to help hospitals deal with the latest surge.
GLOBAL TECH GIANTS THREATEN TO LEAVE PAKISTAN OVER NEW RULES
Internet and technology companies have threatened to leave Pakistan after the government granted blanket powers to authorities to censor digital content, a move critics say was aimed at curtailing freedom of expression in the conservative Islamic nation.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, SELL: RETAILERS WANT YOU TO WATCH AND SHOP
When Jenna Powell gets in front of a camera, she can sell $10,000 worth of sparkly dresses and tie-dye hoodies in 40 minutes.
PFIZER: COVID-19 SHOT 95% EFFECTIVE, SEEKING CLEARANCE SOON
Pfizer said this week that new test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective, is safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying — the last data needed to seek emergency use of limited shot supplies as the catastrophic outbreak worsens across the globe.