The time has come for yet another CF winter buildoff, so we thought we would take the time to look back at our most recent winner and owner of the amazing carbon clad creation you see.
I took a moment to ask Knifemaker what makes him tick and the thought process that went into his Winter Build Off Winning Bike.
Lance A. Lewsader: What was your inspiration behind this build?
Chris (Knifemaker): I actually stumbled across a picture of a Honda VT1000 Hawk Concept and absolutely loved it.
I really wanted to build a V-Twin bike, as all my other bikes have been twins, but when the F2 fell in my lap for $500 I couldnt pass it up especially after seeing Fathead03’s F2 build-off thread. It challenged what I thought of as far as custom fabrication goes, and I really wanted to give it a try.
LL: How many hours would you say you have in this build?
Chris: It is really hard for me to gauge hours, but I have been working on the bike since last June. I would say 1000+ hours of work would be conservative. Especially if you include all the machine time, fabricating, carbon fiber work, mechanical work, and finishing.
LL: What suggestions would you make to others who are attempting a build like yours?
Chris: I would say to just go for it. A lot of what I did was shaped by the time I had, and what I have available to me. I was originally planning on finishing the bike with the original suspension and upgrading it as I had money, but when I was offered a 900rr rear end and GSXR front end in trade for a knife, I jumped on it. Play to your strong suites, and most of all, there are so many people on this forum who are willing to help you, that you really cant go wrong. I couldn’t have finished this build if it weren’t for the advice and help of forum members. So take people’s advice… they are here to help you, and most of them have much more experience than I do.
LL: What would you do differently?
Chris: My biggest regret is the solo tail. I love how the solo race tail looks, but really wish I could have the ability to ride with my wife. It would have taken a little bit more engineering to keep it clean but I am planning on having a “solo” look for my next bike that can easily adapt to 2-up riding.
LL: What are the future plans for this build?
Chris: I am finalizing the front fender and fly-screen, and then I plan on finishing the exhaust shrouds in Carbon fiber. The flat aluminum plate is a temporary measure that detracts from the look of the bike currently. Then I plan on riding it for the summer to enjoy it and work out the very last bugs, and plan to sell it in the fall to fund a new project. So if anyone is interested in buying it… let me know.
LL: Now that you are “finished” how do you like it?
Chris: I really enjoy the bike. It is the first I-4 bike I have ridden, and is very different than the V-twins, but is really sporty and fun to ride. It has a lot of get-up-and-go which is really fun for the commuting I use it for mostly. I haven’t gotten a chance to take it on some really curvy roads yet, but I am looking forward to it very much. I also love how it looks. It just looks aggressive, and honestly draws a lot of attention which is always nice. I have been asked “is that a Ducati?” but about 10 different people, so I guess I did something right.
LL: Did you start with a vision/plan or just wing it?
Chris: After seeing that Hawk concept i drew this up:
and has been my vision. I didnt plan on the titanium header, however I did want the exhaust mounted underneath the bike, and the race style solo tail. The rest just came as I built it.
LL: You make some very awesome custom parts. So have you thought of selling any one off parts?
Chris: As I have made the bike and had to machine parts I have sold some of the extra parts I have made. I have also received quite a few requests for one-off parts, most of which have been made and sent to the requester. So yes, if you need something made just let me know, and i can usually accommodate you.