Saturday 24 November 2012

Corpses from down under

Saw this on the Oil Stained Brain site and had to ask for more info. CFH tshirt in Austrailia!

Name: Nicholas Umek
Motorcycle make/model/year: 1949 BSA B33 500cc OHV
Build story:  
I bought a dodgy plunger model BSA B33 from a deceased estate 3 years ago when I was still at uni. I didn't have much cash and the bike was rougher than hessian undies so I got what I paid for I guess, though being new to motorcycles in general at the time I can't now really say I knew exactly what I had at the time! 

It took me a year to find the time to pull the rusty wreck apart to asses what needed replacing or repairing and it was then that I realised I was a bit in over my head. Around the same time saw some grainy super 8 footage of the very first Catalina Grand Prix in 1951. What I saw from Catalina was a revelation to me, there were several B33's and other run of the mill British singles, along with larger side valve Harleys, being punted through the hybrid course over the island by regular guys in wollen jumpers, leather skull caps and pudding bowl helmets. I was captivated by the bikes, they were just average cheap commuter bikes with the lights taken off and a race number stuck on. Regular Joes could bring their daily and race it for a small fee, it was really only later that manufacturers, importers and shops started assembling teams and recruiting professional riders to race factory works bikes. 

I admired the ingenuity and ballsiness of the early privateer riders thrashing hardtail lead sleds around the dirt and off jumps, so I have tried to replicate something like what those young blokes would have ridden then. It’s not a period correct early 50’s pre-swingarm bike, but I’ve tried to make do with what I could find and afford. Two years of Hunting for parts at swapmeets, through club classifieds and eBay plus the last two months finally assembling the bike have been a massive learning experience for me, I’ve recently finished a short course in fitting and machining at TAFE and will go back to learn to weld when I get the time. I started the bike with a mission statement to do as much as possible by myself but it wouldn’t be here without the help of all the friends I’ve made along the way. I’m looking forward to finishing it properly, putting it on full rego and getting some time in on it around the dirt track at Broadford with my mates.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Oil Stained Brain

On November 3rd and 4th Melbourne played host to the first ever Oil Stained Brain custom motorcycle exhibition. The exhibition was a showcase of 24 backyard built custom motorcycles, a low brow art exhibition and a series of motorcycle short films and documentaries from around the world. With over 2000 people passing through the doors over the 2 day event and a sell out launch party the exhibition was a resounding success and plans are already in place for 2013.