Rory’s Steed


Modifying  or restoring a motorcycle at home is not for the weak and faint-hearted. The  lower the individual’s technical skills level, the more difficult the task. Some  folks have an inherent understanding of things mechanical, most of us are all  thumbs. I speak from experience. My father was very good with his hands and  relished fixing just about anything. Watching my uncle who worked as a motor  mechanic and workshop manager work on an engine, is like watching a top musician  play an instrument. No swearing, no bleeding knuckles, no reference manuals  required – effortless. I on the other hand have to use a different approach  which requires at least one manual, access to the internet and marking every  removed part and bolt with a tag which matches up to a carefully drawn diagram.  Parts are placed in a neatly arranged layout in order of disassembly. The  workshop becomes a no go area for fear of someone mixing things up or the  diagram getting lost. That being said, I have successfully restored and rebuilt  several motorcycles. Nobody is incapable of building a motorcycle. Some of us  just make it look really difficult.


For the first time builder, choosing the right motorcycle according to  personal technical ability is essential. Rather spend more money buying a  mechanically sound donor bike if your ability level is limited to changing the  spark plugs. Similarly avoid a build which involves major changes to the frame  setup. Even changing wheels and suspension components can be tricky as most  components are not interchangeable between different manufacturers and models. I  am not saying the above should not be considered or undertaken but outside  professional help will be required


Our featured motorcycle is a perfect candidate for a home built  bobber/chopper. This is the Honda VLX600. V twin, Lowered, eXtended rake is what  VLX stands for, all the right elements for a chopper. The unusual standard 15″  diameter rear wheel with a 170mm wide balloon tyre looks just right as does the  19″ front wheel. The hidden monoshock suspension gives the bike the old school  rigid look. Remove the front fender, install a bobbed rear fender and change the  seat to complete the look.


This is the third motorcycle Rory has built and he has gone way beyond  the simplified modifications mentioned above. He fabricated the rigid tail end  which greatly lowers the motorcycle and accentuates the chopper lines. The  “frisco style” handlebars are also his creation as is the seat. A Honda CB500  rear fender was used to make the rear mudguard. The matt black paint work and  red pinstriping are also Rory’s handiwork. Open exhaust pipes are a must. Rory  named the bike Gomez.


Gomez is ridden by Rory as his only daily transport. This motorcycle’s  appearance in SA Hot Rods magazine as a centrespread and article is proof that,  if properly planned and built, a home garage built motorcycle can hold its own  with the professional customs

By | 2013-06-05T12:13:19+00:00 June 5th, 2013|Categories: Articles|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Leonel 16th February 2016 at 6:54 pm

    good bike

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