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LOOKING SHARP. One-Up Moto’s ‘Angulár’ KTM RC390 Cafe Tracker


Posted on September 21, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer, Tracker. 32 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

If you’re a learner rider or like small capacity machines then it’s never been a better time to buy a new bike. With the market absolutely jammed packed each unit has to be competitively priced and stocked with features if it’s any hope of selling. But apart from a few notable exceptions this is a category almost completely devoid of soul, half the bikes look like they’ve rolled off the same production line and been slapped with a different sticker. So to truly give his client the best of both worlds, One-Up Moto Garage’s Taylor Art Henschell spent time with just such a machine until she finally revealed her spirit. From this instinctive feels he’s crafted a 2015 KTM RC390 that’s shed the boy racer image for a more exclusive design he calls “Angulár”.

It’s been a busy time of late for Taylor and his brand, “We bought land in down town Fayetteville, AR to build the first One-Up Moto Café which is set to open mid-2018. Alongside that we also acquired a few acres just outside of town to build a dream shop for the growing brand. With all of this development we’re still trying to meet my goal of finishing two contracts every 6 months. We’re about to have our 3rd One-Up Moto Show to be held during the Bikes Blues and BBQ festival in our home town at the end of September. This KTM will be featured there before being delivered to our client.”

You wonder how he finds the time, but young and filled with a deep passion for motorcycles as soon as the RC was picked up Taylor was riding it night and day dialling himself in to extract its feel. “Part of that bond I create comes from studying the bike, its internal, ergonomic, and cosmetic design. This KTM is so sharp; in stock form it has almost no curved lines. The trellis design winds its way through the frame, and swing arm, so that triangles are the first and last thing you see. The name “Angulár” came naturally once I connected with the bike.”

The RC is also an incredibly light machine, tipping the scales at just 139kg from the factory, so maintaining that advantage and keeping the visuals light also played a key role. With his client standing more than 6 feet tall the idea was to create a bike that’s visual proportions made sense and was still comfortable to ride. Up on the bench the full factory fairing was removed and all the unnecessary components hiding behind them shown the door. With a rolling chassis to work with Taylor found an old Honda tank in the workshop and offered it up to the frame.

With some fettling it would fit, the size large enough to meet the look he was going for and its big surfaces giving him a chance to work in more angles. Body worked to perfection it sits neatly over the KTM frame, old and new combining seamlessly to totally transform the look of the bike with just one single piece. The front features frenched in vents before it was over to paint, “the client requested blue and I love BMW metallic blue so we went with that on the base coat and let my artist Eric Snodgrass hand paint the name and details on the tank before we buried it all in clear.”

At the other end of the frame a deliberately stubby look was achieved by raising the subframe’s height and shortening the length with a rounded off hoop. But to add extra detail and act as a seat support, miniaturised replication of the frames trellis pattern is designed into the tail-piece that further highlights the skill inside the four walls at One-Up. The seat itself is no off the shelf number, having ridden the bike in stock form Taylor’s main complaint was the lack of comfort. To rectify this he used an expensive dense foam and included a gel pad in the centre of the seat before the whole lot was diamond stitched in black leather.

The theme of Angulár continues all the way to the very front of the bike with an asymmetric piece meshed out acting as the headlight cover. While the front fender provides another chance for trellis, triangle and mesh to combine, although given the sharp point a mess is what it would make of any pedestrian silly enough to get in this RC’s way! Even the tyres get in on the action with the Avon AV rubbers tread pattern the perfect match. “We went with a narrower rear tire because KTM oversized them from the factory, but the side wall is a little taller to help with ground clearance and give it some height,” explains Taylor of the functional reason for going with the AV54 rear.

Despite the drastic visual changes the weight is as light as ever meaning the KTM retains its power to weight ratio advantage over its rivals. But that didn’t mean this single cylinder was going to leave One-Up without some more kick in the pants! The stainless exhaust sounds a treat finishing under the tail with a Lossa Engineering muffler and all the precision TIG welds are laid down in house. Then a K&N pod filter was fitted up to handle breathing duties and the new fuel tank means an external fuel pump and FPR set at 2.7 bar take care of providing the go juice. All of which is tuned by a Dyno Jet Wide Band 2 tied into the Power Commander 5 reading AFR’s from an upgraded 5 wire Bosch O2 sensor.

Yes, this machine might have taken on an old school vibe but it’s still packed with all of the modern goodies and then some! That extends to the braking with the Bybre single 300mm disc with four-pot caliper utilising ABS technology for extra safety in tricky conditions. With KTM having spent years in GP racing the RC is one of the best handling learner machines money can buy, from slow speed flick-ability to mid corner prowess. That is largely a result of the WP suspension working flawlessly with the chassis, 43mm USD forks up front and a mono-shock rear. Taylor even fitted up a set of fully adjustable rearsets so his client could get dialled right in.

“Usually one of our signatures is running dedicated iPhones for the dash but this bike is an exception, because the stock speedo was so compact and clean, we just fabricated a mount for it.” Which demonstrates exactly Taylor’s smarts in executing this build, taking the very best of what a huge company like KTM is able to develop and then adding the custom touches to breathe life into a dull exterior. As to which category of custom bike Angulár fits into Taylor left that for us to decide, he’s too busy building amazing bikes and the One-Up empire, and when a bike looks this good and goes that hard does it really matter if it’s Café or Tracker?

One-Up Moto Garage – Facebook – Instagram | Photos by Robert Crisp ]








  • Bas Rovers

    Nice and very clean build, I like it. But where does the license plate go?

    • I’d hazard a guess and say they removed it for the shoot. Just like a supermodel toking off their glasses for a photoshoot.

  • aaron snyder

    The 390 is going to be a darling as they come to the well used marketplace. That is a lovely bike,

  • the watcher

    Not how I’d have done it, but I’m glad someone did. Sure as hell won’t be the last 390 we see.

  • Jim In Solvang

    Sharp.

    • You mean tall?

      • Jim In Solvang
        • HA!

        • nFa ZoMbiE

          There is fun in riding taller bikes. When I was a kid,I used to try my father’s taller tiptoed bicycle and it was more fun than my little engine -less rocket! 😀
          Note: Ask about seating position and driver’s view of SUVs to any car guys.

          • Jim In Solvang

            My posting of the Big Wheel bicycle was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, Zombie. : )
            My daily driver is a low-profile BMW. But when I get in my Ford Pickup I’m “…On top of the World, Ma!”

          • nFa ZoMbiE

            lol…Ride safe.Enjoy your ride buddy!!

  • With KTM being a leader in electronic warfare, the learning curve shown here is a steep one.

  • Fantome_NR

    Love it, I would have very few changes to this if it were mine. Converting a fully faired bike to naked is no easy trick, what with all the wiring and components that need to be given a new place to hide. They did a really nice job at cleaning it all up. This is so elegant and must be absolutely insanely fun to ride.

  • guvnor67

    Brilliant! Even for an experienced rider, this’d be a great go to bike for flicking in n out of traffic, or out of town to the twisted! Besides, one can never have too many bikes. . . .

    • Twisted? Sister?

      • guvnor67

        Oooops, that’ll teach me to try to type with the after effects of anesthetic.

  • Larry Kahn

    Needs to name it “Christina”…..(most of you will be too old get that right away..I’m just very “with it”)

  • Will

    This just makes me want ducati to make there super single again. Very excited to see husqvarna’s bikes sometime later next year, hopefully. (fingers crossed)

  • Len Farquharson

    I’m grinning from ear to ear right now! What a pearler!

  • nFa ZoMbiE

    I was following a similar project from IRONic recently and I liked that as well. It was based on a duke not RC though. They took tank from enfield continental GT. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/34943ba6cef39a109bafeb21ccc505f8a47aeb15d11e8f8fbdfbcacbe8f3b83f.jpg

    • the watcher

      Ooh fucking err!

    • guvnor67

      Oooh, that’s tough lookin!

      • nFa ZoMbiE

        A few words about the ironic build from them –
        (Excuse the english)
        After Yamaha chopper build we are now becoming desperate and think
        of making expensive bike from well known Australian company KTM.
        This project took almost a year to finish because we also had to catch up on games of
        thrones episodes.
        Bike was stripped of all plastic parts.
        Enfield tank was installed to add street cred among leh ladakh riders.
        The tank was painted RED.

        Vertical stripe was added to increase visual weight.
        Chain guard was removed to add emotional lightness.
        Frame was painted black to strengthen moral fibre.
        Handlebar is kept stock because Australians drive on same side of road as Indians.

        Supercharger added to charge phone so we can take ossum pics while weekend riding with our very unique 15 member ‘by invitational only’ bike riding group (we stop for chai every one
        hour [We have one opening now as one member was removed as he forgot to switch on GoPro
        before ride.]). Rectangular headlights were used to increase low end Torque during flat lining at escape
        velocity.
        And after careful calculation, the number 49 was added at the correct angle to reduce drag.

        Since alloy wheels reduce weight, we made the entire wheel out of solid alloy to decrease as
        much weight as possible. Please call us ‘Bro’ so we become legit bike customisers.

        • This post is infinitely better than the bike!

        • guvnor67

          Not much to add to that really. I think I need a little rest.

  • Flying W

    Yeah, OK – but that headlight thing…