Essex based Sam Evans' career was going along rather nicely, as a Junior Race Engineer he was honing his skills playing with glorious 1980's group B rally cars on a daily basis. But then his head was turned. He happened upon the short film "Cafe Cowboy" by Benedict Campbell, this showcases the Californian Bike builder Dustin Kott of Kott Motorcycles in a sun bleached, black and white montage of welding, riding, moody music and passionate prose. Sam was hooked, multiple viewings could not sate his desire, he craved the lifestyle, the work ethic, the finished product. He set up his shop, Inglorious Motorcycles, and sought to build himself the bikes and the life that the film had inspired. You can watch "Cafe Cowboy" and many other beautiful and inspiring films in the Bike Shed Video Library, but be warned, prolonged stays in the library may completely change your life. This is the second build that Sam has turned out, the first was a patina heavy, firestone shod 78' CB400 Superdream which he named the Cali Cafe after his West Coast inspiration. For his second Inglorious Motorcycles build, Sam wanted to make a scrambler, "function over form was the feeling behind this 90's thumper, Being able to ride comfortably down the streets, but without the boundary of that rocky lane or field between yourself and the beach." He procured a 1993 Suzuki GN250 single for the project, "The bike was owned by an old boy down the road, who was the typical keep everything clean and never ride it kind of guy." With the bike in his workshop, rescued from its clean, unridden stasis, Sam wasted no time in turning it into a dirty little rider, within an hour all the junk had been stripped off and the rear section of the frame had been chopped. Sam knew exactly how he wanted the bike to look, "The design plan was like most, simple. Loop that rear end, shorten those fenders, get some chunky tires, and bin everything but the essentials." To guarantee the machine in his minds eye kept going in real life, Sam set about the engine, the head was lifted to check the condition of the piston and rings, and then treated to a complete rebuild. To make the little 250cc engine "look a bit more badass"it received a coat of wrinkle black to contrast with the home polished engine cases and forks. "After all the fabrication was done it was time to think colour schemes. I've always gone on the basis that the best way to make something look classic, is to use old classic colours. So the frame was powder coated in a light grey, and the tank sprayed in a vintage Porsche red. The 'Inglorious Motorcycles' logo was then hand lettered on to the top of the tank." The colour scheme is a complete winner, along with the plush brown seat it adds class to the cheeky, cartoonish proportions of the bike. All seals and bearings were then replaced and it was time for final assembly. The spoked wheels were painted black and black Renthal bars were fitted along with fork gaiters and the bobbed, mudguards front and rear. Small chrome brat style lighting was added, tying in the chrome shocks, muffler and speedometer, the twin downpipes were mummified in wrap. "Down the lanes and around town the bike is a little ripper! Its light weight and has enough poke to really have some fun on. Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out, and will be building another in a different colour scheme to keep for myself!". Sam has turned his film inspired daydream into reality, building bikes and having a damn good time doing it. He may not have the Californian sun beating down on his efforts but the bikes and his ethos are the real deal. Check out his Inglorious Motorcycles website for more information and we will be sure to share his next build (potentially an XS650 or W650 tracker) right here on the Bike Shed.
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