April 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm #17593
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
Kip Marks spent almost 20 years rebuilding the 1920 bike from a box of parts.
It’s taken 20 years but mechanical engineer Kip Marks has given new life to a 1920s Harley-Davidson.
The Auckland man originally brought the bike in pieces in Whangerei around 1998.
Now the army green bike is road worthy with a warrant of fitness and registration.
Kip Marks sourced the sidecar independently from his original purchase.
Marks said the project required a tenacious attitude as he had to source a range parts from across New Zealand and Australia.
Kip Marks says the bike would be doing well to reach 50 miles per hour.
“Finding the time to work on it was the biggest challenge I had.”
Networking was key with Marks even managing to source a manual of the original bike.
“It was about patience and not being too hesitant to ring people,” he said.
“It’s amazing how many people around knew what it would look like.”
Getting it to pass a warrant of fitness proved difficult – the first two brakes he installed broke when tested in the carpark of VTNZ.
As a result he said it was never going to be about speed.
“You might get to 50 miles an hour maximum if you’re lucky with the wind and the sun behind you going downhill.”
Marks said the old design meant learning to use the clutch was a bit of an art form, with the rider needing to pull several parts to change gear.
He intends to keep the bike for quieter South Island roads when he permanently moves it to his holiday home in Arrowtown.
“I can ride around Arrowtown without any hesitation but I’d be thinking twice about riding it around Auckland.”
The bike will have it’s first public outing at the Arrowtown Autumn Festival at the end of April.
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