John Reed's Gold Yamaha: It's been a long time coming

< News & Press Releases

Sunday 7th Aug 2011Filed under Bike Features Competitors

john reed

The first time the USA saw John Reed's Gold Yamaha was the Oakland Grand National Roadster Show, way back in 1982, and then it took top honors. John is now hoping to repeat that feat at this year's World Championship of Custom Bike Building.

John, a former trials bike rider, road racer and sidecar racer, turned to the world of custom bike building after retiring from racing, founding Uncle Bunts, a shop that soon became famous in his native England.

Such was Uncle Bunts' fame that when Yamaha was looking for a way to promote its then new V-twin cruiser in the early '80s, the head of Yamaha Europe approached John with a proposal - build a bike around our new engine and we'll pay for it.

The engine was all John needed, as with the exception of the rims and tires, every single part of the machine was hand fabricated. The level of skill displayed by John was enough to gain him the win at the Oakland show and international recognition of his talents. Among those to recognize his abilities was Custom Chrome International who offered him the chance to move to California and take on the role of parts designer. A position he held until some four years ago when he decided to settle into retirement.

However, retirement and John's enthusiasm for life do not go hand-in-hand and so he decided to set himself a project, and that project was the restoration of the Gold Yamaha.

Now after nearly 30 years, the bike is once again on display to the public at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building, the one and only time John has vowed to show the bike since its restoration.

Speaking to American Motorcycle Dealer magazine, John said: "Most people know me as a grumpy old English bloke, but today when I wheeled the bike in to the show I felt something special. It was a very emotional experience."


Official Partners
Upcoming Events