Welcome back folks, Struan here, a shell of a man still recovering from a rather lot of late nights and early mornings getting Scrambles ready for the Bike shed London 2019 show. So the good news is, Cinderella…I mean scrambles, made it to the ball (bike shed show)….just!
If anyone has been following me on Instagram you will have been seeing the daily updates and videos but I am aware they don’t always give the full picture and detail (as well as crippling stress) that goes along with the build!
Ah that crippling stress, lets talk about that for a minute. I have put an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself for this show. The short time-frame for getting this bike ready, combined with the fact it’s the first time I have done something like this meant that there was a lot of pressure to get this done. I also have perfectionist like standards which meant every stage of the assembly was hyper-critical. In reality a lot of the small things I was stressing about were never going to be noticed once the bike was assembled…but still I wanted it to be perfect, it’s my project after all. Unfortunately with all this going on, something had to give in the build up to the show, and that something was the blog updates – big sorry folks!
Still, people would have thought I had been trying to model the Japanese car manufacturing techniques with my “just in time” arrival of several parts. Trust me, this definitely not planned this way. One key thing I have learned in this build is the reliance you have on the supply chain. Understandably, you can’t just amazon prime everything you need (hmmmm, there’s an idea!), certain things take time, and not everyone can drop everything to help relieve my stress levels a little.
Luckily for the most part, everyone came through. My seat arrived with 10 days to spare, the tanks and mudguards were ready 2 weeks before the show and the front wheel that I ordered 7 weeks before the show, the one with the 4 week lead time, was cancelled a week before the show because the useless sack of shits couldn’t deliver. WONDERFUL. THANKS GUYS….DICKS.
Now not having the correct front wheel, didn’t sit well with my perfectionism, especially seeing as the rear wheel I got made from Haan wheels in the Netherlands looked unbelievably awesome, and the front one was well 29 years old… and Shit.
So the Friday afternoon a week before the show I was frantically phoning every wheel supplier in the UK, trying to source an alternative. With no options off the shelf, and knowing the lead times for spokes, anodising and drilling the rim to the correct spoke pattern, I had all but given up. Cock.
A last ditch email to Haan wheels asking whether they had a wheel and spokes they could send to my wheel builder was met with success! Being based in Holland I knew the timings would be unbelievably tight to get a wheel in time for the show. Amazingly, they knew my situation and got to work on Monday, and sent the wheels overnight on Tuesday (don’t ask….OK it was £90 overnight delivery with UPS…gross) to arrive at the wheel builder on Wednesday for him to build the wheel to my hub over night, and then I picked the wheel up on Thursday morning, get a tyre mounted and fitted to the bike before heading to London on Thursday afternoon! Apart from the whole scenario sounding a little like that awful Craig David song 7 days, it was incredibly stressful, but we made it!
In hindsight I have no idea why I even decided to split up the two wheels. *casts mind back* Actually, I already had ordered the front wheel from SM-Pro but they couldn’t provide me a back wheel (at least they were honest about that). It was later I discovered Haan wheels could get me a back wheel so sent my hub over there for them to build me one, which they turned around in 2 weeks time. The original Excel back wheel looked awesome so I started to worry that the SM Pro one wouldn’t match…which didn’t sit well with me. I am so glad I found Haan wheels, I would urge anyone looking for rims and spokes to give Wim a call.
Right, So I know I have skipped a lot of steps here, but don’t worry, I fully intend to go back and write in more detail about the assembly of this project – I didn’t spend all that time taking videos and pictures just to cast it off to the side! But to summarise I seemed to stare at what seemed like an almost finished bike for the best part of 3 weeks. The fiddly jobs that make the bike complete are the ones that seemed to take an eternity.
- Murphy’s law will be in full effect – If something can go wrong…it will!
- Electrics are a pain in the dick (note: the right wiring diagram helps) – Always cut longer than needed
- Powder-coating is maybe not the best solution – It gets everywhere and can play with tolerance fit parts
- Rusty bolts stick out like a sore thumb – Get these identified early on so you can get replacements
- What’s required for a static display at a show is not the same as an MOT ready bike (I probably could have saved some stress here)
- A second set of eyes is a great for getting perspective
- The ability to fabricate at this stage is long gone – That seat fitment whilst it works, is so fiddly to get fitted and will be getting reworked now the show is over!
- Don’t always believe the parts are correct online
- Almost dropping the bike is enough to give a heart attack (see below)
I had the help of my dad and a few friends in the weeks running up to the show, which was a good help. See below epic saga of the time lapse videos I took throughout the assembly process. I intend to do one with the SLR camera I have, but for now, the iPhone videos will be grand (even though some of the videos aren’t full frame 😦 )…Still go grab a coffee and enjoy:
I Even had it running briefly:
Even on the day of departure there was some last minute tweaks to get the bike perfect for the show:
The 3D printed velocity stacks my dad had made were fitted and looked awesome!:
There was some paint on the exhaust that had worn off (turns out 30 minutes of kick starting can do that) so that needed a quick touch up. I placed a lot of reliance on that plastic sheeting!
After a quick polish I simply had to to take a few pictures (click for full size).
I think scrambles turned out pretty good! I wanted it to look like a retro version of the original, keeping the same colour scheme but enhancing certain parts, like a factory special edition. What do you think?
We chucked him in the hire van and made our way to London, stopping overnight in Leeds. Even the 3.5 hour drive to London ended up taking closer to 5 hours but eventually we got to Tobacco docks and unloaded the van.
Scrambles was set up on his plinth (with my name spelt wrongly…*facepalm*) with 62 other bikes as part of the “Shed Build” Category, bikes built by amateurs. There were 220 bikes built by professionals at the show also.
My bike was greatly received with lots of great feedback from people who had followed my progress on Instagram. I will do a separate blog post on the show itself looking at some of the builds and machinery on display.
There was a great squad of folk who came down from Scotland to show their support, thank you!
I even got interviewed by a very talented filmographer to chat through my bike, Thanks Josh. I think i managed to hide my crippling hangover pretty well, what do you guys think? I think he managed to make me sound even more Scottish!
Final loading of the van was on Sunday at 7:30pm. We were unsure as to how far we would get but we pressed on through the night to my parents house outside Perth, getting there at 4:30AM.
Since returning from the show I have completely overhauled my garage and let scrambles sit for a bit, and bought another bike…just a runaround! I need to go and get an MOT on him but first I need to get my life back a little!
What’s next for remotorcycled:
I have done a lot of interesting things on this build, and still have a lot of interesting things to write about. I also want to try my hand at making better videos! I have a lot of inspiration and learnings from the back of that show to apply to another build, which is already in my shed with a grand plan in my head…
Also on the agenda:
- I have some old bike parts I want to turn into lamps/furniture etc
- I have been helping a friend out with one of his projects, a 70’s two stroke trials bike which needs overhauled, so that has been fun.
- My website needs a bit of an overhaul as I now have some merchandise to sell also, so would like do that through this site.
- I want to learn how to TIG weld so that will be on the horizon
Generally, I want to keep learning and sharing the process as I believe people find it interesting (I FIND IT INTERESTING OKAY), so I’m not going anywhere!
Some of you have asked how much this all cost, the running tally will be shared in the next few posts. Next I will share my Bike Shed 2019 Experience.
Until then, Back to spend some time with my very understanding girlfriend…