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Yamaha XT 500 – “The Bastard”

Posted on May 4, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer, Rat. 55 comments

Some bikes are served to us on a silver platter, replete with back story, specifications, build photos, screen shots from the eBay ad, the builder’s mothers maiden name, when she lost her virginity and some original polaroids of the aforementioned event (with handwritten notes), and a professionally shot selection of photos with notes from the lensman himself noting time of day, ambient temperature, and how many beers he’d had with his delicious lunchtime meat pie. Then there’s this bike. You want information? We have just about as little as we possibly could without having nothing but a gaping black hole where our email inbox used to be. The real crime here? It’s that something so arse-smackingly cool can be so damn anonymous – like finding out that the hottie across the room at the party who took your breath away is actually suffering from amnesia.

Here’s all we have, courtesy of TwoWheels Blog. “Today’s special bike is called the “Bastard” and is the brainchild of Mr. Jurgi. The model uses frame and engine of a Yamaha XT 500, linked to a swing arm from a Yamaha XS 650 that provides the bike with more stability. The rear part of the frame is hand made, while head lamp, handlebars and fork are also self made by its creator. Other highlights of this dirty ‘Bastard’ include its vintage Hercules fuel tank, the nice 18″ wheels and its fascinating and unusual exhaust. We think that this bike is simply awesome: well done Jurgi.”

Hercules is a German bike company that ran from 1886 to 1992, and was the first bike company that offered a rotary-engined bike when it released the W-2000 in 1974. And no, they weren’t top of our “first motorbike company that jumps into your mind when you talk cool customs” list either. In fact, we’d barely heard of them at all.

The exhaust is obviously by Hoover and the tires seem to be Bridgestone Trail Wings – an inspired choice in my humble opinion. And the second rat bike that we’ve featured here with dirt tires on it in as many posts. Don’t hold your breath for the trifecta.

Tank seems to have been bashed and slashed in pretty much every way possible – we’re not even sure that petrol cap is original. Note oil-in-frame filler cap and missing bolt from center point of top triple tree. Excellent.

Update: We’ve been contacted by the guy who shot the photos of the mystery bike above. His name is Momke and he tells us, “Jürgi and his friend Friedel have a small work shop in North Germany since a long long time an the they ride repair and built XTs SRs and XSs since a long long time. After some beers they had the idea to build a bike out of all the scratch that was laying arround and collects dust. So the Bastard was born, pretty simple story, like the bike itself. This summer I´m taking a shoot of Jürgis awesome BMW R69S Café Racer, so stay tuned!”

  • Oldroadie

    No rear brake pedal or rod?

    • looks like the small 2nd lever on the left side of the bars could be for the rear brake, lots of little trick details hiding behind a no-shine-bugger-off-or-I’ll-kick-stones-at-you finish and I like it!

      • Adrian

        Decompression lever me thinks.

  • MotoTrooper

    Seems like he got a day of nice weather and rolled it out to get some pics before it was finished.  Cool vibe  about it though.

    • From the look of the RR brake switch dangling out of the frame I think you’re right. I like the seat, think it would look better with some fenders mind else he’s in for a shit streak right up the back from those mud pluggers. 

  • Mike Cambareri

    This is a perfect illustration of what I think a few of the comments on yesterday’s bike were referring to when they talked about the “right” way to do a rat bike.  It may not be shiny, it’s clearly home-built, but the lines are fantastic, and it looks very functional.  It’s beautiful without being prissy, rough without being slipshod.

    • SmokeyTheBear

       I completely agree. Just because its a rat doesn’t mean that it has to be half assed.

      • Robbie

        If you’re referring to the wla being half assed how do you know? Have you seen it in person? You might. Of like the bike but you don’t have a clue about its build quality so don’t comment on it. You got a bike you can put up for judgement?

        • Robbie

          Excuse the error, meant to say “might not like the look of the bike”

  • Pratikashwekar

    which is the other bike in the last photo? the black one?

    • cagivarider

      That’s an XT500, whereas the bike introduced here has an SR500 frame.

      Best regards

  • A Borg P

    This is the most awesome bike I have seen here on pipeburn. Without a doubt – jawdropping.

  • To me, it looks like a poor made motorcycle. I simply cannot understand all the excitement about it… Really

  • This bike is fugly too. But I like it. Hey, does that mean “I get it?” lol

    • GuitarSlinger

      The French have a word for things like this ;

      Jolie Laide = Ugly/Beautiful

    • But do you >like< it?

      • I love it, Andy. It’s so gosh darn nifty!

          • Daf08

            It’s on the Endless Wrench blog, I thought the link went directly to the built photo’s, but that blog has changed since I last checked, sorry.

            But it should be there on that blog.

          • Daf08

            I’ll dig in my emails if you want the exact link?

  • mulliniks

    ahhh the rat rod fad is making its way into the motorcycle scene.  It will last like the mullet did, cool at one time but in 10 years it will be embarassing.  The “rat” style is already fading from the car scene (not soon enough in my opinion) so enjoy it while you can 2 wheelers.

    • “Making”? A quick google search returned results from as far back as 1980 mentioning “rat bike” from various publications. And you could argue that the rat bike phenomena is essentially as old as motorbiking itself, as in my eyes at least it’s just what happens to a bike when you ride the crap out of it and use “kludge” fixes as a way to keep it on the road.

      FYI – I LOVE me those rat rods, too. 😉

  • davmo

    Hate to compare, but this one hits the right notes that the WLA did not with me. This design has flow and a more cohesive funkiness. The rat thing gets a bit tiresome when shoddy work is equated with “style.” The real challenge is keeping it raw, but in an elegant fashion. Harder than it looks. Dig it mucho.

  • GuitarSlinger

    This ….. is the epitome of a well done , properly conceived ‘ Rat Bike ‘ Not junk – not poorly done – not rough due to laziness . Just plain , simple , well built … and not over adorned with paint and fluff .

    Like davmo the WLA did nothing for me what so ever . Where as this …… hit me from the very first glance 

    This one strikes me as being a real hoot to ride as well .

    • GuitarSlinger

      If I may add to my post …… this bike exudes a genuine sense of ‘ Timelessness ‘ as well

  • davmo

    Hey, and not one comment about use of  pipewrap! (until now.)  I guess no one has a problem with a truly functional application like this one.

    •  Well if I may, I’m not sure how compatible the clip-ons are with dirt tyres…I cant imagine feeling comfortable on this thing either on or off road…

  • Car2nst

    It appears as if Stevie Wonder is editing what bikes you select. Stunning lack of imagination and I’m referring to the last three bikes posted.

    • redrumracer

      looks like no other XT i’ve seen before. wouldn’t that mean that the builder used his ‘imagination’?

      i personally can’t get enough of this thing. very cool lines in the seat, tank and exhaust. great job!

    • davmo

      No imagination? Really? Might agree on one or two, but not his one.

    • maczie

      I agree.probably desperate dan.epitomises our new society,where crap is regaled as art

      • davmo

        In a world where machines spit out identical “perfect” products, the one-off nature of this build is art. Good art speaks to the viewer. This one screams.

    • Couldn’t disagree more. Lack of imagination? C’mon! Scott and I see quite a damn few bikes on a daily basis and neither of us had seen ANYTHING like this before. I think what yr really saying is that you don’t personally like it – which is cool. Just don’t blame it on someone else…

      • No, Andy, I’m pretty sure it’s ALL your fault. lol

      • I found this Java with a lack of imagination also, in
        It striked me at a glance like ‘the bastard’.
        Ingenius brothers both in my opinion.
        Cheers mate !!

  • Daf08
    • Daf08

      Weird, it links to another post… retry:

    • Yeah – looks as if that post was just a repost of the original TwoWheels Blog post above. Post.

      • Daf08

        Not if you look at the date and the link inside the post to the original buildblog 😉

        • You’ve lost me – where’s the link to the build?

          • Daf08

            it was in the link in that post, but the site that link refers to has changed. If you want I can dig in my email to find the email address of the builder.

  • thruxto

    fugly bastard methinks

  • rennie61

    Like it a lot (apart from would have liked to see dirt bars)…very clean, simple, elegant and punk at the same time….I say let Stevie carry on editing as long as he likes.

  • Badfastard

    like! never looked at an XT500 as a base to build summing cool

  • Davidabl2

    memorable phrase above  from Davmo (and apt for many bikes)
    “The real challenge is keeping it raw, but in an elegant fashion.”

    Sometimes pipewrap is right, it belongs. Not very often. Hardly ever. But here, yes.
    Personally, I’d also like to see tiny  little vestigial fenders on it front and back, finished like the tank.
    for some more color accents.

  • Asshole welder

    The welds look like shit. I really like the look of the bike, but get somebody else to do your weld, or grind em down.

  • KraZy900

    Honestly, its looks like it’s halfway through a build (there is raw…and there is unfinished)…or they just picked it up off the road after a horrible accident.

    • Yeah. Cool, isn’t it?

      • KraZy900

        Well… I do like a bike that I don’t have to worry about leaving out in the rain

  • Jed

    This bike looks like it’s rider packs a blade. Dig.

  • mgmue

    Looks like something that would fit in with the rest of my garage.  I like.

  • 22century

    Klasse, Das ist mal wieder ein Beispiel für german Ideas and work

  • Pig

    Very cool bike. I’ve had an XT 500 stocker. But this monster is amazing in its boozy approach to both simplicity and gritty insanity. I must be a real “hoot” to ride from bar to bar on the backroads.

    It’s amazing what can get done with a blow torch, a pile of parts and a bottle of booze!!! Hats off to the builder, I want to buy him a drink. Maybe even two or three.