If Carlsberg made trikes, this would probably be the best trike in the world
It was a real treat to feast my eyes on a true work of art. The experts have brought together a tapestry of wonder, far beyond the sum of its individual parts. The item in question was the one and only conversion from two wheels to three for the lead guitarist of Motorhead, Phil Campbell. Apparently Phil didn’t possess a bike licence so this was a solution to join in the fun of his other band members.
I was lucky to catch up with the new owner Wayne who managed to bag a bargain at Matthewson’s Motor Auction, better known to us as the TV show Bangers and Cash. Wayne was on the scout for classic cars, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to invest in a piece of Motorcycle Rock history. It now stand proudly in his reception as a major talking point for his clients.
Victory Motorcycle presented the band with promotional bikes, all lovingly customised with individual paintwork, yet Phil had to go the extra mile; not that he was competitive but I’m sure it gave him a wry smile to take the spotlight.
Victory Motorcyles and the German Trike specialist Rewaco, collaborated with Motorhead’s European sponsor broker Jonas Sveberg to create Phil’s unique dream machine. This, ‘one of a kind’ Victory High-Ball cruiser packs a 1731cc punch with a slick 6 speed overdrive transmission.
The amazing paintwork came from the highly skilled Terje Aspmo who was credit for the artwork design on the cover of their album Aftershock. What amazed me is how he freehandedly airbrushed the artwork to perfection on their bikes. Imagine if you will, Picasso spraying graffiti, this is the level of skill he has to offer; not just once, but to replicate this quality of work on each and every bike.
The leather craftsmanship comes curtesy of Marius Mellebye, who does amazing leathercraft work at his workshop in Oslo. I managed to catch up with Marius who was kind enough to give me his thoughts.
I remember I was contacted by a custom builder company in Norway that got the project to customise three Victory models as a Motorhead signature model. So I was asked to make four seats. I guess the fourth seat was used on the Trike.
Anyway I was there at the unveiling for the three Victory models at HardRock Cafe in Oslo and I met all the members. What I remember most is Lemmy shaking my hand and said “Thank you, f**king awesome” and that’s it.
I was told later that Lemmy was not a guy of many words and if he actually said that I should take it as a big compliment as he wouldn’t bother saying anything he didn’t want to.
I was quite fresh at letter working at that time, but I couldn’t let the chance go so I jumped at it. The four seats took way more time than I expected and I remember working till 8am in the morning the day of delivery to finish in time. It was crazy but fun
All the seats are made with veg tanned leather, hand tooled and sown together with kangaroo leather, which is quite expensive but very strong.
Phil Campbell was presented his custom trike live at the NEC’s Motorcyle Live in Dece 2014. Much to the delight of the onlookers, he flipped down the boot of the trike to reveal a built-in amplifier; going on to plug in and play to the enjoyment of the crowd. What a showman!
Wayne said to me, that he was happy to keep the trike for the foreseeable as his centre piece, but being the canny businessman that he is, I’m sure he would be tempted to part with his treasure for the right price.