Art and maths, and that place where they meet.
The junction is what’s presented every time someone’s hard work ,pure sweat and tears ,goes up on some unknown website or syndicated social network ,but as both Alan Turing and Jesse James’ll tell you.. it’s in the equation ,the journey.
We started with a fairly detailed and specific brief for a stripped & cut Honda CX500 in the custom tracker style with upside-down and single shock superbike underpinnings ,Motogadget accessories ,custom pipe work ,laced wheels ,billet ,the whole nine.
A big net was cast for the running gear since the client wanted spoked wheels and most of those available were for chain driven motorcycles. Fortunately we found a suitable donor bike up north which as it turned out belonged to one of our long time partners ,Old Skool Trading. Unfortunately the only thing about the wheels that would work with our tyre choice.. were the rims. Every other facet of the rear (and front!) end required extensive customization and rebuilding, from the axles to the wheel hubs, to the brakes discs and their mounts, to the spokes which required a 3mm relocation to fit the hub, to the single shock conversion and it’s accompanying one-off mount/swing-arm brace – and that’s two months of atom splitting summed in a very short sentence.
For the seat the brief dictated a floating element made easier by the fact the bike would only be used 1-up. Aluminium is one of our favourite materials to work with. Comparatively light ,strong ,easily modified ,we used machining and water-jet cutting to execute complex drafts like the inset for the ‘Motogadget M-lock’ keyless ignition ,the triple-clamps & handlebar risers ,the front mudguard mounts ,the footpegs and plates/mounts ,the coolant overflow reservoir ,the exhaust hanger and the two side-by-side plates which would constitute the new floater sub-frame. A sub-frame loop with flush mounted LED running light strip was then tabbed to the plates and a plush custom leather seat to finish it off.
The tank of course is one of the main styling elements and this is a late 90’s cruiser piece ,Intruder ,Shadow ,et all ,lifted from an ill-fated project bike. And lift we did.
The rear up by three inches and the tank followed ,creating not only a fantastically aggressive hunch but also a handy space underneath to mount the new electronics package as the old loom.. and every spoiled adventure it promised ,was gutted and tossed in a bin ,besides ,wiring old electrics in to a Motogadget M-Unit is ill-advised. Rounding off the cockpit view is the headlight, ordered from he states by the owner after searching for a unit which looks right but also casts the sort of light one gets from an OEM part. Naturally it arrived without a shroud but by a touch of serendipity the back of the unit looked appropriately industrial and so it was mounted ,which allowed for deeper recess between the forks, in turn resulting in a tighter profile.
A point of pride is the headers and exhaust ,constructed in stainless and terminating in a Moto GP style silencer with a wavy profile which helped the science of mounting it complimentary with the existing lines.
By this point the bike was nearing signpost but what was previously a somewhat camouflaged radiator was now standing proudly tattered against this new backdrop of glitzy corners and svelte surfaces so continuing the theme down the front of the engine ,more stainless steel was ordered ,this time in sheet form ,and then laser cut to serve as a little makeup/time saver but also doubling as a nice radiator protector.
We gave it a good once over in the test department too. Oh she’s certainly no trailer queen.
It went all the way to Zambia to be reunited with it’s owner, albeit in radically improved style.. and yes.. that certainly was on a trailer.