100% Biker 180

100% Biker 180
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Perhaps it’s because it’s spring and the fact that there’s sunshine streaming through my kitchen window (and it’s many years since I’ve put together a magazine on my kitchen table, so it’s a pleasure to be back within reach of a hot cup of coffee without dodging through a huge office full of besuited people), but I have a definite – and fitting – spring in my step.

Much of that cheeriness is due to the contents of this very issue and the presence therein of several motorcycles which were built with very limited funds. While I would never criticise anyone who wanted to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a bike – it is, after all, the owner’s money; they can spend it how they wish and the cash is, at least, being spent on a motorcycle – I’m always heartened to see bikes that cost their builders little but time and yet which can stand proud against the best of the custom scene.

Take, for example, Paul’s Honda which graces this issue’s cover and on which he spent less than £500 from donor bike to finish, or Anssi’s amazing Douglas-inspired project on page 74 which cost under £900. With a typical British reticence about talking money, I didn’t ask Robbie Robinson what the budget was on his original build of Richard’s Harley Ironhead (page 14), but, judging by his other bikes which have never troubled four figures, I’m confident that this too will have cost considerably less than a fancy paint job. Money is all well and good (well, of course it is!), but it counts for little without drive and inspiration and passion.

While the monetary total may have been low, there is nothing budget about the quality or the finish or the attitude of any of these bikes. The term ‘show bike’ is often used with derision, but each of these motorcycles has competed and triumphed in prestigious shows, which only proves that there is room in this myriad scene for all manner of builds, from the shed to professional workshop.

It’s rather bad form to disagree with one of our Biker Insiders, but I will take umbrage (very politely, because he’s a big chap) with Russ Campbell who, on page 89, feels that custom building is at an all-time low. From what I see, that’s not my opinion, although builds may be moving in different directions. If I believed that we were at the nadir of building, I’d give up right now – I think we all would – and never trouble two wheels again. But the sun is shining, life is good and this very issue of 100% Biker proves that custom building is alive and kicking and ready to take on the world.