Tucked away in a quiet corner of beautiful Christchurch, a local with a mighty beard has carved himself a slice of heaven where ridiculous machines are created, and for one magical day of the year raced. Aaron welcomed us to his home, and the home of Dirt Masters.
Poor Aaron fell into rebellious crowd of hoodlums who were terrorising the oldies of Christchurch on their little stepthrus back in 2012. The Quake City Rumblers has been a bastion for the manically inclined for some time now, with numbers steadily growing each year as more fall victim to the passion of these little two-wheeled machines. “At first I was a bit timid as I hadn’t even ridden on the road legally. I got my first little bike for $80 and was instantly into it. I just found them so simple, which also meant plenty of parts were either readily available or couple be easily made. I grew up customising cars, so it was easy to turn all the tools onto these little Japanese bikes.”
With so much passionate wrenching and chopping going, it’s only proper to have a space where you can get away with completing these works, along with stashing all your spares and new projects. Aaron’s shed is a mighty church to the custom gods – whatever they may be. “I’ve been inspired by so many great Honda Cub builds around Asia, which pushed me further and further into embarking on wilder creations. There was plenty of pushing from the QCR lads as well. The bikes just seem to get skinnier, longer, and louder.”
“QCR love loud bikes, and riding as one loud raucous tone with all the two-strokes and four-strokes ringing their guts out is so obnoxious, but we all love it. Some of the public even do as well! In this shed we can do most fabrication, welding, parts swapping, paint and panel work. My only work that gets out-sourced has been engine rebuilds and lathe work, but I’m hoping I can do more of that myself soon. I like using my imagination when making stuff; I’m not really into using a book to rebuild shit exactly or engines etc. I don’t like rules or authority.”
The walls of this hallowed ground are festooned with pieces of history or treasure from Aaron’s life and adventures. There’s a story from each piece, and it’s these pieces that have helped create who Aaron is today. “I’ve got shelves of parts, and a ton of bits and pieces that may be useful one day. If I’m not sure I’ll usually walk around looking in boxes or drawers or on the shelves until I find something that I can make-work. I run a business in the city but am trying to do four days at work to get more time creating stuff at home. Typically I’m working normal hours but when a deadline is looming for a bike show or event I’ll work day and night until my project is ready. I’m probably in the shed 20 hours a week, but I definitely need more!”
Most recently Aaron has completed his ridiculous, super stretched out Honda C50 ‘Hotlips’ which caused quite a stir when we featured it. Next to this is his tried and true old green C50 ‘The Holy Spirit’ which was completed 3 years ago. “She’s just so bloody reliable and I love riding her, especially at Dirt Masters this year. I always seem to have mates dropping in, looking for parts or wanting help. We’re always drinking beer and planning rides, then talking about the next Dirt Masters event. I’m trying to get my 1972 Ironhead Harley on the road. I’ve changed the rear guard, front wheel; tyres, risers and bar to suit it and it’ll be ready for compliance probably net month. It’s got dual plug heads and is 1000cc which is a bit more than any of my little bikes, but an unsure what the performance will be like in the end.”
“My next project sitting in the corner is an old Vespa tub that I bought. I’m hoping to repower it with a 4-stroke 160cc on fat 10 inch wheels to do wild wheelstands. I hope to get the engine sitting way back so she just lifts up easy. I’ve got a nice OG ’67 Chevy C10 arriving in November to be the shop truck so that will take a bit of time over summer too.”