Triumph Pre-Unit custom

Triumph pre-unit custom motorcycle
Every few months you get a buzz building around a bike before anyone has really seen it. Last year it was the Falcon Kestrel; this year it seems to be Mark Drews’ Triumph pre-unit custom, “Solitary Confinement”. Right now, it’s on a ship bound for Japan with several other delectable machines, including the Kestrel and the Vincent Black Lightning built by Jeff Decker.

“Solitary Confinement” will get its first public outing at the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Showin three weeks. Drews has used Harley-Davidson peashooter forks, a micro spool hub and a bicycle-type rim and tire at the front. The tank has an inner steel vessel with an outer cover hand-carved from Lucite—yes, that 1960s space age transparent thermoplastic. Fueling is reported to come from dual 389/689 Amal carbs, and there’s a hand-made micro flask oil bag with the original pre-unit fittings adapted to fit. The primary cover and motor mounts are also crafted from Lucite.

The simple black and silver colors work well with the beautifully balanced 60s-style aesthetics, proving that less is usually more when it comes to retro custom builds. Head over to Half Moon Garage for a high-quality gallery of images, plus behind-the-scenes shots of Drews cutting, grinding and polishing.

I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this bike over the coming months.

[Images © Half Moon Garage 2010.]

Triumph pre-unit custom motorcycle
Triumph pre-unit custom motorcycle
Triumph pre-unit custom motorcycle

  • http://laruetx.com/moto Alan LaRue

    This motorcycle really, really needs to have pedal starting!

  • el vencejo

    Another pretty show-only bike, what a waste of time and metal, would be just as easy to make the whole thing from plastic and equally as practical as a bike.

    A bike you can’t ride is a s useful as a chocolate fireguard.

    • Moe

      He seams to be able to ride it, I guess you’ll never understand how it feels just to follow a dream.

  • gary

    It is beautiful art. Too bad that it happens to take up some useful motorcycle parts.

  • iRivas

    The engine looks awesome, other than that, this bike doesn’t really move me. I hardly think it can be compared to the Falcon Kestrel. I don’t like the handlebars either. Kind of a weird looking bike.

  • David Enfield

    My old 1960 110 was never so pretty as this , it wanted to be though . Like seeing an old friend that’s done good . Very , very nice .

  • http://www.meandmymustang.com Zyon

    Now that is a freakin’ peanut tank!

  • thomason

    The attention to detail is fantastic, the finish is superb, the ideas are truly original, the bike is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.

    It’s ugly, brash and completely unridable. It means absolutley nothing to me other than a waste of a good engine.

  • Ethan

    Man, such negativity on this site lately. How are you guys able to judge that this is completely unrideable just from a few pictures? That’s pretty impressive.

    This bike is beautiful. I love to see new and original ideas like the use of lucite. Hmm… tickets to Tokyo for the 5th are only $600.

  • kim of Copenhagen

    Some Triumphs are great as classic, original bikes.
    Some for trials riding, or for racing on Daytona Beach.
    Some for police work or serious touring, with fairings and panniers.
    Some for sprint or drag racing.
    Some for custom shows.
    I like the latter a lot more than any of the former, but see no point in dismissing them. They all have their place.

  • Chuck Finley is forever

    So someone built a pre unit Tri to look like an old Jawa speedway bike? LOL, I agree with @gary, nice art but to bad it wastes a nice set of parts.

  • TeeBee

    Despite my not particularly caring for this example of the style, I far prefer the “do more with less” approach exemplified by this bike over the “do less with more” favored by the 26″-front-wheel, 360-rear-tire Discovery-Channel stereotype bike builder. And yes, I generalize, and do so freely and cheerfully.

  • el vencejo

    Ethan, check the pics and description, a kid on a tricycle could ride further than this one.:
    No front brake on a skinny BICYCLE type rim, minimal front suspension.
    Rear end is rigid with a solid seat and a parking brake.,
    Miniscule oil tank means overheating and seizure after about 10 minutes.
    Wonder what the lucite chaincase would look like when its been levelled up with oil and used a little?
    Lucite engine mounts on a vibey old twin?

    I once owned a rigid 6T Thunderbird, same back brake as this one, OK for holding at traffic lights, but not as a stopper. Handling was really interesting with a proper wheel and suspension on the front.
    This thing has wheels just to roll it onto stage. Why does it misuse such a beautiful motor?

  • Ethan

    I’m sure that rear brake is faaaaaar from a great stopper but I still contend this bike is probably fine to ride around town once you get used to it. Yeah steering’s gonna be wonky and stopping less than impressive but I find that almost anything with two wheels can be fun to ride not in spite of its limitations but specifically because of them.

    Find what it can and can’t do and ride it to the limit of its abilities. And look cool as hell doing it!

    Of course this is more of an exercise in design than a motorcycle to be ridden but that’s fine with me. Everything has its place and purpose. This bike’s place is to get the builder’s name out there. Just like high-fashion runway attire isn’t actually meant to be worn by anyone.

    It’s an exercise. One I like a lot.

  • Harry Farquhar

    It’s amazing to me that there are those who believe that by simply
    looking at a picture they can make intelligent comments about the
    handling, ergonomics and so forth of a particular bike. If that were
    possible it wouldn’t necessary to spend millions of R&D dollars
    designing a new bike. You can’t know anything other then some
    basic cosmetic details from looking at these photos.

  • http://static-panic.tumblr.com/ Shawn F.

    I really really really want to like this bike, but I just cant.

    Its the tank. The reserve on my CL is bigger than that whole tank, I only have maybe 12 miles of range!

    As someone compared it earlier to the Kestrel, but it just cant be. The Kestrel has a good sized tank, a reasonable sized oil bag, big front brakes, and a sprung seat. The only reason you might not ride it for a long ways is if your back isnt used to a rigid tail.

    The bike is gorgeous. As an exercise in industrial design, it is superb. But its not much more than that.

  • Brad

    Small bit of trivia: On the set of every Star Trek set was the label “GNDN” in every jefferys tube, and a few console buttons.

    GNDN was an inside joke for the film crew. It was short for “Goes Nowhere Does Nothing”.

    Sorta like this bike. With a tank that small, it ain’t going nowhere … except maybe the local convenience store.

    Sure is pretty though.

  • http://southsiders-mc.blogspot.com vincent

    Fantastic ,Fantasy art-work.
    No matter if usable or not…

  • http://www.marlondalton.com marlon dalton

    wow, this bike transports me straight to the speedway… reminds me of all the beautiful british speedway bikes that my friends had and i would drool over. when i look at this bike i am still lusting. i can almost smell the heady mix of oily dirt track and racing fuel on the breeze…. :)

  • iRivas

    Shawn F.
    I think you were alluding to me making a reference about this bike being comparable to the Kestrel, since I seem to be the only one to have mentioned it. I may have just worded my opinion wrong, but I agree that this bike cannot be compared to the Kestrel. The Kestrel is 10x better than this one. I was just referring to the article which said that last year everybody was talking about the Kestrel and it seems now everybody is talking about this bike. I think they are in different leagues with the Kestrel in “The Bigs” and this bike in “Triple A”

  • KIK

    Seriously ,!! with that tank how far can you ride the stupid thing? a waste of a good motor and frame

  • chromegelatin

    I actually do like the looks of some parts of this bike. Although it does beg the question, how rideable does a bike have to be to a “motorcycle?” Especially when it comes to a competition. Love or hate the bikes, or for that matter the show, on Discovery’s “Biker Build Off”, they did need to be rideable a certain distance. My guess is that the Lucite won’t hold up long. I’m no expert though. Plus the ambiguous “bicycle-type rim and tire.” Sounds fragile if not downright dangerous. At what point does it go from motorcycle to just plain art?

  • http://motomethod.com motomethod

    original, clean and amazing craftsmanship. talented builder. think there should be a gold fish in the tank though.

  • mingh

    let showbikes be what they are. bikes to show the skills and sometimes the creativity of the builder. And judge these for what they are. Although personally i’m not into them.
    I really want to like this one but i can’t. Too much bling i reckon. there’s too much screaming for attention that the eye isn’t lead to some of the supposed highlights.

  • http://www.pinheadlounge.com/neodutch Neo Dutch

    Who cares about it’s limitations? Not me, I like it.

  • Chris

    All show, little go…yawn.

  • evilgiles

    Maybe the bikes limitations are only measured by the limitations of it’s rider…

    For example…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fqgwo_WdyRo

    Now I’m not saying that I could or would want to ride in this manner, but I would love the chance to throw the leg over just about anything with 2 wheels just for the pleasure of riding. (No matter how short the tank range).

  • Eddie Kilowatt

    Sure is a pretty rolling picture frame they wrapped around a motor.

  • paul

    ALL TIME!
    Next level!
    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, troll forums and bag out stuff that people who can, DID!
    Best bike I have seen in a long time.
    Congrats to those involved.

  • redrumracer

    I couldn’t agree more Paul. There’s no point in trying to satisfy everyone because as evidenced by the extreme opinions above you just won’t hit the mark for everyone. The bike looks porn and whether it is or isn’t what the next person would have (if they had the skills!) or wouldn’t have done with it is irrelevant. The world would be a bore if we all rode the same crap the same way

    The bike rocks and I’d ride it any day of the week!

  • Henry

    Lucite motor mounts? no thank you.

  • KIK

    Its not a motorcycle , its furniture..with that tank you can only go around the block a few times before the neighbors call the cops,.

  • Sportster Cafe

    Alright, it is a beautiful bike well executed, great attention to details, and it will do exactly what the Japanese buyer bought it to do, sit there and look pretty! Now the engineer side of my brain wants to take that tank, put it over a suitable catch basin, fill it with our alcohol blend gas, and see how long tell it leeks!

  • badams

    Its pure SoCal custom; critics who dont get it never will. Oh, and its rideable and show worthy. Here is proof.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0HAsOKe9Ac

    Nice work Mark, its inspiring.

  • Oliver

    A veritable piece of art, highlights the beautiful engine.
    I like it!

  • http://knsweb.net kumo

    It’s worthless to me. If you can’t ride it, it’s only a sculpture, and you don’t need real parts for that.

    I believe it’s possible to do rideable show bikes. The fact is that maybe is more difficult to make a good rideable show bike than a sculpture like that.

  • thomason

    Watching that yokohama video again. The shot from 1:51 of this bike being ridden is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. He looks absolutely ridiculous riding this thing not to mention awkward and uncomfortable.

    If the bike was built for show then he’s obviously the sort of guy who wants to look good riding his bike. If he’s built it to be a practical custom then he’d want to make comfortable to ride. He is way off the mark on both counts which leads me to believe there was a lack of creative or mechhanical vision here right from the start. Nil points

  • http://www.christrotmanphotography.com CHris

    looks like an old speedway bike thats has a good clean and polish and then someone went and stuck some stupid bars on it.

  • Mule

    @Ethan,
    I agree this is a design excersize meant to get the builder’s name out there, but unfortunately bordering on being a completely unridable design. Yes, it’s a fashion bike. I like the stance and “Microphone” fuel tank. Not usable but interesting. Does remind me of a Jawa which I like very much. Wouldn’t want to ride it and the bars are a joke.

    Observation: There’s probably a Law concerning this and maybe I need to invent one. Mule’s Law- “The less someone knows about motorcycles, the more concerned they are with looking Cool and the less about mechanical design”.

  • Mule

    @Harry Farquhar,
    There are many basic design elements that can can be gleened from a picture. For instance, an incredibly tiny seat with zero padding and no rear suspension leads to the conclusion that this will be a bouncy, harsh ride. A large diameter front wheel with handlebars that are no wider than the length of the grips means the wheel has the mechanical advantage over the guy holding the bars. The fuel tank although very interesting appearence, probably holds a a quart of fuel.

    These aren’t arrogant assumptions, VooDoo or Black Magic. These are physical laws of the universe which a prudent person can apply from merely viewing the pictures.

  • craigj

    It’s not a motorcycle, it’s art in the shape of a motorcycle. As such, I really do like it. The lucite mounts would crack about the same time the tank empties, or perhaps 10 miles. The oil tank is so small I can’t see it. Steering hard with narrow bars like that, and don’t get me started on the brakes.

    But it’s not a motorcycle. It’s art. At that level it is highly successful.

  • el vencejo

    Seems there are broadly 2 opinions here:
    1. Anything with 2 wheels is good.
    2. Biker build-off rules apply: It has to work in the real world.

    I’m with 2, I build and ride my own and have a prejudice against non-functional design.

    But why do some of those who favour #1 calls us 2’s “trolls” for voicing an opinion?

  • el vencejo

    @badams…. a short ride on a smooth private road for the cameras doesn’t count !

  • WRXr

    Interesting grass track look. .

  • rocky0

    maybe all of you critics would be happy staring at a “functional”,”comfortable”,”stock”,harley bagger instead.I guess old timers just don”t “get it”!

  • Greevous

    @el vencejo: I think the frustration goes both ways. Some people are more willing to overlook the sacrifice of strict functionality for some degree of innovation or artistic licence? Do I love every “artsy” bike that’s up on this site, no, but some of them, like “Solitary” especially, have some amazing design choices and truly innovative use of materials.

    While this bike itself isn’t going to be a daily driver, I think it pushes the boundaries of what is typically very well-established and often repetitive genre.

    From my perspective it’s frustrating to hear pointless comments like “waste of a perfectly good engine” or “waste of parts.” Everyone is welcome to share their opinion but while it’s one thing to criticize designs as being derivative or unconsidered, dismissing a bike as worthless because it doesn’t fit one’s requirements for a daily driver, aggressive sport machine, retro-cruiser, or whatever one’s benchmark is for “the” successful bike really misses the point on a site like this.

    When people complain that “narrow handlebars would be hard to ride” or “the tank doesn’t hold much” you’re adding design restrictions that weren’t there.

    Every bike sacrifices something for something: A full-tuck Ducati racer would make a challenging cross country touring bike and a Gold Wing isn’t meant to be a track bike; but that doesn’t mean that those would be worthless as a design exercise.

    …actually, re-imagining a Gold Wing as a stripped down, clip-on mounted, straight-piped, slick-sporting, race machine could be pretty bad-ass. :D

  • Swagger

    What lovely art!
    Really people…why the mincing and whining? This bike was built as a show piece, a purpose for which it soundly succeeds. Taking good parts away from ridable bikes? Please…..take a pill…
    How many leaky, slow, unreliable, noise, hard to start old bikes are you really keeping on the road? Really….?

    This is a lovely show bike, the tank alone is a piece of fine sculpture. it may not be a style I’d want to ride, but that’s not it’s purpose. I doubt it was ever intended to be anything other than nice to look at and that’s just fine. It succeeds at what it’s intended for. If you don’t like it go coax Uncle Lucas to let your oil leaker fire one more time and take a ride. Perhaps you’ll feel more relaxed..

  • Brucker

    That’s as ugly as homemade soap.

  • Mule

    @rockyo, I think you’re sadly confused about who doesn’t get it! Not to single you out and I’m not picking on you personally as opinions on this this bike are almost evn with respect to like/dislike. But how long have you been riding a street bike and what do you ride? I take it you’re not an old timer?

    What is an “Old-Timer” anyway? Someone that disagrees with you?

  • rocky0

    a lot of older riders become close-minded to new ideas and styles. I know I shouldn’t paint everybody with the same paint brush and i apologize. just stating generalities. By the way, my grandkids think i’m old.

  • Sportster Cafe

    I have to agree with Mule on this one! I ride a Sportster with full on clipons and rearsets, no real rear fender, not very practical, and I have put 500 miles on it in a day! Did I mention I have been ridding since the 60s, and have more illegal miles then most modern riders have legal. Don’t look down at old timers, we bought bikes through the slow times and kept the factories open, when most turned to there seal cages. Nothing wrong with hardtails, just type in Triumph Hardtail and you will see hundreds of hardtails you can ride, and some even look nice. It’s a peace of art, and well done. I still would like to see fuel in that tank for a month!

  • Mule

    All is forgiven! I know lots of 20-30 year olds that look at a bike like this and ask, “What’s the point? What good is it?” It’s not just olt timers.

    Ed “Big Daddy” Roth would probably love it, but even his stuff had to be ridable/drivable or at least enough for the duration of a photo shoot.

    This site is for sure getting more and more good, varying opinions and I’m enjoying it, even if I may be wrong. At least people are exchanging thoughts and perhaps changing the way they look at some of the bikes featured.

    My dream bike is a fully chromed J.A.P. speedway bike sitting on a wooden stand in my living room next to the big screen. But it would have all it’s internals and if I wanted to take it out and ring its freaking neck, I could add fuel and oil and it COULD happen.

    This bike here is slightly similar in look and stance to a speedway bike with exception of the ridiculous bars and micro tank. I have a certain amount of sympathy for the builder. But he lost that with the bars, springer and bicycle wheel. I think the plastic parts are frickin’ awesome in appearence, but are wall hangers, not right on an actual motor vehicle that will see even limited use. There is a line between function and art and this is not even close to that line.

  • Swagger

    Don’t any of you read?

    “The tank has an inner steel vessel with an outer cover hand-carved from Lucite—”

    Sure sounds like the lucite IS A COVER and not actually holding the fuel.
    Also if you bothered to watch the video footage you’ll see that the primary cover is run dry indicating seals at the crank output and clutch shaft…so no oil to contend with either. The fellow that carped about Lucite engine mounts….I think that’s just a reflection and not clear plastic. Does anyone have a clearer image to prove one way or another? Since the video DOES show it being ridden one can only imagine that they are in fact metal mounts and not clear effing plastic.

    I’ll echo another poster’s question though…..what’s with all the pointless bitching and moaning here lately? Is it just a factor of extended readership? More people reading raises the percentage of whining? I suppose it’s possible.

  • rocky0

    a show bike is built with “visual entertainment as the goal” this bike delivers that. If the bike is ridable, it is icing on the cake!

  • Kent

    Beautiful work. Amazing craftsmanship.

    I, in general, hate built for a show trailer queens.
    Plastic parts and bicycle tires, with no real brakes?

    At least it will look good while sitting somewhere.

  • el vencejo

    @swagger,
    please read the script. They are “effin plastic”. (probably good for a couple of promo rides).
    That should be a wet primary.
    @Rockyo,
    this old timer rides a stripped XB9R and a Honda 650 trail single that has lost 100 pounds weight and is being converted to a (nearly) road legal supermono/hill climber for playing on the mountain roads.
    What have you built recently?

  • rocky0

    @el vencejo, I don’t feel i should have to post my bonafides, but here goes any ways, check hot bike magazine in the next month or two for an orange chopper called hellbent,I have owned it for the past twenty years and have “traveled many a weary mile” on it.in case your interested.

  • Swagger

    el vencejo, you’re correct….I did miss that bit.
    Art though, is still art.
    No good art makes everyone happy.

  • el vencejo

    @Rockyo:
    You questioned the “bonafides” of pretty much everyone who criticised the practicality of this “bike”. The fact you have owned the same bike for a long time is pretty meaningless. Did you build it or buy it?

  • KA

    whatever…

  • badams

    Mission Accomplished. It caused a reaction, as show bikes do.

    Now lets turn to the whole Japan deal…..actually if you are not part of the Socal custom scene and dont get what is shaken with the Japanese guys, stick with store bought bikes and Icon pleathers. You wont get it.

    As far as going in a straight line on a smooth road, THAT IS THE POINT. Its called “Profiling”.

  • Tin Man

    As a man who actaully builds things, I must say the leval of skill displayed on this build is astounding. The tank alone is a work of art most could not duplicate in a lifetime. The Speedway look is Hot, and the bike is shown being ridden in the video, Very well done!!

  • rocky0

    sorry if anyone was offended by the old timer comment,just speaking in generalities.a lot of these young builder just dont get the credit they probably deserve with their innovative ways of spinning an old recipe without making it look tired.mark drews built his vision of what he likes.our opinions are really a moot point.and to @ el venjeco I am out, so not take any more thunder away from this very cool bike by talking off topic about someone else’s resume. semper fi……..

  • kik

    Reader’s rides section? Maybe?

  • Harry Farquhar

    Mule
    Without access to specifications such as rake, trail, wheel size etc. it is not feasible to make any conclusive inference about the chassis and how it performs. Likewise any certainty about whether the ergonomics are correct can not be determined without further information about diamensions, materials and so forth. Granted assumptions can be formed regarding this or any other bike based on a photograph but definitive accurate conclusions can not be drawn.

  • Cody

    I love it! Great show bike. Why’s everyone so upset they couldn’t ride someone else’s bike all around town and over rail tracks? It’s this guys bike he put the hours, cash, and work into. If anything these temporarily decommissioned parts will be taken care of better then anyone could imagine. Congrats on finishing this build Mark!

  • Mule

    Harry Farquhar, A couple facts you may have overlooked.

    Hardtail = no rear suspension = harsh ride. Definitive conclusion.

    Seat with max 1″ padding mounted hard to the fender and frame = Harsh ride. Definitive conclusion.

    Micro-width handlebars. NO leverage. Definitive conclusion.

    Please stop me if I make a mistake here.

    Judging by the rear tire tread, I’m thinking it’s a 19″ Goodyear DT, really old (70-80’s), making it at least 15-20 yo which means hard as a rock, making the chromed steel rim 20″ O.D.. Using that as a guide, this bike has 85mm of trail and a 26 degree head angle. To get ANY bike to not have headshake at speeds above 50mph, you need a minimum of 95-100mm of trail. The 26 degree part on this bike is probably borderline too, but might be alright with 100mm of trail or more.

    If this in fact has a bicycle tire/ rim on the front as has been speculated here, they have an ugly habit of tires popping off the rims.

    So here’s what I would say in summary and I’ll be the first to admit, I’m no genius. If you took this bike on a quick blast up to 70mph, you would first go into a violent tank-slapper which would quickly peel the tire off the rim and get wadded up into the pretty chrome springer as the tiny bars were ripped from your hands. What happens after that I will leave up to your imagination.

    All that said, I would bet money on the “Accuracy of my conclusions” without ever riding this bike.

    But it’s pretty! That’s just an opinion.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Reminds me of some things seen on fashion runways–
    Great fashion statements aren’t neccessarily wearable clothes.
    And the point of everything seems just to be at it hasn’t been done before.

  • http://www.pinheadlounge.com/neodutch Neo Dutch

    I just wish I owned one bike that does everything like all the naysayers here. Until then, I’m stuck with my motely collection of bikes that do one thing good, and other things so so.

  • Oliver

    Just as a side-comment: some guys (not me) actually ride bikes with with no front brakes, a jockey shift, small hadlebars and rather large rakes – and they put some miles on their bikes. So, just because You and I wouldn’t ride such a bike on the road does not mean that others woudn’t either (for example, see http://kemosabeandthelodge.blogspot.com/)

  • el vencejo

    Ah Rockyo, you bought it finished. ;)

  • rocky0

    for all the nay sayers that are adamant that this bike cannot be ridden check out the cannonball run 2010 from kittyhawk,n.c to santa monica,ca.(3300 miles) on pre 1920 motorcycles. some with no springs on the seat nor suspension. i guess old timer is just a state of mind.@ el vencejo you know what they say about the word assume,right!

  • Eric Moser

    Quite a different spin on the norm, definitely sparks the conversation. I like it, would not own it though. Great for the builder, He will sell it and start another. Hope he sells it to some rich ass artsy dude for 100k, on 6k worth of work and parts. That is what most cats aim for when building from this scene anyway right? Needs to drive his form more towards function, I would want to pimp that bitch with a head/tail light at least…… Form up some crazy ass Lucite/crome enclosures for lighting the front and rear?

  • Harry Faquhar

    Mule you have not cited any additional facts: Ergonomics has a strong subjective component which makes an objective value impossible to reach. A term such as harsh ride is not quantifiable and as a result can not be measured in a way which would allow it to be applied in a general way. Additionally, there are no dimensions provided in the article and no way from the photographs to determine measurements such as seat thickness or material. Also the term no leverage is too vague and imprecise to determine anything useful about it. Without complete specifications it is not possible to know any factual information about the amount of leverage available at the handlebars. My guess is your assumptions may well be correct but they can not be considered facts without more accurate information.

  • alex zen

    Mr. Drews’ bike is so rad. I’m jealous.

  • Mule

    Harry, I don’t need to crawl into a 400 degree pizza oven and have the door latch behind me to come to the conclusion that I would never be crawling out again. Nor do I need to ride this bike with 10″ wide bars raised 6-8″ above the top triple clamp to KNOW that I would have NO leverage. I’ve ridden every type of bike with every type of bars for 45 years and been tossed on the ground at least 300-400 times. I can set up a bike to handle and I know when a bike won’t based on it’s set-up. You may consider that a “Guess”, but I call it science or what used to be referred to as practical knowledge/experience.

    At any rate, it’s a very pretty bike, but it’s not meant to ride and I don’t have any problem with that. If somebody thinks it would be really cool to ride….I’ll spectate on that one.

  • Swagger

    Science?…..perhaps you should have stopped riding after the 100th or so ‘tossing’.

  • Harry Farquhar

    Mule you seem to be saying that virtually any motorcycle with these bars could not handle suitably. Clearly it would be possible for a machine with similar handlebars and the right combination of all the variables that effect geometry to have some semblance of proper handling. And it is not possible to determine from these photographs if this bike has that combination of necessary specifications.

  • Mule

    I’ll put it another way. To me, a motorcycle is, or should be an extension of the rider. Riding a motorcycle requires skill and control and the motorcyle’s roll in this relationship should be to at the very worst, be a nuetral player. In every type of competition, bike shapes and set-up will be tweaked to get them to be as much of an asset as is mechanically possible. There are physical laws that are applied and these are well known, well documented and there are a jillion books available that explain these in detail.

    However, in the world of “customs”, these rules are cast aside, disregarded, ignorantly ignored, overlooked or most likely not even known by the builders. This tweaks me to no end. There seem to be a lot of car builders that have built lots of cool cars that decide to build a bike (usually a bizarre custom). Since they don’t really understand what makes a bike “work”, they head down the path of weirdness or coolness. This makes their bikes exotic, ground-breakingly different and in most cases a contortionist’s dream (almost, if not completely unrideable). Compromises required of the rider start stacking up against him in order to conform to the bike’s peculiar style of operation. Seating position, leverage, arm height, reach, foot position, shifting, braking (if there’s enough), seat padding, basic suspension travel over average road conditions, not to mention basic bike geometry, etc., etc..

    When none of these factors make good sense any more, then the bike becomes art, a chopper or cool. It somehow becomes legitimate again and naysayers become old timers that just don’t understand. Sometimes the bike is even “Pure sex”.

    So, Harry, if you think 10″ wide bars have a place on any bike ever in this lifetime, I’m preachin’ to the wrong congregation. I can say no more that would make any difference or penetrate the shell.

  • pechunges

    One thing this bike does really well is start a conversation and the “cerebras” working. Greevous comes out sounding like he’s got a good perspective on this. And now I just thought about those Greeves dirt bikes from my turf-tearing days. See what I mean. (I like this bike)

  • Ben C

    Man all you morons are COMPLETELY missing the point here.
    It is amazing. It is a 60’s style showbike. It is what it is.
    If you are just gonna be negative all the time, why even bother looking. Sheesh.

  • Hashish Skateboard

    The Japanese haven’t managed a single original idea since the 9th century.

  • http://www.falconmotorcycles.com/ Amaryllis

    These photos don’t begin to do the bike justice. Ian and I watched in awe as Mark and his buddy, Gabe, dropped this bike off to be loaded into the Mooneyes Crate, destined for Yokohama. Mark had that look I recognize in Ian all too well – the ‘hasn’t slept for months because his imagination and hard work has carried him to the limits of time look’. He rolled it out of the back of the van, and I can’t remember a time recently, where I’d seen a bike that made me feel so happy. It is imaginative, beautifully executed, original, cool… so many of the things that a custom bike aspires to be, and that sound ‘muted’ compared to the real thing. All the shoulda woulda coulda’s from people passing subjective judgements are just that, at least in my subjective opinion. Me and the rest of the Falcon team are honored to say that we heart Solitary Confinement, are psyched to have studied it up close, and can’t wait to check it out again in December…

  • scott

    so many “RULES” these days. if its meant to be ridden or not, the bike is a Mind Blower!

  • http://www.machineshed.blogspot.com matt machine

    i think this bike is one of the most beautifully executed bike builds in years…bikes like this inspire me to build better bikes and im sure countless other people in the world as well. it requires much thought, much skill, and much much of everything else and im thankful once again to a very talented builder for taking the time to do such a beutiful job…thanks mark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=711734964 Steve Scott

    The tank on this piece of ridable art is to die for *drool* and the whole speedway look is killer. First class build, even if it doesn’t hold much fuel or other fuctional sacrifices made, it’s a beautiful and very mechanical looking machine ;)

    Also, to all those involved in the above debate, and to any parties interested… although it is prudent (and safe) to have a motorcycle that handles well and is designed with ergonomics and utility in mind, we should not forget that the machine is also an extension of ones attitude and outlook. Custom builds like this one demonstrate perfectly how science (mechanics) and art come together to create something truley unique and aesthetically pleasing. Sure, it may not go around the corner at full crack and sure you won’t be able to go far before filling again.. or steer to avoid the oncoming semi.. or sit for more than 1/2 hour without getting a sore rump.. BUT WHO CARES! If you owned a bike like this… if you made a bike like this… you’d be happy just to sit and stare at it.. or listen to it idle over or yeah.,.. even ride down the corner shop… regardless of how much of a pig it was to ride.. it wouldn’t matter. We have bikes for going fast, bikes for touring and bikes for certain tasks… this rides purpose is to look f**king grouse, and some of us wouldn’t make so many sacrifices for a sweet looking piece of art… but when you could build a different bike every occasion.. why not have a pure looker? I still like a Ducati 1098.. or a PS replica sure… but this bike is just pure bike-porn. You don’t care if the stripper’s got big tits and no personality… this bikes got lots of personality but it lacks in other areas sure.. but you can’t foraske something just ’cause it only ticks half the boxes. Where’s the passion guys? The things that make some bikes remarkable are the imperfections. An old RE Bullet can be a piece of sh*t.. .but a ride of one will quickly remind you why motorcycling is the most fantastical thing in the world ;)
    Custom building is about expression.. about finding the harmony between the components and the colours and the textures… a perfect or not so perfect mesh of mechanics and creativity… that demonstrates the individuals state of mind. Let’s not always stiffle creativity with such conveniences as handling and ridability.. just live a little and enjoy the big tits ;)