Struggling to find a donor motorcycle for your next build? Asking prices for ratty old SR400’s making your shake your head? Refuse to spend all your time and money on a glorified old Honda commuter? Thankfully there are better starting points for your next project. Big bore trailbikes. They’re reliable, they’ve got a bit of poke and they’re still very affordable. So here’s a guide on how to turn an old chook-chaser into a blacked-out side street carver like this 1994 DR650 ‘Arsenale’, put together by French company Blitz, makers of some of the nicest switchgear you’ll ever mash your thumbs against.
As the school ma’am cliché goes, “begin as you wish to continue”. Or maybe legendary Australian racer Peter Brock said it better, when he coined the phrase “bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell.” Whatever the case, we thought that we’d kick things off after our big redesign with the latest (and dare we say sweetest) bike from one of Europe’s best shops. Or should we say ateliers. It’s a rather svelte-looking BMW R100R , and it’s from those famous Frenchmen with a German name, Blitz Motorcycles.
Hugo and Fred from Blitz Motorcycles have been sending us their bikes for years now. The funny thing is, we didn’t really know much about them. We obviously knew they were French. We knew they were building some unconventional looking bikes out of a small garage in Paris. We also knew they loved leaving the rust, dents and original paint on the vintage tanks they use. But we didn’t know much else. It’s great to hear their story and the sacrifices they have been through to fulfil their dream of building motorcycles for a living. It’s also great to see Hugo rocking a Sydney Café Racers trucker cap – the French being know for their impeccable taste in fashion.
Written by Ian Lee.
The French always seem to be on the forefront of fashion. Clothes, perfume, and now custom motorcycles. Not that I pay much attention to the first two. The latest fashion in custom cycles appears to be to use a dirt bike as the base for a build. Rugged, simple design makes for an excellent platform to build on, they’re cheap as well, and the ability to get that big bore thumper note all add to the desirability. Blitz Motorcycles knows this, and has used this thinking to the best of their abilities to create a level of custom rarely seen, all from the starting point of a simple trail bike. It just makes sense, oui?
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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what you all are thinking. I thought the same thing when I first laid eyes on this cool new Harley from Paris’ Blitz Motorcycles. “Surely they mean STREET tracker, not board tracker?” I wondered. After all, this Harley looks about as much like a board tracker as the Hindenburg looked like a hummingbird. But you, like I, would be wrong. See the concept behind the latest Blitz creation was to take the essence of that much-loved era of fearless riders and death-by-buttock-splinters and and apply it to one of Milwaukee’s finest. And gosh darn it if they haven’t just gone and done that very same thing. The more observant readers out there will also note that unlike pretty much every other blitz bike in existence, this one is in fact “avec de la peinture et sans poussière,” or “not completely filthy” as we say in Anglaise. Please welcome the Gentle Board Tracker to our friendly pages.
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Did you hear the one about the Frenchman, the Czechoslovakian tank and the Japanese bike? Sounds like a joke, right? But the punchline is this sweet W650 “Gentle Tracker”, built by the Parisian guys at Blitz Motorcycles. When one of their customers came into the shop asking for a unique build and a very open brief, they obviously had a few ideas. But then when he mentioned the name of his business was Jawa Productions, they immediately thought they had to get their hands on an old Jawa tank.
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Yesterday we were sent this beautifully shot video, directed by Clément Beauvais starring the guys from Blitz Motorcycles riding the roads of France. The video is set to the great folk/rock song by The Felice Brothers called ‘Frankie’s Gun’. The short film was shot for the aestheticly pleasing blog named Riding September – which contains stacks of sweet photographs and videos.
WARNING: The video may contain traces of motorcyclists riding dangerously and fashionable males in stylish collared shirts. You have been warned.