by Jean-Claude Barrois
Photos by Guerry & Pratt
It's funny how certain things in life seem to hang low then present themselves at the most opportune moments. For instance, this Rudge-Whitworth custom build by Jean-Claude Barrois surfaced back in 2008. I completely missed it. But, looking back at myself during that time I know I would have never been able to truly appreciate it the way I do now. 5 years ago I had never even sat on a 2-wheeled machine and these days every spare moment outside the design studio is consumed by them. I've rebuilt motorcycle engines with discontinued parts that were only 40 years old so I can appreciate the countless hours and one-off pieces that must have gone into this 87 year old power plant. I've taken classes in welding, machining and fabrication so I can appreciate the Rudge-Whitworth's ground-up frame construction and perfectly arched backbone. I've been to the Harley Davidson museum multiple times, spending hours pouring over the board track racers of the 1920's so I can appreciate the history behind Jean-Claude's aesthetic nod. And I've been to the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week so that I know how un-fucking-believably gorgeous this thing must have looked out there back in 2011 when Barrois chased the line. ...and how ballsy he was to even bring such a beauty to the most corrosive place on earth.
|Suicide knee shifter. Are you serious?|
Enjoy this bike. Take in every detail. Most of these shots are desktop sized thanks to the equally elaborate photography of Guerry & Pratt.
What's the kicker is I found this bike by flipping through the 2011 BikeEXIF calendar that's been hanging in front of my desk, untouched since November of that year. The Rudge-Whitworth was December's bike, hanging one page turn away from sight all this time. Hrrmm, yes, quite opportune indeed.