Yamaha SR500 by Blitz

Yamaha SR500 custom
Blitz Motorcycles of France kicked up a storm when we featured their BMW R60/2 last month. It was raw and dark, and Blitz have continued the theme with their latest build—’Honda Tank‘. Despite that tank, it’s actually a 1993 Yamaha SR500. And the grungy looks belie the amount of work that has gone into the bike. The engine has been fitted with a Mikuni VM34 carburetor, sucking through a K&N. Gases are expelled through a short no-nonsense muffler. A hand-made tail has been welded to the powdercoated frame, and the wheels, bars and crankcase have been powdercoated to match. Blitz then lowered ‘Honda Tank’ almost two inches, rewired it, and fitted a handcrafted seat unit and rear fender. There’s a Bates-style light at the front and a repro Lucas taillight, and it all hangs together very nicely indeed. [Photos by Thomas Caplain.]

Yamaha SR500 custom
Yamaha SR500 custom
Yamaha SR500 custom
Yamaha SR500 custom

  • http://waynedahlberg.com Wayne D.

    The attention to detail on every single thing except the tank is a beautiful combination. I love this aesthetic. Very WrenchMokee-esqe.

  • Coreigh

    I’m sorry, the contrast is too much. I like the concept, a well engineered and built bike that doesn’t suffer the demands of show bike preening. It makes the bike inviting, you *want* to ride it. My complaint is the difference between the tank and the rest of the bike is too great. No I don’t think the tank should look better, I think the rest of the bike should look more “distressed”; Well kept but well used. — My 2¢.

  • http://www.peterlombardi.com Peter Lombardi

    love the bike, hate the dent, for shame, haha
    -peter

  • el vencejo

    Nothing to get excited about… Lots of bikes better than this built by everyday guys (UK, Germany mainly) from FleaBay reject parts; check out ThumperClub, Honda trailbike forum uk etc.

  • LP

    Pure affectation.

  • el vencejo

    I have to add that in Europe, this bike is just following what bikers are doing in their sheds/workshops and riding everyday. Nothing new.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonycrowe/sets/721576 T Crowe

    I get the look but the seat is all wrong just add a little bit more padding so its ridable for more than 2 miles.

  • Steve-R-R-R

    Sorry to sound negative, but this bike doesn’t belong on bikeexif. This is not a “special custom”, it’s a bunch of old refuse bin parts thrown together. If it took a long time to build and some “craft”… then they’re doin’ it wrong.

    Even for the “rat bike” motif, it is uninteresting and has bad proportions. I could throw a football through that frame opening, the handlebars look like a kid’s Huffy bike, and worst of all, the tank patina looks completely fake. I can just picture the guy standing there and thinking “where exactly does this bit of fake brown drip need to be placed? Ah – right there! Perfect!”

    The RatBobber thing is getting played out. Chris, can we please see some prettier bikes soon?

  • david

    Nup. Fair enough beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but it does not work for me. Am I the only one that seems to be getting tired of ‘bitzers’?

  • Starmag

    Way to go! You’ve finally posted the barely rideable, almost no brakes havin’,ugly piece o crap that made me delete you from my boolmarks! You obviously consider this some kind of art, because it’s barley a motorcycle. To the “artists”, try not insulting you audiences’ or customers intellegences. Psuedo-show barely-go pictures for wanna be hipster posers. More hardtails and 1935 era brakes! And dents! Yeah , that’s cooooool. Not. Variety is the spice of life, so onward you go, but I’m out.

  • Professor Twahn

    Hey Starmag, want a hug or something?

  • kik

    i agree with david 100 % enuff is enuff, plus since when does powder coating become “attention to detail? i worked at a powder coating facility so i must be the most attentive to detail in the world !! but seriously folks a carb and nice paint a bike does not make,….my 2 cents

  • http://ricepaddymoto.tumblr.com Matt “Hype Mann” Herrmann

    Working at a motorcycle shop/salvage yard: I love this bike! It’s got the look of a bike that any of our customers would make themselves and be proud to ride. The ridiculous attention to detail capped off with swap meet/salvage yard parts is what most of our customer base is.

    Unfortunately I have to stare at a Carpy “race bike” that’s ready for the show circuit: give me this rideable beauty any day!

  • JR

    I like it. It’s a very doable custom.

    There are some grumpy gusses about this bike.

  • Deogratias

    It’s cool, but I sorta feel like this style has been reeeeally played out…

  • Hiwatt Scott

    Quite simply, that looks like shit.

  • http://www.firstgenerationmotors.blogspot.com Emmet

    Honestly, I think utilizing that crusty, old tank on that bike is out of place. The rust, faded paint, and that dent- it’s like somebody trying too hard to be the cool guy. Then the builder goes out and spends hundreds to get most parts powdercoated? Instead, the bike should have been completely restored or just slightly enough to make it road worthy.

  • http://flic.kr/p/64JUSY T Crowe

    Looking at it more i now hate it. Just off to make my old can-am army bike a custom by taking the seat and airbox off. Not forgetting about what part of this website is about the photos are good the bike not.

  • Starmag

    Yo PT, no hugs thanks. Seriously, about this bike, here’s a link to a bike that’s only $250 that i’d rather have than this bike. With REAL patina and dents! http://tampa.craigslist.org/psc/mcy/2022863290.html

  • Mule

    It’s already been said here plenty, but I’m laughing so hard I have to add to the dogpile!

    To me, that looks like a stock bike with no seat, a dented piece of crap tank that somebody spit-up on, painted all black. Even in the old days when everybody was just starting into riding motorcycles, this would be considered ameturish and not worthy of a second glance except for the purpose of ridicule. Delete thing now!

    This isn’t art, it’s not function and if evryone thats builds a bike out of junk from the salvage yard likes it…….WTF-cares? Wow!

  • Jordan

    I might be alone on this but I think it looks great.

  • http://Royalessex.com RyOnDrums

    Hey Starmag,
    I really think your missing the point here.
    BikeExif is NOT “supersport” or “Tuner” magazine. It’s not necessarily about the bikes performance always…you must think of some of it as art photography…don’t be a freakin douche bag just because you aren’t open minded enough to recognize not only the branding and marketing idea behind Bike Exif, but obviously don’t understand art, which is a huge factor in vintage/modern bikes.
    The bike above is about the photo, the setting, the attention to certain elements of the bike and not necessarily the parts that you feel must be exceptional.
    Go to an art exhibit or try visiting a city once in a while…it will expand your appreciation for visuals which obviously….YOU DONT UNDERSTAND!

  • http://knsweb.net Kumo

    Hate the dent and hate the grips. Tee Honda logo has no sense.

    The same tank in flat mat medium camo green and maybe the same shapes design in other color to make some contrast could be better. Black grips (or in the same tone as tank) and side covers (maybe a underseat box?) would be nice too.

    I dislike a little the rear light too.

  • http://rideicon.com/blog Icon

    Bad Ass. Keep’em coming like this.

  • Robin

    Whoa, lots of haters here, I dig it plus, heck they’re not the editor. Go with it.

  • kim of Copenhagen

    Nice bike, as were the dozens we’ve already seen, and which looked very much like it. Time to move on?

  • Hippy

    I dig it, always loved this style always will.

  • Starmag

    Dear Ryondrums, I noticed that you singled me out for my comments- is possilble, just possible, that I’m not the one who’s missing the point here made by many commenters? Are you saying we all have no taste or DONT UNDERSTAND? (angry caps!) I never alluded to performance, but rather just rideablity. I have owned a modded sr500 and it was a blast. This bike, due to it’s lack of suspension travel,seat and joke brakes wouldnt be. which would be ok if it was beautiful and never moved.But it’s not. Besides, I thought that salvage yard in the background of that ad added to the emotional feel of the authenticity of the bike.I’ve actually sold quite a bit of my own art.Oh well, I thought this was a enthusiast site and your talking branding and marketing. Look, sorry I was too harsh, nobody hits it out of the park every time at bat, but do you own reputation a favor and dont encourage the guys that only have cans of black spray paint.

  • RyOnDrums

    Starmag,
    your right….I’m bored and just being a jerk
    everyone entitled to opinion…the world would be a boring place if not…

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris

    Guys, everyone’s entitled to an opinion and some folks will inevitably like some bikes and not others.

    Some of the bikes on here are practical enough to be used as daily drivers, others are not. Some are included because they have a very distinct style, which may not always be practical—as with this particular bike.

    The bikes on here are the ones I find thought-provoking. They will rarely be all things to all people. One day you’ll see a bike you like, another day you might see something you don’t like. It’s best that we all accept this, and not judge other people by what they like and don’t like.

    An old soccer coach of mine once said, “Play the ball, not the man.” I’d prefer to see that apply here.

  • db

    Bike doesn’t really do anything for me but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be here. Can’t believe how precious everyone gets.

    To keep the amount of content up on the site of course there are going to be bikes that not everyone likes.

    On a side note, I find the colour of the grips the most offensive thing about it haha

  • db

    PS. I love how people say ‘this bike doesn’t belong on bikeexif’. Umm, Chris created and edits this site, isn’t that kind of decision up to him?

    We swing past here to see what he’s found on the various corners of THE INTERNET, not to tell him what to post. Get over it. Seriously.

  • rick

    I think it’s pure genius – find a way to promote your shop for under $400. I expect to see 100′s of these appearing soon as everyone runs to their back yard or junkyard to become famous overnight with comments like, ” And the grungy looks belie the amount of work that has gone into the bike.” Pure genius. Wait, I have to run to my garage and break the tip off of my screwdriver, take a picture of it against a backdrop of mud and dung and submit it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Surely it will be hailed as the most poignant piece of art in recent history….. and the beat goes on…..

  • WillyP

    Well, I for one DO UNDERSTAND: It’s a crappy tank and a thin seat on an otherwise mediocre bike with NO FRONT FENDER. And because it has been labeled ART we should all ogle it and wish we had one, and some one will pay BIG BUCKS for it, like maybe as much as 600 or 700!

    Anyway, thanks for posting this bike now I feel much better about the crack in the fairing, and the crazed paint on the front fender on my Concours, I’m going to call it ART. ;)

  • PeteP

    Wrong way to go on the carb. Correct way is 38mm flatslide with WB1 cam.

  • db

    Maybe I missed something but where was it labeled as ART?

  • Mattro

    the sentiment that this look is very easy to achieve and increasingly common is quite correct. i have one sitting out front right now that strikes all the same chords.

    that there’s something wrong or even insufficient about it, i think, is a little off base. what’s not legitimate about this bike in particular or the brat style in general? this isn’t a first motorbike. it’s probably not even a second one, but what it is — an affordable, stylish ride of a sort that’s very inclusive to a lot of riders — has a place in motorcycling.

    yes, it’s trendy. i’d argue that the “trend” is extremely niche and has no chance of keeping people who don’t like the style off of whatever bikes they do happen to enjoy, though.

    by the way, the seat really isn’t that bad. mine is thinner and i’ve honestly never had a problem. i find it more comfortable than humping the tank on a sport bike, myself. just personal preference.

  • go_big

    Man, love the site and actually love this kind of bike, but honestly – I ride past a dozen better (not cleaner or more finished, just far better executed and more original versions of this “wrung out” theme) in tokyo traffic everday on the way to work.

    Guy’s who understand this concept is so much more than just just slapping crap together can’t be that hard to find…you just got to dig a little deeper Chris.

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  • harvey m

    WillyP hit it right on. If that dent was there from years of use then it’d be understandable. But blacking out a bike offers no contrast and even less thought given to design. This type of bike reminds me of the guys paying large sums of money for a fiberglass 1932 ford coupe with airbrushed rust, “aged” leather interiors and pre-worn slicks. Although it would be cool if they called it a Krylon(spray paint) theme bike :)))))) cheerrs

  • Mattro

    oh! and starmag, that yamaha has potential!

  • Anton 3000

    As soon as I saw the pic, I knew the haters would be out in force! Ha!
    Some of the comments are laughable!

    It’s variety, yeah? We’ve seen pretty much an equal number of classic, street, race, custom, enduro, vintage and oddball on this site- if you don’t like the bike in this post, chances are you’ll like the one in the next post.

    Anyway…
    This bike, I dig it.

  • Speedrecer.

    What patina?.Somebody. needs to wreck that thing ,first to put some real dents and dignified dents and scratches intracellular of that faux finish like “patina .secondly ,to collect some insurance and give the project asecond try ……any rookie deserve it ……..next please!

  • rex havoc

    The builders are no doubt chuckling to themselves at the comments this bike has received. It just wouldn’t be cool if people “get it”.

    The bike is a blast and would certainly make me smile every time I opened the garage door to go for a spin.

  • redrumracer

    so much talk, so little substance

  • http://www.whodinihandmade.com Hesh

    I have never read the comments on here, wish I hadn’t read them.
    What a bunch of snobs.
    Keep the thumpers coming!

  • evilgiles

    The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about… Well done once again Chris and Blitz…

  • baader

    I love Wrenchmonkees and Deus, this is “kindacool”.
    The tank was ugly when it was new paint and the patina didn´t fix that. The exhaust doesn´t flow too well either.

    With a little refining, this could be a very nice bike. My own bike is getting a similar makeover during the winter, and I hope it comes out even half this good.

  • Mattjr

    After previous bikes and subsequent comments, perhaps posting this bike was just asking for trouble Chris??!

  • w

    Looks like a 1000 SRs for sale on goo-bike jp. Why is it here? Junk Honda tank on a SR – is this trying to be controversial like their last bike? It just sucks. Are we out of ideas?

  • Stuart

    The idea that you would foreground the tank by black powder coating (almost) everything else seems inspired to me. Particularly this tank. I may be a sucker, but the tank feels aged and damaged in a way that is authentic, not in an “ooh, where should i splash this bit of paint” as some people are implying. And in the end who gives a shit if it’s a tank that they found or a tank that they beat up? It’s interesting. It’s also a nice change of pace to their BMW R60/2, which was great, but brutally slick.

    Chris, I guess the silver lining for you from this comments shitstorm is that people are clearly invested enough in bikeexif to be offended by what you put up here. That’s good independent publishing. Thank you.

  • MaSK

    This just doesn’t work for me at all. Neither aesthetically, nor proportionally. Other than that it should still inspire a whole bunch of “I can do better than that’s” to get of their arses and start building.

  • Andrew

    I have owned a SR500 since 1978. I have followed this bike’s history and how owners have made their bike and persona an individual. They still make it in some form for the market. That is incredible for any product. Name another bike that shares that type of longevity. Very few. The Yamaha SR single cylinder is the essence of motorcycling. One of everything and no more. These bikes simplify and put “fun” back in riding like the first time you were pulled forward on a motorized two wheeled conveyance.

    I see the attention to detail. The chassis mods and battery removal are well done. But this bike and photo misses the mark for me.

    I can’t help but feel that it was done exclusively for a visual effect like an advertisement or catalog done by some slick marketeer selling expensive outdoor gear that features a good looking model with a grungy truckers hat on she obviously doesn’t own and she’s holding her fly rod and reel upside down.

    At a glance it looks like the real thing, but just like sanding jeans in the wrong places and selling them as broken-in for hundreds of dollars, its an imposter.

  • boxertwin

    Yeah….Lots of good comments on this machine (“good” since they mostly agree with me). I am not an artist…but art to me is kind of a cognitive endeavor, not just something thrown in to make something different. I guess I don’t understand the tank and the grips. It would be a better deal, also, if the bike would actually run…without a battery…(I don’t THINK this Honda came with a magneto). Otherwise, a pleasing picture… :)

  • http://conservance.wordpress.com Matt

    “This isn’t art, it’s not function and if evryone thats builds a bike out of junk from the salvage yard likes it…….WTF-cares? Wow!”

    I’m guessing that by the name “Mule” you’re probably from Mule motorcycles. If so, thank you for making my mind up about what kind of person you are and what kind of bikes you build.

    We can’t all afford trick titanium pieces, and use our work connections to gain access to multi-million dollar CNC mills and fabrication machines. If you can, lucky you. But for the rest of us who love motorcycles, but don’t have the kind of connections or money you have, this is a bike within our reach.

    Basically you’re saying that if someone uses parts from a salvage yard, their opinion doesn’t matter? When did you become the arbiter of a motorcyclists worth? Come off your high horse.

    Most motorcyclists use the salvage yard, and do so with pride. Restoring something to a usable state is much more honorable and worthwhile, then logging time after hours at a multi-million dollar machine shop.

    I doubt you could turn out a better bike than this using nothing but the salvage yard.

  • iRivas

    I think it’s great that this website features all kinds of different motorcycles with different looks. I think it would be boring if the bikes posted on here were all to our liking. Some like one thing and some another. But I think it’s stupid when people get upset about a particular bike that is posted and they don’t like it. Behave like gentlemen on points of argument, there is no need to dilute this website with low-levels of IQ remarks. Besides the grips, this bike looks great.

  • Carl

    This bike is just plain stupid. Looks like something the kid down the street would make and he’s only 5.

  • Bo_nos

    seriously?!?

  • http://www.blitz-motorcycles.com Fred

    Hi all,

    Given the last comment of boxertwin, I think it is time for a bit of explanation about this bike we built.

    First of all, for Boxertwin : this motorcycle runs without a battery since it is a 500 SR. Therefore it does come with an A.C. magneto at the left end of the crankshaft. Only the tank is a Honda.

    Now to all of you obviously shocked by the “artsy” side given to this job : nor Chris nor us ever assumed there was here some kind of art. Never !

    The idea was simple : when the current owner came to see us, he was driving a Triumph Speed Triple.
    He saw what we were doing and got amazed by one of our 500SR. He asked for trying it. I started the bike for him (because yes, starting a 500SR requiers more than just pushing a button) and he hit the road. Not too far though… Still, just long enough so that when he came back to the garage, he had this very particular smile on his face. The smile that basically says : “I want this”.

    We told him we would never build the same bike twice. So we worked on his project (and as always, as if it was one of our own bike) to build the very bike he wanted. The one he would not see at every redlight and which would give him the real pleasure of riding.

    As for the dented tank, we spent a lot of time in several swap meets to find the one that would match his demand (because there is no challenge in placing a “plug & play” tank bought in an aftermarket catalog). Be sure this tank was placed on the bike exactly as when we found it. It had its own story and we did not want to cover it up with a new shiny (or mat, whatever) paint job.
    This was by the way a matter of discussion between him and me. I wanted to convince him the tank was perfect this way. It took him 48 hours to call me back and agree with me. He just needed some time to have his eyes used to this strange marriage between newly painted stuff and dirty one.

    You may not understand this reflection. No problem here.

    But please, stop thinking we did this to create kind of a buzz, and show a bit of respect to two importat things :

    - the taste of people you don’t know anything about (their story, their culture, their knowledge)
    - the amount of work brought to this project.

    Because yes, I forgot one important thing : when he gave us this bike, it was out of service. We first fixed it the way it had to be : we did not change all the parts of the engine or even the engine itself.

    As a final statement, I would just say we are extremely proud to have conviced someone to turn his back from the modern production (electric start… wow, that rocks !! Except the day when the temperature drops below 0°C and when your battery is down / more horsepower… what for when you are driving in a city and not on a speedway and when you are not Valentino Rossi / less charm and less spirit).

    With his new bike, he will undergo the incredibe experience of vibations on his own mechanic horse. And this is exactly what he had always been looking without finding it among modern brands.

    And if some of you want to show us that they are as creative when it comes to tune a motorcycle as when it comes to complain about the “artsy” angle of our job, please do so : I am sure we all would be interested in seeing what you can do for real. And not only with a keyboard.

    Cheers,

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    I’m not seeing the empty triangle i keep seeing under the seat on all these bikes.. I think i’d drop in a H.D. teardrop toolbox, vertically mounted, painted
    to match frame, tank or bodywork.

  • Mule

    I use probably more used parts than new parts. The difference is, I don’t go out of my way to intentionally make them look like they are from the bottom of the heap.

    Also, after you’ve built your first salvage bike, most people strive to make the next one look just a little better, a hair cleaner or maybe even have it actually work better! Since when does that make someone a snob or an “Elitist”? Perhaps it’s an indication that the person takes pride in their work.

    “Basically you’re saying that if someone uses parts from a salvage yard, their opinion doesn’t matter.” Basically that’s not what I said. Let me re-phrase it so you’ll know “Basically” what I meant. If people like to build bikes out of used, damaged parts that look like they are half destroyed and the intent is to maintain the semi-destroyed, abused look and there are actually people that admire or prefer or strive to intentially create that look (this bike), than who the fuck cares? That’s what I meant.

    People that buy used parts because that’s all they can afford, or try to keep a used bike running that’s down on value so they can get to work, or a restorer looking for used parts that just can’t be found or a guy that owns a bike that is no longer in production and simply can’t buy a new part from a dealer is a whole different animal. And I would bet, if they could afford and/or find a straight tank, forkleg without rust, crank without worn-out bearings, then for sure they’d buy one. I’ve bought so many used parts in my life I could fill a salvage yard a couple times over.

    Furthermore, if a guy does his first bike build and it doesn’t come out perfect, then thats normal, acceptable, understandable and I admire that guy for actually diggin in and gettin down to it. And I would bet that when he builds his next bike that if he is unlike you, he will aim to improve on his previous work. Also known as learning and “Progress”. If he gets real lazy and says it’s much easier to get into the “Beater, Rattlecan Bike Builder mode”, than he slips into the first group.

    As far as all the “Multi-million dollar equipment”. I have an $800.00 Chinese lathe that has been stripped of all features that continue to crumble off of it, a $180.00 Chinese drill press that is 22 years old that I use for tasks far beyond its design intent, I use files and hacksaws, a cordless drill, assorted wrenches and all the other stuff that Joe Average can afford or has access to.. My primary tools at work are a bandsaw and a hand grinder and hundreds of hours of fricking effort. Not quite as glamorous as “Your” misguided opinion of me or what I do, but thats the simple truth.

    If I need something machined up really nice, I take it to a local machine shop and stand in line and pay the price just like you would have to do. I don’t do my own powdercoating or polishing becuase those are processes that are extremely messy, time consuming or controlled by the EPA. Plus I don’t want to do those tasks at my house because I try to keep my shop(a two car garage) clean and as tidy and organized as I can afford the time to do it.

    Have a nice day!

  • patrick

    feh. A bunch of throw away parts turned into a throw away bike.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    “Art is in the eye of the beholder”
    I certainly “get” the concept, and am certainly not hating on it, BUT i’d like to see that dent pulled, and a either a Yammie badge on it,, or pull the Honda badge and paint a tuning fork over part of where it was..You’d still see the word “Honda” because the paint underneath the badge is less faded than the rest of the paint..maybe there’s just primer underneath but that’s ok too..

    And probably a front tire that LOOKS just a hair narrower that the back..

  • Bertrand

    I own this bike for 2 weeks. I read all the comment and it is very clear most people don’t like it… because of the tank, of the grips, because there is yet too much of its kind, because there’s a feeling it has been made “arty” but finally it is not etc…
    Well, apart from all these tastes, here are some facts : it has been made to run and it does quite well and yes, it can break even with a passenger on it.
    As for the tank, we found it like that. We did not add any corrosive painting nor anything else and we did not bang it and said “ooohh it is so stylish !”. This tank has a strong style, I really love it, I feel the dent is part of it but I would’t be upset if it hadn’t be made…
    As for the grips, my wife strongly says they do not fit with the tank. I have to get rid of them (or her) – not decided yet…

  • http://conservance.com Matt

    Basically, had you said that to begin with: you wouldn’t have come across like a motorcycle snob. But you didn’t.

    However, thank you for the clarification on your initial statement.

  • rick

    Hey Bertrand – don’t lose the wife or the bike. Put a new tank on it and some side plates in the triangle under the seat (maybe even aluminum with lightening holes in them) and submit the bike back to the site! I personally think a flat track type tank would look great or a early Harley Leggero style tank. About $50 total…. I would be willing to bet your bike would look brand new and the comments would change drastically. I could be wrong- I suppose the most important part is that YOU like your bike. I think the description is what people were set off by….. more than the bike…. please excuse my hubris in the offering of suggestions- I just hated to see you have to defend your bike. Maybe we (I) can learn by this and tone our comments down a bit as we realize there are real people behind these bikes and our “motorcycle club” is shrinking….

  • http://conservance.com Matt

    Not to double post, but regarding my supposed “misguided” opinion, I cite the Kneeslider article “Earning Your Masters Of Exotic Metals Degree At The College of Hard Knocks”

    Quote: Anyway, I was at work and during lunch I decide to “Lighten” up a piece of Ti with some .375” holes. I was doing well and was still on the first drill bit. But things were heating up and I was increasing the pressure. I decided to get some lube. It was a petroleum based lube called LPS. The next thing I know, I’m spraying LPS all over the material and some even got on the drill chuck. This was no ordinary drill press. It’s a very big, powerful, expensive one. It matches the cost of Titanium perfectly.

    http://thekneeslider.com/archives/2010/05/25/earning-your-masters-of-exotic-metals-degree-at-the-college-of-hard-knocks/

  • Mule

    Ok Matt, how about this one and yes it is a fancy drill press and way better than the one I have at home, but it’s still JUST a drill press. Not a CNC mill or machine center or lazer or anything really sophisticated.

    On the used parts thing and we’re kinda gettin’ way off here from the intent of this beautiful bike featured here, but I did a project for Dave Edwards at Cycle World. He didn’t get a chance to finish out the installments on the CW web-site but it is quite an interesting story. Just too bad very few people will ever know it. But here’s a little tidbit or two. I went out with my wife for sushi and consumed entirely too much Sake’. Next thing I know, we’re back home and I’m starring at motorcycle pictures on the computer, when it came to me! I’ll do a project bike built out of all used, recycled, EBAY, salvage, garage sale, scrounged, traded or junk I’ve collected up or discarded from other projects. A “Re-cycled” bike start to finish with just enough new parts to make it safe. The Web Surfer Special was born!

    The other part of my “Scheme” was to share my knowlege and tricks through these installments on how to make old stuff look good or reconditioned cheaply or what I do in my attempts to make stuff look trick that’s cheap and Joe Bucket can do in his garage or carport. Many people saw the article and assumed there was considerably more invested and thought it was a lie! That’s because they jumped right to an uneducated conclusion.

    When I see bikes where people TRY to maintain the look of junk or paint things a rust color, my mind reels. It just doesn’t compute. Why would anyone on earth want that? So I get very critical. It’s so easy to make stuff look good and on a motorcycle, the pure beauty of them as a structure is that you can SEE all the working parts. Who wants to see rust, rounded bolts, broken spokes, a huge dent in the tank is cool(???), i’m just dumbfounded. That’s definitely NOT a class act. Having “Class” used to be an attribute, now the goal is appear you have none? As said before, I’m 100% behind using used parts and I love old stuff as much or more than the next guy, but I guess I’m alone somewhat on this opinion. Whatever?

    We still friends? For sure we both keep coming back to the same great website! Can’t be too different.

  • tim

    first time post here…. i fell into this site by accident, but i love it…you see my first passion was photography but when the world dictated most to digital and it got harder to find developing sites locally, i kinda got burned out and gave it up. about the same time my wife asked me to take a motorcycle training class with her. never been on one, was actually scared of them, but always saw the art and beauty in them. long story short, got hooked. have a 1980 suzuki 250, and then a 1974 honda cb360, then a 1975 honda cb550. and have now just purchased a 1981 honda cb750 custom. not a rich man just someone who thought maybe a collection of older inexpensive bikes might be more fun than one really expensive on.i looked to sites like this for inspiration on what to do with the 750. to bertrand, i know the feeling that no one understands your choice in the bike. every harley and sportbike friend I’ve made since riding can’t understand why i like these bikes. to fred the builder, it was the black bmw bike that inspired me (as well has the jack pike from hammarhead) that i wanted a flatblack bike. has it been done before? yes. is it to some a beaten look? yes. but will it make me smile everytime i open the garage? definitely. so to fred, id be honored to ride this bike, to bertrand, im jealous as hell, to chris, keep up the good work. and to all those other readers who have commented so far, thanks for welcoming me into the family… we fight too much, we argue at the table to much, but in the end to most of the true carriers of the fraternity…thanks for not being snobbish and letting me ride along side of you to the next stoplight, all i ever wanted.

  • rrse

    wot a pile of poo….

  • KIK

    i agree that all bikes have a place here and its a great site but still if someone puts their bike in it people are not allways gonna agree on styles and give their opinions, then depending on the source, you can either learn from the opinion or take it as a personal attack, i would advice everyone to not take themselves too serious or i can guarantee you that you will fall out of love of motorcycles..,we are in this place because of our common love for motorcycle. and comments should be given and taken as imput n the motorcycle more than anything else. my 2 cents

  • http://conservance.com Matt Herrmann

    Confession: I am Matthew D Herrmann (the above comment regarding the salvage yard is mine) I was posting under my personal name/website in case things got heated. It wouldn’t reflect professionally.

    Having said that, I took offense to your initial comment. “if evryone thats builds a bike out of junk from the salvage yard likes it…….WTF-cares?”

    When a high-quality bike builder like yourself or anyone else, undertakes an “econo-chop” like the above bike, and they don’t try to prim and polish the parts they find at swap meets and salvage yards: I feel it validates the bikes my customers build and ride and love dearly.

    I write all this to say that yes we can be friends, and we’re in agreement regarding guys/shops who try to fake a patina.

  • rex havoc

    Jeez……Matt & Mule……if you guys went for a ride on the Bertrand’s Blitz you wouldn’t be so stressed.

    r e l a x

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    I know that everything is expensive in EuroLand,but when I looked at the Blitz
    site I was surprised to see that Blitz got 7,000 Euro for it .. roughly $9,600 US.

    I see a possible opportunity for US builders..

  • Mule

    Rex, Not to worry! We’ve digitally shaken hands and made amends. I still don’t see the bike as earth shattering and now that I know what it cost, I’m tempted to start all over again!! Not really. :-)

  • KIK

    everyone shake hands and make up or there will be no cake for anybody !

  • http://ricepaddymoto.tumblr.com Matt “Hype Mann” Herrmann

    Yeah we’ve made up Rex, and I can use my full name again! I wouldn’t mind a ride on it, provided Blitz would fly me over. Hint hint.

    Now, onto the cake!!!

  • evilgiles

    Fred built it, and Bertrand likes it!

    End of story!

  • http://www.blitz-motorcycles.com Fred

    Hi Mule.
    To your questions :

    - “Who wants to see rust”, my answer is : me (but not on the bolt nor eveywhere on the bike; only on a specific part such as a tank, or a tail light, for example).
    As said in the first place, we worked on this bike as if it was ours. So this choice of placing the tank with its story “embed” is mine. I love rust. You obviously don’t and this is your choice. I respect that ;
    - “a huge dent in the tank is cool(???)”, once again my answer is : me (otherwise, of course, I would have done different). But I compell noone to like the same things as I do (except Bertrand, the owner : the truth is I kidnapped his kids and wife to have his agreement on this choice).

    And still for Mule, to your reflection : “and now that I know what it cost, I’m tempted to start all over again”.
    You, more than anyone here (since you are the only identified bike builder in this post) shoud know what it takes to :
    - totally disassemble a bike,
    - create a tail before welding it to the frame
    - create handcrafted seat
    - create a specific box designed to host all electric parts and weld it to the frame
    - have all the parts power coated,
    - fix the engine that was not working
    - re-create a wiring that allows the bike to run and the lights and blinkers to turn on when the proper button is pushed
    - re-assemble the whole bike
    - adapt some parts that were not designed to match a frame (in this very case, and FYI, we talk here about an oil-in-frame bike. I.e. : the width of this frame does not allow the easy mounting of a tank not specifically designed for this very bike because the inside funnel has to be wide. Which is the case with this Honda tank, still with a lot of adaptation).

    And once again, as said previously, the passion comes from the challenge (in my opinion) . Where is the challenge to fit a plug & play alloy tank that you can find in an after-market catalog (and to be very precise, in Japan, the Temple of custom world, they have dozen of tanks designed for 500SR but each of them costs around $ 1000 without shipping costs and custom fees… I let you do the maths here) ?
    There is none. Except maybe the fact that a Japanese is willing to sell overseas, which is indeed kind of a miracle (at least in my experience).

    Moreover, and once again, when I built this bike, I fell in love with the design of this Honda tank. I really wanted to have it mounted on this bike. Did not mean to achieve the essence of cooliness. This is way out of my purpose.

    And to davidabl : yes, a 500SR of this year is expensive in France. Bertrand paid 1200 € for this bike while it was not working. And the part we had to change costs 750 € (the A.C. magneto, FYI).

    Now you do the math and see how much he’s been charged (including all the parts we added but which I will not list here because it would be too long).
    And of course, before you come to your conclusion, take into account the part of my answer when I talk about all the job that has been done.

    And maybe if you know what I am talking about, you will reconsider your opinion. Or maybe not. But at least now, you have all the elements allowing you to judge the price of our job.

    And whether you like the final result or not (which was obviously not your point), it still remains the same amount of time, enegry and passion that lead us to that.

    Cheers,

    Fred (Blitz-Motorcycles)

  • w

    THE TANK IS FINE – THE HONDA BADGE AINT

  • http://www.northwoodsairheads.com Jeff T

    I just don’t feel any harmony on this thing. Sorry, just doesn’t work on any scale.

  • Doyle

    Exif is a daily lunch stop for me and has been pretty much since Chris started the site. Sometimes I keep the featured bike open on my computer all day because I think it’s so cool or inspiring for the project I may be working on. Other days, it’s a quick glance and, see ya again tomorrow.
    Regardless, I look forward to my daily visit because I love motorcycles and I find Chris’ presentation of them really cool.

    It’s funny to me to see how agitated the conversation can get over an individual bike. I mean, it’s not like anyone had to drop a coin in the slot to take a peek. It’s a free show… And to proclaim with righteous indignation that a certain bike is so utterly offensive that you’ll delete Exif from your bookmarks and never come back…? Sheesh…simmer down. It’s not like you have to buy or ride the thing. Personally, this one is not doing it for me but I can’t hate on it either. At least they did it…I’m still trying to get my CB550F Cafe project moving in the right direction.

    I mean, on every custom project there comes a time when the builder and owner have to stand back and give the results their thumbs up. I might not dig it but if it makes them happy then the world is a slightly better place. And as a veteran car dealer once told me, “There’s an ass for every seat…”

    Tomorrow is another day folks and I’m stoked there will be another interesting bike to check out on Exif. And for that Chris, I offer my profound thanks.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    Fred, after reading your work v.s. cost breakdown i can see that the opportunity would not be for US builders so much as in shipping old bikes &
    partst to France/Euroland…unless there’s still high import taxes on old stuff..

    And like you i do like the lines of that tank on your bike. That said,.. i still think you oughta pull the dent & Honda badge. Get a sign painter to paint a set of
    Yammie tuning forks on it, leave the outline of the honda badge. You could
    have a true “Hondaha” logo. in the day that was one of the names given to Japanese bikes. As in KawaYamaHondaha etc. etc. This was before the
    Japanese industry beat out everybody else :-)

  • Matt

    Hi there,
    Blitz is currently building my next bike.
    They started the job 4 weeks ago
    I had sex with about 12 girls over the past month.
    Don’t know if it has something to do with it
    Just wanted to let you know
    Have to go they are waiting!!!

    keep in mind the basics guys

    comin””

  • Matt Smith

    Sorry just saw there was another matt.
    I changed it for Matt Smith
    sounds american no?

  • Peter

    You must give royalties money to DEUS…

  • http://www.blitz-motorcycles.com Fred

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for your intervention.
    For our next project, we shall hire you as an adviser specilalized in copyrighting.
    Or not.

    Can you tell us where you see the very essence of Deus motorcycles here ?
    Don’t get me wrong: I love and respect very much their work.
    But correct me if I am wrong: I never saw any of their job on a 500SR (or shoud I say a 400SR) including the mouting of a genuine unrestored Honda tank. I would even go further : any of their job on any bike including such an item (i.e. : a non aftermarket plug & play tank).
    If I were to be wrong, then you woud be hired and we could discuss your salary given the precious advise you would provide us with.
    If not, go back to school and study law about intelletual property.

    But guess goes for option B here.

    Cheers,

    Fred (Blitz Motorcycles)

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    That BlitzStyle, BratStyle, and ZeusStyle have a lot in common should come
    as no surprise–all are responding to the demands of current style in their
    respective countries. Obviously, customer demand sets the style, because products have to be sold. To take a very rarified example, at times Matisse’s stuff and Picasso’s stuff resembled eachother. As a not-so rarified example, a trained eye can probably identify any US built chopper from the sixties and distinguish it from one in the eighties. It’s the same in all the applied and fine arts.

  • Benjy

    “blitz” is an appropriate description.it looks like it was outside in a thunderstorm + blitzed(hit by lightning)

  • jim

    Sheesh. Really?

    It’s a shame that there aren’t any other motorcycle parts left on the planet for all you goons to use to make your own bike that we could all endlessly criticize.

  • mack-o-matik

    BRAP.., I like. ‘Cause simple & sexy. good night.

  • Mule

    @Jim,
    You like this bike. You have your opinion just as people that don’t have theirs. Generally this site features some incredible stuff. A lot of people voicing their opinions here expect more. Blitz has done beautiful work, thats for sure and if this is how he likes to display all that he’s capable of, I believe thats a mistake. He has a lot of effort in the rebuild aspects of this bike, not that you can see any of it, because its inside.

    So I’ll make 2 points. First, and once again, these are just my opinions, not the final word, but a simple build, with a project low on flash and little or no chrome and a simple paint scheme or solid color even flat with no gloss can be very cool and have gobs of class (thats an outdated term for having the juice without trying to tell everyone you have the juice!). Throwing a junk tank on a bike to make some sort of anti-nice bike statement is the same as yelling out to everyone, “Hey look at this! I went out of my way to have my bike look like something it isn’t or wasn’t because I saw a bunch on the internet so now I’m like that! Aren’t I part of genre now too?”

    Something you learn over time is that cool isn’t purchased and it for damn sure isn’t copied. Copied cool is an oxymoron. Acting cool or pretending cool
    has been going on since the 50′s and coolness wannabes stick out like mustard in a coal bin.

    People that are endlessly criticizing this bike I don’t think are really down on this bike so much as a growing trend to reproduce the rat-bike look and then hearing people with extremely limited exposure to restored bikes, new bikes, actually riding, race bikes or the history of custom built bikes saying how incredible it looks.

    I don’t have the patience to search the globe for parts or the desire to restore bikes to concours condition. I sure do think they look nice though. And the new generation of sport bikes seem to be faceless, soul less appliances. Functional, fast and superb handling for sure. And lastly the chopper thing is so played out it’s ridiculous. So finding a new original direction will be tough. I guess the next one is Cafe’ racers. But once again, it smacks of copying a previous generation of coolness, not really original. Except for Carpy who never gave up on it.

    But building a new pre-junked bike? Where does that fit and does it, except in a very few tight cliques out there?

    We criticize because we love bikes, but can’t understand this direction?

    • Rockie

      puto!

  • gregorious

    Fred… I wouldn’t pay any attention to the negative comments. All you need do is take a look at what kind of bikes some of them DO like, and you will discover that their comments are born out of ignorance. As for Mule, well… you need only look at the kind of bikes they build. Function over form does not appeal in the slightest to myself, nor other followers of your style of build. They lack the warmth and character that this bike has, and this is something that they will never be able to comprehend. Although this may be categorised as a “Tracker”, this style is in a completely different league to Mule’s trackers.

    Since when does using an old, found tank ‘as is’ equate to ‘re-producing the rat-bike look’? They just don’t get it. Funny how some critics here mention deleting BIKEEXIF from their bookmarks… I’m considering doing the same, not because I dislike the content… it’s the ignorant fools that post such ridiculous comments that I can’t stand!

    And for those of you who think that DEUS invented this genre, think again! DEUS have successfully brought a style of bike that has been around in Japan for over a decade to the attention of the rest of the world.

    Keep up the good work, Fred!

  • Mule

    @gregorious,
    If this bike cost in the neighborhood of $9600.00(correct?), and so much work and detail has gone into the meticulous rebuild and powder-coating of everything which takes a lot of prep prior to and following the process, why on earth would you throw on an “As found” dented HONDA tank if the purpose was anything other than to make it looked the way it ended up looking? Is this the “New Chopper style”? Where if you have to ask, then you wouldn’t understand?

    News flash! Function on a motorcycle is not a syle or something you strive for to be cool, its a critical element of the build. It falls under the same heading as having stuff WORK correclty and not causing a crash. After 100 years or so of people designing cars, trucks, boats, planes and best of all motorcycles, the ones with staying power or what’s considered to be “Classic designs” are almost all in the style of “Form follows function”. Thats why race cars don’t look like tractors or buses and airplanes don’t look like tugboats. What works developes its own style and in the case of motorcycles wind is the enemy. Hence the lean towards streamlining.

    This bike has warmth and character? It has a contrived style and I understand it very well.

  • http://see360studios.com davidabl

    I guess what’s going on here is a “neither fish or fowl” thing -
    A lot of people see the all the carefully prepped, sculpted, powercoated or polished parts and look at the tank and think that it belongs on a more casual ‘rattlecan” paint kind of bike- one where some other parts are gonna age to
    “match’ the tank. A bike with a feel kinda like an unrestored classic bike.

  • http://www.caferacerdreams.com JL

    I like this style, only the tank is little bit destroyed but I understand the vintage look that they wanted. Congratulations!

  • Ben

    Love everything about this simple beauty. Less is more.

  • Superg

    Sorry, that is not a good lookin bike no matter what style it is supposed to be. I think those Frenchmen are takin the piss (“Pierre, lets send those stupid English a picture of this piece of crap and laugh our guts out as they faun about its beauty, nes pas?)

  • Rond

    beautifull bike. love it!