Vertigo70 CB500 McQueen
By Gareth Charlton - 15 Jan 14
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. 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. 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. 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.
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Posted by Gareth@TheBikeShed