slow 3The Bobber is perhaps the original custom motorcycle. I'm sure you don't need a history lesson but suffice to say one of the few good things to come out of WW2 was the glut of ex-military motorcycles, along with the men to modify them. The thick end of a century later and that simplistic, clean look continues to appeal, the less is more aesthetic reconnecting the rider with the all important mechanicals. Solow Choppers from Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk haven't been around for quite that long but this year they'll celebrate their 10th anniversary. Clive has been building customs since the 1980s and is now surrounded by a small but competent team of old school engineers. His son Jay takes care of fabrication with Mike & Mark on the electrical and mechanicals, and Russell able to turn his hand to more or less any job in the workshop. slow 2The customer for this build was new to Solow and the guys were keen to impress on the brief of Fifties styling with modern reliability and braking. The 350cc Royal Enfield is one of the most proven motorcycles on the road, the lazy, under stressed single thumping away, perfectly suited to the relaxed disposition of a Bobber. Not wanting to take any chances Clive stripped and rebuilt the engine completely, refreshing the top and bottom end, commenting "We don't build bikes that are unusable. A motorcycle is for riding, this bike really does ride well and with the Harley running gear it goes round corners like a dream. It stops, starts and rides like a bobber should." slow 4The rear of stock frame has been discarded, replaced by a hardtail which the guys fabricated from high quality steel tube, TiG welded and sent of for a lustrous black powder coat, along with the wheel rims, spokes and forks. Not just any old forks, a set of vintage Harley-Davidson springers, instantly winding the clock back to a more analog era. slow 6Wheels are 16 inchers, also from a Harley, and run classically patterned Avon Safety Milage tyres front and rear. Burley looking K-Tech brake levers, rotors and calipers designed for a much heavier machine should result in more than respectable braking, especially given the Enfield's more svelte figure. slow 5 The cherry on top is a vintage peanut tank, sourced from the Solow parts shelves, with a brass filler to match the levers and switch gear. A hand-tooled sprung seat in tan bridal leather echoes the hue of the metalflake paintwork, giving a subtle yet retro pop in the sunlight. Clive and the team have succeeded in building a classy Bobber with the stance and presence to match more muscular machinery from Milwaukee. We'll do doubt see more from Solow Choppers, for now Facebook | Web | Instagram
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