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Cooking up a creation

BY JARMILA JACKSON Observer writer

Friday, March 22, 2013    

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HIS last name may be Bond, but 69-year-old retired engineer George Bond is more like the resourceful trouble-shooting TV agent MacGyver than Ian Fleming's suave gadget-wielding agent 007.

Adept at solving complex problems with everyday materials, in 1994 the lifelong biker constructed a trike from nearly 800 kilogrammes of standard stock steel. An amazing metallic marvel that is truly one of a kind, it is ironically registered under the name 'My Little Pony' .

The cycle, however, is anything but little. Stretching 13 1/2 feet long and six feet wide, the moving sculpture is a sure-fire head-turner whenever it hits the streets.

"I've ridden just about every type of motorcycle you can think of; I've taken them apart and put them back together. I have four other cars here, but I don't enjoy driving them as much. I take this out every chance I get. There's nowhere it can't go. I've even driven through flood waters," Bond told Auto.

He was nicknamed 'Red Fox' by locals in Kitson Town, St Catherine, after migrating from Northampton, England, in 2003 with his Jamaican wife. On any given day, Bond can be seen whizzing by in his camouflage outfit, sometimes standing on the trike for better balance while navigating potholes.

"Everywhere I go I get stopped by the police and asked to produce my papers. So I always leave 20 minutes earlier to allow for the delay," said Bond wryly.

Complete with a saddle, a sculpted red face welded onto the front, a Ford 2000cc single overhead camshaft engine, five gears, manual transmission and the axle of a Mercedes-Benz van, the basic structure took Bond 18 months to build in the free time his hectic work schedule would allow. The trike can go as fast as 120 miles per hour.

According to Bond, the only major alteration it has required since construction is a conversion from petrol to liquefied petroleum (LPG) cooking gas. This arose as a solution to the irreparable damage to the engine caused by the alcohol content in

the fuel.

"Part of being an engineer is that when you see a problem you can't help but fix it, and you always try to find the best solution. The conversion took about three weeks. Now it runs better and cleaner, there's no exhaust and no waste. It's the best and most affordable way to get around the petrol problem, and I'm hoping that more people will latch on to it," he said.

The engineer added that he would also love to see Jamaicans build their own versions of his trike.

"I haven't got the time to build another one, but I'd be happy to show you how," he offered.

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