It all started 3 years ago. I had been looking on bike sales every day for weeks to buy my first motorcycle.
Whilst scrolling through all the bikes for sale, I instantly fell in love with a beautiful white Yamaha sr400 that was all the way in Melbourne. Without hesitation or even seeing it in person, I put down a deposit. I had then somehow convinced my best friend to come for one hell of a ”road trip” with me from Sydney to pick it up in a Ute. That story will have to wait for another day.
The Time Machine: Custom SR400
As soon as I got the bike back to home to Sydney I was already looking for ways to customise or change the look of the bike. In the beginning I really had no idea which direction I wanted to go with it, all I knew is that I wanted it to be different… Really different.
The first few modifications I did were fairly basic, coinciding with my motorcycle knowledge and mechanical skills, but I wasn’t afraid to give it a go.
I started with an old SR400 fuel tank and spray painted it matte black, put the ‘flying tigers’ decal on it and added some white wall tyre inserts to the bike. I must say, I was pretty impressed with myself after doing that but very quickly got bored of that look and that’s when I knew it needed more. In search for inspiration I came across some of Shinya Kimura’s insane bike builds. I then knew exactly what direction I wanted to go with my motorcycle. I wanted it to be raw, bare, steel, razor sharp and outright outrageous.
My love for my bike had now truly turned into an obsession. I started visiting scrap metal yards in search for a huge stainless steel bowl to make a front headlight cowl. It wasn’t as easy as I thought; it took weeks of searching through mountains of metal before I managed to find a stainless steel bowl big enough for the job. (seen below)
I didn’t want to ruin the stainless steel bowl that had taken me weeks to find, so I began creating cardboard and paper prototypes of the headlight cowl before I took the angle grinder to it. Once the headlight cowl was done, I knew it now needed a rear seat cowl (seen below). I started my search again and came across a $15 stainless steel bucket from K-mart and thought that would be perfect.
Next was the fuel tank, I had always loved the look of the long slimline tanks on old school race motorcycles. I knew the tank I had in mind was a little out of my league, but luckily for me my old man used to be an aeronautical welder once upon a time.
For the side fairings, I used aluminium sheet with some stainless steel marine boat vents. They do absolutely nothing, I just put them here because I thought it looked freaking badass.
Every time I came up with an idea, everyone just thought I was going insane or just making some kind of origami. I would re-assure them ‘I knew what I was doing’ but really not knowing where it was really heading. But these sporadic movements in all my customisations gave rise to something exciting and new.
In the near future I plan on extending the rear swing arm and dreaming of one day putting a turbo on her.
Follow me on Instagram to see any future modifications and let me know what you think in the comments below.
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