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Royal Enfield Bullet 500 – Hazan Motorworks

Posted on June 14, 2013 by Andrew in Café Racer. 64 comments

Craftsmanship is a word that gets thrown around a lot in relation to custom bikes. And fair enough, really. Unless you can create something purely by removing parts from a factory bike, you’ll probably get to the point where you have to fashion, fold, or file something sooner or later. But as any of us who have actually worked with metal in anger will know, there’s a world of difference between one man’s ‘that’ll do’ an another’s. Meet Max Hazan and the latest build out of his Hazan Motorworks shop in Brooklyn, New York. It’s pretty obvious to us that Max’s ‘that’ll do’ is, well… let’s just say that Max doesn’t do ‘that’ll do’. Not at all.

Max started his bike building journey after an enforced 3 month motorcross accident sabbatical. Too many hours spent staring at a beach cruiser in his living room, led him to strap a motor to it to see what it could do. The answer was 90. Miles an hour, that is.

Seeing that motorbikes were probably a logical, and less suicidal, conclusion to his cabin fever. A trip by his sister to India had left him with a niggling attraction to the Royal’s motor, and all that was needed then was a good dose of inspiration from Max’s past as a boat builder. ‘I guess that has something to do with the seat,’ he notes.

Max’s approach to building is to try and never do the same thing twice. ‘I try to step out of my comfort zone with each build… it can be frustrating doing everything for the first time, every time.’

The bike spent about two months of hands-on time in the Hazan Motorworks shop for the build. And when Max says ‘build’ he really does mean it. ‘This was the first time that I built everything from scratch. Every lever, linkage, cable… each part was made to been seen.’ Just think about that next time you resort to a quick eBay purchase to tock something off your bike build’s to-do list.

When asked about what skills he’d like to develop next, Max’s insightful response contains a valuable lesson for any young soul considering dirtying their hands on a custom bike project. ‘I find that I develop the skills as I need them for each project. I am lucky to have the skills that I do already, and to be a fast learner.  For me the ability to stay in the moment and be creative is the most valuable skill to making beautiful pieces. No amount of time on the English Wheel can create a good idea. The mind has to be right before the hands get moving.’

For more on Max and his shop, you may want to check out his website and Facebook page. And by the looks of them and some of the builds Hazan has coming up, New York’s set to finally make a splash on the East Coast bike scene.

(Spotted on Photography by David Hans Cooke and David Browning of E3MC.)

  • russelllowe

    Wow! That’s really something special.

  • lenzie

    incredible, lots of devil in there…

  • Jacob Speis

    My goodness…that’s just…wow.

  • Leon Stanley

    Saw this bike at the Iron and Air issue 9 release party a few weeks back. Amazing.

  • KP

    Oh my god. The craftmanship that went into this bike is staggering. I didn’t realize until the last photo that the steel insert in the seat is part of the frame structure! This detail WILL be copied by other builders, it’s pure genius. This is the bike that you print pictures of and hang them in your garage for inspiration. I would love to own this bike.

    • jimmarch

      It’s like a giant knife handle. Seriously.

      • QuickSteele

        That’s what I was thinking… Cutlery. Very nice!

    • Tanshanomi

      Agreed. I was looking through the photos thinking “yes, nice.” Then I saw the final photo and it hit me what he’d done. Fantastic.

  • Chris Delaney

    PERFECT!!! and just beauitiful! Fantastic work.

  • Dave Mucci

    Glad to see this bike getting more exposure. It’s truly one of the greats.

  • nathas909

    My god, where do you start. The seat, to the exhaust the just blends in so nicely, to the long long cut tank, to that swing arm, right down to the purposefully left rough welds on the front forks. I just love it.
    The only thing and very small thing, is why two very badly placed brass screws on the seat in the 2nd photo.
    Thats how much I think this bike is perfect, I am picking on two screws……….

    • Max Hazan

      I an overwhelmed by all of the comments but this one is something that I would have written myself. The 2 screws were not intentional, I sanded too far through the layers and had to live with them, they kept me up at night for a long time. Thank you for the kind words regardless. Take a look at for a shot of the exhaust side of the seat not shown here…its loud.


      • billlewsey

        Is that a Greeves frame or did you cast it yourself?

  • Mojo_Peterson

    The writers description of what it takes to build one of these is spot on. Mr. Hazan has some extraordinary skills. His best skill though, is his vision.

  • GoodGuy513

    They didn’t show the other side where the exhaust comes out, which is also great

  • davmo

    Echo all the previous comments, and all I can add is “total respect.”

  • vonbulow

    this is just amazing!



    • Davidabl2

      Solo si fuera derretimiento el velocímetro

  • Speechless, words are poor to describe this functional, rolling dagger !
    Bike of the year so far I think…

  • revdub

    Absolutely – ridiculously – awesome. Comfort zones, along with minds, just got totally blown apart.

  • taka-tz

    A board tracker with a board seat.

  • The frame alone is worth the price of admission. Then add the swingarm as a bonus. The bare frame could hang in an art gallery.

  • OldDaytona200mechanic

    I don’t get it. Spindly frame, spindly swingarm, lousy tires and a throughly obsolete front end.


    • There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.

      • Davidabl2

        Art is Art. And for the past century or so Art isn’t respected unless there is something brand new, never been done before about it.
        Definitely an Art bike

        • arnold

          I would rather own Renoir’s worst piece than de Kooning”s best. Taste is taste. The point to selling art to me is ” don’t you dare tell me what I like and then belittle me because I don’t agree with you” . Not directed at you Davidabl2, but I get real pissed, real quick when told that I just don’t know what I like because I am not able to convey an overly informed opinion.

          Art is art….. I disagree in this respect, Art is pure opinion, after the
          artisan has presented it to the public.

          Now about Dogs playing poker…………….

          • Davidabl2

            You have misunderstood me: I wasn’t saying that this chasing after innovation for the sake of innovation in art is a GOOD thing..just that that’s how it is.

            As to Messr’s Renoir v. de Kooning I’d have to live with the two pieces for a few months before I might feel that i understood them well enough to make any decision..For purposes of this “thought experiment” They’d both have to be high quality reproductions, so that finances didn’t enter into the decision 🙂

          • arnold

            You give up too easily, I agree with you. Actually I was tweeking Tony Stark, who has been way too quiet for his own good.

            The editing process is a bit cumbersome on this platform, and I self edit when posting a lot. Plus being able to view the pluses and minuses now is different. It sure cuts down on Anons.

            Yer posts add to the conversation. Thanks Dave. ald

    • A springer leading link front end is an old design but not any more obsolete than a Colt single action Army revolver, a Fieseler Storch, or a Fender Telecaster. These are timeless designs that still look and function as they were intended. Crystal radios are a simple yet elegant design that some may consider obsolete but can still be used where electical power is unavailable. Designs may go out of style but good designs never go obsolete.

    • clough729

      You are correct,you don’t get it.

  • paul

    Bike Porn

  • Iram Velazquez


  • coldsunshine

    This reminds me of how Morgan builds their cars. Old world craftsmanship definitely has its place in the modern world as is evidenced by this bike. Some people (myself included) are tired of machines being built by machines. I also notice a distinct difference in style and design between mechanic builds versus artist builds, or in this case, boat builder builds.

  • I think “knife-like” is a very apt description of the bike; for the seat, the spine AND the side profile.


  • arnold

    Didn’t leave much room to get those valve covers off for adjustments…..
    I will spend time looking at this bike not thinking why did he do that, but how did he do that.
    Like this, and your work posted on your site. Thanks Mr Hazan. ald

    • Mike

      Enfield valves adjust at the tappet cover, just above the timing chest.

  • C’mon 1000 likes!

    • coldsunshine

      Well it just ain’t the same if you beg for it…

  • Davidabl2

    Definitely an Art Bike. And that’s a GOOD THING. Mine has a lot less art because I don’t have the talent,the chops or the originality that he’s got it does have better looking tires. seriously. Dunlop k-81’s..but in the fat tire 16″ division there are other good choices besides ‘Stones.. Continental Twins, and the Avon “SafetyMileage Mkii 5.00-16, some Duros and some Shinko
    are out there too. One or another of those tires will be replacing the Metzeler Marathons on my balloon tire bike (not an Enfield, however) Obviously, in art anything goes, but ‘Stones aren’t necessarily the go-to tire even for Art..

  • coldsunshine

    Alright, let’s see all you bike builders go do a boat now.

    • arnold

      Pardon my old age confusion. Is this what you had in mind?

      • coldsunshine

        Well, I was thinking putting sails on a motorcycle, but this will work.

    • nathas909

      love the idea!!!

  • Icke

    Arrrrgh…! – I´m in love

  • Love this. Been there on the wood seat angle. I finished wood seat number 2 a month ago. They are a ton of work!!

  • lu Sca

    very nice!!!

  • jack ball

    please let the be a build thread of this! outstanding!!!!!

  • Septic the Sceptic

    That timber tailpiece is brill.

  • Salahhe Sali

    I can’t imagine riding on that wood/steel seat. Also I feel the need for the handles to be more towards the back, have any pictures with a rider on it? I think that it would look dumb. but, you never know.

  • xb12r

    Astonishingly beautiful craftsmanship. That last photo shoing the “spine” of the bike is the clincher. One image showing the vision and foresight of this builder. I look forward to seeing more from Mr Hazan, I have a feeling he won’t be building to any particular style or formula.

  • barney fife

    cool but would not like to be on if chain snapped.

  • Chris Saddler Sam

    BRAVO MAX! 😉

  • Przwalski

    If your ass is made out of concrete, then this is your bike!

  • cringeschrapnel

    WOW! and wow!

  • Congratulations

  • Too good! Congrats!

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  • Jack Beauregard

    Pure and customized at same time. And both brilliant.
    Close to perfect.