Aussie-built, one-of-a-kind prototype restored for the Inventor’s Grandchildren
Few people can say their grandfather hand built a groundbreaking prototype motorcycle in Australia.
That same is also what made this one of those challenging builds we undertake at Finch. It meant that we had no photos, books, videos, manuals, or specifications for this bike when we received it in a series of boxes that had been stored decades ago by the descendants of its inventor.
The first step was for us to literally piece together how this bike operated. Being built in the 1910s, the standard engineering that’s found on today’s modern bikes was not available. Through a mix of our technicians' expertise, and trial and error, we could see how it operated and needed to be assembled; after being properly refurbished of course.
The process of restoring each piece to near-new condition was tackled by our talented technicians, slowly but surely, turning what was once a jumble of parts into an assembly of shiny metal, freshly painted tank, and custom leather upholstered seat.
Finally, after 12 months of work, the bike came together and was ridden for the first time in 100 years by our Shane, one of our senior workshop technicians. Shane was given the job of riding the bike for the first time, whilst being photographed by Andy Rasheed (see Finch Studio | Photography). For the road trials, the bike was started and the first of several test rides went off without a hitch.
Being difficult to ride, even by motorcycle enthusiasts with decades of riding experience (like Shane), it makes sense this piece of automotive history will largely remain a display piece. Cherished by the family as an heirloom of not only their family but equally to the Australian automotive industry. It will be kept on display at the family’s home and used only on special occasions.