Rocket Bob’s Swamp Water

Rocket Bob’s Cycle Works Pete Pearson is a custom motorcycle builder from Oxford, England with more than 30 years’ experience in his field. He grew up working in his father’s garage on everything from lawnmowers to race cars but later started a love affair with Harleys that led to Rocket Bobs Cycle Works, a company he and his wife, Lisa, began in 2009. Pete designs & engineers motorcycles that are functional, stylish, and meticulously built down to the smallest detail. He is proud to have won a number of awards including the Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship at Las Vegas Bikefest, two ‘Best in Show’ and ‘Best Engineering’ at the Custombike Show (Germany), and ‘Best in Show’ for the last two years at Motor Bike Expo, Verona (Italy).

We spoke with Pete about the bike and this is what he had to say about this here 1978 H-D FXS. “We had an old 4 speed frame in the workshop that was damaged, so I cut all the castings out and dressed them back to original. I jigged it all up and re-tubed using T45 (like 4130 but stronger). The frame had to be very skinny because I wanted to make a seat that was a tribute to the rally chopper bicycle that was huge in the UK pre-BMX back in the day. I also wanted to match the skinny seat with a crazy full race Nitron shock running parallel to it which meant no conventional oil bag and I’d have to design a fairly elaborate rising rate system. We had an FXR in the workshop with a busted JMC swingarm so I took that, rebuilt it, linked up a rising rate system through the rear frame rails and added an A brace and plumbed it all for oil. It holds 2.5 litres and works great. The fuel tank at 4.5 litres is just a little small so while making the frame I used a large thick wall stainless steel tube as the spine so that I could use it for fuel. It holds an additional 1.7 litres with its own fuel tap it acts like a reserve.”

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