Andreas, the head honcho at Thunderbike in Hamminkeln, Germany, is a man who’s owned and/or built some of the most amazing customs in Europe – his/their bikes’ve won just about every award there is, in almost every style/genre you can think of. Their bikes do tend to be out-and-out customs, though, and one thing he was keen to do was a proper post-war bobber in the original style that, perhaps sadly, has been superseded by the new era of modern bobbers – bobbers were, after all, originally big ol’ Harleys and Indians stripped of all their extraneous metalwork in an effort to make them lighter, faster and more able to keep up with the much smaller, but more nimble, Triumphs, BSAs and Nortons that were imported into the States in the Fifties and Sixties. They were, if you like, originally more about speed and agility than looks – that came much later.
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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.