As the dust clears…
“Long before modern heroes backflipped for TV cameras and energy drink contracts, we thrashed modified street machines in the lonely deserts of the Southwest USA and Baja.”
– Bill Bryan, Chop Cult.
After welcoming a few new faces at the customary pre-build huddle, both teams jumped into Week 6 of the Kommunal Kustom Build with the zeal of a race track pit stop. The momentum is real, the keenness is palpable.
As the in-jokes and anecdotes settle into the fabric of conversation and our teams rifle through tool chests and holler across the workshop for a cold Panhead, anyone would think we’ve been doing this for years; wrenching on a Thursday night under the tin roof, bringing ideas to life one bolt at a time. It just goes to show that if you get a bunch of like-minded people together to work for a common goal, things just seem to flow. At the risk of sounding like a record on repeat, that’s what Konnections and this Kommunal Build is all about- a community of moto minded mates channeling their collective efforts into two unique and rideable machines. So, what happened in Week 6?
The adv scrambler team have unanimously adopted the spirit of the iconic Desert Sled to hone their aesthetic choices, thanks to a brilliant article on Bike Bound, circulated by Kyle as essential reading. In terms of the purpose of this bike, there have never been any questions over what makes it ‘adventure’ and what makes it ‘scrambler’. However, there has been a bit of back and forward in the design department, leaving a few too many questions hanging in the air. Until that is, the enlightening history of the Desert Sled delivered a eureka moment and the rest of the bike’s look and feel fell into place: the ability to securely carry ample luggage, a high capacity fuel tank, off-road tyres, a custom bash plate, high pipes, enduro bars, a comprehensive tool/survival kit for when roadside assist is a pipe dream and a headlight capable of illuminating far out terrain where street lamps are a distant memory. Alright then, everyone happy with the Adv Desert Scrambler angle? Cue the lovechild of Baja and Paris-Dakar with a few Kommune quirks!
The cylindrical custom oil tank and subframe are taking shape under the careful attention of Paul, Steph and Michael who were deep in discussion over angles and cardboard mock-ups, while Lydia and Jake wrangled some crew and set to work dismantling and deep cleaning the front wheel. Meanwhile, Tony found a quiet corner and settled into carbie duties. After an exhaustive forum hop, the decision has been made to utilise a carbie from a Yamaha 660 Raptor ATV, a most fitting choice for the rough and ready nature of the bike.
In the flat tracker department, Tookey and Leah were as diligent as ever behind the orange screen, accompanied by Fletch throwing a few sparks of his own and Kommune mascots Pablo and Billy, who later went AWOL and caused a temporary workshop shutdown- blame the irresistible scent of a nearby pizza oven. Jimmy rallied a few crew from both teams for an electrics tutorial in Week 7, which is going to be absolutely priceless when it comes to fleshing out the custom frames and linking up ignition systems, gauges and lights, not to mention the valuable knowledge it’ll impart on our DIY’ers for their own machines. If anyone can endear us to electrics it’s Jimmy, a man who has demystified the loom of death and actually seems to enjoy this commonly scorned (but essential) step of any custom. Oh and Al has officially been anointed “Ass Kicking Al”- the fella who like a propeller keeps things moving along, so if you see him coming, get busy!
Written by Tom Ansell