Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Smith cyclist building a unique bike

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (July 11/05) - Brett Clarke's motorcycle stands out on the road. It's unique because it's the Fort Smith man's creation - a customized 1973 450-cc Honda.

Brett Clarke of Fort Smith brought his customized Honda to a Canada Day weekend motorcycle rally at Escarpment Creek, just south of Enterprise.

His bike is different enough now, but once he is finished, he says, "It's going to be a one-of-a-kind."

His father, Elwin Clarke of Enterprise, got the bike from an employee about 20 years ago as collateral for a $500 pay advance.

The employee never picked up the bike, and it was stored in Elwin's garage.

"The bike sat in there for 20 years," Brett Clarke says, noting it has only about 2,000 miles on it.

Clarke got the bike last fall, and has been working on it for about a month.

He knows what he is doing since he is an auto technician with his own business, Mobile Tech Auto Shop.

And he has a life-long interest in motorcycles, having gotten his first dirt bike when he was just five years old.

"Right now, I've got four dirt bikes at home," the 24-year-old says.

Clarke says the Honda was "mangled" from sitting around in a garage for 20 years. For example, the front fender was destroyed, there were dents in the tank and the pipes were dinged.

Clarke stripped down the motorcycle and is rebuilding it. There are now different fenders on the front and he built a new seat.

He bought about 20 feet of handlebar pipe and made new handlebars. The old handlebars are now foot pegs. Now, it would be hard to guess the make of the motorcycle.

"It looks more like a Norton or a Triumph than it does a Honda," Clarke says.

And he notes it also sounds different than other motorcycles. "It just sounds louder than everybody else."

What makes his bike unusual is that he is creating almost all of the parts. "That's the difference."