Helle's XS250 "Crème Diamond"
By Gareth Charlton - 04 Jul 14
We need more women building motorcycles. As we lust over the continuous stream of gorgeous custom bikes that grace these pages there is no denying one major common denominator, they are pretty much all built by men. As I showed my wife around the BSMC 3 show I was fascinated by the features she spotted, pulled apart, appreciated or hated on the bikes, stuff I had not even considered. It would be awesome to see more bikes built by a female creative eye. Hopefully the work of Helle from Copenhagen might just encourage one or two more women into their sheds and to start getting some grease under their fingernails. This is not the first creation to emerge from Helle's shed and appear on these pages, in 2013 she showed her Suzuki GN 250, which sold earlier this year through the Bike Shed classified section. Next on her build list had been a Kawasaki Kz400 but when she came across this little Yamaha Xs250 in great condition the opportunity was too good to pass up. Back in her shed Helle found plenty of things about the Yamaha that did not meet her approval, "too thin tires, boring black handlebars, big old-fashioned instruments, way too much chrome; big chrome fenders, chrome chainguard and shiny rims. So I got rid of all the things I did not like." One thing Helle did find to her liking was the engine, "I like when a bike shines, but the motor was glossy enough in itself. Very clean and shiny, like a diamond." With this in mind the theme for the build was born, Diamonds. After all, as Helle points out, "Diamonds are a girls best friend". A pair of fat diamond Coker tyres on black painted rims kickstarted the theme and instantly changed the feel of the bike, "it got this Beefy look that I like so much." The pattern of the tread recurs in the choice of the plush brown grips. Next up Helle's attention inevitably turned to the seat. "Of course the theme should also be reflected there. I ripped my old couch for leather and made this nice natural brown seat with diamond pattern in beige stitches". That is dedication to a cause! Imagine what your significant other might say if you tore up the sofa for a motorcycle seat? I guess if the result looked this good you may just get away with it. Helle encountered her first problem with the battery, she had initially fitted a tiny lithium unit hidden under the seat but it would not hold charge even over a short ride so she swapped it out for a larger version. The sewing machine came back out and with a few remnants of the old couch she fashioned a leather battery box and strap to suspend it in the space under the seat. "I found out I’m pretty good at sewing in leather, so I have now invested in an old industrial Pfaff sewing machine so I can make my own seats in the future." As the bike came together Helle stood back and admired her work, "I thought it was crème for my eyes. The bike was so nice and clean you could lick it. So of course the colour of the tank should be like vanilla ice crème," The name of her steed was chosen, the Crème Diamond. The yellow tint headlight adds a little extra sparkle to the palette. We don't go for gratuitous pictures of beautiful women gracing motorbikes here at the Bike Shed, we prefer to see images of bike and triumphant builder together. Just like these. Helle and her boyfriend Jesper apparently have a collection of motorcycles building up in their shed awaiting creative attention, we look forward to seeing the results of their next build. In the meantime might we suggest getting this lady a diamond in a different setting Jesper?