Jonny is an average Kiwi bloke that I encountered on my trans-Tasman infiltration. He likes bikes, beer, and has posters of naked women on his walls. It should be mentioned that the bikes he likes are tiny turbo machines, and that he opens his beer with his forehead. The naked ladies on the walls remain in their 2-dimensional format, however.
The world of bikes would begin for Jonny as a kid smashing about on mate’s farms. This part of the story is probably applicable to 99% of riders – and I’m pretty sure I’ve written it 100 times already. Farms, bikes, and mates are the foundation of a good life apparently – which sounds about right to me. Anyway, back to Jonny and his life with bikes. As he got older (and the beard probably started to come through) he was able to buy his own bikes, which meant now he could get modifying these machines to his own tastes, be it for looks or for speed. “Like a lot of bike guys, making something with your own hands and turning a thought into a reality is pretty fucking awesome. Being a machinist/engineer helped give me the skills required to make just about everything I needed.”
Through all the wrenching, chopping, and welding, would come Jonny’s Speed Shop. Basically the culmination of everything that Jonny was working on, but now proudly displayed under a fancy name and sign. “More and more people were interested in the stuff I was doing, so I figured I’d start a page where I could share photos of my builds. As more people started to follow it, I wanted to show more ‘how-to’ kind of stuff, and have more details images so people could copy my work or learn from it. Through the speed shop I’ve met so many kickarse people, and worked on some pretty cool bikes. As long as my hands are dirty I’m happy. Hopefully in the future I can make it into a real shop, and build bikes for a living. That would be the ideal dream. I love working on anything really, any cc’s and any make.”
At the moment, Jonny is manically working on a turbo EFI Honda C90 Deluxe Cub in between tweaking his little AC50 Maverick to get it going faster and faster (and maybe faster), and preparing his KTM Motard for the track. “There’s also a heap of mates’ bikes that I love working on in my spare time. Whether it’s changing points, to full custom framework. The dirt day bikes for me are made up of all my spare parts. My main bike ‘The Mutt’ is made up of parts from about 6 different bikes!”
“I always try and be prepared for upcoming bike events, but always get distracted so never as much prep work gets done as I do should. Dirt Masters 2017 was a blast. My wife’s bike got delivered the night before which wasn’t running, but we got it sorted and it was running throughout the event and she even came second on it with a dead flat rear tyre. The yarns, beers, and tearing around and round and round the track, racking with a bunch of different people makes Dirt Masters a day to remember. “
“I fizz over working on a new bike, and the process of learning more on how different manufacturers did things. I also have a huge chubby for two-strokes, they have taken me by storm. I love how simply complicated they are, and how much power can be made from them. I started working on smaller 50cc two-strokes because the parts were easier to get. It’s also a fetish of mine to get a 50cc to go over 100kpf. I’m building a bike at the moment to attempt the New Zealand 50cc land-speed record, hoping to get it around 140kph. I also hope to build and get into flat track racing and road racing, on bigger bangers.”
“I try spend as much time in there as possible, I have a bike night every Tuesday where mates come around with a bike or an engine and we’ll have a play to see if we can get it going or rebuild it. Often I’ll work on my bikes and having the company over a few beers is always good. If someone goes away having learnt something new then I’m happy, there’s a lot of people that’ve helped me so its good to pass it on.”