twisted turnout in your garage
Sunday 23rd January 2017
Last Sunday we took a drive out to the extremely picturesque wilds of Essex to visit our old friend String Thompson of ‘Raw Steel Choppers’, and his partner in crime Mark Williams of ‘Naked Speed Custom Motorcycles’. With us was Tony Donnelly, a friend who is about to embark on a joint project between these two builders and Twisted Iron to turn his Kawasaki 550 Zephyr winter hack into a custom build… in just 4 hours and this challenge will be something not to be missed!
The guys talked details, budget and concept ideas, they’ll now go shopping and line up some suppliers, 'Digital Speedos' are already on board.
Tony has a modest but realistic budget for this project and although he has been riding all his life collecting a varied selection of bikes they are all (in his own words) painfully standard. This will be his first custom bike.
String specialises in fabrication and you’ll have seen quite a few of his builds at ‘The Happening’ over the last few years including his ‘Moonshine Rat Rod’ and the ‘Cub Chop’ built for Luke Sackett.
We have to say Mark’s workshop was one of the cleanest and tidiest spaces we’ve ever seen, an inspiration to any shed or garage owner! And it was full of some rather beautiful Honda builds such as a CB250N Superdream Brat and a Honda CBR600 Café Fighter along with a freshly blacked up CB250 RS frame. String and Mark make quite a dream team.
Early in Mark’s career after qualifying as a mechanical engineer, he went to Spain, “I couldn’t speak a word of Spanish but having been offered a job with one of Spain’s most respected experts in motorcycle racing, how could I say no? Sign language was our only communication, but it’s surprising how quickly you learn a language when you need to eat…’
Having started working for them based in Madrid, he soon moved to work in their Superbike racing team! He later moved to another team where he had the privilege of working with Juan Lopez Mella (RIP), racing the Honda RC30 in Superbikes.
If you can’t get down to the March ‘Twisted Turnout’ on the 19th, we’ll be covering it on the day on the Twisted Iron Facebook page, along with photos, a time-lapse video and a live stream. But it’s definitely going to be worth the trip to see what these talented builders can produce for Tony in just 4 hours..
Sunday 19th February 2017
The Twisted Turnout last weekend hosted a gathering of all contributors to the '4-Hour Build'. Mark from 'Naked Speed Customs', joined String from 'Raw Steel Choppers' and Ben from 'Bearknuckle Customs'. Of course Tony Donnelly was there and brought his Zephyr for everyone to take a look for the first time.
Mark brought a new seat with him supplied by 'Vonzeti' for Tony to see. Tony had wanted to go for a cafe racer look and the seat gives a big clue to how the finished bike will look. Ben obviously can't do paint in 4 hours, so he took away a set of donor panels, modified front mudguard and tank which will be prepped, painted and swapped over on the day.
'Digital Speedos' have done a sterling job of providing parts such as clocks etc.
This is the last time the Zephyr will look as it does. Next month it will be ridden away as Tony's first customised bike.
the 4-Hour speed build 'turnout special' – Sunday 19th March 2017
Russell, String , Tony & Mark discuss the build plans
Stainless Steel exhaust fabricated by String
Naked Speed Workshop
Raw Steel Choppers Workshop
Tony's original untouched Zephyr
Cafe Racer style seat supplied by VonZeti
Tony's original untouched Zephyr
Attracting some attention...
Saturday 4th March 2017
We got our preview of this months 100% Biker Magazine (218) and very happy to see on page 9, a news feature on the 4-Hour Build!
Sunday 19th March 2017
What a great day at the Twisted Turnout. We must have had around 100 people come along to watch this extraordinary build. String and Mark brought extra help in the form of Tony Groom who helped with the build. they also brought 3 builds that they had completed and put them on show. Ben brought along the now painted tank, side panels and seat unit which looked stunning – and he set up shop across the way from the build giving live airbrushing demos.
'On Yer Bike' came along to cover the build day on their online TV Channel and we'll have a feature in 100% Biker Magazine in a few months time too.
The Build got underway at 10.07am and the guys worked tirelessly to complete it in the 4 hour timeframe. Due to an unexpected and unforeseen electrical fault discovered right at the end of the build, we overran by 15 minutes, but when the bike fired up there was a cheer from the crowd.
A big congratulations has to go to String, Mark, Tony Groom, and Ben for taking on this huge challenge and making such a fantastic job of it donating both their time and expertise. And a big thank you to John Pullara at Digital Speedos for helping with the supply of the electrical accessories. Bert at VonZeti for making and donating the custom cafe racer seat. Dave & Richard at This Is Your Garage for providing such a superb venue and helping with any additional tools we needed.
You can see the finished bike up close and personal at The Happening
on 15th-16th September 2017.