Feet First Motorcycles, Bay area CA

Hi folks,

During the '80s I helped build a couple of FFs. The first was based on a BSA A50. Basically all that was done was to extend the swing arm, so that a high backed seat could fit down behind the carbs. The steering was linked back to a second steering head where the handlebars were attached. It was a joy to ride, after you'd gotten used to the way it handled and steered. Later it was enclosed in fiber glass. It worked well, visibility was the only shortfall; you couldn't see much over the top of the forks!

Later I worked on a couple of models using a Honda Dream including an automatic. The plan was to offer a kit that could be used to convert any Dream model. A racing version was also tried out using a tuned 400 motor. To get it approved for racing the seat back had to be removed, but it was still a comfortable ride.

Back then I lived in England. I've since moved to Santa Cruz in California. Work has kept me away from any other models, but I've been dreaming and working on different designs. My latest planned on using a Sportster motor in a custom built frame that rubber mounted the motor. Later a Buell motor could be substituted, I had a thing for an all American model. I've got an '89 four speed that I've been using as a model, but haven't gotten much beyond the sketch pad.

I've seen many Quasars in various stages of completion. I've even had the pleasure of spending time with the man behind them, Malcom Newell. He was a real trip and a sad loss to the "cause". I've seen many of his creations, all were the work of sheer genius.

I've just found this mail list, I've love to get together with anyone else interested in FFs here in the Bay area or northern California.
PNB comments: The BSA and Hondas that John mentions were those of John Bruce, which can be seen elsewhere on bikeweb. I had a memorable trip to the south of France on the BSA in 1985 which I wrote about in Motorcycle Sport. There's a photo of the BSA here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/202 and a photo of me riding the 400 racer here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/203
There's a also a picture I took of John Bruce sitting in his first Dream conversion, in 1987, here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/148
Finally, there's a photo of John riding what may be the self-same machine 18 years later, at Beaulieu, here: http://www.bikeweb.com/node/838