Krazy Horse - Paul's Bikes

Paul Beamish

‘this is more money than i've ever paid for a bike what the f**k have I bought?’

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Last year was the 20th Anniversary of Krazy Horse Customs in Bury St Edmunds. To celebrate one of the longest running and most respected custom bike shops in the UK we kicked off in Built #3 the with the shop’s history, their staff bikes, 20th anniversary builds and the birthday party, but then ran out of space for the rest of the story. Now we’re some of the bikes that form the personal collection of KH owner Paul Beamish.


1. Pimp My Glide

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“This Shoverlhead goes by several names including, ‘Harriet’ and ‘El Greengo’,” says Paul Beamish. “It was the first Harley I bought. I got it in 1990 and as I rode home I thought, ‘this is more money than I’ve ever paid for a bike – what the fuck have I bought?’ But the more I rode it, the more I liked it and it stayed stock for years. I decided to do something with it so it’s got PM brakes and Primo belt drive and clutch, Dyna air suspension front and rear, and a Magna Charger supercharger. Because of the supercharger we lowered the compression and it’s a totally rideable bike.”


2. Krazy Racer

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“In 2005 S&S celebrated its 50th Anniversary and we got invited to the build-off. It was the most prestigious custom bike competition ever with virtually all of the leading bike builders involved. We thought we’d enter the cafe racer category and came up with Krazy Racer using a 1640cc Sportster engine in a hand-built frame. It’s basically tubes and sheet with yokes and swingarm done by Harris Performance while we did the rest of the machining. Forks are Ohlins. Front brake is four-leading shoe drum. The whole idea was a Victorian look to resemble the frame of an airship.”


3. 7 Storz II

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“I’ve always liked the dirt track style and when I met Steve Storz in the States we did a deal for us to become their importer. We built a tracker for a customer using a Nightster but I wanted one myself and a 1993 1200 Sportster came along. We put an 89cu in S&S conversion on it and then had to modify the frame to get the engine to fit. It’s got Buell S1 Lightning forks, a Muller swingarm, P&M rear caliper, 17in alloy rims, sticky tyres plus all Storz bodywork, rear sets and pipes – with Pageant paintwork. It’s such a fun bike to ride and we’ve had offers from customers to buy it but I can’t face parting with it so I just keep sticking silly prices on it, which pisses off Phil (shop manager).”


4. Knucklehead

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“This was Steve’s bike – my original partner in the business. I bought it off him when he went to Africa. It was built in 1999/2000 and we acquired it in boxes from a US serviceman. There were so many bits that we built an engine for display from the worn-out spare parts! Nowadays the bits would have either been refurbished or replaced and the motor would be back in service. It’s special because it’s one of the first two bikes we built and at that time no one was building stuff like these old school, so called ‘uncool’ bikes, the kind of bikes you would have seen in the very early copies of Easyriders magazine.”


5. Panhead

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“It’s got a 1952 wishbone frame with a 1200cc Panhead motor. I bought it in 1996/97 as a rat from Martin at Booth Hill, which was a custom shop between Swindon and Oxford. It had a horrible aftermarket frame when I got it but I managed to buy a wishbone frame for £250 at a time when no one wanted stuff like that. I ran it around with the wishbone frame for a while then in 1998/99 I stripped it and rebuilt the engine. Pageant painted it and it’s stillin the same form as then. It’s really special to me because I’ve ridden it all over the place – I’ve been to Super Rallies in Europe with the East Coast Harley club and done tons of miles on it and it still puts a smile on my face each time I ride it now.”


6. Jesse

“This was the first budget build we ever did to promote the business, though we’d built a Paul Yaffe framed bike for a customer. We used a Jesse James West Coast Choppers frame for this bike, at a time before Jesse James stuff was being imported. It’s got a 96cu in motor and carb from S&S, five-speed Zodiac transmission with 3in Primo belt drive, Rick’s Motorcycles wheels, SJP forks and many other expensive components. As a package it all worked well and when you ride it, it’s hard to believe it’s a rigid but that’s because the kicked up frame gives a lot of ground clearance. It was a successful build but I got a lot of flak from the local guys because it was seen a a cheque book build!”


7. Swede Dreams

“We met the guys from Hogtech when we went to Sturgis. We went to Sweden and hung out with them and became their UK importer. That led to us building this Swedish-style bike – it’s got a Hogtech frame, Tolli forks, Eriksson hand made stainless wheels, a 1540cc S&S Generator Shovel motor and OJZ exhausts. I love riding it and I can see this style of bike making a big comeback. Long forks will return! Everyone is riding these Triumph trackers and there’s nothing wrong with that but they are a bit boring – where’s the challenge? Thing is, these old school choppers stand out in a crowd.”


8. Zeroesque

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“This was built in 2004. I loved Zero motorcycles, which went back to our original style bikes. I had an Ironhead Sportster at the time so we built this, initially purely as a shop runaround. But as with any build, you start kicking ideas around and things get sillier and sillier and this is what happened. It was a really low cost build, using any parts we had lying around. The frame is a one-off by Briz at CCD Developments. We took it to the Doncaster Show and won best in show – even though we’d not even entered the actual competition. That paid for us to do the Custom Chrome Show in Germany, the precursor to the AMD World Finals, and we came top five out of 120 bikes. And that paid for us to go to Sturgis. We didn’t do so well there because we were way ahead of the curve with the styling but it’s where the market eventually went.”

www.krazyhorse.co.uk