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Custom of the Week: Honda XR600 by Vintage Addiction Crew

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The last tracker we featured from Spanish workshop Vintage Addiction Crew was a KTM based racer with the capacity for occasional road use.

This Honda XR600 is a step-up in terms of quality of finish, and it has lights too! The style though is unmistakably go fast, turns left.

This build was a collaboration between Vintage Addictionai??i??s founder Carlos and local Honda experts Moto Racing Canet, where Jordi BaAi??eras and his team opened up the aged 600cc RFVC single to suss out why it had seized.

Here in the ai???Shed weai??i??ve had more than a few members and customers experience these old motors when they develop a drinking problem. With so many Dommies and XRs being customised on the outside with little attention paid to the inside itai??i??s not surprising that these 30 year old engines run dry and grind to a halt. The engine in this XR was toast, blue conrod, scored bores ai??i?? the lot. A spare engine was bought as a donor, plus a huge list of OEM and upgraded components and after many hours of fettling, a box-fresh powerplant sat naked on the bench. And as you can see, itai??i??s been blasted, side cases and rocker cover repainted with a crackle finish and all the fasteners replaced with stainless steel. Delicious!

The aestheticAi??inspiration is obvious to those who can remember Bubba Shobert dominating the AMA Flattrack Series aboard his HondaAi??RS750D in the mid eighties. (If youai??i??ve never heard of him press pause and spend five minutes on the Google & YouTube.)

The fuel tank is from a Harley-Davidson Sportster but with the tunnel heavily modified fit the Honda oil-in-frame spine. The braced forward facing mounts are a particularly nice addition and far tidier than the clumsy tabs on the stock H-D tank. Theyai??i??ll also be more reassuring to push a right knee against compared to the centre mounted fibreglass Wood and Knight replicas on the market.

The seat and tail unit is one of the aftermarket units but a Champion style, often associated with Kenny Robertsai??i?? crackling beast of a TZ750 ai??i?? here it works perfectly. The number board is an in-house piece, made from aluminium and drilled for coolness ai??i?? both types. The temptation to get too snazzy with the paint has thankfully been avoided. Barcelonaai??i??s version of D-Lucks took-on the job, Kilian Ramirez from Pic Studio has nailed the Rothmans Honda colour scheme.

The subframe is smart too. The main uprights are sturdy tubing welded to the main frame but the rear loop was fabricated from thinner and daintier section with a detachable rear light and licence plate assembly. Want to go racingai??i?? just undo four bolts and unclip the cable and youai??i??re good to go. A similarly nice touch is the clear perspex guard to keep shale and crap away from the K&N filter yet remain unobtrusive to admiring glances.

The conventional fork has been lowered properly internally, fully rebuilt and revalved to suit road and flat track conditions. The shock has also been lowered and rebuilt, now with a yellow powdercoated spring ai??i?? racy! Rims are of course 19 inchers, powder coated black and re-spoked with yellow passivated hardware, another nice touch. Tyres are from Mitas, are road legal and suitable for flat track racing (not in the UK though, Carlos will need Maxxis here).

The exhaust is a painstaking reinvention of the massive setups that are still used in the AMA (or AFT as itai??i??s now known). Pie-cut sections of stainless tube were assembled and welded in-house by Carlos to form the headers, which lead to massive Supertrapp silencers. 0.8mm aluminium sheet was formed for the heat shields, with proper racing flared holes to match the sump guard, and left raw whereas the number board has received SeAi??orAi??Ramirezai??i??s deft touch.

As this is an early XR thereai??i??s no electric start and therefore no need for a battery. The stator provides enough to powerAi??for the super efficient LED indicators and lights via a brand new wiring loom. The smallest and simplest Motogadget speedo is tucked close to the bar clamps but anyone who rides this bikeAi??probably wonai??i??t notice itai??i??s even there. The bars themselves are the Ai?? high rise, huge sweep versions as used byAi??Bubba back in the day.

Itai??i??s clear to see that this is a no-holding-back type of build. Absolutely everything has either been refurbished and replaced or painted and powder coated. There isnai??i??t a nut, bolt or screw left on the bike that has escaped Carlosai??i?? keen eye ai??i?? theyai??i??re all new.

The many boxes of immaculately finished parts were meticulously pieced together at theAi??Moto Racing Canet workshop before running-in the fresh motor and setting it up properly on their in-house dyno. The re-jetted carb and twin pipes apparently make a great sound and Carlos is over the moon, saying,

ai???We are in love with the the finished project, a very comfortable bike to ride quietly but underneath its vintage appearance hides a very fun engine with a few more surprising benefits at high speeds.Ai??Finally, thank all the professionals who have contributed a little bit of their best work, the final result of this Honda is so beautiful!ai???Ai??

Youai??i??re on the money there Carlos, this is a stunner.

 

 


This article first appeared on The Bike Shed; It’s republished here with explicit permission.

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One Year On: Remembering Nicky Hayden

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The news that Nicky Hayden passed away was devastating to the whole of the motorsport family.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.


Nicky was a champion to his core; from the way he raced to his fierce devotion to his family and the way he made time for everyone. He fought for every single position on every lap of every race and never once gave up. He was firm, leaving no room for doubt on track, but he was always fair and he was one of the hardest workers you’ll ever know, even in a world that includes nothing but riders who push themselves to the limit constantly.

In every way, Nicky was a shining star; images of his tear-stained face when he won his championship in 2006 will forever be ingrained in the collective MotoGP memory, his joy was so tangible that you could have wrapped yourself up in it. And that was Nicky, always inclusive. Whether it was a quick-witted remark in that wonderful Kentucky drawl that we’ll miss so much, his easy manner that made him a friend of everyone who knew him or the way he never turned someone away when they wanted a photo or an autograph. Nicky came from a racing family and he became an integral part of an even larger one.

Losing anyone is always heartbreaking but the loss of a rider when they were out training, doing something as everyday as cycling, makes Nicky’s death at just 35 years old even harder to comprehend.

Nicky holds a place in the MotoGP Hall of Fame, his status as a Legend firmly cemented long before he left for World Superbikes. But he holds something even more valuable; a spot in the collective heart of the entire motorcycle racing family.

His accent will forever raise a smile, at least for me, and his own superstar grin will now bring with it an indescribable sadness. But remember Nicky as he would’ve wanted; that fierce big-hearted champion who pushed himself and everyone around him to be their very best and as that young man who brought so much joy and who left us far too soon.

My thoughts are, of course, with all of the Hayden family, Nicky’s fiancee Jackie, his friends and his teams both past and present.

Now, I’m going to wipe away the tears and watch Valencia 2006 again. I hope you join me to remember Nicky Hayden; a champion, a gentleman and a star that can never truly be extinguished.


This article first appeared on Motofire on May 22nd 2017. We’ve republished it here today to commemorate the anniversary of Nicky Hayden’s passing.

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Custom of the week: ‘V09’ BMW R80 by Vagabund Moto

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BMW AIRHEAD CUSTOMS are like AC/DC songs: after a while, it’s hard to tell them all apart. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the style is usually pleasing to the eye.

But no one could ever accuse Vagabund Moto of following a conventional formula. Their approach is unique and their bikes buck the mainstream trend. So it’s ironic to learn that the owner of this razor-sharp R80 asked Vagabund to replicate the style of a custom R80 they finished two years ago.

Not surprisingly, builders Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl weren’t keen on the idea. “We don’t like to remake bikes we’ve done before,” Paul tells us. “So we suggested sketching out a concept that related to the V05—while adding some special parts.”

Paul and Philipp do their wrenching in a workshop in Graz, Austria, and do as much work as possible themselves. “We’re trying to stay a two-man operation for as long as possible,” says Paul. “We’re good friends and perfectionists. It’s hard to think about trusting someone else, or giving up our awesome workshop relationship.”

The pair started out with a relatively fresh classic tourer: a 1992 R80 RT with only 25,000 km on the dial. And thanks to BMW’s historically good build quality, there wasn’t much engine work needed.

“We took apart the engine and carbs, checked everything, and replaced the not so good parts. And then blasted and painted it.”

Getting the striking Vagabund ‘look’ meant ditching the bodywork though, apart from the fuel tank—but even that’s not quite original. The back end of the tunnel has been closed off, where the gap would normally be blocked by the bulky OEM seat.

Just behind it is a svelte new perch. Vagabund designed the tail hump digitally, then got it 3D printed. It means they could pack a ton of detail into a small space—from the multi-faceted upholstery by Christian Wahl, to the sculpted recess under the tail that hides an LED back light.

Everything sits on top of a custom-made subframe, and the main frame’s been liberated of any unneeded mounts. The rear’s now propped up by a new YSS shock. The wheels are stock, but the rear’s clad in a pair of glass fiber-reinforced plastic covers.

Up front, Vagabund shortened the forks by 60 mm, milled and powder coated the lower legs, and added a pair of fork boots. There’s a custom-made top triple clamp too, playing host to an integrated Motogadget speedo.

The handlebars are from LSL, and have been trimmed down. They wear a Grimeca master brake cylinder, a Domino clutch lever, and custom switches in a 3D-printed housing. There’s a small headlight out front, and a pair of Motogadget bar-end turn signals.

The rest of the bike’s been treated with equal consideration. It’s sporting a set of Continental ContiRoadAttack tires, K&N filters, and a Supertrapp muffler attached to the modified stock headers. And then there’s that striking livery, quite unlike any other we’ve seen, and expertly applied by Graz neighbors i-flow.

But it’s what’s missing that’s just as important: there’s no mess of wires vying for your eye’s attention. The bike’s been totally rewired, with a new diode board and two tiny Ultrabatt lithium-ion batteries, hiding under the tank.

“It’s very important to take care of every cable and braking line, and so on,” says Paul. “Even the handlebars are as clean as possible. It’s one of our biggest jobs to do a totally minimalist wiring setup, and we put a lot of work into parts that nobody ever sees.”

Despite the sano approach, this BMW is completely street legal in Austria. On top of the usual lighting, there’s a license plate bracket at the back that holds a pair of tiny Motogadget turn signals—with just the right amount of visibility to check legal boxes.

“It’s really difficult,” says Paul. “Every light has to be ECE-approved, and has to be mounted at the right angle and position. We have to examine all our builds and every point of customization with a civil engineer before we‘re able to (hopefully) pass the vehicle license authority.”

Titled ‘V09,’ this BMW leaves us thunderstuck. It hits the mark with its stance, proportions and finishes—so we’re counting it as another win for the Austrian duo.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif; It’s republished here with permission.

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