By guest writer Phil Guy.
By all appearances Erik Harland Ludwig of Denver, Colorado, is living a fair approximation of the Man Dream. The 26-year old lives in his shop, ‘Machine Shed’, just him, no women (not permanently, anyway), no potpourri or cotton tips, just tools and grease and auto parts. By night he manages Meadowlark, quite possibly Denver’s smoothest bar, and by day he strips back and builds up, fabricates and assembles. Motorbikes or cars, it doesn’t matter, he loves both. No big surprise then that tearing out of this vortex of gritty cool is this raffish dirt rat, affectionately known as ‘Cowboy’.
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Forty years ago Mark Brelsford was crowned the 1972 AMA Grand National Champion, riding his Harley-Davidson XR750 to victory. Many years later Simon Whittaker from Canberra Australia was flicking through some old motorcycle magazines and stopped on an article. It was a story about the legendary Mark Brelsford and featured some photographs of his Flat Track XR750 in all its glory. Simon had just acquired an old Honda CB360 from an old lady’s back yard and was wondering what to do with his first ground up rebuild. It was a light bulb moment. “I decided to build a XR750 inspired flat tracker” said Simon. “This is the bike that started my 70’s Honda twin obsession”. As the old saying goes, you always remember your first…
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Rick Sanders started searching for a café racer donor bike at the beginning of 2010. “In the early spring I came across this red 1975 Honda CB360T bone stock, decent shape but not running, so on to the trailer it went” said Rick. You see Rick’s usual ride is a BMW R1100, so when he took on this project he wasn’t quite sure how it would turn out. “I’m no mechanic, but I can turn a wrench” he says. “Its amazing what people can create and conceive with motorcycles. Any café bike I was going to build was destined to have clip-ons or clubmans, so that became the starting point. Complete rewire of the front end, removed the gauges, bars, mirrors and turn signals. All that’s left up front is the new headlight and re-designed tach. I wanted drum brakes, so off with the rotors, calipers, hydraulics and levers. Each drum brake has its own custom made brake stops and MSR adjustable levers. Bar-end mirrors and machined aluminum bar plugs finish off the clip-ons.”