Earlier this year we donated a weathervane to an ITV programme called Love your Garden. The idea of the show is that they re design a garden for a deserving member of the public, in this case a 90 something year old D-Day veteran who had been a keen gardener but was now unable to manage. He had been a dispatch rider during the war, hence the motorcycle weathervane. We’ve produced a good range of different motorbike weathervanes now, but the editor chose the ‘Windy Day’ design based on a vintage Sunbeam, due to the light hearted nature of the design. We were glad to give one of our weathervanes to such a worthy cause.
We just thought we would write a post about a couple of the new designs we have done as bespoke weathervanes for customers. These two motorcycle designs are a nice contrast, with the simplicity of the Panther M100 and the VFR800, with its fully faired wind tunnel design. While we have created both of these designs for weathervanes, now we have done the design work we could incorporate them into a sign or even a hanging basket bracket! Generally getting a design done based on a vintage bike is much easier than more modern faired bikes as, with all their components exposed, there is much more definition in silhouette. The key with the VFR was picking out the distinctive lines without making it look like there are holes in the bike!
The Panther model 100 has become a popular choice as a classic bike, with the very characteristics which made it less desirable when new really lending themselves towards making a great classic bike. While its long stroke 600cc single cylinder was not as ‘exciting’ as some of the multi cylinder bikes of the same era its lazy characteristics, along with reliable overhead valves makes it the perfect choice for bumbling along country lanes. Besides there are plenty of more modern machines out there for those that want something a little more lively. The M100 was in production from 1932-1967, with the earlier bikes (like this one) having a rigid frame, so no suspension on the rear!
The VFR800 we based this weathervane on is very much at the other end of the scale in terms of performance, though it is very popular as a touring bike. The Honda V4 engines fitted to the VFR has (other than very early on when ‘chocolate cams’ was an issue) a legendary reputation for reliability and has great performance and a very distinctive engine note. This particular model was the first 800, where the change was made from carbs to fuel injection, along with having radiators mounted on both sides, rather than the previous 750 models, completely changing the style of the bike. Unlike the Panther the VFRs were recognised as classics from the off, winning countless accolades as bike of the year and proving the perfect balance between performance and comfort.
Despite these bikes representing different ends of the motorcycle spectrum they are both bikes I would love to have in my garage, though in terms of the Honda I do have a soft spot for the last VFR750 built from 1994-1997… fingers crossed someone will ask us to make a sign or weathervane based on one soon!
A fantastic photo of our Velocette motorbike weathervane! It’s a really clear image showing the detail of the design; the spokes, the springs beneath the seat and even the engine fins are highlighted, making this weathervane design instantly recognisable to anyone who knows their vintage bikes. We can create designs for weathervanes, signs and hooks based on any motorbike – a great personalised gift for a biker. Check out our current collection at https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/motorcycles
Another great design to add to our range of Motorbike weathervanes! We’ve produced this Harley Davidson Road King weathervane in black before, but this is the first hand painted in full colour. It was a really challenging paint job, partly because of the level of detail around the engine, but also because when the customer sent us a photo of their bike so we could match the colour, we realised it is actually a slightly different model of Road King. So fairly minor differences in the wheels for example turned out to be quite difficult to match up in terms of cut outs already there in the original design. But after much perseverence, both us and the customer are delighted with the result, and it’s great to see these fantastic photos of the weathervane insitu.