15 Ocak 2012 Pazar

My Dear GT Aggressor

Year 1990, I was at the age of fourteen . Everybody used to fall in love in spring, but all I cared was riding...At the time I had a pink Haro Sport which had a weld under the seat post clamp-the usual Haro Sport problem (story of which will be told later on). In the neighborhood Ertan had a GT Pro Freestyle Tour, and Kerim had probably something similar. And our long curly haired friend Vedat had a chrome Raleigh Super Burner bike. Those were the only freestyle bikes in the whole Asian side of Istanbul!

1984 Raleigh Super Burner
Vedat was the oldest member of the gang after Ertan and I would say he was the boldest rider of the team. His favorite trick was "bazooka" but in my opinion his most remarkable feature was to do peg wheelies, frame stand, bar stand and etc. in really high speeds, most of the time down hill which could hurt you badly if you fell. Vedat sold his Raleigh, saved some money and eventually ordered a nice chrome GT Pro Freestyle Tour from USA. The bike  came after an impatient waiting period. That was a big thing because not everyday a brand new bike came to the neighborhood. Aaand Vedat opened the box and guess what, it was a GT Aggressor which was released to the market only last year (and manufacturing stopped the year after)!

1989 Kasım Ayı BMX Plus Dergisi'nden 1990 model GT Agressor reklamı 

A strange looking bike with a welded bash guard on instead of a GT Pro Fresstyle Tour which was the most popular freestyle bike of the era, Vedat was deeply dissapointed but there was not much to do. Sending the bike back would probably mean to wait another couple of months or even never get something in return. The customs procedures were very tough and it wouldn't worth risking the bike. I remember Vedat grouching "if only they just had put a small   platform on the damn bike".

After riding our bikes for two years I sold my Haro Sport to a guy in Fenerbahce and just after that Vedat sold his Aggressor to me. I rode the Aggressor for two summers with pleasure but with worn out tires, no gyro cables and cracked brake levers due to limited resources and mostly due to being broke. 90'es were a big fall on the popularity of BMX bikes and for me it was graduation from the high school and staring the college. We had moved to another city where there were no riders to hang out with and my Aggressor took her place in the basement...

Year 2011... 17 years since I last rode a BMX. My sorrow for my Haro Sport which I left as P.O.W. in Libya was still fresh and I was in Istanbul. The first thing I did was to look for my Aggressor's frame&fork. Checked out my parents' basement, the small store room in our house but it was nowhere. I blamed everyone for trashing it and nobody confessed they did so. Then embarrassingly my wife found it stuck between a woodenbox and the wall in our store! (I am sure there are several old school bikes somewhere hidden like that)

Long idle years have caused corrosion and a faded chrome...

I contacted my friend Vedat after 20 years. He now owns a shop called MOTOSTATION on maintenance of motorcycles. It is nice to see him still attached to two wheelers. He gave me some good information on how to get rid of rust and I started working on cleaning.  

A recommendation to those who want to clean their bikes off from rust. Although i tried three different rust removers Cif Kitchen Cleaner worked the best! Below are the pictures of Cif and SONAX cooperation after a big effort for 10 days and 1.5 hours a day:

Yes myGT was ready for the restoration, but I was about to leave the country again for an overseas project. I left the frame&fork to my friend Hakki-owner of Kadikoy Bisiklet Evi after making the selection of parts. I really would like to put the bike together to the last screw but I had no time and I wanted myAggressor to be complete a.s.a.p. My decision was to have a combination of old school and and new school looks.

Decals were designed in photo shop with the help of my sister in law-great artist-yoga master-art director Eren Topçu. I did not want to duplicate the original decals, my purpose to make something new from a 22 year old bike.There are still some decal designs in mind that I want to make for this bike,but this was what I could do in the short time I had.

I sent the digitals to my restaurant manager friend Billy (Bilal Çelik) who had a friend who was printing catalogs for him. Next day the decals were in my office...

And finally it was time to go for me. I had to leave before seeing my bike complete. I reluctantly left the country, However during its restoration I was involved and told Hakki what to do via msn and facebook.

This period was not very important for me. At the end of the day when I returned back I was going to make my changes and fine tuning on the bike. By the way I must also say that Hakki did a great job. After 6 months of stay when I came back to Istanbul I made the fine tuning on the seat post and stem height and some brake adjustments. That was it. There are still some parts replacements that I am planning, but for the time being  I am sharing the pictures of my Aggressor's final status. Enjoy!

2 Ocak 2012 Pazartesi

Happy New Year

Dear BMX lovers, I wish all a happy and an accident-free new year!

What about the story of this bike under the Christmas tree? Coming soon!