Behind The Billet Curtain
Words: Dave M Pics: Customfighters Russia
Given the name of our little online motorcycle magazine, it’s pretty obvious that we like to try and cater for our readers by featuring performance custom bikes from as many places around our little globe as we possibly can.
However, given that our budget for WWB is limited (in much the same way as Donald Trump has limited modesty), then we aren’t able to travel the world searching out cool bikes to feature. Thankfully, there are people like Alexandr Feoktistov, who are not only building some truly superb motorcycles, but are very keen to show us (and, therefore, the world) just what it is they they’re doing in their corner of the streetfighting panoply.
Alex is not only a mad-keen custom bike freak, but also rather experienced in using computer-numerically-controlled milling machines and lathes. And, using his metal-machining skills, he set up his own company, Customfighters Russia. Based in Moscow, CFR are only a young company, but they were very keen to prove that they were capable of building a bike that could stand on its own two wheels on the world stage. So they were going to have to metaphorically push the boat out. The boat in question being the barge-like Suzuki Hayabusa. Now, the Busa is a bike that is very impressive in standard form – a genuine 180bhp at the back wheel in many cases, and a potential for easily exceeding the speed limit in any country that has one. By a factor of two. So why bother of going to the effort of customising one? Well, aside from the fact that the standard GSX 1300R is a pug-ugly machine that weighs in excess of a small bovine herd, it’s also as common as the material that comes out of the rear end of aforementioned cattle. So the question is not why should you modify it, but how should you modify it...
Being in Moscow, Alex and the guys at CFR have been influenced by the German streetfighter scene, and the Hayabusa project bike was going to follow that influence. The first step was to fire up the milling machines and churn out a pair of machined aluminium wheels, of 18” in diameter. The front is of convention al size, in that it’s not massive, although as it wears a 160 section tyre it’s not exactly skinny either... Although in comparison to that at the rear...
The rear rim matches the front in that it’s a billet, five spoke split-rim, but it’s somewhat broader in width. Wide enough, in fact, to hold the 300 section tyre Avon tyre. In roder to get the drive front the engine’s output sprocket around this massive tyre and to the rear sprocket, a jackshaft arrangement is used in that a short drive chain from the output shaft transfers power through to a sprocket on one end of the jack shaft which, in turn, transfers the drive to another sprocket offset and inline with the sprocket on the wide back wheel. The jackshaft sits in a one-off swinging arm which, again, was made in house and machined from billet aluminium. The style is similar to the pocketed swinging arm fitted to the Extreme Creations ZX-10R also in this issue. The CFR ‘arm also has some neat covers over the chain adjusters, keeping the rear end neat and clean and free from clutter.
With the colossal rear end in place, the Suzuki was going to need some beefing up at the front end to match. The ultra-tick yokes feature no less than seven pinch bolts, top and bottom, and Alex has also created some fork shrouds that give the appearance of solid fork legs with no suspension travel! The forks themselves are Yamaha items, from an R1, and he’s used the radially-mounted four piston calipers from the Yamaha too. He’s actually added a third radially-mounted caliper at the rear, neatly mounted below the swinger on a bespoke hanger.
While Alex did create just about all of the aluminium parts, CNC-machined from billet, one notable exception are the one-piece handlebars, which learned readers will recognise as being from the German streetfighters specialists, MGM. There’s little doubt that this Hayabusa has been influenced by German streetfighter styling, as the headlight ‘mask’ proves, but various other components lend a nod towards Teutonic ‘fighter styles – the knuckleduster rearsets, and the ‘dusters displayed proudly on the clutch and starter covers, for starters.
With a rolling chassis together, it was time to look to the cosmetics. We’ve already mentioned the headlight surround, which sits above a sleek cut-down front mudguard, while the tail unit is rather reminiscent of a Kawasaki Z650 ‘ducktail’, being unobtrusive and sleekly styled. The big angular petrol tank is, however, a one-off build in the Customfighters Russia workshop, its sharp angles helping to match the swooping frame lines to the angular headlight surround.
This bike is all about in-your-face muscle, so there was no need for an arty-farty paiontjob that owed more to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel than angry motorcycles. So, plain black it was. With the occasional bit of crimson anodising to break up the darkness.
Alex and Customfighters Rusia are now producing – among other things – billet aluminium single-sided swinging arms for the Suzuki Hayabusa and GSX-R1000, as well as billet rear wheels with a full and healthy 12” rim width to take a 330 section tyre. With the Busa, they set out to prove that Russia, too, can build a good streetfighter. Point proven, I think!
Suzuki Hayabusa GSX 1300R, internally standard, standard fuel injection, standard cooling system, standard exhaust headers, short twin exit exhaust cans.
Suzuki Hayabusa, one-off knuckleduster rearsets, nylon frame sliders, billet side stand.
CNC machined 18” wheel & yokes by Customfighters Moscow, Yamaha R1 forks with radially-mounted calipers, one-off fork shrouds , Braking Wave discs, MGM Bikes handlebars, ISR master cylinders, ISR switchgear, Motogadget speedo, billet grips, underslung mirrors.
CNC swinging arm & 18” wheel made by Customfighters Moscow, 300 section tyre, jack-shaft twin chain drive, Braking Wave disc, four piston radial caliper, one-off caliper bracket & torque arm, standard shock.
Wide fuel tank made by Customfighters Moscow, one-off bellypan, tail unit, headlight mask & front mudguard, one-off seat.
PAINT & POLISH:
Black paint, lots of black anodising, matt red anodising on rearsets, side stand & spacers.
Words & pics: Mark Boxer
What goes up must come down... yes.
Well, when it comes to gearboxes, in addition ot the ratios going up and down, there's also the issue of what goes in, must come out. And getting bee-haitch-pee from the crank into and out of the transmission - with minimal power loss and at the greatest of ease - is what Nova Racing are the experts at.
FIGHTER DAY X
Indonesian Fighter Day 2016
Words: Dave M Pics: BaseCamp Utara
We’ve shown you, in a previous issue of WWB, just how radical the customised streetbikes of Indonesia can be, and how they’re seemingly influenced by the styling of German streetfighters. But, up until now, we haven’t touched on the social side of Indonesian bike life...
The pictures that you see here are from ‘Fighter Day X’, an event that is held once every year, in October. As the ‘X’ suggests, the 2016 event was the tenth anniversary for Fighter Day, and somewhat unsurprisingly it attracted a great number of bikes and riders from all over Indonesia. The location was Ketenger Baturaden, near the town of Purwokerto in Central Java - an area popular with tourists thanks to the region’s trekking, camping and hot springs. But the local attractions were forgotten, as this weekend is all about the bikes!
Thanks to Indonesia’s import regulations, it’s incredibly expensive to buy an imported motorcycle, and the bikes that’re produced in the country are small capacity singles licenced from the big Japanese factories – bikes like the Honda Tiger, the largest of which is just 250cc... But the importation of secondhand parts isn’t as strictly regulated, so it’s possible to get hold of used sportsbike parts like FireBlade wheels, GSX-R forks, VFR swinging arms etc. And it’s these components that’re used to make the little commuter bikes into such eye-boggling and outstanding streetfighters!
Fighter Day X was the big event of the year, with over 400 participants, and an outstanding variety of machinery. Organised by the region’s biggest streetfighter club – Minorfighter Indonesia – the scene is continually expanding, with an element of café racer styling now creeping into the builds. Founder of the Indonesian scene, and father of the Minorfighters community, is Agus Djanuar, whose workshop in Puwokerto has seen the birth of a great many of the modified bikes that’re seen in the region.
While very few of the Indonesian ‘fighter builders and riders speak English, we’ll be keeping an eye on what they’re building. You’ll certainly be seeing more features coming out of Java!Write comment (0 Comments)
Words: Dave M Pics: Julian Hunt
Old bikes are treated with kid gloves and kept in museums, right? Never used properly, always pampered and polished and never ridden as intended?... Er, no.
Once a year, the world-famous drag strip of Santa Pod – Europe’s fastest, longest-lived and most popular drag racing venue – shakes to the sounds of Dragstalgia. The event is all about historic quarter mile race vehicles, of all kinds. So, aside from monster-engined cars and nitro-snorting ‘slingshot’ beasts, there’s an ever-increasing number of very interesting (and very fast) classic bikes too.
Unlike modern drag racing which, while being an intoxicating mix of speed, noise and horsepower, revolves around just a couple of engine formats (for bikes, read the Suzuki GSX1100 and Hayabusa engines), Dragstalgia sees an astounding variety. Not just in engine choice, but with the way power levels are increased (big bore engines, superchargers, multiple engines etc) and also in the style of bike. There’s none of the generic styling of Superstreet Hayabusa or ProStock inline fours here!
And they’re all being used. Okay, so a few weren’t actually run along the 1320 feet of hallowed Pod race track, and were only fired up for onloookers (or, rather, onlisteners) to experience, but once you’ve stood just mere feet from a supercharged twin cylinder Triumph running on a heady concoction of methanol, then you know what a visceral experience it is. All senses are assaulted - ears from the fiery pulses of raw energy blatting out of the open exhausts, nose from the harsh unburnt hydrocarbons, eyes from the angry beauty, and your whole body shaking to the beat of high compression combustion. If you ever suffer from constipation, a good cure is to stand next to a supercharged, methanol-burning twin cylinder sprint bike...
Or, for that matter, a sprint bike with TWO twin cylinder engines! Dragstalgia saw not only Derek Chinn’s Pegasus, but also John Hobbs’ twin-engined, supercharged Hobbit, as well as his 500c Triumph, Olympus. Incidentally, John was the first man to get a 500cc bike to run a nine second quarter in 1971, on the supercharged, methanol-powered Olympus.
Dennis ‘Stormin’ Norman took two of his bikes – the twin engine Triumph that he rode in America (and qualified in the top eight of sixty bikes entered) in 1970, and the twin engined bike powered by two twin cylinder motors donated to Dennis by Norton Motors in 1973. The Norton never ran properly in competition, but it has been rebuilt in order for Matthew Norman (Dennis’ grandson an ex British Superbike racer) to ride in competition!
Also in attendance were Colin Fallows with ‘Super Cyclop’s, Dave Clee and the Puma-engined Triumph ‘Shotgun’, Jeff Byrne and his twin-engined Triumph, Martin Wilmott and his little 500cc Triumph and Ray Law’s monster motored 100cc Triumph.
It’s not all British bike engines though. Renowned tuner, owner of the long-missed Village Bike Shop, racer and all-round good egg, Pip Higham, was riding the ex-Steve Tong Kawasaki Orient Express Funnybike, although he was spat off it on the Saturday, luckily getting away with just some bruised ribs.
And there were some real oddities too, including Keith Lee’s drag scooter ‘Split II’, and the ‘Methamon’ sidecar outfit ridden by Shelagh Neal who rode it in sprints back in ’61 and ‘62. Although perhaps the strangest had to be Dragwaye. The Volkswagen powered bike has the rider sat behind the rear wheel, and it proved rather successful when it was raced, clocking a 9.81 back in 1970 when piloted by Dave Lecoq!
While the bikes are heavily outweighed by classic cars at Dragstaligia, each year more classic sprint and drag bikes come out of the woodwork. It’s definitely work a visit, even if it’s only to give you some inspiration to keep on riding into your old age!Write comment (0 Comments)