March 25, 2017 at 11:29 pm #15893
Wow, just wow. I am not going to mess you about and keep you in too much suspense: The speed build was brilliant and a massive success. I rocked up to the meeting at YOUR Garage in deepest, darkest Oxfordshire for the monthly Twisted Iron meet and rolled my bog-standard 550 into the waiting workshop bay. One had been roped off so the lads from Naked Speed, Raw Steel Choppers and Bearknuckle Customs could do their worst to my little Kawasaki…once they had enjoyed their breakfast at the superb diner of course!
The operating room….
The unsuspecting and bog-standard 550 awaits it’s fate
Russ and Bev of Twisted Iron set up their gear for the live streaming to the internet and camera crew from on-line TV Channel ‘On Yer Bike’ were there too filming the events of the day. The wait was over; the 4 hour speed build was underway! Before I knew what was happening I found myself doing a piece to camera to introduce my bike, the aims and themes of the build and of the folks who would be doing the spanner twirling.
The camera crew from On Yer Bike
Mark and String doing a piece to camera…
Russ politely reminds Mark to stop rattling and get building!
The crowd was building up by now and the shear variety of bikes was fantastic. A custom show in its own right. Three of the bikes that Naked Speed and Raw Steel had built before sat proudly at the head of the workshop, under a Twisted Iron banner…this was going to be quite a morning.
The lad’s CV is pretty impressive…
As the build progressed quickly more and more people kept turning up and I was really pleased to see a good contingent from bikemeet come along to support the day…Andy (Thumper), Matt (Ses310), Karl (Katana), Neville (R6my) and his Son, Pete (247), Steve (Ellisemo), plus my old mates Mike and Stu. Even a lad from JLR came along on his HD…Hi Nick!
Special mention must go to Speedy who rocked up with his entire family in tow!
Back in the build bay the petrol tank had already come off and the exhaust removed almost immediately too. The lads were really cracking on and the pile of removed parts was growing rapidly!
Off with the tank and standard exhaust
Meanwhile Ben of Bearknuckle had set himself up on the other side of the workshop and was demonstrating his exceptional painting skills. He had done a stunning job on my bike’s tank, side panels and other bits and bobs. He was doing air brush demos live and made some stunning ‘Twisted-Iron’ themed memorabilia. The lad is a massive talent and I couldn’t wait to see his handiwork on the bike.
Ben the painter, was getting plenty of interest in his work and even some potential commissions, like this Harley of a friend of mine
The clock was ticking towards the half way point and suddenly it was out with the angle grinders and air saw. Sparks flew and the Kwak’s sub frame was toast! No going back now!
Looking rather naked now thanks to Naked Speed!
The powder coated wheels went in and the straight bars were soon on the bike too, and immediately seemed to give the 550 more ‘attitude’…it was really coming together in front of the appreciative crowd. The clean simple Rev-Counter/Speedometer replaced the bulky twin chrome clocks too.
The build up stage was gathering pace, Ben mucking in with Mark, String and Tony as the shortened sub-frame and wheels were now in place
Then came the topping on the cake..the tank and seat. VonZeti had produced a beautifully made and elegantly simple seat. The tank still wore it’s dents & dings with pride…the bikes history intact. Ben had woven them cleverly into the theme of the bike..the Kawasaki Ki-61 WW2 fighter and worked them in as battle damage. He absolutely nailed the theme. The camouflaged tank, the 244th Senati symbol on the tail, the kill markings on the shortened mudguard…brilliant. Beyond what I had I asked for.
The new tank goes on, the bike is beginning to take shape!
The new hand-fabricated exhaust was in place as the third hour rolled by and it was nothing less than a piece of art created by String of Raw Steel. It really looked perfect on the bike. Mark of Naked Speed was really displaying his race mechanic pedigree and I was stunned at how quickly and calmly he took my standard old winter hack and metamorphosed it before my very eyes. Ably assisted by Tony and String of course!
Only 20 minutes to go now and the bike looked superb..all that remained to do was fire it up and listen to the bark of that magnificent exhaust. Mark hit the tit and the little the air-cooled lump span over sweetly, but it resolutely refused to fire…panic…the time was ticking down now. Would they make the 4-hour deadline? Quick checks revealed there was no spark and feverish tracing through the loom revealed the bike’s hard life as a hack had taken it’s toll…somebody in the past had mucked about with the wiring and things were not looking good. The 4th hour clocked up, by now the crowd was anxious as the lads contined to battle with the recalcitrant Kwak. Russ picked up the Mike to announce we had been beaten, but then just as he spoke the bike roared into life..man it sounded good!
She lives again!
Race mechanic mark, who normally has a touch of OCD in the workshop was not working in his usual neat and tidy way…
They did it!! They only bloody did it! Ok, it was 15 minutes over time. But a bog standard bike HAD been transformed in essentially four hours. The bike looks stunning, a proper custom..I am Mr. Standard no more…I had joined the custom community! The bike had turned out beyond my wildest dreams, I actually felt choked. I can’t say thank you enough to Russ, Bev, Mark, String, Ben an Tony who turned my silly idea into stunning reality! Here it is, man it looks good…
This how Russ and Bev of Twisted Iron summed things up…
The purpose of the day, was to inspire new custom builds, Tony had only ever had standard bikes and now he as this little beauty to ride around on. Great day had by all.
Particular thanks to:
Tony (aka ‘Radar’) – for allowing his bike to be the donor and putting it in our hands
String Thompson – Raw Steel Choppers (fabrication)
Mark Williams – Naked Speed (build & electrics)
Ben Attwood – Bear Knuckle Customs(paint)
Tony Groom – Build helper
John Pullara – Digital Speedos for help with supplying electrical parts
Bert – Vontezi for making the seat as a special and donating it to the build
This is Your Garage – for the great venue and loan of anything extra we needed
Everyone who turned up to support us…
I couldn’t of put it better myself, I was totally blown away about how a quick chat between Russ and I in the office had developed into this. I have always had bog standard bikes, but this whole exercise has shown me there is another way, and it is brilliant.
Amazing what you can do in four hours isn’t it!?
More pictures here too folks
The You Tube show by the folks at ‘On Yer Bike’March 26, 2017 at 12:00 am #69689
Awesome write up as always Don. Mate, your bike looks stunning, they done you proud!
I do think it will be worth your while uprating the rear shocks in the future, they are quite soft at the mo. Am very jealous of it though mate!March 26, 2017 at 12:25 am #69690
Awesome write up as always Don. Mate, your bike looks stunning, they done you proud!
I do think it will be worth your while uprating the rear shocks in the future, they are quite soft at the mo. Am very jealous of it though mate!
The shocks are on the shopping list, but my wallet is taking a pounding right now! I am hoping to sell off the standard exhaust and seat and then get some.
Man, you have nothing to be jelaous of, your V7 now looks the bizz. Really looking forward to getting the two bikes togetherMarch 26, 2017 at 12:37 am #69691
I know the feeling re selling parts to be able to buy parts, hoping to sell a mudguard over the next couple of days to help fund its replacement which I’ve already brought! lolMarch 26, 2017 at 6:37 pm #69692
I know the feeling re selling parts to be able to buy parts, hoping to sell a mudguard over the next couple of days to help fund its replacement which I’ve already brought! lol
Good luck with the sales Pete.March 26, 2017 at 10:56 pm #69693
By the way folks, sorry about the typos and missing words in this blog. It was really late when I posted this and I was knackered after a hectic week. I think I have got most of them now!!March 26, 2017 at 11:17 pm #69694
haha, it was late when I read it so didn’t notice!March 27, 2017 at 5:55 pm #69695imperialdataKeymaster
A really impressive set of modifications given the short time. Nice to see some close-up pics, very impressive work all round. I think the theme suits the bike well and it definitely looks unique.
Are they planning another timed build?March 28, 2017 at 7:38 pm #69696March 28, 2017 at 7:43 pm #69697
awesomeMay 24, 2017 at 6:27 am #69698AnonymousInactive
haha, it was late when I read about the Bathmate X50 so didn’t notice!
Holy crap that looks awesome.May 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm #69699elessimoParticipant
Makes me want to get a paint-job on my greyer than grey Explorer
As soon as my mate gets a spray-booth sortedMay 25, 2017 at 8:11 pm #69700
The custom game is a lot of fun and very rewarding!May 26, 2017 at 12:02 am #69701elessimoParticipant
The custom game is a lot of fun and very rewarding!
Don’t you mean expensive?May 26, 2017 at 1:57 pm #69702
Holy crap that looks awesome.
Thanks and welcome to the forum
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