Saturday, March 1, 2014


My friend Brian is the coolest variation "Mad Scientist" motorcycle tinkerer. While so many bike builders are pouring energy into making non-functional, over-the-top, "look-at-me" crap for their bikes in the interest of getting attention Brian does brilliant stuff that may well never get noticed. Need an example? Brian got to wondering what a 360° parallel twin Commando would perform like from a vibration perspective if it instead had a Ducati style 90° crank... so he built one. Screw that it sounds impossible to most people. There are countless similar examples around his shop where he has used some skill with a lathe and mill to answer the question "How can I make this work better?" Sometimes it's exotic but usually it's so simple & elegant you can't imagine why it never occurred to anyone else.

He sent me an update recently and mentioned his latest experiment, a Commando powered Featherbed. The original concept of a Triton was to combine the best plentiful engine of it's day with the best plentiful chassis to build a better bike. You don't have to see too many Indian Chief, Knucklehead or flathead Ford V8 powered Featherbed bikes to realize somewhere along the way it morphed into a meaningless freakshow.


Some would argue Brian's 5 speed 850 Commando powered Featherbed is the bike Norton should have built in 1968. Something is wrong with the world when a Norton powered Norton seems like such a novel idea. Keep it up Brian.

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