Tom Simpson and Simon Lunn met 5 years ago on a Creative Blacksmith course. Like you do. According to Tom they had both reached a crossroads with their careers and were looking for something they were more passionate about. And so was born Foundry Motorcycle, a name that reflects their fascination with metalworking, and motorcycles - obviously. Foundry has been up and running properly now for 6 months, with 5 stunning bikes under their belts and a waiting list for more. They are also importers of the gorgeous Gasolina boots and jackets, and serve coffee in their shop just outside Chichester in the UK. In this short space of time they have made their presence felt at the 'must see' shows like Festival of 1000 bikes, Goodwood Revival and of course our very own Bike Shed Events. Unlike some builders the guys don't want to be seen as one marque specialists, as evidenced by the current projects on the bench which include Hondas, BM's, a Ducati and a Moto Guzzi. They also don't want to be known for one particular genre either as Simon is into his cafe racers and contemporary trackers, where as Tom prefers old school trackers and bobbers, like this one. When it comes to complete builds, sometimes its difficult to know where to start. In the case of 'Old 56' it started with a pair of black Biltwell Tracker bars that a customer spotted lying around in the shop. He had recently seen an article on old bobbers in a Classic Bike mag and decided to start a project. Of course, a pre-unit engine was pretty critical to the look but Tom & Simon tell us the style of the bike really was driven by those bars. They wanted to keep the stripped down minimalist look of the bikes in the original article. So they built the hard-tail in house and went for no front 'guard, '12 o'clock' rear and 19 inch wheels, and mounted the original 'chrono' speedo at the back of the tank to keep the front end clean. The oil tank was fabricated from a fire extinguisher and the pin up decal is a Vaga Vagas illustration from an Esquire magazine desk calendar. The seat is Biltwell too, cantilevered from cut down truck springs, giving a nice clean line to the back end. The bike lives at the shop and gets ridden most weeks. After a year, the engine is now totally sorted and apparently pulls really strongly on the single carb, which you can see and hear for yourself as it's featured in a video for a leading British clothing brand. Foundry's aim is to produce bikes that look like they were always 'meant to be'. Maintaining some visual and engineering continuity with the original bike, but improving things wherever possible. 'Old 56' is a great example of that. A lot of people think it came out of the factory looking like this and that the guys just went about a restoration. Far from it. Tom & Simon have poured their hearts into building their own unique interpretation of the Bobber. Not only that, they are both top guys who have supported what we're trying to do here at The Shed from day one. For both those things, we'd like to say thanks Foundry. We can't wait to see what's next. See more from Foundry MC on the Bike Shed, their Facebook pages and Website. Photos by Nick Carter.
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