By Ross Sharp - 15 Aug 14
CMBL, from right down there in pirate country, has had a busy year. In between shaping boards for surfists and co-running a cafe with his missus, John Eldridge has found the time to follow up his first build, The Beach Hopper, with another two. This SR500 is the second and a natural progression in terms of style and skills progression. Prior to this John had only ridden bikes but he felt the Deus-esque surf and motorcycle mix was just as welcome on our shores as it was across the pond or down under, although perhaps slightly less romantic given our inclement climate and draconian off-road riding regulations. This Japanese import, with twin leading drum brake seemed an excellent place to start, well thats what John thought. Turns out some one must have been blinded by the rising sun and binned the SR, there was a slight twist in the frame that needed rectifying before any creative juices could flow. A jig was made to tweak things true and keep it that way during the build. The rear was chopped and looped before having an aluminium seat pan shaped to fit. The relatively steep kick-up gives a covert home for the number plate and keeps the rear end super clean. 750 miles down and the Cornish rozzers have shown little interest in the borderline legality, John doubts that London's eagle eyed lot would be quite so lenient. Super talented Frenchman Laurent Amann of Storik Engineering carried out the metalwork for the seat pan and cowl, and has since taken charge of all fancy fabrication work for CMBL. Laurent also made the exhaust, which sweeps back quickly from the manifold and tucks close to the engine, which looks fast standing still. To further the static speed aesthetic the ZedCat had its fork lowered internally by 1.5” and the rear raised by 3/4” using VSS shocks, now ever so slightly pitching forward. That's got to be worth another 5mph of top end. The wheels have been re-laced with stainless spokes, the brakes are fresh, and fitted with modern radials, Bridgestone Battlaxes. John felt it important to make sure the rider can feel his hard work, rather than squirm around on a knobbly-shod show queen. Attention to detail is everything, and on a surfboard there is nowhere to hide so John carries over perfectionism to his bikes. The billet top yoke screams class and the black anodising maintains the colour flow from the tank. Clipons and rearsets make the most of the aggressive stance whilst oxblood grips by Biltwell tie in with the leather seat. Paint Tech of Padstow took care of the Zebra paint scheme, firstly laying down gloss black before masking off and texturising the cured paint, I'm guessing a light soda or vapour blast. Something a bit different and why the heck not. To make the most of the SR500's output, and Laurant's hard work, a flat slide Mikuni TM36 was fitted. The reduced back pressure of the zorst works superbly with the extra flow from the velocity stacked carb, and sounds great reverberating down the Cornish country lanes. After a couple of weeks ripping around on the Zedcat John tried a stock SR and couldn't believe the difference, he'll be sticking with the new formula in future. John is a super nice chap and there's an open and unguarded insight into his daily pursuits of surfing, shaping and building in a video here. If you're in the Newquay area make a b-line for Strong Adolfos and check out Zedcat, Beach Hopper and Hot Dogger, don't worry these are all bikes, not weirdly named children.