BACK IN SEPTEMBER 2006, a few good mates with a common enthusiasm for custom bikes got together and took over Bendigo Custom Cycles, their intention was to pull the business into shape and have a job they all enjoy turning up to every day. That is exactly what they have achieved!
All involved with Bendigo Custom Cycles bring with them individual expertise in their own field, which together presents a total one-stop shop of high levels of technical information.
George is the engineer with a trade background in fitting and tool making, and has expert knowledge of oils and lubrication. George can fabricate custom tools and jigs, or new parts to a high tolerance, for any application. Many of the new tooling that is used for engine rebuilding and balancing was built by George.
Leroy, with years of experience in the automotive tyre industry, is able to advice and source the right type of tread for any application.
Lynne, the lady of the operation, is in the front shop handling most of the day-to-day running of the business and shop sales. Like most women, she likes to go shopping, so if they hasn’t got a particular part in stock, she will find it and get it in.
‘Elvis is in the Building’ is proudly displayed outside on the banner which is flown high above the shop front. While many think this is some type of gimmick or ploy, there really is an Elvis in the building and he is an engine guru. With more than 30 years experience as a motorcycle technician, Elvis has been trained and certified by S&S in the States. Elvis is beginning to build a reputation nearly as legendary as that other Elvis. He may not be as good with a guitar but he certainly is able to make music with engines.
I was lucky enough on the day of the photo-shoot to have one of their loyal customers ride in on a recent rebuild. Brett, the owner of a 1953 Harley-Davidson Rigid Panhead, says, “I couldn’t be happier with the service these guys have given me. I had my bike rebuilt once before but that was nothing compared to the job these guys have done; it runs like a dream.”
They say word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising and Brett’s words are all good for Bendigo Custom Cycles. “The engine runs much smoother because of the balancing, the bearings and everything about the engine sounds smooth.”
Elvis then came out to Brett’s bike, flicked off the kill switch, bent over and grabbed the kicker with his hand, pumped it slowly to find the compression stroke, then pushed it once slightly harder—the engine sprang to life: BLAP BLAP BLAP BLAP. Proudly, Elvis was showing me the smoothness of this engine rebuild, and explained the balancing techniques along with the tools and jigs George built which enable them to rebuild smooth-running engines with exceptional performance, even Pans.
From ‘Knuckles to Now’ is the motto of Bendigo Custom Cycles because these guys are passionate about all makes and models of motorcycles.
Bendigo Custom Cycles, 168 Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo, Vic 3550; phone: 03-5444-3962.
words & pics by Brian Borg