Archive for March, 2010
Three years ago, the CF collective had a brain storm. With the northern hemisphere blanketed in snow during the winter months, there’s not much opportunity for riding, but this cold, gray time of year does, however, offer a great opportunity to dream, create and build. With that idea in mind, we decided to launch a Streetfighter “Build-off” among forum members.
The basic idea, then and now, is this: Starting on November 1 and closing on May 26 (coinciding with the Northern hemisphere’s cold-weather season), members of the Custom Fighters forum get half the year to decide upon, begin and complete their projects. The entire process, from beginning to end, must be photo and/or video documented so we can see the starting point and final result of your progress. Just to make sure no one is entering a previously built bike, the first pic of the build must be accompanied by a legible, currently dated newspaper with the bike in the same photo.
This year’s People’s Choice Award went to Brian “Fathead_03″ Kammers, of Oroville, WA. Brian started with a CBR600F3 that he had picked up a year earlier. He said the project sat on the back burner until the ’09 Build-off got him in gear. Early in the build-off, Brian started with a new subframe, some tank mods and rough fiberglass work. The real work, though, didn’t begin until February, at which point he had settled into a new location and a bigger work area. After some reflection as to where the CBR was heading, he realised he wasn’t happy with his original mock-up. He made some deals with other members of the forum, and scored some suspension upgrades from a late model 600RR. Forks, swingarm, wheels brakes were all upgraded to RR pieces. With the bike on the work bench, sparks began to fly. Factory shock mounts were removed and new ones made to fit the Pro Link setup. The 600RR swingarm had to be narrowed to fit the F3′s frame rails and the first adaptation of the subframe was cut away for a new approach.
The winner of the Pro’s Choice Award, and 1st Place for 2009 Custom Fighters Winter Build-off is Trucker “TruckinDuc” Booth of Soddy Daisy, TN and his VTR1000F Super Hawk. The build thread for this bike has to be one of the most epic build threads on Custom Fighters! Truck’s project started with a very rough example of the Honda’s Sport Twin platform. The bike once served as a track day tool that ended its career in an off-track excursion. This VTR became a parts bike. By the time Trucker took possession, many of its key components were missing, and the frame had minor damage. But it wasn’t all bad: the 900RR wheels, brakes, upgraded Fox rear shock and Race Tech re-sprung forks offered a good starting platform. Trucker took the bike down to the frame and started over. The frame damage was first to receive attention. The dents were smoothed to make the frame as good as new. The swingarm was braced with an aluminum trellis to complement the frame. After a thorough cleaning, the chassis parts received the flat black treatment.
A good number of riders and builders would take one look at the CBR1000F Hurricane and shake their head. Too ugly, not enough to work with. But Ian McElroy looked at his CBR and could see what needed to be done. Two years, many hours of fabrication, and a lot of aluminum later, he has built a bike he’s proud to call his own.
Inspiration comes in many forms–one being the (then) new KTM RC8 prototype. A healthy dose of stealth fighter-like angles and light weight aluminum really gives this bike a visual effect that another builder with a similar focus might not be able to duplicate. Ian has really put the devil into the details. One of the first things that stands out first and foremost, after my eyes drift over all that beautiful polished aluminum, is the tail light. The first thing I ask is: “Wow, how long did it take to make that!!”
For most motorcycle enthusiasts, one-off designed bikes can be a hit or miss. Some are flashy and unrealistic, some are buried in chrome and electronics—but sometimes you come across a one-off bike that stirs emotion and a primal urge, provoking an adrenaline rush. Ian McElroy’s “KickBoxer” is just that; it makes you wonder “what if”?
Ian brought a concept to the table and it was an instant internet hit. Hours upon hours of research, developing/finding parts that fit so as to be machined later, out of aluminum, for the final product. The idea was to create something that indeed COULD be built! Over a year of hard work and dedication brought us the first 3D renders—and they were quickly posted everywhere you can find motorcycle news on the internet.
New York City’s biggest bike trade show, the International Motorcycle Show rode into the Jacob Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan this January. The IMS attracted all the big dogs, the small-timers, and everyone in between. This is primarily a trade show to display the newest bikes and cycle products to the general public. As might be expected in a commercial venue, the doings included a hip-hop act and dance crew, a fashion show, Tap-Out fighters, celebrity built bikes, tons of chrome, new factory production bikes, demonstrations, debuts, NY vendor style food, beer and lots and lots and lots of vests and patches. Throughout the 3 day event, a couple hundred thousand people made their way through the venue.
A Fighting Spirit is a new column featuring people, companies and products that may not be fighter-specific, but still, in some way embrace the streetfighter attitude. First up is a unique, high-end American motorcycle company with a passion to deliver raw power in a pure mechanical form: Confederate Motorcycles.
The first time I saw a picture of the Confederate Wraith, I was immediately drawn to its raw mechanical look and menacing presence. Its overall shape incites visions of a predatory cat, ready to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. The use of carbon fiber and unfinished metal adds stunning visual contrast and elegance. The Wraith’s new big brother —the Fighter—features a much more angular look, and a longer wheelbase better suited for fast launches and straight-line dominance.