When you grow up riding dirt bikes in Colorado, you get a good feel for what a decent bike is. That’s where the builder of this KTM custom started out, stirring up the dirt on the trails of the American wilderness. With a build brief based on a Roland Sands design, this 2012 KTM 500EXC has been given a full work over, while retaining the reputation this model has to be thrown around on the dirt.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
It’s a familiar story, a motorcycle enthusiast sees a big dollar build on the internet by one of the industry legends and tries to replicate what they see. A year later, thousands of dollars wasted and a newly listed “Unfinished project” for sale on eBay and it all comes to a sad end. But Chad Edwards was always going to be too smart to fall into that trap, he adapted when he had to, learnt as he went and with the help of Brendan Forrest from Premier Exhaust & Automotive has designed and built himself a killer KTM Tracker styled Motard on a reasonable budget.
It’s been quite a while between moped posts for us. As a matter of fact, we haven’t posted a single one since last year. So we’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for something to redress the imbalance, and when we laid them on this little Catalonian gem from a shop that goes by the name of Vintage Addiction Crew, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It’s a rather amazing mash-up of a Derby, a KTM, and a Beta Trueba (a rather natty-looking Moto that we’d never heard of before) mixed with a touch of salt flat racing. And I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that it’s our favourite ‘ped of 2013 so far.
Here’s a story that has more twists and turns than a drift racer’s wet dream. You see, we first eyed this bike when it appeared on the front cover of the Australian Just Bikes Magazine all the way back in August of last year. We tried to get in touch with the owner via text message and email, but only managed to get a single reply before the trail went cold. We were was lost. Why wasn’t this guy getting back to us? Frustrated, we went to the owner’s website and began to read up on the bike’s builder – a guy called ‘Nigel’. Then the penny drops. ‘State drift car champion,’ the site says. And V8 Supercar demonstration driver. And TopGear Live demonstration driver, drift racing car builder, and custom bike builder. Phew. Ladies and gentlemen, please meet Nigel Petrie – builder of the world’s baddest KTM café, and quite possibly Australia’s busiest person.
Ever got your hands on a bike that is so captivating, so enthralling, so stupidly fast that she somehow takes control of your senses and transforms you from a law-abiding citizen into a law breaking, twist it to the stop, foaming at the mouth and giggling into your helmet lunatic? Fun, huh? And you’re not the only one who thinks so. See, this is the story about another mild-mannered man like yourself, named Osiyuyu, who is a Fine Arts University Scholar and a “recognised antique art restorer.” He too has a penchant for creating scary motorcycles – and a little bit of woman chasing on the side. Meet the latest creation to crystalise out of his deranged brain… a KTM 950 called “Miss Hyde.”
It wasn’t until the morning of the fifth day that we emerged from the dark, twisted forest and onto the salt plain. At first it looked like another planet; or more accurately a planet made of light. It took many minutes for our eyes to adjust to the flooding glare – not helped by the fact that neither of us had food, water or sleep for the entire time. I saw it first. Norman (aka “Sgeechee”) was still surveying the surreal landscape when I grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. It was the same bike we had ridden here on all those days ago, but only just. You’d be forgiven for not recognising it as it was really only the colours that were the same. The rest? Well… it was lower; MUCH lower. And faired. The lightness and tippy-toe stance of the old bike was gone, replaced with a bad-ass single-minded focus that was screaming “speed” like a million wailing megaphones laid end-to-end. We both grinned like idiots and instantly forgot the epic struggle of the last few days. Like ancient heroes we had dreamt a fantastical dream and made it real. We were gods. Motorcycling gods.
Numero quattro in the Imaginary Garage series is upon us, and just to make sure you guys aren’t getting complacent we thought we’d throw you a bit of a curve ball this time. As you can see, it’s a bright orange KTM 450 SX-F Motorcross bike. Last time we took a Bonneville and made it a dirt monster, this time we thought we’d start with a dirt monster and see just what happens.
So how’s it going to work? There’s going to be one round of suggestions as to how we will customise the KTM and all submissions will be done via comments below. We then choose the winner, make the mods, and post the results. This time the winner gets a brand new pair of Icon gloves of your choosing worth up to $145 North American Pesos. Hell yes!
If you aren’t sure exactly what to write, just pop back to the previous competition and take a peek. Study the winning entry closely; it’s the very first one in the comments section. We’re looking for creative, original, clear ideas. The more interesting the ideas, the more likely they are to win; if we can make a Triumph hill climber look that good, then the sky’s the limit.
You have 48 hours to get your ideas posted before we close submissions, so get them in ASAP. Please leave a valid email address so we can contact the winner.
Roland Sands Design (RSD) recently posted these ‘almost finished’ pics of their latest creation on their site – the classic paint job is yet to be done. Turning a KTM 530 into a café racer might not be the most practical build, but I do love the look of it. The bike has the very distinctive RSD styling but the one thing I personaly don’t like is the left-over KTM plastic underneath the new gas tank.