First of all: forgive me reader, it's been a long time since my last post.
You know how it goes: someone asks you to "assist a little in a project we're doing" and before you know it you are working flat out, day and night for a month and a half. Oh well, at least the pay was good. But if anyone so much as mentions the word "PowerPoint" to me before the new year, I'm going to go ape.
Big things have happened since my last post. I took my bike to the "SFRO"-man yesterday to get a preliminary OK for me to go ahead and finish the build. To make a long story short: in order for me to get my bike approved for the streets here in Sweden, I have to go through a series of steps. The first, and biggest, is the one I completed yesterday. Before I can paint my frame, I have to show my bike in a semi-finished state to a guy who is a certified inspector for "SFRO" – an organisation that performs inspections for the "department of traffic security". The rules governing what you can build and take to the street are actually quite liberal in Sweden, but they [SFRO] nonetheless want to make sure that people don't kill themselves on poorly constructed death traps. Fine with me.
So, I loaded up my bike and drove the 80 clicks to a place called Svedala, just outside of Malmö, where I met with the inspector. I had half expected him to give the bike a cursory glance and then give me the go ahead, but he took to his work with the fervor [and humour] of a preussian customs officer. He crawled around the bike, looking at every weld seam, every bolt and every nut. He even spotted the absence of a "certified for the street" marker on my tires, despite the fact that I had buffed out the "for racing use only" lettering. A process that took me several hours to get right. So now I need to borrow a couple of street legal 19 inchers for the next time I go back. After much sucking of teeth and scribbling on notepads he gave me the verdict: as long as I add another 15 mm to the trail, and get the tires sorted, he would give the bike his blessing. Result!
Adding some more trail is no biggie since the tripple trees are still in prototype form and by reducing the offset a bit on the finished items, I will get more trail. I can also lower the back a little which will give me the same result.
Then came the paperwork. In order to stop people from putting together a host of stolen bits and pieces and then registering their collages as "new bikes" and thereby entering them again into the system, you have to show proof of purchase of the major components and produce the papers that show that you are the rightful owner of the engine etc. Again: cool by me. I also got my new 17 digit frame number and the SFRO-guy, who by now had lightened up a bit, stamped the new number onto the side of the stearing head. He them proceeded to take photographs of the bike and the new ID-number. My bike was now officially a new product with a new identity.
While filling out the remaining paper work he went through the list of questions: "Capacity?". "577 cubic centimeters" I answered. "Tank capacity?". "Oh, about 8 litres". "Make?". "Eh...Husqvarna..." I started, before he interrupted me. "No, no" he said. "That was before you made something totally different of this bike. You can't register it as Husqvarna any longer, you are now the official manufacturer of this bike as far as the authorities goes. So who is the manufacturer of this bike?". "Erm... Krook Street...I guess?" And then it struck me: Krook Street, i.e. me, is now an official motorcycle manufacturer. Who would have thunk it!?