Archive for December, 2011
Many of us fighterers know about the Big Belly Crew and some of the bikes they’ve messed around with or on. (Pictured below is the ZX-10 Jesse built that was featured in Streetfighter Magazine-issue 190). What most of us didn’t know however, was the long motorcycling history in the Cornell family dating back over 100 years.
Last Summer I had the opportunity to meet up with Jesse Cornell and the Big Belly Family in Springfield Massachusetts. The place of meeting was the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum, which has quite an interesting collection of antique automotive history. Not just the 2-wheeled variation, but cars, planes, pedal-bikes and more. It was really cool to see some of the interesting ideas from way back when and the way things progressed from so long ago! One particular room is devoted almost entirely to machines manufactured by Indian, which was the reason for our visit. Jesse had a Great-Great-Uncle, Stanley, who dealt Indian Motorcycles in the early 1900’s.
Gdogg’s interview series putting members of Custom Fighters that you should know in the spotlight!
I have heard the story from Miller about the birth of CF. However the masses probably don’t know how this whole mess came about. Care to share with us how it happened?
It all started when I bought my second 929 CBR. This one was to be my stunt bike, as the one I already had was about the nicest full fairing around (IMO). So I bought this crashed 929 off a friend and stripped the broken plastic off the bike, and began to set the bike up for making wheelies and crashing. Once I had it stripped, the big frame became so much more prominent to me, seeing the engine exposed under the frame, everything was right there to see. Over the next couple weeks of rebuilding the bike I started thinking that I liked how my stunt bike looked better than my full faired, AND it was much more comfortable to ride with the dirtbike bars.
I started searching around forums for nice stunt bikes and found a few here and there, but nothing that was actually clean or nice. Then I came across a couple posts from a fellow from the netherlands….a stunter from a group called Plan B. He posted a pic of what I still think is the most beautiful 900RR fighter I’ve ever seen. Then the digging ensued. I was bit by the bug and had to have more.
Miller (ab420) was/is a bit more computer saavy than I, so I asked him to teach me some better search techniques for the internet, and before you knew it, I was translating page after page of German, Dutch, Spanish etc and saving it on my computer for reference. I was creating files and files of folders of pictures broken down by manufacturer. It was about all I ever talked about. Constantly scheming how I could transform my bike and why I would do this or that, and how to make it something very different than I’d seen before.
Well after a couple months of me being completely consumed by this and talking about nothing else, my good friend Chris had a good suggestion.