By Anthony van Someren - 18 Sep 13
It all went wrong for Jay Aldred when he rode his bog-standard GN250 over to his mate Alec's place, as Alec happens to be one half of Old Empire Motorcycles, where bikes enter "The House of Assembly" and are never quite the same again. Inspired by what he saw at this sacred place, Jay new his GN was destined for a better life. As a professional painter Jay usually spends his time at OEM adding to the general sarcastic banter while doing the odd paint job or polish, but as he describes it; "Alec decided to start attacking me with awesome ideas that would potentially alter the whole look of the bike, going from the look of a retired Blackpool donkey to a proper 'ridden-everyday' café/brat-trakker thing." "I started to get to work on the GN earlier this year, beginning with the stance which was nothing short of frumpy. I changed it by fitting over-sized vintage Avons to the standard rims (18 in the front, 16 in the back) stripping the forks and chopping the spacers by 2" and lowering the forks a further 2" through the yokes, which are kind of hidden by a pair of senior ace bars to take your eye off the fork legs sticking through." "A Dime City Cycles seat and grips were thrown on shortly afterwards to clean up the lines a little after removing the simply heinous original seat which was far to cruiser-like for the look I was going for. I've done a few obvious other small bits to try and get the bike looking totally different from the usually boring and generic looking GN." Hay still rides his bike all year round but like all good shed builds, it's never finished, so he's always meddling with various bits. His next plan is to do a 1940s Bomber themed paint job on the tank and side panels, which will certainly raise the bike's game in terms of being a custom build, ...although we'll kinda miss the stickers. "I think my favourite part of riding something that you do yourself is that its exactly how you want it and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of it." Well said Jay. "The sound of the tulip exhaust can makes it that much more fun to ride, as its gone from sounding like someone slurping through a straw to the sound of someone machine-gunning a water buffalo." Jay would like to thank Dave C for the photo shoot at the Red Feather Club on the old 95th Bomb Group Airfield, near Halesworth (Jay loves anything to do with the 8th Air force in East Anglia during World War II) and Alec for the use of his tools at Old Empire MC.