by Bob Poor
Don't really have that much to say about scorchers, other than everyone should have one. They are simple to own, maintain and operate. They can heighten the bicycling experience more than the most expensive custom geared bike ever, because they teach you to be one with your bike. (The Velo Lama, as it were.) My advice to everyone that doesn't have one is to make one! The cost of building should be minimal.
Start with an old frame. There are plenty out there, especially in Europe. Pick one with plenty of clearance because you'll need to run the fattest 700C you can fit. This one's a 70s Motobecane with a stock fork.
Those are chrome cruiser bars, cut just before the bend and mounted upside down. They're cheap and feel good.
The key to controlling a scorcher offroad is to run a good front brake, so you need to pay some attention to setup. The unusual lever on mine is an old reverse action Dia-Compe 188. Tri-Zone stock 'em, if you're interested.