We started off by choosing a simple platform. Single cylinder, minimal mechanical interference so we chose the 650 Savage motor. Pound for pound, it’s very difficult to a higher ROI. The Chassis is a highly modified S40, reduced to it’s basic components, cut, chopped, flattened, lightened, and generally improved across all spectrums.
We took the entire chassis down to the bare metal, conditioned it and Ricochet powdercoated every metal surface on the bike. Same process for the suspension and drive train. Every bolt that was too heavy was thrown in the trash. Where it was safe, we replaced the steel bolts with titanium or aluminum. All of the bearings were replaced or repacked. When the chassis was ready for the motor, it was better than new.
An iconic bike is one that captures a very difficult notion. How does one create an icon of something as diverse as motorcycles, motorcycle riders and mechanical design of the machines we all love?
When you set out to forge an icon, you start off with the basics. What must the icon capture? What can be excluded? What distracts, what enhances? If you move beyond the basics, the design becomes complicated.
With no shortage of extremely complicated motorcycles to represent the vast array of styles, preferences, riding, riders and design- we had to tear down this icon to it’s essential elements. Motor. Frame. Wheels. Not much else.
Mechanical Design: Simple. Done.
Cross Country, choppers, sportbikes, racers, flat trackers, stunt bikes. If there’s an ass for a seat, it will be filled. But, what style of riding is the epitome of freedom? Since we’re building an icon, we could have gone with the Harley Boys coming back from the war, or we could go with the Punk Rock Cafe Racers. Since our goal was to capture a simple icon.
Style: Cafe Racer. Done
An iconic rider defines a generation. They have staying power across the generations, across the finish line and across the globe. There are a finite number of riders that are shareholders in this fight. Rossi. Lawson. Doohan. Rainey. But we wanted to condense even further, and nobody represents simple racing like Schwantz. His style was do-or-die. Get the cash or crash. Push the limits then push over them, just to make sure. I’m not sure what his WIN:DNF ratio is, but it’s extremely high and the man is due respect.
Rider: #34. No question about it.
And when you’ve got all the elements identified, it’s just a matter of executing the build with precision. And we did just that.
Because we ditched the airbox and factory jets, we decided to tune the carb on a Dyno. There were no significant power increases in terms of pure HP but it definitely is much smoother at idle and under acceleration.
Smoother Torque all the way through. The major performance increases are due to lightened chassis.
Please note in the picture below- the side panel has what appears to be a large gap in it. This is the correct gap for this bike, as vibration would cause the paint to rub up and off.
Starts first time, every time. Brand new Belt. Brand new head gaskets. Lighter Wiseco piston (by choice, not necessity)
Professionally powdercoated, and the graphics are clear coated. Each step along the way, we considered the outcome of a decision. This is not some hacked together Cafe Racer.
We opted to keep the motor stock displacement, though a big bore kit might yield a wee bit more of the front tire in the air. To be continued. The stock 650 motor has plenty of balls, but you can’t have too much torque.
We further reduced the weight be eliminating anything that didn’t need to be on the bike. Even the spacers were reduced or replaced. The body panels that weren’t structural go lightened. The entire tail section was removed, all traditional lighting was replaced with LED and the gauges were tossed in favor or mechanical pods. The wiring harness alone lost over a pound of useless wires.
Just a few examples of weight savings.
- Frame went on a 9 pound diet
- 14 pounds of bolts were replaced with 2 pounds of bolts
- Wheels were taken down to bare metal, then a thin powdecoat was applied
- Rear fender lost 27 pounds
- Wiring harness lost another pound
- All non-essential components (turn signals, safety equipment, plastic brackets) were pitched in the trash
- K&N filter weight savings over the stock airbox/filter/bug collector is nearly 6 pounds.
- Exhaust went from 22 pounds to 7 pounds
- Total weight savings from scale to scale was 67 pounds
The bike was re-assembled, test ridden and then each and every bolt was removed, loctite was applied and the re-assembly was done to the factory torque specifications. In every way, this is a new bike.
Theme paint was applied by Whitakers, decals by Stokes. Lovingly assembled by the team with no excuses. Clear coated vinyl graphics. Seat is done in traditional brown high quality hides. Very comfortable to ride.
The entire process is around 150 hours, and the end result speaks for itself.
Options for the bike:
You may still choose to “black out” all of the chrome pieces, to your liking. We left the exhaust and the suspension chrome, but that can be changed with little to no cost.
Digital Gauges are available, or we have an iPhone application that can be installed on the bike. Bluetooth key can be installed on the phone, for a true “wireless connected” bike.