Owner: Martin Harris
“My dad and uncle Les raced motorcyles in the 1960s. I went to all the meetings to polish the bikesand warm them up in the paddock before a race.
The first racing bike they bought was an old NSU. To test it they took it to the Snake Pass road between Manchester and Sheffield. The bike was so loud that they sat me on the van roof to keep a look out for the police. I was only a little lad, but I was hooked.
I swapped a two-stroke Kawasaki A1R bike for this single cylinder four-stroke AJS 7R. After a couple of parades at Mallory Park and Anglesey, I decided to strip it down and rebuild it. The engine and gearbox were leaking, the carburettor needed resetting and I wanted to respray it.
I like the overall look I’ve achieved, but it’s that cool, iconic overhead cam engine that gets me. I could look at it all day! The bike is an out-and-out racing machine. It has a soul and the noise from the engine is just magnificent.
I’ve always had a trip to the Isle of Man on my bucket list – but not anymore. I took this bike there and had a blast. Parts of the circuit are unrestricted and I did lots of laps around the TT course. The bike flew down Creg-ny-Baa towards the famous pub at the bottom of the hill. My mates and I pulled into the car park to watch the races and even a nearby police officer was impressed.
As much as I love this bike, I know we never really own them – we just look after them and enjoy them before passing them on to the next owner. But I’m certainly keeping it for the time being!
I’m now 59 and I’ve spent all my life installing and maintaining beer dispensing equipment. Five years ago I set up Noisy Toys, my bike restoration business – but maybe it’s time to take a back seat and just enjoy my bikes.”
Bomber, Destiny Motorcycles
“The customer, Alastair, came to us with very definite ideas of what he wanted his bike to look like.
He’s a tall guy and he wanted the bike to be in proportion, so it looked the right size for him. He wanted a big chunky bike, with a classic vintage look.
He also wanted to incorporate some of his wartime aircraft memorabilia into the bike, as he’s a huge fan of the WW2 Lancaster bomber.
The starting point for the build was an early 1970s rigid wishbone frame.
Because Alastair wanted width in the bike, we built wide wheels with stainless spokes on to original hubs. Even the front wheel has a 200-section tyre fitted, while the rear has a 230-section, both Metzelers.
The forks had to be springers, to stay in keeping with the original look, and the bike was fitted with a reproduction Panhead motor, followed up with a six-speed kicker gearbox.
The fuel tank was also modified to include aircraft start switches and magneto switches on a brass panel.
Other plane parts we used include a working air speed indicator, which we adjusted by altering the length, aperture and bends in the intake tube until it was accurate.
The indicator switches are actual bomb release buttons from a Lancaster, and the air cleaner cover was fabricated to resemble the end of a bouncing bomb.
The decals are not just for decoration, either. They refer to the wartime terms for the hated German anti-aircraft guns – known as Schrage Muzik – and the Terror Fleige, which is how the English aces were referred to by the Germans. The numbers are the number of airmen who went up and the number who returned. The odds weren’t good.
Alastair can be seen riding his Bomber around the roads of North Yorkshire and beyond. Wherever he goes there is always huge interest in the bike. It has also won several awards and been invited to events as a star in its own right.”
Goldrush 49er, Destiny Motorcycles
“This bike was commissioned by our friend, Guy, who came to the Motorcycle Live show last year. He was blown away by the sight of our Destiny’s Invader Suzuki on the Carole Nash stand.
Guy had said for years that he was going to have a bike built by us one day, after previously buying Lin’s own custom Suzuki, selling it and immediately regretting it. The visit to the NEC was the jump start he needed!
The idea was to have an old-school look, but with up-to-date running gear, so it was suitable for modern roads.
The starting point was a frame from the Destiny Cycles Goldrush range. This is a 49er frame, designed on the same lines as our Goldrush Frontier frame, but made to fit the Harley-Davidson Sportster motor.
To complement the look, a set of springer forks was modified to suit the bike by having the rear leg painted and the front leg nickelled. The springs were also plated in a mix of nickel and rose-gold plate.
We fitted a pair of Cannonball Mag 12 wheels with retro Coker tyres: Diamond on the front and Beck on the rear. These were spaced up with unique brass and aluminium wheel spacers.
The braking system is a floating Harrison Billet disc and two-piston calliper, both nickel plated.
The rear brake is a one-off, billet hydraulic brake drum with brass brake arm, with brass portholes drilled for improved cooling and good looks.
The motor is an S&S Special, built by Vic. It’s fitted with an S&S Super E carb, S&S velocity stack and a two-into-two stainless steel exhaust system. This includes brass end caps and small baffles.
We found the fuel tank at an auto-jumble in France. It’s a re-commissioned vintage tank, found at a French auto jumble. Although the original cap had seen better days, our engineer Woody made short work of machining a brass one with stars to match the paintwork.
The oil tank is also unique. It’s two aluminium fire extinguishers welded together and topped with another ‘machined by Woody’ brass cap.
The seat is a curved, hand-tooled and braided leather saddle to match the California gold miner theme of the paintwork.
As with all our builds, it’s a very special bike, which many unique fine details. Guy says it is a once in a lifetime bike which he will treasure. After keeping it pristine for a couple of years, he’s going to start riding it. So keep your eyes peeled!”
Harley-Davidson ’69 Reasons
Owner: Shaw Harley-Davidson
“Based on a 2009 Harley-Davidson Softail Crossbones, ’69 Reasons’ is a custom build with elements of the bike holding true to the famous 2010 motorcycle, Strike True II.
These builds are about capturing the spirit and DNA of the client, and then reflecting it into the bike to ensure it fits into their world perfectly. ’69 Reasons’ was inspired by the super designer Chip Foose and one of his builds that incorporated aluminium and green in the styling.
But the journey behind this bike started in 2009 when Shaw Harley-Davidson made the ground-breaking move of putting a specialist custom shop into its premises. In that first year, the Strike True II bike was built.
It took the winning spot in the London Custom Bike Championships in February 2010, and its prize was shipping costs to Sturgis, USA, for the World Championships in customised Harley-Davidsons. In August 2010, Strike True II took the world title and Shaw Harley-Davidson was propelled into the international market.
These builds are not simple, and each bike comes with its own challenges. Relocating major electrical components to create the super-clean appearance is one such obstacle. It involved restructuring the complete wire loom, as well as moving the ABS pumps and harnesses.
That level of detail, and the result it produces, is always our favourite part. It leads to a timeless design that’s appreciated by the masses. We are obsessed with the detail: everything used or fabricated must flow true with the bike and the look we’re creating.
Soon ’69 Reasons’ will go to its new owner in London to be used and enjoyed on the roads of the UK. We’ll be looking out for it!”
Kawasaki Ninja 300
Owner: Carole Nash Free Prize Draw Winners
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is one of Kawasaki’s most successful – and eye-catching – bikes of recent years. It’s smooth good looks and (optional) electric green styling can’t help but turn heads, whether blazing down the open road, cruising along the high street or hurtling around a track.
Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model, the Ninja 300 replaced the previous 250 model, itself a firm favourite among urban bikers enamoured with its sport-bike looks.
It’s light and easy to handle, with a 296cc engine and six-speed transmission. The designers managed to fit plenty of gadgetry on board too, but without booting up the price.
Initially positioned as a starter bike, it’s combination of looks, performance, weight and cost also make it a firm favourite among more experience bikers looking for a cost-effective – and fun.
At Carole Nash, we love the ‘Green Devil’! So much so that we gave away two beasts to the lucky winners of our Kawasaki Ninja giveaway earlier this year. Not only that, each bike was done out in the racing colours of one of our very own Carole Nash brand ambassadors – and Kawasaki fans – two-time WSBK champ Jonathan Rea and BSB runner-up, Leon Haslam.