It’s been quite a while since our last update so here goes…

After the success of our first build it was time to choose our next project. We wanted to build something a little unusual and very striking. Lewis had a plan for large narrow wheels with the rider sat well down between them. I had an interest in placing the fuel tank inside the frame like a lot of earlier motorcycles so we started looking at old board track racers and bikes of that era and took a lot of inspiration from what was happening then.

We made a lot of sketches and calculations to get the look and scaling that we wanted. We even built some basic mock ups to test out saddle height etc. Finally we knew what we wanted to build and set out to choose the right donor bike for the project. We were looking for a narrow, compact, air cooled engine, steel frame to transfer the head stock and spoked wheels that we could rebuild with 21 inch rims. There didn’t seem to be many options that fitted the bill within a reasonable budget but we finally came across the XF 650 Freewind. This is pretty much a DR 650 made more roadable and with really ugly fairings! The engine is amazingly compact, in fact I’m still not sure I believe there’s really a gearbox inside it. On the Freewind it runs an oil cooler but in an unfaired motorcycle like ours that’s not really necessary.

We found a suitable donor in good working condition and bought it. Here’s Lewis giving it a test ride (and burnout) when we collected it.

freewind-before

And here it is after about an hour stripping it to component pieces the next day.

freewind-after

More to follow…