THIS STORY’S a bit different from the usual build-up stories. It’s kind of a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at what I do to get these Rockin’ Roller stories done. I’m at the ‘in-between’ stage of the build where I’m assembling the bike, but you’ve seen most of it before. I don’t want to give away everything before the final feature which is coming very soon. I’ve got a couple of updates in this edition, but mostly it’s some funny pics that look at the whole thing from a different angle. Allow me to explain…
Here’s me, midway through the build, pretty much in my element. It’s not a deliberately arrogant look—I was caught after a few drinks trying to smile! There haven’t been many pics of myself during this build-up because I’m usually behind the camera rather than in front of it. But I’m looking pretty proud in this one.
This is my usual role—having fun but also being aware of what’s happening with the photo situation. It’s all well and good to have a ball while hanging out with your mates, but I’ve always gotta be ready to grab the camera and take advantage of the situation. I could get home after a great day of work/fun, and have no photos to show for it!
A usual weekend of building/fun involves getting to Scruffy’s on a Saturday morning to get some welding done. A carton of beer in the ute can spell a good time or disaster!
After a bit of morning work, it’s off to lunch at the Carlisle. Can’t get much better than this. How’s the serenity?
Quick cut to Charley’s place at Wauchope where some ridiculous strength-testing of the custom fender was occurring. I originally deemed this pic too goofy for the mag, but who am I trying to impress anyway?
Whatever we did, it worked—how nice is this? It’s the one and only preview of the chrome work. It’s an awesome feeling after all that effort to see the chromed result.
There’s a story behind the paint. Put simply, 16 hours drying time meant 32 hours drinking time. After binging all weekend while waiting twice the drying time, I got impatient Sunday night, and regretted it as soon as I felt my fingers squelching into the still-very-tacky paintwork. Live and learn.
Daz finally received his Godden speedway bike from England and I’ve got a bad feeling that speedway racing will be my next enterprise… even riding up and down at a slow speed was shit-tins of fun.
In between all that we sometimes do productive things. I asked Daz for some 3 mm steel but he didn’t have any. Instead, he found a fender that was perfect for what I wanted to make—a pillion pad. I cut it to shape, drilled and tapped some bungs and bob was indeed my uncle.
Now check this out—I had the seat recovered in a new diamond-stitch pattern by an absolute gem of a guy, Vic at Vic’s Motor Trimming in Marrickville. He also added the foam to the pillion pad and covered it. All for $180. Part of the problem of building a bike is finding the right people to do the specialist stuff so I’m always stoked when I find someone like Vic. That’s a big tick in the box!
And this is what I do when I’m stoked—go stupid, get invited to someone’s house for a barbecue, and attempt to combine flannelette and cotton with two shades of denim. Don’t try this at home.
This build-up’s been a hell of a lot of fun and hopefully it comes across that way when I deliver the articles. I can’t emphasise this enough. I enjoy the whole process. As always in this lifestyle, you just keep meeting cool people who are happy to help out someone with a common passion. I only surround myself with positivity, and just laugh at the negative guys who say, “Oh, you can’t do that—it’s too dangerous,” etc. If I fuck something up and have to do it twice, so be it. I learn from it and move forward.
I tried to make this build-up series a bit snappier than last time—only seven stories compared to 25 or whatever. You be the judge if it’s a better formula. Be sure to send feedback—good and bad. It’s how we get better. Look out for the feature article on the finished chopper, and see you out on the road!
words & pics by Wasko