The Happening 2017 – Lemmy Lives!! We have Pictures!

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    The Happening 2017

    Isn’t it odd how life can be sometimes?  In essence I spent a weekend recently in a damp field in Oxfordshire, my bike was parked on an old pallet in a tent and I had to sleep with my clothes on and get a torch out to wonder across to the bogs. To top it off the ghost of Lemmy appeared on Saturday night , and there was a mad bearded bloke staying in a 45 year old camper van pulling wheelies on a motability scooter while his wife clung on for dear life. And do you know what? I had a brilliant time!
    All of these shenanigans were instigated some months before by a chat over a cup of tea in a nice suburban office bistro. For it was here that myself and Russell , a colleague where I worked at the time had the marvellous idea of converting my humble 550 Kawasaki into something somewhat cooler… in just four hours. The resultant ‘Speed-Build’ took place in March in front of an appreciative live audience both in person and in on the web. YouTube TV fame followed as On Yer Bike filmed the whole thing and then the bike was featured in a top custom magazine, 100% Biker. What a few months it had been for me and my humble winter hack.  Now Cinders was going to The ball….or more prosaically I was showing off my bike at my very first custom show. This is where the damp field in Oxfordshire can kicks in…
    ‘The Happening’ is custom bike show run by the good folk of ‘Twisted Iron’…a group dedicated to people who create unique custom motorcycles, with a particular focus on those who build themselves. By bike show standards this isn’t a huge event, but what it is, is a special one. The show tent houses a breathtaking array of bikes, so diverse with original takes on everything from a C90, through Jawas, Enfield , V Max and to the more traditional British and American Iron. They was even a bike based on a Ducati diesel engine of all things. No, I didn’t know Ducati made a diesel either…look it up!
    The show has an intimate, friendly atmosphere. The show tent, beer tent and trade stands huddled around a square and the crowd that both have bikes on show or attend really know their stuff. I had some great in depth conversations with some interesting people and picked up so much knowledge.
    The show spans two nights and due to life conspiring against me at the last minute I couldn’t make the first night. This was a shame as Russ and Bev who organise it all were marking their 10th wedding anniversary too, and I would like to been part of the celebrations. The bands were top dollar apparently, especially Limehouse Lizzy who are a tribute act to one of my favourite bands Thin Lizzy 
    The main show on the Saturday was great, with an appreciative audience soaking up the excellence of the bikes on show. My 550 was the most modest bike on display, but still drew admiring looks and some very positive comments.  All the owners, myself included were also interviewed about their bike by Tony of ‘On Yer Bike’ the You Tube bike show.
    The weather did hold the crowd down a little compared to previous years, but it was cracking do. The evening saw more music on the live stage with a particularly realistic Motorhead tribute, it really did look like Lemmy had popped back for the night. The beer and banter flowed. There was a charity auction for the Air Ambulance, which the whole event benefits too. A prize giving for Best Engineering, Best In Show, Peoples Champion etc. was a big draw and the trophies for these were stunning works of art in themselves, handmade specially for the event. The lad who painted my Kawasaki won the ‘Paint-off’ in competition with two other top end air brush artists, all three creating masterpieces on the day that were then auctioned for the charity.
    So all in when I wondered back to my ‘glam camping’ tent some hours and a few too many beers later, I was a happy man. Here’s to 2018! Only problem is I might have to come up with another bike to show….watch this space!

    My Cafe Racer at it’s first ever show…

    I missed Russ pulling wheelies as I was laughing too much!

    Some highly impressive builds were on show

    This beautifully built chop started life as a GS500 of all things. Deservedly won the ‘Mob Rule’ trophy…the bike most popular with show goers rather than judges

    Simple & stylish

    My sister’s C90 didn’t look like this one

    ‘In progress’ builds feature at The Happening which marks it apart from many other events. This beautiful ‘flat-tanker’ is a prime example of that

    My picture doesn’t do this justice at all…the paint was amazing

    Tony and the ‘On Yer Bike’ YouTube channel folks were in attendance, recording everything for posterity

    This home  engineered supercharged Triumph, Norton hybrid caught my eye

    The Diesel Ducati complete with a trailer…winner of best engineering

    Very classy. Look how the frame wraps around that exquisitely painted tank….looks old, but is in fact based on a very modern, water cooled GasGas engine

    Knowledgeable crowd

    Ben of Bearknuckle on his way to victory in the ‘Paint-off’

    Like I said…Lemmy lives!

    A few special mentions

    Russ and Bev of Twisted Iron

    Particular thanks to:[/i]

    String Thompson – Raw Steel Choppers (fabrication)
    Mark Williams – Naked Speed Customs  (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

    The On Yer Bike show reviewing the The Happening:

    The story of the 4 hour build can be read here:


    That’s never a C90!

    Cool pics bud and your bike looked good at the show.

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