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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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