Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interview: Bobbee Singh

Looking to restore or get your hands on an awesome old school Enfield then Bobbee Singh is your man. Beautiful is the word for his bikes you can see how much blood, sweat and love goes into each of his builds. We caught up with him and talked about what we know best.

Who are you?
I am Bobbee Singh, a recovering alcoholic who chose the wrong spirit before, now ever grateful for a second chance...feeling exceedingly lucky that i get to do what i was sent for, make motorcycles.

When did you get interested in bikes?
I was too young, its difficult to say... I  had a South Indian neighbor, who worked for the American embassy... he used to build motorcycles in his living room.... I hung out with him at age 10 or 12, there were parts, many parts and I would pretend to help him I would put grease on my face to look involved. When he left he gave me his Triumph painting.

Bobby says making motorcycles is what he was sent to do.

What was your first bike you ever owned/rode?
A family friend parked his Enfield in my back yard, i stole it put it next to a tree and took was a great ride ! when i came back, the whole family were standing outside with their chins touching their knees !! Got the first & the last slap from my father (good days) i was 14/15.

The same friend, let me clean and polish his Enfield and let me have a ride around my colony, I took 2 or 3 rounds before I returned the bike.

Was still in the process of dropping out of school, and doing had 3 or 4 sales jobs at the same time, I saved some mother gave me the rest for my first Enfield. (She was a 1987 model)

What prompted your first build?
There was no such thing as my first build, I was forever building, designing etc etc. there was this Jat Sikh, extremely rude and arrogant (like all Jats are) bullet mechanic called Ravinder Singh. He was a drunk, but a magician with Enfields. We built my so called bike a 1962 Royal Enfield (DLN 1210) A beauty beyond description. Emperial marroon in colour I later added a 500 cc fearing to it (much to Ravinder Singh distaste) he once refused to put the ape-hanger handle bars and almost hit me swearin in punjabi 'aa kee shatarmurg liyayaan he maachoda."(no translation needed)

Late Ravi Bhaajee is the ignition of my motorcycles. God bless his soul.

Who are your influences?
Seriously, I understand why some people say, " i am a old soul' ! everything old school, is very very precious to me books, philosophy, music, movies,furniture, weapons, times, letters, clothes, people, values & motorcycles. The entire range of old motorcycles are my motivation/inspiration Triumphs, BSA, AJS, Indian, Rudge Ulsters, Brough Superior, Nortons etc etc. Their simplicity, primitive power & hard style is what moves me.

What is your favorite bike?
Brough Superiors & Triumphs (twins)

What do you do for fun?
When I bring every single part from the painter, I put on a 200watts yellow light bulb, lay down that old animal skin and start putting the bike together late in the night...strong chai, cigarettes and low late night radio doing the graveyard shift is my definition of happiness :)

Listening to "one more cup of coffee" Dylan on a sunny winter day while riding my 68 "Bumble Bee" on the inroads of Khan Market on a Sunday is FUN. and to make somebody laugh.

Definition of happiness - Chai, Smokes and the Graveyard Shift
What bike would you like to see in India?
Indian Chiefs & Triumphs (so would we so would we)

What is the worst bike ever according to you?
The Rajdoot :)

Not a fan of the Rajdoot

Functionality vs bling?
Functionality is bling ! What the fuck is bling anyways...who came up with this!
an old line by Ayn Rand - Motion & Purpose ( form & function ) does for me.
Alloys on Enfields can go and fuck themselves ;)

What is your favorite road to ride on?
there are many roads...Jana in Himachal, The Great Ocean Road in Australia, Baga to Nine bar in Goa, Munnar, the inroads of the Pushkar area and any cantonment in India.

The Great Ocean Road is one of those must do rides. 

Munar has awesome riding roads and great coffee. Heaven!!

How does one get in touch with you?
Get in touch with me over facebook.

How long does a build usually take?
It takes 45 to 60 days to complete a motorcycle with me.

60 days for a bike like this I can wait.

How does one get their hands on one of your sweet bikes?
Meet me for a chai & dont ask me to put lights in your wheels (Amen Brother)

What is the latest bike you are working on?
I am working on a 64 Enfield now, it s goin to a 78 years old gentleman in Australia... she s called A A (always astride)

any sneak peaks to what is looks like?
cant do pics now its 3 in the morning and my wife thinks i have another woman.