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Less than two years ago Hill Hudson had his first bike featured on Pipeburn.com and it was predicated “we have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more from this guy in the not too distant future.” Well it seems that prediction has come to fruition, as Hill is back in a big way and his Café Tracker inspired 1973 Honda CB350 sets the bar more than a few rungs higher. While completing his studies in Illustration at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon, Hill submitted the first bike in his Escape Series as his major thesis. That Yamaha XS650 was such a success that the philosophy behind the build has manifested itself into a place that is more than just a workshop. Escape Collective is a team of designers, makers, artists and engineers who use their professional talents to create an array of artistic projects, some of which just happen to be motorcycles.
Dust off the drafting table, refill the clutch pencil and grab the dividers. Retired Dutch Architect Henk Woltjer has teamed up with local shop Motogadgets to create the perfect motorcycle to relive his youth; it’s a millimetre-exact Yamaha XS650 tracker inspired by the first bike he built some thirty years earlier.
Hill Hudson is a talented young illustrator studying at the Pacific Northwest College Of Art in Portland, Oregon. This year he had to complete his senior thesis, which usually involves doing an illustration. But Hill wanted to do something a little different and build a motorcycle. “I guess I’m the first to ever do this in the history of the 100 plus years the school as been running” he says. “This thesis will be documented and stored in the library here in Portland and will go down as the first art school breakdown and construction of a motorcycle in a gallery setting at this school”. Hill’s project started by searching for a suitable low cost donor. He eventually found a 1977 XS650 that was the perfect ‘blank canvas’ for his art project and got to work.
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Written by Jason Cormier. Jason is a freelance writer and accomplished shade-tree mechanic based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the editor of Odd-Bike.com, a selection of odd, exotic, unusual, and rare motorcycles from around the world.
In a modest garage a few miles east of San Francisco, there is a man who builds motorcycles. This might not sound particularly exceptional, as there are men building bikes in many garages in many cities, and some of them are exceptional enough to get profiled on sites like this. Julian Farnam is a different sort of builder though, and he has built a different sort of bike. He is a consummate tinkerer, a man who puts together unique machines of his own design in his spare time. It’s not his day job, but he is damn good at what he does – producing some of the most interesting and thoughtfully designed custom bikes you’ll come across anywhere. The bike we are featuring today is one of Julian’s odd creations, a raked and chopped Yamaha RD400 that applies one of Julian’s favourite concepts – alternative front suspensions. More remarkable is that the CHOPPRD, as Julian has christened it, was built in his spare time over a 30 day period for a total budget that could not exceed $1000 – that includes the donor bike and all the parts and modifications that go with it.
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