Some things are just a natural fit, salt and pepper are, oil and water certainly aren’t! You can’t force it, there is a convergence of the two that either exists like Lennon and McCartney or will only ever end badly, think a hairdryer and a bathtub. But skateboards and custom bikes have always had an affinity in the freedom they provide, the rebellious attitude of those who ride them, and the sense of adventure you get rolling as a pack or going solo in search of salvation. Starting on a deck in the ’80s, Andreas Jönsson of Black Lanes Motors in Sweden builds ultra clean customs and brings a heavy dose of inspiration from his small four-wheel friends. His latest is this brilliant bobber based on a 1999 Yamaha SR500 and like any good skater he isn’t afraid to break a few rules.
“I’m a small towner who started skateboarding in the late ’80s for fun, creativity, and freedom. I loved every aspect of skateboarding and the feelings it gave me. Motorcycles and the motor culture came into my life when I realised that it shared many of the same freedoms and aspects of skateboarding. It became an extension of that love for me,” Andreas tells us. A woodcraft teacher by day, his small workshop in Stockholm is a place for creativity, not profit. Because his attitude about bikes and boards is all about having fun, or as he says, “Rollin wood, ridin steel”.
Having a bond with the Yamaha brand, he’d crashed his neighbours PeeWee 50 when they were away on holidays as a kid, the SR would inspire an opportunity to take the project to that child-like place where the rules need not apply. “I wanted to do something unique with an SR. I saw it as a challenge to do something that no one else has done before.” So given their abundance in the custom scene, the front end conversion was the first step on a journey in individuality. With the assistance of his friend Loen, a DNA springer fork was acquired and the necessary changes made to make it work on the Yamaha.
Like the forks, the frame has been totally smoothed out and anything that wouldn’t be used cut off or ground back. That includes the entire subframe which was thrown to the side and a new set of shock mounts fabricated and welded on. These also assist in lowering the stance of the bike and the chromed-out Honda shocks get the bobbers butt on the ground. For rolling stock, only spoked wheels would do, and with them pulled apart Andreas went to town polishing up the sweet front drum brake. Then the wheels were built back up to suit the bobber style with thicker stainless spokes lacing up to the chromed rims.
With the chassis how he wanted it, the low and lean look follows over to the bodywork and some clever subtle changes bring it all together. The modified tank is repositioned to sit down as far as it would go over the backbone. But to get the transition from the metal to the solo seat right, Andreas welded a piece of plate under the rear of the tank that extends to beneath the seat and allows a solid mounting point for both. Simple and clean the seat unit itself was put together by friend Anton Sandqvist who covered it in high quality black leather and added two frame stops. While a classic rear fender and chrome struts keep things clean literally and figuratively.
Then it was time for the paint, “My friend who also is a bike builder said that he hated white motorcycles. This made me even more stoked to show him that it was possible to do a white bike that can look good and I proved him wrong,” Andreas smiles. Wielding the paint gun friend Loen from Lucky Boy Customs went to town, covering the frame, forks and swingarm, fender, and all the new additions like the custom battery box between the centre posts. The deep green now has the perfect backdrop from which to pop and the Shinko whitewall tyres chosen for the build only add to the visual delight.
With the SR now looking the way Andreas liked it, he turned his attention to the mechanical side of things, and from new leads, to braided fuel lines nothing has been left to chance. Polishing the engine and side covers was a massive task, but nothing quite like the incredible exhaust. Working with another friend Anders, a blacksmith, they slaved away over 14hours to construct the stunning twin pipe stainless system that flows seamlessly from the single pot engine. Barking out of slash cut end pipes beneath the machined foot controls, it’s like nothing we’ve seen before. Finishing out the motor is a new chromed out kickstart lever with the perfect white pedal to match.
That theme continues up on the bars with glow white grips on a set of blinged-out flat bars that took a dip in the tank along with the risers and springer coils until the mirror like shine was complete. To ensure a clean finish all the wiring was redone and hidden under the tank, with the tiny m-Unit from Motogadget controlling things and an m-Button to fire it all to life. To keep the bike road legal there are tiny indicators from Kellermann that you’ll struggle to see until they come alight, with a small digital speedo running off the rear wheel. Friend Carl-Johan was with him all the way and the final touch is one that finds a home on every Black Lanes build. A small handcrafted bird made from tin is perched on the front sprocket cover to bring good luck, and whether rolling on four wheels or blasting on two, it never hurts to have a little fortune on your side.