Inglorious Motorcycles

Sam Evans worked in motorsport and car restoration before finding his true calling - building affordable custom bikes.

I’d like to build a racefit-style bike - an 1100-1300cc Four-Cylinder Turbo

Sam Evans

Inglorious Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Various

Location

Essex/UK

 

My family is car crazy

My dad’s got a 1940s MG TC – an MG with a Rover V8. My brother has built engines for Blomqvist and he’s been to Le Mans with a sportstcar team. Cars and motorsports run in the family.

I did car body repairs and paint at college and then realised I didn’t want to become a painter

So when I first started working it was building and restoring Group B rally cars but I outgrew that. My dream job would be to build hot-rods The next best thing is building custom bikes. I was always interested in bikes. My ultimate dream would be to own a hot rod/custom bike shop.

When I was about 11 I used to watch the Biker Build Off programmes on Discovery channel

After my job with the car restoration firm came to an end my dad asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said ‘build custom motorcycles.’ I started Inglorious in 2014 when I was 23.

Inglorious Motorcycles

Initially, I went to help out at Old Empire

I knew about being a mechanic and building bikes but I didn’t know about fabrication. Within two or three months there, I’d done quite a bit of fabrication. I spent nine months there but then I got ill. The travelling was difficult.

My brother lives close to Coast in Poole and he said, ‘why not put a bike in their shop?’

So I put a CB400 Superdream I’d just finished in there. From that I got a commission to build a CX500. That got noticed on Instagram and it went from there.

I’m lucky that I got into building young

I keep practicing my welding and make each weld better than the last. I like to work on affordable bikes, so if I pick older Japanese machines a bit cheap, I can build a custom bike under £10k. My dad trained as a toolmaker and was an electrical engineer so he’s got useful experience.

My favourite looking bikes are desert sleds

I’ve got a W650 that I’m going to do the high-pipe look to – like an old McQueen desert racer. I’d like to bore it out, fit different cams, different carbs, open pipes. I think we’d maybe get 65-70bhp from it, but imagine if we really went to town on it.

There’s bound to come a point when the stock of old Japanese bikes run out

I’ll move with the scene. It’s always evolving. Things like the new retro Triumphs are giving the custom builders a good run for their money – when a customer can buy all the ‘custom parts’ he likes off the shelf or out of the catalogue.

I’d like to build a Racefit-style bike

A meaty four-cylinder with 1100-1300cc engine, turbo, Spondon frame, old Z1000 tank. Maybe run it on slicks. Will the scene get that extreme? Who knows? There will be a certain amount of streetfighter creeping back into the scene – stripped down bikes, high on horsepower.

But right now no one wants tuned bikes

They want looks. So this Honda is very British in styling with its tall stance, teardrop tank… It’s a 1976 Honda CB500T. Stock motor, shortened pipes, different tyres, different headlight, new seat, chopped subframe loop. Battery and electrics under the seat.