Chris Barber's Hill Climb Special

Chris Barber is no stranger to The Kneeslider, having previously had both his Desmohog Harley/Ducati hybrid engined bike and Alfabike featured here.

His latest endeavour is a bike build which is a reaction to the increasing number of board track inspired customs being built at the moment. In his own words, “board trackers are so 2009 so I’m calling this the ‘30s Hill Climb special.”

The build began when Chris was looking around for a Ducati Bevel drive V2 frame for another project and stumbled across a ‘40s Matchless G3 frame on eBay. Being an admirer of the look of pre-war bikes he put a bid in and the frame was his.
The original plan was to use a JAP single for the motor but as these are both rare and expensive and alternative option had to be found. In this case a GM speedway engine.

While a frame and engine don’t make a complete build, it did give Chris enough of an idea of what he wanted the finished bike to look like and fortunately he had enough parts lying around his workshop to get him well on the way. A Burman gearbox has been mated to the engine and a Husqvarna front rim built up onto a Bultaco rear hub to complete the drivetrain. A Suzuki RM125 donated its front wheel, and this is held in place by a set of girder forks that Chris fabricated himself, saying, “I wanted the front end to be different but not too out of place... I tried to get a ‘30s aviation look on the girder forks.”

Having made up his own front end, it was a simple task to Chris to then go on and fabricate the exhaust, gas tank and handlebars for the bike.


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