In a world full of anodyne, mass produced products, the influx of one off, bespoke motorcycles can only be hailed as a glorious thing. Bin the cookie cutters and scrap the production lines, hand made and custom designed are the new order. But.... it is a big old world. If you have made a glorious motorcycle that resides on one continent and a customer halfway around the world wants the same machine, built by the same hands, then let them jolly well have it. Here we have the Gasoline Tomahawk II, it has a near identical twin prowling the streets down under, but this sibling, now residing in France, is well worth a second look. The SR 400/500 is such a stalwart of the custom scene that Bikeexif ran a feature exhibiting their chosen top 5 of the breed, the original Gasoline Tomahawk made the cut alongside builds from the likes of Deus. But it was the original Tomahawk, from the Gasoline workshop in Darlinghurst, Sydney, that captured the imagination of one French enthusiast and so Jason Gasoline agreed to build him the Tomahawk mark II. Over to Jason, "The build process started with stripping the clutter which included chopping off the rear tail supports and removing brackets & unnecessary mounts to leave just the seat base structure.". "The simple addition of clip-on handle bars, extended rear suspension, trials tyres and a thumped up and heat wrapped side pipe is only the start of the custom build". At the rear a tail hump was formed from recycled steel and a vintage tail light recessed above the number plate. In a former life the stainless steel that forms the custom electrical box beneath the seat was a towel dispenser, it now houses the inevitable mess of wires and a battery. That look of bare steel was a key feature of the original build, and one that the Gasoline team adores, "Who doesn't love bare metal? Pioneering the raw look of scuffed metal coated with a clear gloss finish gives the impression of a 3D paint job when reflected in the sun." A few of the subtle differences between the first Tomahawk and this second incarnation include that battery box, the black headlight, the exhaust, the tank badge, the speedometer, air filter and the round rear light. The frontal aspect is tighter and the placement of the Rizoma reservoir echoes that of a tiny tacho. The Gasoline workshop has been around since 1994 but Jason's passion for two wheels comes from heady earlier days, dominating Sydney streets aboard a 1973 GT 750cc Ducati Roundcase back in 1989. The team has grown and can now offer a myriad of services alongside bespoke builds such as this. Strong relationships with local salvage and wrecking yards means their machines develop a resurrected quality "re-invigorating a piece of scrap means more than saving a buck - each piece has history and legacy to be revived and re-invented.". They turned around this little bike in just three intense weeks. "Unlike many concept builds, and over-the-top motorcycle projects, Tomahawk II is designed to be user-friendly, ridden and enjoyed everyday. The daily experience goes hand in hand with the aesthetic design." You can conjure your own theory as to what the extra lever on the left bar does, I like to think it drops a James Bond style oil slick to thwart any would be pursuers, or alternatively alerts the new owner's local drinking establishment of his imminent arrival. Jason reports that the lads at Gasoline are right in the middle of putting together one of their best creations yet. We cant wait to see what they turn out. Keep up to date with the workshop at their website. Photography credits go to Josh Clapp and Nik Wals.
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