Yesterday I suggested the idea of a build off for sportbikes or at least for real road worthy motorcycles that could handle the turns, stop quickly and be comfortable and practical. They would be built in competitive build offs, just like in the chopper build offs, but these would take longer and have to compete against one another in a series of actual motorcycle performance categories when finished. Jim over at whybike.com said that already exists, the Motorcycle Grand Prix. Perhaps, but instead of just high dollar racing bikes, why not a general purpose road bike or sportbike? Doug suggested a few American builders like Acme Rocket Bike or American Cafe Racers and others who might want to join the fray. Let’s not forget the guys across the pond. After all, Scotty’s Choppers in Australia competed in the chopper build off and there are more than a few very capable sportbike shops world wide. Well, what about it?
The question of a frame pops up since most sportbikes today have advanced aluminum frames that wrap around the engine. Ducati and a few others have tube frames similar to what a small shop might build so it’s certainly possible and American Cafe Racers uses a modified Norton Manx frame, also tube construction.
Engines? Find a crashed sportbike of your choice and go to work. Or maybe, to keep the time frame of the build offs reasonable, provide everyone with the same engine to start. The choices are many but since we’re doing high end TV build offs, how about today’s all purbose Hayabusa engine, they’re putting those in everything else, why not a custom built sportbike? Of course, something smaller would be great, too.
Think about the results here. If the end result was a good looking high performance custom bike, the shop could start turning them out as a kit or sell parts to get others started. Trying to manufacture a complete bike gets into government regulations that make it more trouble than it’s worth.
Maybe the reason we don’t see more of this is no one thinks it’s possible. Weld up a frame and drop in a V-twin and you get a chopper. Creative and artistic maybe but not a real world motorcycle. If some high skill shops build sportbikes to begin with maybe more people will try it on their own. I think there is also just as much market world wide for special custom sportbike t shirts and swag as there is for Orange County Choppers. This could grow.
Doug put a couple links in yesterday’s comments where you could give feedback to the Discovery Channel.
I think this has some real potential. Maybe we need to give them some ideas. What do you say?