By Anthony van Someren - 21 Jan 13
Jean-Baptiste is from France, close to Lille, and like all Frenchman he has impeccable taste and likes to make sure his ride is as cool as possible (just spend a day in Paris and see what we mean). After beginning his career as a race mechanic in World Endurance, Supermoto and SBK he went on to work as a mechanic in a bike shop, but is now a Sales Rep and describes himself as a Sunday bike builder and aficionado of shed built bikes. His daily ride is this little red Honda 500FT, which he bought stock on a promise not to modify it. Ooops. The seat is a fiberglass aftermarket item, originally made for HD 1000 sportster. JB cut the frame to fit it and made up some brackets. The fuel tank comes from a Honda 125CG which has been modified by a Metal Machines with greater fuel-flow capacity and reworked on the underside fit the frame without rubbing anywhere. Body parts have been painted with a Nissan Metal Red by a Moto Clinic, near Lille. The exhaust was a find at a Hot Rod & Custom swap meet. The engine is still stock with stock carb but he's been trying to adapt a Keihin FCR 37 from a CRF 250, which has been too difficult, so now JB is planning to swap the whole mill out for an XLR 500 with kick start, which should add a little poke and give her some street-tracker cool. A small lithium battery and and some careful wiring have cleaned up the rear subframe, while the front headamp is the stock square item, remounted to the forks, as JB wanted to keep the alternative looks to all the other brat/trackers out there with round lamps. To firm up the brakes, the front master cylinder comes from a Kawasaki ER650, the handlebar is Renthal, and the forks have raised through the yokes for more aggressive turn-in. The tyres are continental TKV11/TKV12. which JB rates as offering a good compromise between old school looks and grip - probably good advice to follow from an ex-SBK mechanic! All in all she looks like a sweet ride and perfect for the town or city. Top work JB. Thanks for sharing with us at The Bike Shed.