Friday, June 6, 2008

Winter Fruit

The boys of Twinline have been busting ass all winter on several custom projects. I've talked about the Knockout 360 and Project Goldhead. Here are some more coming down the pipe, all to finish by September.

This 1974 CB550 Four has a rebuilt motor. It has a custom exhaust pipe and a Supertrap muffler and will be disk-tuned soon. A Supertrap diffuses overall noise while emitting a deep rumble that should scare the crap out of people who don't expect a medium-bore 550 to "come up growling into its territory," as Ian put it.

The bike will have Clubman bars. Clubmans stick through the top of the bike and are higher than clip-ons, which are race-style. (Clip-ons clip onto the front fork.)

The 550 Four will go two-up--that is, allow for a rider and a passenger. As I got this definition from Ian, he lapsed into Italian, a.k.a. "Ducatese":

"One-up is solo--mono-posto," Ian said. "Duo is bi-posto."

Alrighty, then.

Already, the 550 Four has a drilled rotor, a rebuilt frame, and new Avons. (Avon tires are good for a wide range of vintage applications.)

The photo doesn't do this bike justice. The powder-coated frame is actually a kind of metallic-flake silver. A Norton-racing-yellow tank and matching sidecovers will complement the frame. (Sidecovers are the things that cover the electronics and battery.)

"It's gonna look pretty fuckin' dope when it's all done," Ian said.

This bike should be done by the end of the month. The boys are just waiting to get it back from painting to put on the final touches. When all is said and done, it should haul ass and look good doing it, just the way we like it.

Next we have a 1975 CB400 Four. It has a powder-coated frame, a 466 big-bore Yoshimura kit, and a genuine Yoshimura pipe. It's getting a custom seat. Of all of our winter-fruit bikes, it will probably be the biggest sleeper. The only tell-tale sign that it's a little special is the Yoshi stamp on the pipe to match the Yoshimura "pistons of glory" (yep, that's an Ian quote) inside it.

"The only time you're going to notice the pistons is the lovely sound they make as they leave you in the dirt," Ian said.

This thing should have about 40 hp at the rear wheel and weigh only about 360 or 375. Upon doing some Dyno time, it should get up to about 130 mph. It's getting close to completion and has had the business done to it.

Next is the Rocket. One of Twinline's interns and his dad are building it together on Daddy's dime. They've scrubbed every nook and cranny. It's turning into a great original-type rebuild with Clubman bars and drilled rotors. Everything's been buffed, polished, and powder-coated. It'll probably get new paint, too.

Ian's assessment?

"It is going to show off like nobody's business."


The Goldhead is also still in the works. It's the best custom work we've ever done, largely thanks to the funding that backs it. More on that when we finish it up.

This one is no slouch, either: the British Racing Green (BRG) 400F. (Okay, it's blue right now. . . .) The owner originally wanted to go military-flat green, but after the frame came together--and the engine turned out so nice, and we collected all the accoutrements--this bike needed to be racing green. So . . . full-on, hardcore, British green it will be, with traditional silver pinstriping. We also have a wheel package and will powder-coat rims, hubs--this, that, and the other. It will be beautiful when it's done.

Here we've got a CB200 RR, with an electronic ignition, Mikuni carbs, and some CL high-pipes that have been hacked at the muffler, so they're optimally loud and horsepowery. Then, of course, Motobits rear sets, Bridgestone BT39 race-spec tires (the kind that 160 racers race on), and some Hagon shocks. We just became a dealer for Hagon. (Woo hoo!)

This bike is actually two days away from firing and looking good. Don't judge by the picture; they always look worse before they finally come together. The brakes have been done. The rotor's been drilled. It's just gotta go through paint, but the weather has been uncooperative.

Finally, we have this SR500, which will be a cafe bike. We've got some aluminum rims for it. We have a White Brothers exhaust, now customly ceramic-coated. We've got the Supertrap to acknowledge all the hard work and development that's getting the most out of the little engine without blowing it up. We've got a flat-slide Mikuni carburetor. A custom seat is on the way. We'll be running clip-ons. No electronics will show: they're all going to be tucked up underneath the seat the way we like 'em.

We're going to go solo-dial on this one (just a speedo; no tach), and we'll get it tuned up and ready to be the hooligan bike it was designed to be.

Why go solo-dial?

"All of these single-overhead-cam beasts don't really care for revving beyond what you need," Ian said. "They're built to accelerate as quick as they can; the motor over-revs past its power production."

What he means is that you don't need a tachometer because, as you run out of acceleration, you go, "Oh, I'm running out of steam; I'm going to shift." So you shift. All of a sudden, you've got power again.

"That's the loveliness of the single-overhead-cam, two-valve-per-cylinder motor," Ian said, "and that is the Dope Cafe SR500."

We don't really have another nickname for it. Don't laugh. These things happen.

The Dope should roll out of here at the end of the month.

"It's gonna be pretty burly when we're done with it," Ian said.