How the bike started, quite a while ago

How it looks now

Tom’s home-built loom

Sometimes on these pages you can find me bleating about how complicated a build is. But Tom’s ten-year Katana build has put that into perspective.

Like many people who need a wiring loom, he decided to build it himself, using the Rupe’s Rewires DIY manual. But after a diagnosis of relapsing MS 12 years ago, it was tricky. “I lost the feeling in my left arm, and I suffer weak hand grip. The problem with the wiring was I suffer from fatigue, and the wires turn into brightly coloured blurring shapes.”

Tom’s attitude is to look on the bright side, laugh as much as possible and take small steps. He built the loom, fitted a new ignition when the original pickups failed, and got the bike on the local dyno in Black Isle up in the Scottish Highlands. After four hours Chap, the dyno operator, had ironed out all the flat spots.

Being a silversmith, Tom chose a subtle combination of matt black (his favourite), silver and gold for the bike’s colour scheme. The seat was made by Marty, who only has the use of one hand. Tom reports that Marty was the original seat maker for the first Suzuki Katana concept bike, back in 1980.

“Thank you for your loom-building guide Rupe. I would have never attempted the rewire without reading it and using it as my wiring bible.”

I’m glad to have been helpful Tom. The bike looks ace.

Tom’s wiring diagram, drawn with Paint freeware

Local dyno operator Chap cleans up the power delivery