Keep On Truckin' - Building the Dirt Norco Team Bus
Some say the van maketh the team...
From Dirt Issue 113 - July 2011
Words by Ben Reid. Photos by Ali Beckett.
Many people think that pro sponsored riders spend all of their off–season in the gym or getting massages or drinking protein shakes…if only! It has been well documented in the mag that racers Ben Reid, Dan Stanbridge and mechanic Ali Beckett decided that they wanted to do their own thing, so around 18 months ago they set up the Dirt Norco team. It takes a hell of a lot of time and effort to run a team. Many hours spent behind a computer talking with companies, making deals and plans…and then of course there is the team bus. Here’s Ben… Mike Rose
Right, time to write some words about this thing. Firstly I thought it was time the team had a new vehicle as we were begging to outgrow my current van. I had a vision of the kind of vehicle and set–up the team should have and knew this was not something I would be able to go out and buy. I took on the project of converting a low floored welfare bus into a motor home/race truck in Feb 2010. You might remember a photo of this in Dirt last year when I first started the conversion. I had to shelve the project during last season to go ride some bikes and in September 2010, when I got home, I got back to work on it again. So, here is a little bit of an insight to what has went on with the project since it was last seen here in Dirt.
When I got home in September, there lying in my shed was the bus just how me and JR (my dad) had left it. Stripped down to the bare frame and in one hell of a state. It was a mess, not only did the bus have no side walls, it was packed full of old bike boxes and there was even a stray dog sleeping inside that had made itself at home over the summer months.
The plan for this winter was to focus on getting all the body work in a finished condition and to have the graphic work completed as well as getting the awnings made and logoed, any time left over to get work done on the inside would be a bonus and I wasn’t really planning to do much more for this season than throw a couch in the back. However the next hurdle was getting the bus taxed and insured as a motor home and this meant an inspection was in order to complete the changeover. This changed things a bit and I had to get the vehicle fitted out to a point where it was passable as a motor home. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be passed and we will be well on the road!