Moto minded mates make our world go round…
Week 9 of the Kommunal Kustom Build was a right old mixed bag of emotions! For starters, Lenny rocked up three hours early carrying half a front fender and a ripped poncho:
“What happened mate??”
“Er, slow motion crash with a truck, side swiped me off the road, wrote off my bike AND ripped my poncho! I need another bike, like, right now! Know anyone that’s selling one? I can’t believe it. Nudged me into a sign post, forks twisted up, I slipped off and the driver was hopping about like a headless chicken thinking they’d killed me! Know anyone that’s selling a bike? Oh and guess what? I won’t ever get to see it again ‘cos the tow driver said he has to take it straight to the yard. I didn’t even get to say goodbye!”
Thankfully our boy wasn’t seriously injured. This kind of thing happens in the blink of an eye and it so often goes down when you’re rolling through town the same way as every day on the most familiar roads. Be careful out there crew, keep your eyes well and truly peeled and get some decent insurance!
It must’ve been the approaching full moon because the emotional rollercoaster kept going, this time in the direction of our adventure scrambler team. Guru Paul got a flat on the way to the workshop so he had to bail and when Tony and Michael removed the head of their engine, an old gasket bolt snapped clean in half! Luckily, Jimmy swooped in to help the lads remove the busted bolt and Paul must’ve got home safely because he was back in comms the next day, offering tips to Steph and Lydia about getting their welding tickets. Next step for the scrambler motor is checking the cylinder, cleaning the top piston and another sandblasting session, by which time a few parts should’ve arrived and some reassembly can begin. Kyle and Steph managed to keep out of trouble bending pipes for the custom subframe, which is coming along satisfyingly smoothly and Lee gave the nod of approval at the new 660 Raptor carbie (usually found on an ATV), a suitable piece of kit of an off-road machine and by all accounts an upgrade. Maybe it was fate after all that the notoriously hard to find 1984 stock carbie got busted.
The flat tracker team were kind of treading water this week because their next steps are dependent on parts arriving but we all know there’s never nothing to do, so they turned their full attention to getting the engine perfectly prepped and ready for painting. We also spoke to the legend Keeley at Pritchett & Sons up in Yamba who has generously agreed to supply one of their sleek hand made seat + tail combos designed specifically for a custom tracker. This seriously skilled chap is keeping traditional metal shaping alive in a modern world full of cheap alternatives and plastic crap. Hammers, hands, heat, intuition and generations of artisanal knowledge go into every product that Pritchett & Sons knock out and we’re stoked to be part of their story. Also, have a gander at moto doco Wide of the Mark, where Keeley and a few other Aussie bike builders take their custom machines to the Promised Land of Tasmania- massive inspiration for both build teams.
Over the other side of the workshop there was a hushed huddle around the communal table where Brendan, Doris, Fletch and few other disciples remained transfixed for hours as Jimmy blew our minds with a moto electrics master class. From confusing piles of spaghetti wiring that we pulled off the donor bikes to beautifully streamlined blueprints for the finished builds, Jimmy demystified one of the least appealing jobs in any rebuild or restoration, debunking the clunky old ways and revealing the future. The tutorial most definitely inspired us to believe that a wiring loom doesn’t have to be stressful and that it can even be enjoyable, especially when you get into the endlessly customisable potential and you get all the components talking to each other exactly the way you want them to. Game changer.
Next week Oskar is going to be away on an off-road mission, so good luck with that matey and we look forward to hearing all your tales. Lydia will be back from her New Zealand adventures and is going to jump into some welding with Steph and we’ll also have the pleasure of hanging out with Maddy, one of the people assessing our Konnections program who happens to be a moto minded individual too!
Big thanks to Nina for capturing Week 9, especially with a broken thumb! The Kommunal Kustom Build is part of our Kommune Konnections program funded by the DGR and Movember. If you’re keen to learn more and join the crew, check this page.
Written by Tom Ansell