White Collar Bike X1st Urban Tracker
By Ross Sharp - 08 Jan 15
Ever get the feeling that somebody is inside your head, extracting ideas and beating you to producing the finished article? Happens to us all the time at Bike Shed, so much so that one of the crew is developing a foil helmet to stop the creativity theft. Ram from White Collar Bike is a fine engineer and appears to have machined his way into my head and borrowed my ideas for a tracker. But seeing as he is a thousand times the engineer I'll ever be, its probably best that we share his bike and not mine. That and my method of using glacial shifts and tectonic plate movement to form metal isn't proving so efficient. If you haven't seen Ram's work before have a look at the last two builds, this isn't a full-on business for him but a sideline making bikes for his friends. Everyone has an indecisive mate, you know the one, and Ram's wanted a bike bike but wasn't very forthcoming on options so they ended up using a Kawasaki 250 Ninja that was sitting around in the garage. Decision made, the revvy little twin was stripped bare and had a camera pointed at its naked chassis. With some 3D renders done Ram's mate popped by the workshop to talk turkey. He loved the designs but perhaps not the suggestion of grinding off the word budget. The engine, swingarm and main frame were retained; the rest put out for the recycling man. A fruitful eBay search landed a set of Honda supermoto wheels, but the front was only single disc compatible. Rather than relace a new hub Ram converted the existing one to a twin-disc set up, he likes a challenge. Re-anodised GSXR 750 forks with bespoke triple clamps prop the front up and house the personalised Tokico brake calipers, X1st is the name of the owner's company; nice touch. Pirelli's MT60RS tyre is a very popular tyre for road legal supermoto machinery, and they look the business, somewhere between a race wet and a knobbly; so Ram eBay'd a pair and fitted them. The brief dictated a raw finish so the tank, seat and bodywork are precision made from aluminium sheet. Paint wasn't going to hide lumps and bumps so care had to be taken with the soft material as brushing afterwards doesn't always remove hamfisted panelbeating. Mini LED tail lights and indicators are sooo 2013, so here we have something far harder to make. 10mm thick acrylic was laser cut and coloured LEDs mounted behind, taking care of signalling. Like any road users arent going to notice this bike coming. The headlights are HIDs from the owners Jeep, in CNC'd housings mounted to an aluminium numberboard. And no, it's not just a sheet of ally but machined from 8mm plate to make sure the number 1 stands out, in 3D. The AS in the tail represents the owner's initials. The amount of aluminium swarf kicking about Ram's workshop must be phenomenal. The rear suspension is Öhlins, of course, and the brake caliper upgraded to a Brembo version. There's no point scrimping just because it's out back out and slightly over shadowed by engineering bedazzlement on display. Cable clutch, pah, so archaic; the X1st Urban Tracker wouldn't be seen dead with such old tech, so a hydraulic upgrade was fitted. Even the grips had to be modified. They are from Brooks, the cycle accessory stalwarts, so the throttle side had to be converted. Not satisfied with ALL of that Ram decided mirrors would be a no-no, so fitted a rear view camera under the tail and mounted an LCD monitor into the top of the fuel tank, which obviously doubles as a GPS system. Ram's friend is suitably blown away by the result, not that he doubted his buddy's engineering prowess and creative mega-mind. To see some of Ram's other projects head over to the White Collar Bike Facebook page. But remember to stick a piece of lead on your forehead, or his Idea Leecher 3000 will suck out your ideas and turn into something better than you'll probably ever be capable of.