mardi 27 octobre 2020

THE GRAY GHOST GL400



 Built to commemorate the opening of Deus Ex Machina’s new Asakusa café in Japan: THE GRAY GHOST, a Honda GL series motorcycle (CX series overseas) iconically named the “WING”, was the base for Deus Japan’s new customized Machina.



The GL was Honda’s new attempt in the mid-1970s, to develop “a bike for the future”.  This attempt to develop, gave birth to the first ever V engine by Honda.   In an era where Japanese manufacturers were making huge strides on the global stage with straight-lined bodies housing parallel engines, this motorbike with the new engine was such an aggregation of unconventional design that it caused quite a stir in Japan and worldwide. The Residence crew always relish the task of naming every new bike built with relevance. 



 The mods consist of an inverted fork and mono-shock suspension but the distinct double yellow headlights gave rise to its name, “THE GRAY GHOST.”  Initially confused for another Batman comic reference, it turns out to be the nickname of a low flying bird of prey with spooky yellow eyes. The allusion to the “WING” model name gives it a very nice touch but you shouldn’t wait too long to hear the characteristic shriek of the new icon of Deus Ex Machina Asakusa.  THE GRAY GHOST may take flight soon.



                                                                     Built by Tomoyuki Soeda



                                         Photos by Toyohiro Zenita via http://deuscustoms.com 

mercredi 30 septembre 2020

SNOW TIGER: HOOKIE’S TRIUMPH FLAT TRACKER IS JUST PURRFECT



























FLAT TRACK RACING is still going strong in the USA and Europe, and we’re starting to see customizers building personal track bikes between client projects.

This chunky Triumph T100R belongs to Hookie Co. founder Nico Mueller—and despite its age, it carries the same sharp aesthetic that the German shop has become known for.




























Nico originally found the 1967 T100R Tiger (also known as the Daytona) on eBay in the UK, after seeing a post on Sideburn Magazine’s website. Some digging revealed that it originally ran as a short track brakeless bike from 1970 to 1990, and always with the number 53.

The T100 looked good in photos, but when it arrived at Hookie Co.’s Dresden headquarters the reality was far off.




























“Overall the condition was really bad,” says Nico, “and I took apart the whole bike. It was Christmas 2018, and at our party we began to disassemble the engine … it was the best party ever!”

The bike had been advertised as having a ‘Trackmaster-style’ frame, but of unknown origin and with an extreme front rake. Since it wasn’t an original Trackmaster unit, Nico cut the bottom of the frame out, rebuilding it with new engine mounts and extra reinforcements.




























He also steepened up the rake to improve the geometry. A set of BSA forks was then overhauled and shortened for the front, with a new pair of Koni shocks holding up the rear.

While Hookie were working on the frame and suspension, the motor went to Carsten at South Division in Munich. He has decades of experience working on British bikes and loves racing. Nico tells us the brief was very short: “I need a flat track engine for European tracks.”




























Carsten specced the motor with higher compression, polished intakes and a dual coil electronic ignition. He also combined the primary and main oil systems, and added a pair of Wassell carbs. They’re running a pair of oversized K&N pod filters, thanks to 3D-printed intake adaptors.

“Two months later I drove down to Munich and did the final assembling together with Carsten. It was a four-hour intensive workshop only for the engine—but now I can set it up by sound alone!”




























Just a few months after first tearing the bike down, Nico ran it at the Krowdrace flat track event in Germany. “I got a flat rear tire and did some small setups for the carbs,” he says, “but it was running really well, and it was a hell of a lot of fun!”

There was more to be done though, so the bike went back up onto the lift for the winter.




























One glaring issue was a leak in the fiberglass tank—so Hookie built an aluminum fuel cell to hold gas, and Survivor Customs in the UK supplied a new fiberglass cover for it.

The aluminum oil tank and rear fender are custom too, but the Bates seat and pillion cushion are still original. The cockpit features a set of Triumph flat track bars, with a Venhill throttle, and a race-spec kill switch.




























Another mod high on Nico’s list was a set of 19” wheels—so he modified a pair of classic BMW R-series ‘snowflake’ front wheels to fit.

The rear brake setup is a true one-off; a Honda disc with a Yamaha scooter caliper, mounted on custom aluminum brackets and spacers. And the brake lever now sits on the right, just below the gear shifter.




























With that, a set of and fresh graphics, Nico’s ‘Snow Tiger’ is finally ready to take to the track again. Is he finally done tinkering on it though?

Probably not …

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