Greg Westbury began his custom career building hot rods and custom cars before transferring his fabrication skills to bikes. What is the car scene’s loss is the bike world’s gain, as the bike Lucky demonstrated when it placed 12th at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
ANY builder that names a bike Lucky and then enters it into the World Championship of Custom Bike Building is a brave man. Fortunately, that brave man is one Greg Westbury of Westbury Handcrafted Motorcycles, and that bike already had taken top honor as the Artistry In Iron event, so Greg was confident of getting a high placing at the Sturgis-based show.
As befits a top twenty placed bike in the World Championship, the frame used for Lucky is a complete one-off, built in Greg Westbury’s workshop. The whole frame doubles as the oil tank, with the only clue to this being the Westbury beehive oil filter suspended under the seat. Further detailing on the frame includes the use of Heim joints as axle plates at the rear and welded-on tabs for the exposed wiring.
It is at the front of the bike that Westbury’s experience in the car world comes to the fore. The fork he has used may look like a Jesse Rooke Nana unit, but it was crafted entirely by Westbury and features a car inspired suspension system. As the fork travels up and over a bump, it acts on a bell crank similar to those seen on race cars. This crank turns the motion into a sideways movement which acts on a horizontally mounted RockShox mountain bike shock attached to the bars.
When it came to the choice of a motor for the build, Greg turned to S&S and ordered an 88ci P-Series Panhead style engine. With it in place in the frame, it then was plumbed in with hard lines for the gas and oil.
Due to the vintage style appearance Greg was aiming for, he had to alter drastically the BDL open primary he fitted to the bike. What began as a 3in belt and pulleys eventually became a 2in unit, and connects to a RevTech five-speed transmission. The final drive goes by a chain to a Westbury logo-cut combined sprocket and rotor.
The billet wheels on which Lucky rolls also are one-off pieces fabricated by Greg in his shop. The front is 2.25 x 21in and the rear measures 3.5 x 21in. The unique finish on them is a wood-effect laminate more normally used for the interior of private aircraft.
On the back wheel, the single brake disc/rotor is gripped by a one-off caliper, once again made by Greg himself. The custom unit features a mounting system that acts as a chain guard and also incorporates a taillight into the caliper body.
One of the few parts on the bike that Greg did not fabricate himself is the rear fender, which was supplied by Fat Katz. However, he did cut it down to suit the build. The remaining bodywork – the gas tank – was unsurprisingly beaten into shape in the Westbury workshop. Once shaped it was finished off with a Westbury “Big Baller” crown gas cap.
With the build complete, the frame and bodywork was handed over to Marcos Garcia who laid down the vanilla base coat and black and green candy flames. The final build then was done incorporating Westbury hand and foot controls and a Duane Ballard seat.
There is no denying the quality of work which Greg has put into Lucky. While retro looking Bobbers are still very popular, the fact that the bike placed 12th in the World Championship shows that the bikes being entered and which placed above it are pushing the boundaries of design and free thinking. It remains to be seen what ideas Greg will have taken away from the show to incorporate into his next build.
WESTBURY HANDCRAFTED MOTORCYCLES
Concord, California, USA
Tel: 925 682 9482