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passing my test back in 1991 so thought I should at least get the feel of the engine before I started pulling it apart. I soon got bored of it, though, and started sketching up plans, and it must have been about that time, in 2004, that I first met Benny from Boneshaker Choppers at his old workshop in Tyseley, in Birmingham, not a million miles away from the old BSA works.
Well, Benny, being Benny, had his own plans forme and we never could agree -1 didn't like his style at the time that much and lie didn't like mine much either. You see, my plans involved sports bike parts and a sprung rear end and Benny's plans involved springers and a rigid frame, but we kept in touch quite regularly and i'd drop in and sit in the workshop and drink tea
MY LATEST EBAY FIND WAS GRAFTED ON - AN Rl UPSIDE-DOWN FORK ENSEMBLE WITH THE BONUS FIND OF THE DECADE: A ONE-OFF FRONT WHEEL
In the meantime in my garage-cum-workshop at home I attacked the Sportster with gusto. There was lots of angle grinding, welding and drilling into the small dark and cold hours of the night - the frame was chopped and the back end was binned, and the front end was re-raked and my latest eBay find was grafted on - an Rl upside-down fork ensemble with the bonus find of the decade: A one-off front wheel. On the back end I grafted a single-sided swingarm and big wheel/tyre combo, and it was rolling!
Skip forward a few years and I was now divorced. Although I had a garage, most of my tools were in storage, but the rolling bike was at my new home in, basically, the same state of build as the year previously. Benny had now moved shop to the outskirts of town in between Brum and Reddich, and it was about this time (early 2009) that I decided that, on my own, it would take way too long to finish the bike. O
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THERE WERE NUMEROUS VISITS AND CHATS ABOUT THINGS. BENNY DUG HIS HEELS IN OVER SOME STUFF AND SO DID I BUT, GENERALLY, WE WERE QUITE LOOSE ABOUT STUFF AND IT KINDA JUST GREW
then that he said he thought it was 'ace even though it was a bit of an odd job'. That was it - the name just stuck.
Months passed, as did many visits, and the day came to collect. I remember it well -1 got a lift to the workshop, taking my leather and a lid. It was late Summer 2009, warm and sunny, and as I rode away in the warm afternoon Sun I felt fairly happy with myself, I must confess. It all turned out so well - better than I thought it would. I rode it to the pub where there was a BBQ on anil lots of people gathered around 'Odd Job'. It was to be a scene that continues to repeat itself everywhere I go on her ■ shops, motorway services, pubs, petrol stations, in the street, at traffic lights, the list goes on. Usually the first thing that tumbles out of everyone's agog mouth is, 'what is it?' and sometimes I've just not got time to chat, but can tell that people want to. So if you're one of the people that I've had to cut short and you're reading this now - sorry about that!
A while after collection, and a few hundred miles later, there were a few gearbox problems. The engine and 'box were the original items from the donor bike that
It was on one of my cup of tea visits that we were chatting again about what I was going to do with my rolling project. I thought about things for a while and eventually we had another sit down chat and came to an agreement. He still wasn't convinced of my crossover style, I could tell, but I agreed to give him fairly free reign on the project. It was about March lime that I took over the engine and front end, with a load of other odds and ends, in the back of my truck one day and told him to crack on. Over the following months there were numerous visits and chats about things. Benny dug his heels in over some stuff and so did I but, generally, we were quite loose about stuff and it kinda just grew.
It was on one of the visits to the shop that Benny inadvertently came up with the name of the bike. I can't recall the exact conversation, but I do remember he was pleased with the way it was coming together, much to his surprise, and it was
were unchanged during the build and perhaps I should have looked at them. Oh well. Anyway, 'Odd Job' was taken by trailer over to Bobby's place in Tamworth (he's a H-D trained mechanic) and he meticulously stripped the gearbox and primary and did the necessary work (which included a new clutch basket - ouch ££££! These Harley bits just ain't cheap, are they?). That must have been in the lale Autumn of 2009 and not long after she went into Winter hibernation until (lie salt was off llie ruad in about April time this year.
I was fairly stoked up about the coming year and when she came out of her den in the Spring it was my intention to wind in seme miles, and that's exactly what I have done. Every ride starts with a pre-flight check - it's amazing what can come loose when you have an 883 motor rigid-bolted to a rigid frame! Basically, everything needs to be chcckcd and will need nipping up a quarter turn. One ride out to Bridgnorth for a cuppa with a mate turned into a full on sprint to the Ponderosa Café at the Horseshoe Pass, but it was the ride back that got my attention when, banked into a corner, the road surface suddenly turned into a washboard -1 was suddenly just a passenger and a rather worried passenger at that. They're not very forgiving these hardtails! Suffice to say, we all got back home, shaken but not stirred...
On another ride things started to get a bit vibey, but I was only about two miles out from home so I pressed on as it was getting dark. When I finally came in to land and dismounted, I had that sinking feeling in my gul - you know llie one, I'm sure. The counter-sunk cap-head bolts holding the sprotor (sprockel/disc) oil weren't really holding it on any more, and the bracket that mounts the caliper to the frame had been totally destroyed. Benny did a post mortem on the wreckage and it looked like one of the bolts had failed, wound its way out and smashed into the bracket casting and, once this had happened, most of the other bolts followed suit causing further o
EVERY RIDE STARTS WITH A PRE-FLIGHT CHECK-ITS AMAZING WHAT CAN COME LOOSE WHEN YOU HAVE AN 883 MOTOR RIGID-BOLTED TO A RIGID FRAME!
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