Let me tell you a story of horror and sadness. Sydney. A spring long weekend. A much-anticipated and expensive track day at Sydney’s premier racetrack. Then, on the drive out to the track, the heavens open and spill their horrible, grey wrath onto the earth in never-ending demonic sheets. Grown men wept and shook their damp, wrinkly fists at the sky.
I had grand plans for colourful action shots of speeding machinery and bitumen. Instead, I got a lens full of empty track and grown men in leather snoozing in fold-up chairs, $250 dollars out-of-pocket. I did my best – hopefully the shots have captured the essence of the day without making you want to slash your wrists. Please enjoy in a silent, respectful sort of a way.
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If you’re the owner of a Yamaha SR500 or a XT500 then you have probably come across Kedo while searching for parts on the internet. They are based in Germany and have been sending motorcycle parts and accessories all around the world for over 15 years. We recently received their comprehensive catalogue in the mail and were impressed to see they have built this limited edition SR500 racing bike. Kedo’s press release says “10 years of racing experience went into building this race bike. Our objective was to get the maximum out of both engine and handling by using close-to-production material and no expensive special parts. However, at the same time, we would not accept any compromises regarding durability and practicality. The KCR500 is now built to order by Kedo as an exclusive low volume production. Together with many perfectly restored and modified genuine parts, lots of popular items from our product range are included. The engine is refurbished and tuned; the wheels and most cosmetics are all new. If it was not for the bones of this bike being at least 20 years old, you could easily label this bike as a quasi ‘brand-new’.” This ready to race KCR500 is being sold for 9.900 Euros or $12,800 USD and Kedo will only be building 5 of these impressive bikes.
This amazing illustration is by Japanese artist Kendge Seevert of a Honda RC160. Seevert is renowned for his highly detailed illustrations of motorcycles. Apparently the RC160 was never raced outside of Japan and was usually raced on Japanese unpaved roads, which explains why it was mostly shown without a fairing and with semi-knobbly tires. This is what Honda aficionado Joep Kortekaas says about this great looking racer “The Honda four, designated the RC160, had the same specifications as the 125cc twin, but the cylinders were now upright instead of being inclined, and the ignition was changed from magneto to battery with four coils. Claimed power output was 35 bhp at 13,000 rpm, with the same maximum engine speed of 14,000 rpm as the twin. The engine had a five-speed gearbox and weighed 58 kg. The cycle parts were nearly identical with the 125cc twin, the wheelbase being longer by 45 mm at 1310 mm, and the total weight of the bike was 124 kg”. You can read more about Honda and it’s racing history on vf750fd.com.
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It’s safe to say this drop seat rigid isn’t going to win any beauty contests. But then again it wasn’t built for that purpose. The Icon Death or Glory was built for one thing in mind – speed. One of the first thing that caught my eye was the plastic toy mirror, so I asked Icon’s design director Kurt Walter whether it was there to be ironic, he replied “I built a 2100cc powered rigid death machine virtually incapable of turning or stopping yet equipped with Ohlins forks on billet Attack triples. Garnishing it with a mirror stolen from my daughter’s Barbie bike just seemed appropriate. So yeah, I suppose the mirror is – ironic, sarcastic, humorous, ridiculous, stupid… all of the above”.
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No it’s not the latest bike from Shinya Kimura, this blast from the past was originally featured in Australian Motorcycle News back in 1998 – which doesn’t feel like 12 years ago. Built by the talented Albert Bold of Bold Precision in Pennsylvania. Albert is well known for possessing bike building skills unmatched by many in the industry. Not many machinists can say they have turned cast-iron manhole covers into brake rotors like Albert has done in the past. Bold estimated that more than 2000 hours went into building this unique MV Agusta Racer. The reason being that he had a philosophy of no bolt-on parts if he could do it himself. “About the only corner I cut was the brake discs,” he said. “Those manhole covers worked great on the first bike, and the material was free – but I just couldn’t face the 40 hours of machining work to make each one, so this time I compromised and used Mercedes-Benz’ discs on the front, which I machined down to size, and a Subaru one from the local parts shop on the back.
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The name might sound like an Indian fast food delivery service but the Curry Speed Club (CSC) is a group of vintage motorcycle enthusiasts in Japan who own auto/bike shops and race their restored Honda’s at various tracks and events around Japan. The club is made up of many big names in the Japanese motorcycle industry including Maejima “Ted” Takeshi from Ted’s Special, the boys from M&M’s and the crew from Animal Boat just to name a few.
After two blown engines Englishman Chris Simpson decided to try and squeeze a R80 RT engine into his 1979 BMW R45 frame. “The powers that be said the engine wouldn’t fit, as you can see it obviously does” Chris explains. “The only engine mods were a lightweight flywheel and the air box was removed and replaced with a Bellmouths. It has custom stainless 2-1 exhausts with a stainless megaphone, fully custom sub frame with hidden battery under the seat pod, a large EARLS oil cooler from a Ford Cosworth.
We love receiving emails from Ted at XS650chopper.com because he knows we get excited by Yamaha café racers. Frank Derris the owner and builder of this immaculate bike writes: “The concept was to blend old with new hence the crossover Yamaha racing paint scheme with the ton up stripe. I wanted the bike to handle and run as good as it could on tube tires and it does. I wanted to be able to look through the bike and see nothing but hard parts (no wiring, bolts or unsightly junk) 3 years of part time work. You judge the finished product.”
This beautiful machine named ‘Pony Express’ was built by brilliant Israeli industrial designer Amir Glinik. Unfortunately he didn’t build it with a wrench but in 3D with his computer mouse. Amir’s artwork is some of the best we have seen, his bikes look so real you can almost smell your jeans burning on the pipes.
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This CB550 has been lighting up the switchboard on the SOHC4 forum for the past month. The bike was fastidiously built by a guy from Portland who goes by the forum name Paulages. Paul said on the forum that “When i originally built my CB550, the engine was simply cleaned up and painted, and all bearings and bushings replaced, etc. then, I eventually built the 718cc powerplant, and found that the rest of the bike wasn’t quite what the engine needed”.
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