By Ross Sharp - 28 Jul 14
Sometimes life has a habit of sitting you down on your arse and forcing you to reassess, as happened to Bike Shed regular contributor, Steve, who has had a few dramas, that ultimately led to him build bikes like this, his latest, R80. Steve was riding his V-Max and suffered a huge heart attack. He managed to keep upright and ended up in hospital for two weeks while the ticker mechanics worked out if a top end rebuild was required. Steve didn't fancy having his crank cases split so lay there waiting, wondering what to do with the Beemer sat in the garage. Then it struck, "Soul'd Out" - "fuelled by passion". Steve followed his recalcitrant heart and got to work designing a custom build, but before work could begin he needed slightly more practical surroundings, so discharged himself from hospital, deciding to see out the summer before going back in for an overhaul. If bikes could talk then this one would have a tale or two. Originally it was owned by a vicar who rode it to Russia and back, before a school teacher from Swindon bought it. Once out of hospital Steve relaxed for exactly no hours before stripping the old air head down, curing oil weeps and leaks with a new gasket and seal set. The comprehensive service records showed that the clutch was only 3000 miles old so that was left alone, the output shaft was also good so reunited with the engine, using the correct Castrol Optimax grease of course. Once painted and topped up with fresh oil the engine was ready to be installed, but not into the original frame, that needed some jazzing up. An extra frame rail was grafted in to accommodate the handmade, fully adjustable, twinshock saddle. Tank mounts had to be removed and relocated, all other unnecessary appendages were ground off and smoothed. A local outfit took care of the loud, pearl orange paintwork on the tank, frame and hugger whilst Steve entrusted the black parts to his own hand. Apart from the yokes, wheels, battery box, front engine cover and top cover, these are coated in fresh black satin powder. With a considerable amount of the original bike missing this R80 is evenly balanced at exactly 97kgs at both ends. Braided hoses add a bit more feel to the brakes and Continental TKC 80s give just enough grip for enthusiastic riding. A daydream in a hospital bed to reality in just a few weeks, that's perseverance personified. Steve, must be pretty proud of himself. Whilst the parts were at the paint shop everything that could be cleaned, greased, oils and refreshed was and readied for the fun part, assembly. Steve spared no expense when ordering parts and carefully put everything back together using new fasteners and plenty of diligence. The new owner can rest assured that this ride isn't going to fall apart on the way home. Cat out of the bag! Yes, Steve needs the loot so is sadly having to part with his pride and joy. If you like what you see get in touch, you might need to be quick though in case he changes his mind. Click here for Steve's contact details. You can see Steve's previous R100 Boxer-build Here and his CB750 Here.