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Custom of the Week: ‘CR500 Tracker’ by Thornton Hundred




Seeing as flat track fever is fresh right now it seems appropriate to feature this beastly CR500 by young blood Thornton Hundred Motorcycles from Milton Keynes.

21 year old Jody Millhouse runs the business solo, building custom motorcycles and specialising in wheel building. As is so often the case, It’s Jody’s dad’s fault he’s not a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. Millhouse Snr is an accomplished spanner-hand himself, with a few Streetfighter magazine cover features to his name, so it’s no surprise to see the tinkering gene being passed on.

Rather than follow the herd and stick a loop on a yet Honda another CB, Jody went for it on his first build, saying “the bike was inspired by a desire to build an absolutely barking mad machine that stands out from the crowd, something to hopefully get my foot in the door of the bike building world and to make a name for myself.” A half litre two stroke on Maxxis race tyres is more than a step in the right direction Jody, the door is off its hinges.

A* to me, I guessed the year correctly. The rear drum brake a helpful giveaway that this CR500 is a 1986 vintage, a time just before electronics and bulky bits started finding their way onto motorcycles. And arguably the best year for Honda who swept the board in all classes across the pond in US motocross. Despite a more manageable state of tune for ’86 the thing was still a hand grenade and if you weren’t David Bailey you were in for an arm pumping hard time.

The 30 year old motor was torn down and fully rebuilt, with the addition of a big bore kit. While in there you may was well replace everything and go bigger is the correct way to approach engine building. North of 70hp and sub 100kg – sounds like a heady mix of fun and terror. And for the uninitiated the magnesium cases by Boysen say Factory Racing on the side, worth at least 10 extra horsepowers.

Channelling the noise, sweet smelling smoke and the all important power is the responsibility of a Gold Series FMF ‘Gnarly’ expansion pipe, twinned with a snake of custom stainless tubing to an underseat silencer setup. One of the only two parts of the bike Jody didn’t carry out himself, preferring the neat joints from the hand of a TiG welding expert. The twin exits from the silencer are a subtle nod to the stubs that poked out of GP road racing machines back in the heyday.

The beefy conventional forks from a much later Triumph 955 were de-tabbed, smoothed and along with the frame and swingarm given a lustrous gloss black powdercoat. The stanchions have been treated to a plush PVD coating, in gold of course. The alloy radiator is a custom shape and just a single core, rather than the twin setup on the original bike. Plastic rad shrouds are certainly not de rigueur in custom circles so they were binned in favour of this super rare XR75 steel fuel tank. Braking is courtesy of a large rotor and original caliper while the aforementioned rear drum keeps the rear looking super tidy.

Rims are by go-to manufacturer Excel, 19″ front and rear to accept the Maxxis DTR-1 regulation flat track tyre.

With a daytime MOT and springtime seemingly here for good, the roads around Buckinghamshire will soon be alive with sound of a crackling stroker and that oh so sweet and nostalgic smell.

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Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

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Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



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