Redmax Chairman's Rugby Racer
By James McCombe - 03 Mar 15
Hookers grappling at funny shaped balls, a brace of Flankers rummaging in a ruck and all together too many references to 'tackle'. Despite sounding like some crazy night out in Soho, it's the world of Rugby that has this special lingo. A sport that incites as much passion and pride in it's fans as individual bike preference does. So while the English Rugby team recently put on another display of world class averageness, it's fortunate that Shaun Rule has his other hobby to fall back on. And going for a blast on a sunny day is the perfect remedy to another Sunday drubbing. Having stepped away from bikes for a few years in respect of his young family, Shaun headed back full force into bikes, taking on a variety of the best Japan had to offer. Culminating in a classic 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa, Shaun had the bike for more than a decade, touring all over Europe before an accident sadly parted their ways. Returning to bikes a year later, a Kawasaki GTR1400 took over the daily duties and Shaun's mind quickly drifted to building a Café Racer influenced bike. As Executive Chairman of the Andover Rugby Club for more than a decade, combining his two passions into one special build was too good an opportunity to pass up. Being of typical Rugby-playing stature, a lithe CB360 wasn't exactly on the cards; the base bike needed to have a similar chassis to his 6ft 3, 17 Stone frame. Extensive trawling through Google images uncovered a café'd example of Yamaha's misunderstood MT-01. Despite a lack of fairing causing concern, a cursory bid was flung on Ebay before retiring to bed, waking the next morning to find he was the proud owner of a 1670cc v-twin behemoth. While planning to take on the build himself with help from friends, the realities of finding enough time soon bit, and Shaun found the perfect solution practically on his doorstep. The bone-stock MT was taken down to Steve and Glenn at Redmax Speed Shop, just 20 miles from Shaun's door. A little wary at first, the cast aluminium framed bruiser-cruiser was a long way from their usual Ducati Café and Harley Tracker builds. But never ones to turn down a challenge, the ideas soon started flowing like a well coordinated set-piece. The entire rear end of the bike was reworked to take a classic solo hump with the various unsightly electrical components tucked deep within the new subframe. Gold mesh visually lightens the structure and ties in with the pin striping. Wanting to celebrate both his forty years with the club and an impending 60th birthday, the stunning paint job mimics the colours of his team. With Shaun's rugby position of Lock, number 5, emblazoned on the hump, it also carries the names of beloved wife Sarah, son Dan and his two grandsons, Indiana & Felix. A surprise addition from Glenn was the beautifully embroidered Andover stag on the fluted seat matching the tank logos. The way the red paint waists down towards the seat takes much of the excess width from the bike, taught and muscular. The stainless 2-1-2 system provides more rumble than the players in the post game bath. "Definitely not a bike to fire up on an early morning", says Shaun. Finished with quality components all round, there are numerous handmade touches which really finish the bike and go unnoticed unless compared with the stock bike. The way the main chassis spar inserts call on the sub-frame design ties the bike together and the superbike bars have been replaced with riser clip-ons for a comfortable yet classic cafe style. Perforated grips pick up on the newly fabricated chainguard, it's a bike that deserves close inspection of the details, yet like the best builds, looks entirely cohesive. As the muddy pitches dry out and the Rugby season makes way for summer biking Shaun can't wait to properly test the mettle of his new steed. Like all the best rugby players, his MT seems to combine both grace and brutishness in equal measure, the perfect companian for someone who has dedicated more than 40 years to his club. Redmax Speed Shop nailed the brief and successfully added some classic flair to the techno-laden styling of the original bike. Head over to their Facebook page and website to see more of what Glenn and Steve have been getting up to.