BRETT (Fried Rice to his mates) grew up with six older brothers and a father who all tinkered with all types of cars. He has owned and built many cool cars so he thought he’d try his hand at modifying a bike. His first purchase was a rigid frame with a GPZ1100 running gear which still sits in his garage today.
Having always liked older cars from the ’50s to ’70s, it was no surprise that the ‘bobber style’ bike really appealed to him.
Brett was on the search for something cheap that he could modify on a sensible budget. It had to be a standard retro style bike that could be easily transformed into a bobber style machine. He ended up sourcing a Yamaha SR250 cheap enough to give it a crack.
He started by sitting down at his computer and designing some modifications digitally to see if he could create the look and style he was looking for. Once sorted, he set out on his mission.
He purchased a pipe bender and tubing and cut the frame halfway down the backbone, and although he wasted many meters of tubing, he eventually created a full rigid rear-end.
Brett has a mate Darren who has many cool bikes and spares, enough spares to build a couple of complete bikes. He happened to have a couple of bits to suit: an old skool spark solo seat and a ribbed rear fender that screamed bobber, along with single side view mirrors and an Exile internal throttle assembly.
A lot of the other bits were found at vintage bike swap meets and eBay, and Brett was adamant he was going to make the rest. Battery box, seat hinge, jockey shift and linkages, were all handmade (the knob is a No 5 Saturn early Harley tank shift knob).
Yoshimura rear-sets were modified to suit the forward controls; pretty trick if you take a close look.
The tank was modified to match the rear fender, and the mounting tabs were relocated.
Brake linkages were fabricated with a pendulum pivot point.
The brake light came off his low rider pushbike with an LED light installed.
The gas tap was turned out of brass as was the chopped-up fire extinguisher dummy oil tank cap.
The velocity stack was cut from the top end of an old brass vase and braised on a collar to suit.
One of the challenges was to get the bike to sit low. He removed 125 mm from the top of the fork tubes, and then welded solid stainless steel slugs back into the top and tapped them out for oil ports. Surprisingly, it all works well.
The paint scheme had to look like something from the ’50s so a flawless paint job wasn’t necessary. It was done in satin black with stencilled pin-striping. Really looks the part.
Final touches were a reverse cone muffler which suited the style and gave it a deeper note, as well as the heat-wrap on the header section.
For Brett, it’s really rewarding when he is out riding and stopped by old boys saying, “I used to have and old BSA like that when I was young.”
Although Brett has limited bike building skills, this bike is a true testament to his future potential. I’m sure as his knowledge and budget grows, his work will grace the future pages of this website and inspire others to give it a go.
Words & pics by Gazza