Following on from our article on Captain America’s Tribute Bike, Colin’s brother Brian has kindly given us an insight into the background on this talented guy. Often we stand and admire craftsmanship at its best without appreciating the hard-yards of blood sweat and tears to reach this point; not just the effort put into the project stood before you, but the years of dedication and devotion to develop their expertise.
Whether madness, passion or obsession, there is something quite special about the motorbike community, to invest so much time and effort into creating art on two wheels. From the functional 50yr old off-road BSA’s racing up a hill caked in mud to the showroom restoration or customising of the classics, money does even come into it. Often the project costs more than the result, but that doesn’t matter, no amount of money can buy that feeling.
As Phil Morris said, “It’s part of your DNA and there’s no cure.”
Sadly Colin Rutherford was killed in a tragic road accident in 2018, therefore no more of his passionate projects will ever be made. No one else will be able to sprinkle that magic however hard they try to replicate his individual success.
Without question he will be missed, but the world has been made better for his contribution and the legacy he's left behind.
Easy Rider came out when Colin was 10yrs old but I am pretty sure that Colin only watched it when he was 14yrs or 15yrs old; to him and his friends it changed every thing. I do remember him having a poster of the film in his room in the 70s along with a lot of varied bike stuff.
I am 8yrs younger than Colin, so to me this was an Aladdin's cave of bikes and rock music, that and him inspired me to get in to bikes. We all ready had a taste for the road as our Dad and uncle Jim were lorry drivers and we both went with them when we could.
My uncle was also a Tank-Transporters driver/mechanic during the 2nd world war and attached to the Americans when in North Africa, Italy and France. He drove Diamond T's and recovered Sherman tanks and had some great stories about driving and fixing American stuff.
When Colin started his apprenticeship it was on “Jap” stuff and that continued until when working at Alvin’s, Edinburgh. They started a Harley franchise in 1985 /86 and Colin was the head mechanic. As you can imagine Colin liked working on Harley's and went on a lot of courses to Harley headquarters in Europe, and after a few years they gave him a PhD in Harley's
We did take the “Mickey” and called him “Doctor Harley,” sometimes. People and bike shops would bring bike's that could not be fixed, but Colin fixed them.