Friday, 5 February 2016

Uncle Bunt

John Reed, formerly of Uncle Bunt's Chop Shop, remains British custom-building royalty, despite having left the country decades ago to become a Custom Chrome in-house designer in California. This shot is probably from 1982, when he completed the TR1-based Gold Yamaha. Still looks good, 34 years later, and Mr Reed is apparently still as lean, steely and irascible as he was back then - or indeed when I interviewed him 20 years ago. MP

4 comments:

Harley said...

"lean, steely and irascible" - that pretty much sums up the man who was less than amused to have an error on his otherwise superb YaManx chop pointed out to him by a spotty youth.
The error? the speedo and tacho cables ran to the wrong clocks
The spotty youth? Me
The moral? Never upset Uncle Bunt

Mick P said...

It was one of my less comfortable interviews. He warmed up a bit after a while, but it still felt like riding over cobbles holding a flask of nitroglycerine (yeah, because I've done that so often...).

arcadian said...

He seemed Ok whenI met him at his workshop when Uncle Bunt for tour with the then Harley Riders Club and again at a Earls Court Bike Show. I can't remember whether this was before he built that fantastic bike . must have been a stressy time.
I still have the magazine with the feature in SuperBike.

loveless said...

remember seeing reeds bike at earls court too, if my memory serves me right it was on the avon tyres stand, just mind blowing at the time, remember, this was in the day when motorcycling was really struggling, the meriden triumphs were reaching the end of the line, harleys were exotica [and shit] we were fed a diet of bland japanese commuter bikes, the xs 400 yamaha, cx 500's, superdreams, xs 750 triples, gs 850 shafties and c-bloody-b 200's!if you went into a pub wearing a barbour jacket you were asked to take it off so you didn't leave waterproofing compound all over the seats for the regular punters! ahh happy day's! it's only in recent years and with the advent of the bikeshed, et al. that these fucking boring bikes are suddenly feted as 'classic's' if you turned up on your dad's cd 200 then you parked it on the road or at the back of the carpark! anyhoo, back to the plot, john reed's tr 1 took a horrible, boxy, squared frame twin, [and before you take issue i have built a chop for a mate using one as a base bike when you could still pick them up for two-and-six] and turned it into a thing of beauty, single sided swing-arm? still fifteen years away, clip-on's on a chop? engraving courtesy of old don blocksidge the famous gun engraver, 'solid' wheel's? [harley 'fatboy' was still 8-9 years away]ok, the gold plating might age it and place it in the big-haired, permed '80's but, for us, the people who were actually there back in the day, just a seriously inspirational motorcycle and something to aspire to, just brilliant......