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Fjodor Ritikoff’s Honda FT 500

Posted on November 8, 2012 by Andrew in Brat. 28 comments

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!”

  • MotoTrooper

    Yellow headlight and paint hue aside, one of the better looking Ascots I’ve seen -you CAN make them interesting! Also looks to be a fun ride that wouldn’t get lost in the sea of sameness. Great execution.

  • Ian Griswold

    Pink is not a “real color”, it and brown are composit colors. Neither have a unique wavelength of light, but are a trick of the brain, look it up its a fun fack.

    • arnold

      You mean that ROYGBIV are the real colors?

      • JimmyR14

        Well you could argue that no colours are “real”. After all, they are created in our brains as a way of distinguishing various wavelengths of energy. Colour is a product of our brains, not light.

        • And light travels as particles as well, not just waves.

      • Basically, but “real” is not the best word to use. RBY = primaries, OGV = secondary. If it doesn’t fit on the color wheel, it isn’t a “real” color. Many colors are a composition of colors that are not next to each other on the wheel (hues.) If one moves through the wheel rather than around, you get a change in value (light and dark.) Start at red and move out and you get light red aka pink. This tank is not pink in the technical sense, since if you move away from the basics one can get any number of colors (which incidentally do not have names.) Then there is the matter of saturation or intensity. When one plugs in all these variables, the color of this tank is purple.

        • Mikael Lewis

          You guys really need to get out of the lab and ride your bikes more often!! 😉

    • Pink isn’t a composite color, it’s light red.

  • That’s not pink, that’s purple. Sure never saw any boobs that color.

  • arnold

    Ah………… back to the new normal. Pipe wrap, flat seats, vestigial fendering, garish colors, tanks that don’t fit just right. Seems comforting somehow.

    • arnold

      The build looks fair, kinda disjointed. I do like the missing keyed fork lock. I hate those things.ald

  • revdub

    There’s something about this bike. It looks like a bike one of my moped friends would build, and I mean that in the best of ways. Lot’s of youthful attitude. Mismatched colors, stripped down look, minimal gauges – yeah. This is one of those bikes that if asked for a clear reason why I like it, I’m not sure I could give one. But I still do! It’s dang cool.

  • madmusk

    First of all, that’s purple unless the photographer still needs some schooling in color correction. Purple, like pink, is a fine color but this particular color scheme appears to be a deliberate abomination. If that was the goal, well then kudos!

    • arnold

      Sorry for being poppy on this, Helitrope is the color name you are searching for .

  • Love the location for the shoot. Should have taken that blue thing out of the window in the second pic.

  • Nice build – always liked Honda thumpers. Wish we could have seen the stainless pipes before the wrap, they turn such as nice golden hue over time.

  • itsmefool

    Yep, out-of-proportion tank is killing this one for me…

  • metricwrench
  • Purple schmurple.

  • Pashutin

    awesome bike!!!

  • interesting disproportion between frame/wheels and gas tank/seat pan. however this gap between seat and tank worries me a bit. I am quite short so I usually sit with my, well nuts, almost on the tank….it would be quite strange feeling here

  • sami

    What part of the frame have been shortened?