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1998 Honda VTR 1000F – ‘Christine’

Posted on January 31, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Other, Racer. 69 comments

Christine – more shiny stuff than a dictator’s palace

Every time we post a bike, Scott and I sweat over a good “angle” to open the piece with. Something unique about the bike that will grab a reader’s attention and help them get into the story. Sometimes it’s to do with the owner’s job or a neat little ditty about the bike itself; where it was found or maybe something to do with a tasteless mod a previous owner had done. Most of the time it’s pretty slim pickings, whether it’s lack of time on our behalf or stories that just aren’t that wacky we often end up pulling stuff out of some pretty damn thin air. Then there’s bikes like Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. This bike has more angles than a cubist painting; it killed its first owner when only a few days old. Then it was repaired and ridden by Honda salesmen. Then it was customised in what I can only describe as a “zombie killer” style. Then it was plumbed with nitrous. If you told us aliens had done a burnout on it while riding it across Roswell with a young JFK looking on in a giant octopus costume, we’d just about believe you. Hello Christine you strange, strange woman.

Take it, Tyler. “I am 29 years old, and I work as the service manager of an agricultural equipment dealership in Southwest Montana. I work on all bikes from a Harley stable to more traditional vein cafe bikes. The long winter here tends to drive me nuts, and forces radical changes to anything on wheels in my garage. I do most of my own work when (and as quickly as) I can; I have an aversion to sending out or ordering parts, and the huge amounts of time that that wastes. Sometimes it is inevitable, and I have been lucky to receive professional results in all the bits I have had to source from the outside. I try to note those responsible for those efforts.”


“it lasted all of 6 hours
before being piled up in the fatal wreck”


“The bike started life in Bozeman, MT as a1998 VTR1000F Superhawk (or a Firestorm outside the US). When new it lasted all of 6 hours, before being piled up in the fatal wreck of its first owner. It then spent a few years as a first class bodge job, used mostly as a commuter by the owner of the local Honda dealership. I purchased it two years ago to try to restore, and decided it was too far gone to do justice to that end. A cafe-esque naked treatment seemed to be the way to go. I installed the dual headlamp, rewired the bike, and popped on a Roc-City Dunstall seat. In keeping with a cafe theme, I dropped a significant amount of weight with full integrated LEDS, Shorai battery, and plenty of speed holing.”

“A year after this incarnation, I decided to try my hand at aluminum fabrication in an effort to lighten the bike more. This resulted in the creation of the tank and mini fairing. The tank is styled completely out of my head (kinda makes you wonder what goes on in there, eh?) but the fairing draws its cues from early sport aviation and automobiling. With those bits done, I further stripped all the remaining emissions junk off, cut down the exhaust to a cleaner 2-1, and sent it out to be ceramic coated. I re-installed that with a short GP style can, much smaller than the original (heavy) stocker.”

Like a FireStorm and the Bilbao Guggenheim had a love child


“I decided that the attitude of this bike
required a nitrous oxide kick”


“Taking a breather and looking at the project, I decided that the attitude of this bike required a nitrous oxide kick. I had dynoed it previously at 96 horsepower, and in order to keep engine-wrecking to a minimum, I opted for a 20-30 adjustable setup. I set it up as a 20 hp boost, to hold the hooliganism to a minimum. In keeping with the post-apocolyptic, zombie-raiding attitude this build seemed to take on (of its own.) I used guarded switches and a few other billet bits for the nitrous controls. The 12oz bottle fit neatly in front of the uber-small Shorai battery with a modified grease gun clamp, and kept everything tidy. I did a minimum of detail work, including lock wiring, and jet aircraft warning stickers – including a ‘Danger – Ejection Seat’ one.”

“Ultimately I met my aggressive weight loss goals, bringing the bike down nearly 50 pounds to a neat 393 pounds (178 kilos) wet. After modifying the jetting to match the new exhaust, it certainly seems to defy gravity better. It is significantly louder than original, but as the guy at the gas pump told me the other day, “it’s loud, but it looks like it should be…” Nothing more to say about that. I named the build ‘Christine’ in honor of the car in the ’80’s horror flick, and because the build seems to be possessed of a certain… spirit.”

And there you have it – probably the strangest bike backstory you’ll ever hear. If you’re gagging for more details and wondering just how Tyler took Christine from killer to thriller (thank you – I’m here all night) why not pop on over to the build tread on the ever fecund Do The Ton forum.

(Thanks again, Glenn)

PS. Tired of being nude? Check out our range of bespoke tees in the Pipeburn store.

  • kenoath

    That is f*cking horrible

  • Justinlonghorn

    Yes sir, I can definitely dig it!

  • Rockinrouleur

    U.G.L.Y. You ain’t got no alibi…LOVE IT! Imaginative.

  • Lalror

    That is the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life.  It hurts to look at it, yet it is SO UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME!  Can someone please explain the feeling I have right now?

  • Charlie

    It’s like some sort of diesel-punk, shinya-styled, mad max/terminator abomination, and it’s the most inventive, creative and balls-out weird thing I’ve seen happen to a Jap sportsbike. I love it. 

    As always, I’m jealous of America’s loose laws on modification and emissions standards.

    • Johnny 5

      just do it, even if its illegal

  • Tim Aysan

    I don’t think the laws anywhere on modifications and emissions are lax – lots of us just choose to ignore them 🙂

  • joeyputt

    I love the creativity and craftsmanship that went into this build! Congratulations on the feature Brother!

  • glenn

    A truly imaginative build…..taken a butt ordinary mass produced bike and turned it into something totally unique!

    Ugly?……..maybe to some…..but to me it is awesome and so totally outside the usual that you have to love it. 

  • glenn

    Congrats Tyler,

  • Dustinmc05

    the only thing I like about this bike is that he is running Michelins

  • GUest


  • Jesús Learte

    What’s really sad it’s knowing it killed its first owner (more strictly, its first owner died riding it).Then it’s referred to zombie killer style.  Going beyond this is quite difficult to me.

    • Dummy

      It seems like the owner and article author are making light of the fact that someone died on this bike. Shameful.

      • Tyler

        I was sincerely afraid this exact notion would come up…so much so that for a period of time I considered omitting the detail from the writeup. The fact is this detail is an important part of the story (without it the bike would still be stock, remember), and so is fitting. Please understand that both Andrew’s intro and my outline mention the death only in brief terms as they apply to the bike’s history; and reference to “post-apocolyptic” influence following that brief is in reference to the artistic style and attitude of the build, and was not inteneded to reflect on its early history. I think that the perception of “making light” stems from humanity’s reaction to death–particulary when linked to a certain incident. The incident in regard to this bike paints a background by your perception only–my entirely coincidental and perhaps unhappy choice of artistic direction does the rest. The bike had no control over the events of the past, nor does it have that power over the future. People key in on the death detail and get frightened. I am not superstitious, and do not really believe in the “soul” of an inanimate object and thereby have no problem builiding it and riding it for what it is. However, the bike’s story is colorful and filled with more interesting details than many people’s lives, and because of this I see no reason to hide it. What others take it for is–respectfully–something they have to make for themselves.

  • AlwaysOnTwo

    @PipeBurn  The whole thing, from creating it to being featured, is an act of stupendous
    courage and tribute to both (all) owners and machine.

    In case anyone that rides doesn’t know it, the bike (any bike) will kill you.

    The bike, however, just may live on.

    As it should.

    I wouldn’t cal it a zombie, more of an Eternal Transformer.  Not inherently evil, but with an unforgiving experience for anyone lacking respect and skill.  And evolved to deliver that message with a gas(hehehe).

    It is sooo damn ugly that I remember how my mother said she loved me because I was special.


  • KyleReese

    Ok…it killed its first owner….Not sure but…didnt we see Christian Bale fight one of these in Terminator Salvation……?

  • Anton

    I will never love a woman as much as I love this bike.

  • Jeff

    Motorcycles are like domesticated wild animals… Somewhat unpredictable, a risk when you get too comfortable, and a general risk to the owner. And like a wild animals, it should be destroyed if it kills someone. I’ve ridden my whole adult life and have been known to take risks, but I wouldn’t ride a bike with that history if you paid me.

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      Got news for ya…the whole breed has that history.  It’s like dating a porn star; you ride one, you’re sharing the risk of every other dead biker.  Like wild animals, they just don’t care or discriminate based upon your perceptions.  Now slink back into the garage and treat your precious killer to a fresh coat of wax, and just maybe it won’t leap into the grill of an oncoming Mack this weekend.  But ya never know….

    • Homagemotoworks

      Sooo……is it hunting for it’s next victim? First owner got killed on it. Unfortunately that happens.
      Part of the reason I ride is because I take my life in my own hands every time I swing a leg over a bike, it’s my responsibility not that of the machine to make good decisions and make the corner.

      Let’s see……don’t break a mirror, run away from black cats, don’t walk under a ladder, umm…..throw salt over your shoulder for luck…..what other stupid superstitions can we all buy into?

      • Twistedechildturnsmadmonk

        The don’t walk under the ladder thing isn’t superstition that is pure common sense… if someone up there is working with a hammer and drops that on you… or if someone is painting up there and drips paint… The REST is superstition BUT DO NOT WALK UNDER A LADDER WHEN SOMEONE IS USING THE LADDER (what if he drops the chainsaw?).

  • SmokeyTheBear

    I was scared that pipeburn was only going to keep featuring mopeds and harley’s…. Then they post this wondrous pile of aluminum clad 90’s street-fighter awesomeness. Needless to say my faith in pipeburn has been restored. Now if only they could feature a turbocharged BSA or something else as fantastically preposterous…..

    • AlwaysOnTwo

      I wish you hadn’t said that, it’s like poking the bear.  Now I’m cringing to hit the bookmark in the morning ’cause I just know there’s gonna be another hipster mofart feature and a gaggle of clone heads bragging about 100mph homebuilt poofery with Star Wars emblems and light sabers and the whole I love to spend money being cheap mantra.  I hate you for this!

  • GuitarSlinger

    Kind of UGLY . Damn ugly in fact . Buuuuuuuut . Like the Nissan GT-R or a pit bull its an ugly that … works ! Perhaps the French term Jolie Laide fits this one ? 

  • josh

    awesome! well deserved feature!!!

  • Davidabl2

    The tank reminds me of a heating duct. Bike works though. On attitude.

  • Ringo

    Congrats Tyler! 100% bad ass in every way possible.

  • Ccc40821

    If it had to have to be named after a horror story, Mary Shelley’s book title would have been a more appropriate choice.

    • GuitarSlinger

      I was thinking more ‘ Mad Max ‘ than Frankenstein 

      • AlwaysOnTwo

        It’s ugly, badly written and scares the crap out of little kids.  Think Stephen King, Road Rage.

  • bigskyguy

    There are some pretty cool bikes coming out of Montucky these days. Long winters rat-holed up in the garage. Took my bike out for a spin today…..thanks global warming.

  • Marck


  • Fishboy

    You sure it doesn’t transform into some kind of alien robot which either saves or attempts to destroy the world in an action-packed movie where nobody’s sure what the hell is going on?
    A-plus for effort.

  • RC

    Is it still under construction.

  • 7iM0

    I thought it was the bike from that ‘Reckless Kelly’ movie. 

  • Tony

    frankenbike – ugly has a new home!

  • drillmastertommy

    This thing could have a space shuttle booster attached and be able to reach warp 10 but that still wouldnt change the fact that it looks awful! I’m all for resurrecting bikes and adding to the go but surely some style in the mix wouldn’t go amiss.


  • Davmo

    Carnage in the comments section at my two favorite bike blogs. Seeing this feature gives other builders hope their bikes will be able to make it on these pages…and a little trepidation about whether they really want to subject their self to this level of scrutiny. Extra points for originality on this build. The Stephen King 
    reference seems fitting (thanks, @@AlwaysOnTwo:disqus ) There is something almost cartoonish, but still intriguing about it, much like a Stephen King novel. Pipeburn- keeping it fresh.

  • Coxster

    I’m thinking MAD MAX REMAKE! Disgusting, and I completely love it

    • No, the bikes in Mad Max were classy…. not like this alu-mess

      • Homagemotoworks

        WHAT??!!? Are you effing kidding? Classy? HAHAHAHA!

  • Sotwclarinetguy

    I appreciate seeing everyone’s honest discourse…I am pleased that the reactions are love or hate–but no lukewarm here!

  • Most bikes on here I’ll save for my desktop screensaver. I think I’ll pass on this one.

  • Psotapocalypticearl

    Dig it.

  • Anyone ever watch Battlestar Galactica?

  • I don’t understand this streetfighter thing. And so i am not gonna mention that i don’t like these bikes, nor them freaky riders with there camo pants, coloured mohawks and fur on their bikes. But those goretex cowboys on these GS freak me out as well. But maybe i am just an ignorant asshole.

    • anon

      Maybe you are.

      • Hangyourself

        Yup he sure is an ignorant asshole…  “i am not gonna mention that I don’t like these bikes…” the fool just did.

        • A c’mon…do you live in an autocracy? Are you not used to hear contrary opinions?

  • glenn

    The dude built a bike…perhaps not a YOUR bike,  nor what you would want to build. But credit should be given for having the nuts to be different…and not building a stamped out dog biscuit of a cafe wanna
    be clone.

  • Ringo

    Absolutely, Glenn. 

    And hangaround, having ridden with Tyler many times, I can assure you, he’s no squid.  He’s a down-to-earth, very talented and responsible rider. 

    • I’m sure he is, it takes some balls of steel to build and ride a bike like that…it was not meant personally!

  • Homagemotoworks

    It does kinda need that Cylon eye thing up front somewhere (in amber of course to be legal)…..

    All the haters are just pissed because this bike would take their lunch money AND do their moms.
    Your mom likes a good hard go with a rough, edgy monster now and then…just ask.

    All joking aside, Tyler built this bike himself. I’m sure it’ll evolve further as these things always do.
    He built a bike that’s faster and lighter than standard and won’t get lost in the herd or carbon copy lemmings out there. And he’d give you mom a good hard go too….

  • Mrs.M

    To Christine….the zombie, man eating killer.  Know this, if you want to keep the shiny body with the perfect form fitting curves to make any girl jealous, you bring your rider home to me, safe and sound…every time.

  • VonYinzer

    Awesome stuff Tyler! Well deserved. To those of you who feel the need to be douches, where are YOUR hand made custom motorcycles? Not liking it is one thing, but some of the absolute asshole comments are over the top. Seriously though, where are those badass garage builds of yours? Show them off! You keyboard commandos all obviously have the skill and talent to hand make an alloy gas tank in a shape you like. Lets see it. You obviously have stripped a bike to the skeleton, and rebuilt it into something 100%original, so post some pics! Come on worlds greatest bike builders! Show Tyler (and us) what a “nice” custom looks like!!!! No? Didnt think so ya chuffs. Go back to rubbing one out to Hot Bike magazine or whatever other rubbish gets you riled up…

  • Homagemotoworks

    Have some of that….hahahah! Mike you kill me.

    It’s funny, I’m having a slow day in the shop so have been able to kind of follow this, here and a couple other areas. One particular site is ‘all about going fast’ (paraphrased) and all they can piss and moan about is…….the appearance.

    Bitches will bitch.

    • Well, you is not about bitching. Tyler, you sure have some great craftman skills. Can’t deny that. I’m sure you are welding thousand times better than me. But this bike just didn’t hit my taste of customs. 

      • Homagemotoworks

        Hangaround: At least you’re not insulting about it. Different strokes and all that…..

  • Swapmeet Louie

    The only thing negative I can contribute is, That your brake fluid is burnt. Good job Tye…

  • Twistedchildturnsmadmonk

    This is gonna make to the top 10 bikes of this year… if the haters keep up their comments… Personally I like this and would ride this bike until it is DEAD, yeah the bike dies and not me…

  • On the first look, people would comment
    that the bike looks like a fighter jet! The air pockets in the front
    of the tank has been very precisely carved to blend aerodynamics with


  • Hari Bhajan

    jesus fucking fuck thats awesome

  • Duke
    • Tyler

      This is Rom incarnate!

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