Ram Ram GSX 750 8 After multiple projects for friends, clients and customers, Ram from White Collar Bikes finally decided to build a steed for himself. Plotting and planning for many a year, the back-catalogue of ideas could no longer be contained within his head. The original plan was to build two bikes, called Nakula and Sadewa; the names of the twins from the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. But as the plan came together, the designs refined and sacrifices made, a single bike was decided upon. The tale itself explores the four "objects of human pursuit". Dharma: righteousness and moral values, Artha: prosperity and economic values, Kāma: pleasure, love and psychological values, and Mokṣa: liberation and spiritual values. Frankly it's a tome that makes the Iliad seem like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but sure offers enough inspiration for what was to be a very personal build. Ram Ram GSX 750 7 What may not be initially apparent though is that this, for Ram, is a budget build. It makes sense when you compare it to his previously featured bikes, including the Bhaskara Thruxton and Barracuda CB. But this GSX750 is far removed from it's humble origins. The lessons of humility in the inspirational source material have obviously rubbed off! The mid 80s GSX750E donor was devastated. Stripped down entirely it took but a couple minutes of deliberation, to decide that only the engine would be of any use. Everything else was shipped out the back door of the workshop in preparation for a clean sheet design. A design that would combine classic Cafe Racer aethetics with elements of modern CNC-billet machine work. Ram Ram GSX 750 6 So out came the frame jig and the welder. A new steel tube frame now cradles the engine. A simpler and lighter affair than the original box-section item, it allows the oil-cooled lump to dominate proceedings. The engine itself provided enough thrust, the reliable 80 bhp block was treated to a refresh and a clean up. A modern BMW oil cooler means the engine won't break a sweat in the clammiest of conditions. With the discarding of the original frame went the amusingly monikered Full-Floater suspension. A new swingarm, carved from a billet of aluminum and braced with some T7 tubing is an impressive statement at the back of the bike. The raw finish lets you see appreciate the work that's gone into the item. Ram Ram GSX 750 5 With the rear end replaced, the original GSX forks were never going to be an option. A Yamaha R6 lent its front end to the project, providing suspension that could take advantage of the more aggressive frame geometry. For a moment Ram thought about making his own wheels, but with the build queue getting longer and with a set of perfectly good Yamaha rims in the workshop it made sense to go OEM on this one. Wrapped in a set of Pirelli Qualifiers, the intentions of the machine are clear. Stripped of their anodizing, the forks are held in White Collar Bike yokes. T7 aluminum again, their simple geometric design gives that 'hewn-from' look that reverberates around the bike. This certainly wipes the floor with most other budget builds, but if I had an idle CNC mill sat in my garage I'm pretty sure I couldn't resist the temptation to crank out some shiny aluminium goodies. Ram Ram GSX 750 4 The party piece though is that fuel tank/seat combination. The 5 gallon Manx-esque tank flows seamlessly into the humped tail unit. A single lump of brushed aluminium, painstakingly hammered, wheeled and tig'd to get the finish Ram demanded of himself. "A pain in the ass... but I enjoyed it", about sums it up. The reward for his perseverance is a one-off piece that defines the bike. Ram Ram GSX 750 3 Another nod to modernity is the leather strap across the tank, not there to hold the fuel cell, but for to provide a place for a Smartphone. Too big to fit comfortably in a pocket, latched onto the tank strap, alongside a few spanners, there's all the tools you'll need in an easy access location. One of the few things not made by Ram, he looked up an old college friend who stitched up all the contrasting leather-work on the bike. When you have multiple builds, a full time business and a family to look after, you have to know when to bend. I think we can understand in this instance! Ram Ram GSX 750 2 There are tons of other WCB made details on the bike, almost too numerous to go into. From the oversize beval drive throttle assembly to the machined aluminium headlight, as you'd expect the standard of finish is sublime throughout the machine. Simple bar end indicators alongside knurled aluminium grips; the swooping 4-2 chromed exhaust system. It goes on and on; the harder you look, the more you see. Sensibly, some cycle parts were pilfered from a variety of standard bikes. A ZX14 donated levers and a master cylinder, a Ducati Monster, its slave cylinder. But virtually every siginificant item on the bike has been made in house, a credit to Ram and his skills. Ram Ram GSX 750 1 THUMB So with his personal ride sorted, is Ram finally content? Of course not. 2015 has been a busy year and his garage is already full of new and exciting bikes ready for future fettling. Sacrifices have to be made and so Ram has made the difficult decision to let the bike go. The man is relentless and we get the feeling it's the build process that is the main driver for him. And we absolutely can't wait to see what he's got cooking next. Be sure to get a glimpse of more projects on Bike Shed Archive | Facebook | Instagram Photography by Ferry Kana
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