Not sure how we found it but we stumbled accross the Facebook page of Bespoke Emporium the other week and were instantly hooked…the site and brand is owned by Nathan Harley Ward, a dedicated individual with a passion for vintage bikes. As you can probably tell from his middle name his Father was and is a keen exponent of two wheels, particularly of the American persuasion.
It was probably inevitable that at an early age he was influenced by engines, bikes and old cars, in fact anything with an engine!
About Bespoke Emporium
His daytime profession is a structural engineer and coded welder for heavy engineering. To relax, of course, with rather lighter engineering and therefore up until recently when he managed to get a proper, dedicated workshop, he was constructing everything in a 12 x 8 ft wooden garden shed. Needs must but the business is expanding and getting busier, orders are on the up and you can see why when you look at the results of his work. One repeat custom has just commissioned Nathan for his fourth build.
Starting off by making industrial furniture and lighting of the type now popular in modern themed restaurants, although his work would not look out of place in any vintage factory or workshop. Occasionally commissioned to make running replica vintage motorcycles, as he always had a supply of early period engines, although sourcing them recently has become more difficult, if you can help please get in touch.
Indian Boardtrack Racer
On behalf of a friend who loves Indian Boardtrack racers and also Villiers, he made a Villiers engined Indian Boardtrack tribute and called it a Vindian.
It goes well of course but was built as a bit of fun as it would hardly be competitive with such a baby engine. This bike created a lot of interest which turned into actual orders including the 350 JAP engined Indian replica.
Friends and acquaintances always let Nathan now if they see an old engine on their travels, for instance, the 350 JAP/ Indian engine came from a defunct 1930s Bowling Green ATCO mower. All engines are stripped down and run better than new. He tryies to fabricate everything himself, from frames and forks to handlebars and tanks, primarily because he knows the standard of his own work. Sign writing is a skill that is outsourced however and he entrusts all his sign writing to Harry’s Hot Rod Shop where they use paint and brush and not vinyl for that authentic, original look.
Painting is done in-house but getting the rustic look has been perfected over time and Nathan wishes to keep this a closely guarded secret!
Builds typically take around 4 weeks but vary depending on the customer’s requirements, prices also vary (but are very reasonable) but each build is bespoke.
Indian Boardtrack Racer Specification;
- 1934 350 jap sidevalve engine (re bored 40 thou over and new valves and seats re cut)
- Wico a series magneto
- Amal 274 remote float carb
- Frame; Custom, hand made
- Suspension; None
- Brakes; Rear drum, front; none
- Rear wheel; 26-inch, sturmey archer front
- Handlebars; Custom, hand made
- Tank; Custom, hand made
Not all their replicas have internal combustion engines however, they recently completed an electric board track replica (which you will be able to find on his You Tube channel) with dummy engine, Nathan is also about to turn two 1930s Villiers singles and build a working replica of a 1923 Stanger.
He always insists on road testing his bikes thoroughly before dispatching them to their new owner. Well, one has to make sure that they run well!
His long term personal goal is to build a vintage motorcycle using his own design and race it on Pendine Sands aiming for a speed record. I guess that you could say he wants to be a British Burt Munro!
Money doesn’t buy happiness but one of these will and what’s the point of being the richest person in the graveyard, go and give their Facebook page a like and place your order today, you won’t regret it…