Pt. 1: Making A Custom Sport Classic Seat

A client came to me recently with a 2016 Ducati SC100 looking to transform it's appearance on a tight budget. In my opinion, one of the best bang-for-the-buck transformation pieces is a custom seat. We decided to look at redesigning what was on there while retaining subframe mounts and tabs so that the bike could be brought back to stock relatively easy. I'll go through my entire process over a few blog posts to help anyone else trying to tackle something similar.

As with all my custom work, it started out in 2D. I like to create a design plan before touching a bike. I find it helps make execution much more straight forward. Here were the different iterations we discussed. 

The 2nd to last concept was chosen. The idea was that it's shape would mimic the trapezoidal protrusions on the side of the SC tank. My goal was to reveal the subframe rails and also narrow up the seat width. These things have absurdly wide seats that look like they were grafted in from a Roadking. Here's a rendering of the complete bike with a few other mods we were tackling; Scrambler fenders and low rise MX bars.

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I was hoping I could get away with simply pulling off the cowl, cover and foam, laying down my own foam and reusing the stock seat pan. It turned out to not be that straight forward. The seat pan was wider and taller than the design called for so I began trimming and sectioning the plastic.

The goal soon became "try to at least save the mounting bits."

And the hackery has concluded. I was able to salvage all rubber mounting, the front hook system and the rear release latch. Next time - grafting the pieces back together.

Daniel Peter's SR540 Street Tracker

Un-Mellow Yellow
Yamaha SR500
Build & Photos: Daniel Peter

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Damn, Daniel (sorry) has gotten really good at this custom SR500 thing. After building 3 and racing the last one to multiple podium finishes in the AHRMA vintage class he's gotten very good at tweaking them to their full potential. In this, his 4th take, Daniel's managed to shave a whopping 66lbs off the stock 348lbs dry weight. On top of being a feathery 282lbs it's also perfectly balanced. I mean PERFECTLY; an even 141.0 lbs per tire. I've seen the scale photos. 

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Shaving 20% of the weight off any bike would produce serious butt-dyno gains but where's the fun in stopping at 3rd gear wheelies when there's 2 left? The displacement was punched out to 540cc and compression was raised to 10.5:1 with a JE piston. The motor also got a lighter XT500 crank, 25130 Megacycle cam for better low end torque, and R&D valve springs with titanium caps. Spark is controlled with a Powerdynamo ignition, and a Kedo high flow oil pump was added for better reliability. The carburetor is a 39mm Keihin FCR flatslide. The scrambler-style exhaust exits via a Cone Engineering muffler.

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Up next: braking and suspension. Brakes are a very strong Brembo/Beringer combo, with an RCS 14 radial master up front. The bike is rolling on 17" supermoto wheels (KTM front and CRF450 rear, if you're curious) with Pirelli MT60 Corsa rubber. The front is a 120, and the rear a chunky 160 on a 5" rim. "It juuust fits." The forks might look stock from a distance, but they're actually a 41mm, fully adjustable set from a 95 ZX6R. Slightly lowered a re-sprung to match the light bike. The rear sports a set of 13.75" adjustable Gazi shocks and a beautiful aluminum MotoLanna swingarm. Toxic Moto chain block keeps the DID chain from biting into the tire. Very minimalistic LED lights are shining bright at both ends. The taillight is Daniel's own design; whipped up on his lathe. The tank is aluminum, from an XT500, with a paint scheme "inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja."

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Daniel would like the thank: "My good friend Adam for the donor bike, Jason at Artistimo for nailing the paint job, and Kevin Silvers, Bibu and Tony at Analog for their help."

Wrapping Up Custom K100 Parts

Custom Parts Project
1985 BMW K100

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A local rider brought his unfinished K100 project to me recently for some custom parts and final tweaks. I built some caged side panels out of 6160 aluminum solid rod and sheet to cover up the battery area. The design borrows cues from flat track number plate tail sections. I wanted to cover a large area but keep the design light and airy so that's where the idea to do bars came from. The owner had a headlight picked out that needed mounting so I bent up a bracket that mimicked the design of side panels, again using 6160. The bracket utilizes the triple clamp bosses on the GSXR 750 front end.

All the gauges were stripped from the bike and replaced with Motogadget parts. I wired up the Motoscope Mini gauge with Combi indicator light housing, mLock keyless ignition, and the mBlaze Disc bar end turn signals. The mLock RFID disc was the perfect diameter to mount in the GSXR's ignition bezel. I designed a bracket that put the mLock in the original bezel and incorporated the Motoscope gauge just beyond it.

The owner wanted a custom seat that hinges open so I built a stainless steel seat pan that hugged the shape of the subframe. In order to have the seat hinge open and sit flush to the frame it needed to hinge from the rear. To do this with a side hinge would mean putting the hinges on the exterior of the frame and I wasn't feeling that. The end result is a cable actuated spring latch. The latch itself is from a Honda RC51 mounted up by the tank and a knurled pull knob is mounted between the rear stainless hinges.

There are still a couple items that need finishing that the owner will be tackling. He'll be making a wooden deck for the open section of frame out back to hide the hinge area. I carved the seat foam in-house but the owner will be stitching his own leather seat cover. I'll post some photos when she's all wrapped up.

Iron & Resin X New Legend - Custom International Scout II

1972 International Scout II Runner Series
Iron & Resin X New Legend 4x4

$62,000

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The crew at Iron & Resin teamed up with New Legend, a company specializing in resto-modding vintage 4x4's, to build their ultimate adventuremobile. It's a 1972 International Scout II grafted to a modern chassis with a 5.3L LS motor and 4L65 4 speed trans. The interior has been redesigned with the Horween leather and canvas I&R uses on many of it's products. Up top there's a Front Runner Outfitters roof rack with fold out ladder tent. The RakAttach Swing Arm Moto Mount out back is pretty killer. It opens up all kinds of possibilities for vintage getaway vehicles; where I used to think a pickup or cargo van were the only way to haul bikes. She's for sale, with all her original patina intact. Hit the link above to read more.