DEAD BEAT

Edition 52

Article: Eugene Watson

Photographs: Jarryd Watson (Kabang Media)

El Loco Bobber

 This crazy two-stroke was inspired by a fairly new custom craze in the States called “Deadbeat”. Bikes are being built with very low budgets using regular bikes. My personal inspiration came from a guy called “Slim” who runs Slims Fabrication from his house in Redlands, California. He builds awesome two-strokes, in particular a 490 YZ beast which was the inspiration for this bike. 

I started out with a 450 KDX motor and pipe, and I had a 1950s Triumph front frame section which had been dumped because of accident damage. I repaired the front section and made up the hardtail section with a slight drop-seat tube under the seat, rather than the standard top rails. The front forks are from a Honda and the “T” pieces I salvaged from my parts collection. The front wheel is a 17” from a Honda CR80 and the rear wheel is an 18” – also from a motorcross bike. I used the original KDX rear brake pedal; the footrests are trick pegs off a Mongoose BMX, the rear fender is a piece from an old BMW Bantam tank. The seat pan was hammered out of alloy and covered with foam and a piece of Mexican blanket. I modified the tailpipe of the exhaust to run down with the rigid frame rail. The tail light was an indicator from an old Honda with red lenses and the front headlight came from my nephew who was killed.

I wanted to have something of his on the bike. The bars are also early Honda 50cc and the throttle (which I have had for years) is from a Husqvarna motocross bike while the clutch lever is aftermarket. I have not painted anything, so all the colours are as I found them in order to keep the ratty look. Skinny tyres were used front and rear and I added the white walls courtesy of my wife. All engine plates I made up and drilled as well as the rear brake mechanism. I had quite a bit of motor work done as well. My original intention for the project was to have it ready for the Pinetown “Ink & Iron Show” but parts for the motor were out for repairs. The project took plus approximately four months to complete but I still have more ideas that will be implemented in the future. 

The bike is called “El Loco” and I have to explain everything because people are not used to this kind of customizing and the reactions are always mixed. I am very happy with the outcome so far.

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