Leon still rocks


Leon Ireland lives on in his whacky chopper

After his untimely death, Moksha frontman Leon Ireland’s chopper was sitting outside his mother’s house. Looking at it brought her a flashflood of memories — and pain. But keeping it idle, she was not doing the bike any good. If he had been alive, Leon would not have, under any circumstances, let it run to seed.

To solve the twin problems, Leon’s sister April decided the bike should be with someone who would keep it running and, most importantly, treasure it as much as Leon did.

She got in touch with Mohammed Arif, the man who had customised the bike for her brother. At the same time, Anjan Rangaraj was flipping through a photo-album of choppers Arif had made. He wanted one with an Enfield engine, but could not decide on the look. When pictures of Leon’s bike came up, Anjan knew what he wanted. And when Arif told him about Leon, he didn’t waste any time.

Anjan got it for a small sum of money after promising April that he would not modify the bike. Anjan was true to his word. From the engine to the Moksha logo, the bike still has everything that Leon and Arif put into it.

Leon had picked up the old Bullet for a pittance, and Arif proceeded to turn it into a chopper. Except for its 350cc engine and the front portion of its frame, everything in the Bullet was dismantled and thrown away. Leon wanted his chopper to look different from traditional choppers which have a raked front end. Therefore the major modifications were concentrated around the bike’s rear end. The changes were made to accommodate a bigger rear wheel. The swingarm rear suspension gave way to monoshocks. Another major change came in the form of three sprockets and two chains.

Leon had wanted Moksha’s logo on the tank, but in the end it appeared all over the bike in a glazed, watermarked form. “Leon spent months modifying the bike. It is his baby,” says April, who is glad that Anjan has not gone back on his word.

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