SLCDR A Thumb We first encountered Yann and Manu at Bike Shed Paris earlier this year, a polite and talented pair of guys who drove across from Brittany with a trio of gorgeous bikes. Manu is a trained motorcycle mechanic, previously specialising in Hondas and boilers. No, that's not a euphemism for rotund women or water cooled bikes but another handy skill, he can weld and properly too. If his joints can keep steam and gas in, frame tubes should be a doddle. SLCDR B The other half of the duo os Yann, a bodyshop painter who's plied his trade in both Canada and France. But if you're reading this then you were probably attracted here by the geometric harlequin of a fuel tank on this striking Goldwing, Yann's talent extends beyond painting panels, and his artwork has featured in galleries from Montreal to Lyon. SLCDR C Together they embarked on an adventure, setting up a workshop to build café racer, board & dirt tracker inspired bikes, pushing their own skills each time with the aim of feeling that motivational sense of achievement that's so prevalent with tangible endeavours. This '76 Honda Gl 1000 had been abandoned in a barn and arrived at the workshop in a sorry state, requiring a complete strip down before work could begin. First step was to adapt the frame for the new tank and create a tidy tail for a bobbed café look. SLCDR D Anticipating not only a heavy but also a thirsty machine, Honda engineers wisely created a fuel tank that stretched down under the seat, the company logos were merely mounted on vanity panels which covered relays and other bits of the electrics on one side and the coolant reservoir on the other. I know, a water cooled bike on the Bike Shed, whatever next! With this Quasimodo vessel out of the way the guys could reduce the electrical clutter and utilise the free real estate under the new saddle for a custom airbox to feed the quad downdraught carbs. Whilst rolling out the tail section from aluminium Yann knocked up a couple of side panels and the seat base, handy chap that he is. SLCDR F The BMW tank is not only capacious but burly enough in proportion to visually balance that hunk of an engine hanging beneath. A fair amount of modification was required to achieve a decent fit so whilst chopping it about a cylinder was inset for the Motogadget mini speedo and also a neck for the flush mounted, pop-up filler. Being a graffiti artist under the alias MrDuPonT Yann set about the new tank with a batch of Montana spray cans (the best in the business apparently - I'm not arty enough to know this), and from the looks of things a lot of masking tape. After three days of spraying, waiting, peeling, spraying and waiting it was ready; for eight coats of lacquer! SLCDR G One benefit of running nice, fat 16" wheels front and rear is that there are choices other than the obvious Firestone Deluxe Champions, Coker make a decent option but the Shinko SHR 270 must be one of the best looking treads available in this style. Glad the guys agree with us. To further beef up the front end the forks have been shortened and covered with shrouds, handmade of course. These match the classic sheathed Hagons suspending the rear. Surles Chappeaux Big Honda HOverall Yann and Manu have achieved that oh so tricky of things, near proportionate perfection. With an aggressive stance the just gimme the keys factor is high. It's without surprise then, that with no information at all, an album of this bike published last week turned out to be one of the most popular Facebook posts of the year so far. People know just right when they see it. Fancy more from Yann & Manu, check out Sur Les Chapeaux De Roues on Facebook | Instagram | Web | Video Photos by Alexis Le Naour & Sylvain Beauval
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