That Finishing Touch.

Some of the most hardest items to replace on ones motorcycle when restoring is the rubberware. You know the items – time hardened kneepads that we try to soften with rubber grease so that we can slip them over the metal backing plates without them cracking, or in some cases snapping in two, carburettor to air filter rubber connecting hoses that have hardened, shrunk and will not go over the inlet mouth, or the old original mileage worn footrest rubbers that look as if the family dog has had a great old gnaw on.

Popping down to your local spares parts supplier for a pair of Levis footrest rubbers in white, or a set of knee pad rubbers for your 1930s Ivory Calthorpe is not possible unless you are holding out on us all and have invented “The Time Machine”. And if you are not fortunate enough to have a club that does limited production runs of some of the more commonly used rubber items or if you are restoring something that is quite rare and there is no club sometimes scouring swapmeets for New Old Stock items (but still hardened and aged through time) or useable secondhand items has been the only option.

Well to assist restorers in their hobby is Jeff Hunter Engineering who has been manufacturing a wide range of rubber goods for many years. Originally operated by his father Jim, Jeff took over the business in 2000 and offers items from kneepads, OEM footrest rubbers through to the original John Bull and AMAL 1″ handlebar grips for vintage machinery. I visited Jim in 1996 and was impressed with what he had and found the quality excellent, especially since a lot of reproduction items nowadays are of poor quality having been moulded off original old worn parts (like a pair of Harley footboard rubbers I purchased – supposed to be new but definitely had that “worn and been around the world twice” look).

Jeffs business is small and doesn’t have a website so I have produced his catalogue here for those of you keen to have a look (it is a small PDF file so as usual you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader). Print it out, circle what you need and leave it on the kitchen table as a hint for the next birthday or christmas present for the wife (or husband/life time partner/boyfriend/girlfriend) to buy. Contact is via the email address at the top, or you could drop him a personal letter.

This of course does not replace the miserly old restorer that insists “if  its original and left the factory like that I am going to use it”

Happy looking.

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