Ever known one of those guys who saves all of his old motorcycle magazines (and all of the other ones, too) and keeps saying, “Wait a minute, I think I’ve seen that before.” and digs out the 15 year old issue and points to the photo in question? Well, I know one, … it’s me. Terrible problem, wife’s ready to toss out the mags if I turn my back but then I tell her they’re worth something on ebay, I may keep up the ruse for quite a while.
Anyway, I was looking through the July issue of Performance Bikes (or PB as they’re known now) and they have an article on Harris frames which I really like. Sure enough, they reused some old photos, nothing wrong with that, it’s the reason I dug out the old issues from ’93, and saw how many other very cool photos of specials built with tube frames appeared in their mag. I’m not sure many of our current crop of sportbikes look better. These tube framed streetfighters looked absolutely superb, naked, lots of engine and high performance parts showing and probably great fun to ride.
In May and June of ’93 they had a two part series called “Frame and Fortune” spotlighting the large and small frame building shops that seemed to be turning out specials from nooks and crannies all over England. I’m curious how many still exist and I’ll have to do a bit of digging to find out. None of them had web sites because the web was still new at the time. (I was poking around on CompuServe, remember that?)
Some of these are still around, they’ve grown or at least remained in business doing similar or expanded work in related areas. I can find reference to some, though they have no website and no other information is readily available. Perhaps, some of our readers from the U.K. can fill in a few details of the small shops.