Vertigo70 McQueen 1 The guys from Vertigo 70 first piqued our interest and appeared on The Bike Shed with their BMW R65 'TNT' build. A classy boxer scrambler that openly took cues from established builders such as the Wrenchmonkees and CRD. But now the five Vertigo70 guys, Max S, Max F, Angel, Ale and Emi are forging their own direction and trusting their own group instincts to create motorcycles. What started out as a hobby and common interest has become work and a fledgling business with the guys now modestly regarding themselves as "semi pro". Based in the province of Pavia outside of Milan they are pressing on with determination and flair, and as promised, here is the next product of their endeavour. Vertigo70 McQueen 2 A friend owned this 75' Honda CB500, and the guys had always had a thing for old Japanese fours (don't we all?) so they bought it and set to work. Its evolution began with those long established Italian principles, passion and pleasure, at the heart of its concept. The guys state, "All our bikes are born without a blueprint, but only with an idea, then we like to design and build because the ideas are on the journey of building". For this build the idea was to create a bike inspired by the elegance and style of Steve McQueen. McQueen as an icon has been thoroughly hijacked by the bike fashion industry, adorning a thousand mud splattered T shirts (track down Gary 'Sideburn' Inman's brilliant article for more on this) but no doubt he would be glad to know he still has clout with makers wielding grinders and wrenches as well as needles and thread.

Vertigo70 McQueen 3

The journey of building began as Max F, Angel and Ale stripped down the bike before shortening the frame, cleaning up engine parts and re-polishing. The brakes were upgraded to more modern items as they were regarded a weak point of the original machine. Weight removal was the key aim in the bikes reassembly with many parts removed and binned including the centre stand. Lightness and agility over practicality all the way. Vertigo70 McQueen 4 The tank was stripped and repainted in elegant warm vintage tones of cream and grey with gold highlighting. The unusual central panel adds a visual flourish with its brushed grey shades and detail lettering. The seat took shape around a fibreglass base and was shaped to style before being covered in diamond stitched earthy brown leather and fitted with a pillion strap. High bars were fitted to add a hint of Motorcross to the road going steed that rides on classic Firestone zig zag rubber, fully exposed with no front mudguard, but this bike does live in North Italy.

Vertigo70 McQueen 5

The bike retains a retro, almost factory charm, with comparatively large orange indicators chosen over smaller clear offerings and a chrome round mirror also reflecting the original machine. This old elegance continues to the riding experience with the boys describing it as having the drivability and ease of use of riding along on a bicycle, whilst drawing many happy admiring glances. Vertigo70 McQueen 6 Next up the intrepid quintet are planning work on a modern Triumph and intriguingly intend on fitting some wooden parts to a Honda 750... Keep up the teamwork gents.

Vertigo70 McQueen 8

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Posted by Gareth@TheBikeShed