Fjodor Ritikoff’s Honda FT 500
Poor pink. Once a favourite choice amongst custom bike builders of yore, when it was applied to pretty much all and sundry that dared to step in front of a spray gun, it now finds itself relegated to the “the hell you will” section of the colour swatch book by us too cool for school, 21st century bike builders. But why? Physics tells us that it’s just another wavelength on the visible light spectrum, differing in shade from it’s red and purple neighbours by the vibratory dance of a few meagre photons. It’s the colour that rains down from the stratosphere and into our retinas to make a good sunset ride into a great one, and it’s also the colour of boobs. And who the hell doesn’t like them? Fjodor Ritikoff sure does – about as much as he likes Hondas, and as much as we like his Honda FT 500. Which is (you guessed it) pink.
Here’s Fjodor. “My age is 33. I’m a photographer from Riga, Latvia. One time I tried to find out something about cafe racer bike building, and I opened your site and saw many nice street trackers. I began thinking. Then for 2 months I search for a bike for rebuilding. Our country’s market is not big and finding a 500-600cc thumper is very hard. In November 2011 I found a Honda FT 500 after it had a little crash, so I transport it to my workplace and started thinking about a new body and soul for the bike.”
“The engine is standard, but with WISECO pistons for a little more compression ratio. The carburetor has a K&N air filter and works great – my friend made some upgrades to the fuel and air calibration. My other friends at GHK Motorsports who build very fast drift cars helped me with TIG welding and made some exhaust manifolds from stainless steel. It sounds very tasty!”
”After I understand what I want, I lowered the front fork 10cm (4 inch) and changed the rear stock shocks to KONI, with rebound and preload. To make riding much better and more comfortable, I changed the stock steering bar to an MX aluminium one from Renthal – it’s very good and very lightweight. I shortened the frame, and after I removed all mounts, I powdercoated it and sprayed it with 3 layers of clear on top. The fuel tank is from old Russian motorcycle call a “MOCKBA,” from 1967 with a fuel cap from a Honda Fireblade. I hope you like!”