Feb 012015


Anybody can buy a bike.
Many people can ride one.
You’ve gotta be a complete air head to build one.

On this website we like to include all variations of hand built motorcycles from classics to café racers, choppers to flat trackers. Ideally, we like ’em air cooled (the clue’s in our name), but there are some ace boilers out there as well. If you’d like to see your build included on our website, why not email some pictures and a description to mybike@theairheads.co.uk.

If you’re building a bike and need the assistance of some craftsmen to fix the bits you don’t want to tackle, take a look in our ‘Craftsmen’ section. Particularly useful if you’re near Bristol, UK like us.

Jul 312016

Classic and Pre ’65 Scramble this weekend was dominated by the Irish contingent on JAP bikes that sounded lovely. This shot of John Griffiths was typical of the huge lead one or other of them had in most races they entered.

These two were just so fast on their Yamaha XS650 (taken out to 840) powered outfits.


Some were very pretty.

Some were real engineering works of art.

The carpark contained some gems as well, like this Enfield Metisse.

Jul 232016

A pretty good turn out of Yamaha XS650s at this years DirtQuake. This one was very pretty, and the owner obviously wanted to keep it that way, because it was ridden carefully.
Others were a bit more rough and ready but had some interesting mods, including the hydraulic clutch and oil cooler on this one.
One stood out as doing well in the races, aided by the uprated forks and hand build frame, which made it a lot lighter than the standard lump.

Jul 202016

What a fabulous celebration of motorcycling and just having fun on and off bikes the DirtQuake is. Even the bands were good and the rockabilly style of The Fuzillis on Saturday night fitted in with the vibe perfectly. The wall of death was also a sight to see and the kids pedal bike run around the track was a laugh, particularly the little tot on the push along bike.

It would appear that beards and tats are pretty much mandatory amongst the younger contingent.

I’m prepared to waffle on about the benefits of Norton Roadholder forks etc with the other old boys that I meet at most motorcycle events. However, it’s great to see some youthful exuberance and the desire to just get on and gas it on a slippery track. The average age of motorcyclists has increased year on year, but this sort of event injects so much energy into our sport to keep it alive and helps to reverse that trend. It’s pretty inclusive though, as some older riders were doing well amongst the young bloods.
Just a shame that Carl Fogarty and Guy Martin were racing in different classes, because everyone would have like to see that face-off. Guy’s Harley was just pipped to the post this year when beaten by an old BSA A65.

Jun 192016

I had to post some pictures of these little bad boys for interest sake, even though they are liquid cooled and not even bikes. They were racing at the Supermoto bike meeting I recently went to at Pembrey in Wales and are know as Superlites. Using a snowmobile twin cylinder Bombarder Rotax two stroke engine they go like hell. They use a belt drive transmission to give constantly variable drive ratio similar to an old Daf car. Great to see two strokes out on a circuit again, even though some of the cars have Honda Fireblade engines as an alternative.

Apr 102016

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I’ve been doing some work on my flat tracker “Yam’n eggs” for the spring. Firstly, it started second kick, despite me forgetting to charge the battery all winter – great news. This must mean that my wiring and solid state rectifier/voltage regulator thingy does not have any significant leakage current, because the little battery would definitely be flat if it did.

Secondly, the carbs have not got bunged up, so the fuel filters are working, and draining the float bowls for the winter was a good idea.

Finally, I’ve fitted a rear mudguard now. Well, a short one anyway, to stop road muck being flicked up onto the swinging arm. Hopefully, re-using the old rubber mount points will prevent the thing suffering from too many vibration issues.

Front mudguard to follow from the other half of this old stainless guard.

Jan 292016

Perhaps it’s the name that has made it difficult for a bike with this engine to gain popularity, or perhaps the’ve never been developed enough. Either way, it’s rare to see a bike on the road with a Wankel engine, even though they offer super smooth, turbine like power.

This 1975 DKW Hercules is a particularly rare model photographed outside Antique Motorcycles in Melbourne. These were the first Wankel engined motorcycles to hit the streets, beating the Norton Classic and Suzuki RE5. This model was well engineered but low on power, with only 292cc and 32 BHP. The Norton alternative had twin rotors and much more power but came along at a bad time in the British motorcycle world, which resulted in it’s demise.