Well, the time bit at least. He bought his FJ hardtail from another club member when he started to go through the prospect process to join the National Chopper Club – he’d had customs prior to this, obviously, but this was his first proper club-worthy bike. It was a good ’un when he got it, and served him well for his first year, but he knew all along that he was really riding someone else’s bike, and needed to make it his own.
At first, his plan was to just change the ’bars, and sort out the electrics, and give it a bit of a re-style, and he wanted it done ready for the club’s 2019 International Run which was, at the time, six weeks away. In his own words: “Being a relatively new member, and not being particularly au fait with the vagaries of custom bike builds, I thought ‘Six weeks? Plenty of time, I’ll piss it!’ so, before running it past anyone, I thought I’d have a few beers and remove a couple of bits for painting.
“A couple more beers, and I really was kicking on, and before I knew it I had a rolling chassis with a motor in it! I carefully removed the bird’s nest loom intact after about an hour, and took a step back to admire my work, and decided to fire off a couple of pics to my former sponsor Jim (Ord, whose own bike is later this issue), thinking to myself, ‘He’ll be dead impressed with that!’.”
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BACK IN ISSUE 420, IN THE H-D SUPPLEMENT WE DID FOR THAT ISSUE, WE INTRODUCED YOU TO KNOCKER, AND HIS NO-NONSENSE IRONHEAD – A BIKE THAT GAVE THE FINGER TO BOTH TRADITIONAL BSH CHOPS, AND THE NEW SKOOL RETRO-CHOPPER CROWD TOO.
THE SHINY SURVIVALIST
THERE’S LITTLE DOUBT THAT 2020 DIDN’T REALLY TURN OUT THE WAY THAT ANY OF US EXPECTED, OR HOPED, IT WOULD. MIND YOU, I DID WONDER IF THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC MIGHT’VE INFLUENCED BIKE BUILDERS IN A MORE VISIBLE WAY THAN IT SEEMS TO HAVE, AND EXPECTED A RESURGENCE IN THE BUILDING OF ‘SURVIVAL BIKES’.
MANY YEARS AGO I BUILT TWO FXR SOFTAILS – MINNESOTA FATS (A SORT OF SUPER FAT BOY), AND DAKOTA BLACK (A PROPER CHOP), ONE FOR ME AND ONE FOR MY MATE JIM. WE’D DREAMT UP THE NAMES IN THE PUB ONE NIGHT AS PART OF AN IMAGINED SERIES OF BIKES – THE NORTHERN STATES SERIES. THEY CAME OUT WELL, AND WERE FEATURED IN BSH 170 IN 1998.
I BUILT THIS CHOP 38 YEARS AGO (THE DRY BUILD WAS IN MY BEDROOM), AND I TRY TO KEEP IT LIKE IT WAS WHEN IT WAS FIRST FINISHED. I USED TO PRIDE MYSELF ON IT STARTING FIRST KICK, AND NOT LEAKING OIL – IT STILL STARTS FIRST KICK (OCCASIONALLY SECOND), BUT THERE IS NOW, NEARLY 40 YEARS LATER, ONE SLIGHT OIL LEAK…
UJB UNIVERSAL JAPANESE BOBBER
ONE OF THE WORST THINGS TO HEAR WHEN OUT AND ABOUT AMONGST ANY GATHERING OF MOTORCYCLE TYPES IS A SLIGHTLY NASAL VOICE SAYING, IN THE PAUSE BETWEEN PEOPLE SPEAKING, ‘DID YOU KNOW THAT…’ BECAUSE YOU KNOW, YOU JUST KNOW, THAT YOU’RE GOING TO TURN ROUND AND BE CONFRONTED WITH AN ANORAK.
LONG SHOP MUSEUM BIKE SHOW
THE THIRD BIKE SHOW AT THE LONG SHOP MUSEUM IN LEISTON, SUFFOLK, WAS HELD ON SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH. IT’D BEEN HANGING IN THE BALANCE, LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE THIS YEAR, BUT UNLIKE MOST IT, WAS DEEMED OKAY TO GO AHEAD, DESPITE CONCERNS OVER LIMITING NUMBERS AND KEEPING EVERYONE SOCIALLY DISTANCED.
AS I’M SURE YOU’RE AWARE (IF YOU’RE NOT, REALLY? WHERE’VE YOU BEEN? DOWN A WELL?) OUR CHOSEN LIFESTYLE IS, AS ELIZABETH BATHORY MIGHT SAY, IN DIRE NEED OF AN INJECTION OF FRESH BLOOD BECAUSE… WELL, WE’RE ALL GETTING A BIT OLD, A BIT PAST IT THESE DAYS, AREN’T WE?
DURING MY VISIT TO MUDDY BEACH CUSTOMS BACK IN AUGUST, WHERE I TOOK THE PICS OF CHRIS LINDSAY’S CUSTOM CHAMPS-WINNING S&S (AS FEATURED LAST ISSUE), GUS, THE MAIN MAN, ARRANGED FOR A WHOLE LOAD MORE SCOTTISH BIKES TO ARRIVE TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED TOO. AS WE DON’T GET UP ACROSS THE BORDER THAT OFTEN THESE DAYS, I GOT ‘EM ALL IN THE CAN, AND YOU’LL SEE ‘EM IN A FORTHCOMING ISSUE.
HOT ROD SHOUEL
IF YOU’RE A LONG-TERM READER OF THIS AUGUST PERIODICAL (AND THE ONES PUBLISHED OTHER MONTHS TOO), THEN YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE BIKES, OR AT LEAST THE KIND OF BIKES, BUILT BY A GENTLEMAN BY THE NAME OF VINCENT SUMMERS
AMOC CUSTOM SHOW
AH, THE JOYS OF A SEPTEMBER MORNING – STILL SOME OF THE SUNSHINE FROM SUMMER, BUT THOSE SOFT TONES OF EARLY AUTUMN COMING IN, WHICH MAKES FOR A PERFECT COUNTRY RIDE... MIND YOU, I’M NOT SO KEEN ON THE BARRAGE OF CONKERS AND ACORNS WHICH SEEM TO MAKE A BEELINE FOR THE HELMET.
Y&R: ABBY'S INFERTILITY WOES
THE OIL BOYS OF ESSEX
Over a few hours in April, a trader called Cuddles and eight of his pals from outside London made $660 million—and turned global oil markets upside down
Creating Communities for Health – Part 2
In Part 2 of this exclusive interview, BARBARA BUSH speaks with MAMATA VENKAT about how to nurture mental well-being during the current pandemic, gratitude practices, the styles of leadership needed in today’s world, authenticity, what she learned travelling the world as the daughter of a US President, the importance of racial justice, and what is next for her.
Letters from Lockdown
Recently, the staff of Cat Talked asked our feline correspondents to let us know what kind of impact the lockdown/ quarantine was having on them and their households. Here is a sample of the responses we received.
Mystery of the Missing Report Card
My childhood was not pretty. Neither was the angel I met in a dark alley in a dangerous part of town
LOSE YOUR GUT
Top 10 Thermogenic and Brown Fat Activators
I married a volunteer firefighter
We said “I do,” then Jeremy raced off to do what he had to do
Growing up on the south shore of Boston, my brother and I developed a love for all things nautical from the lobster boats, dories and pleasure craft of our own time to the thriving shipbuilding hub of the 17th to 19th centuries.
Scene & Heard
Behind the scenes!
Life in Pictures: The Borough President Lives in Borough Hall
Eric Adams, in for the duration.