Just when I thought I’d written about the smallest bike in The Shed, along comes something even smaller. This uber cool XR75 has come about courtesy of 56 Motorcycles, a young parisian garage run by a Frenchman and an Aussie.
Being stuck in the city, the guys wanted to build something lithe and nimble, with just enough grunt to keep themselves ahead of the mental tin boxes that race around the Parisian streets. So they decided to build a bike based around the frame of a 1973 X75 that they found lurking on Ebay.
The teeny, tiny engine actually came out of a Honda TL and the petrol tank is off of a Honda XLS. It’s a bit bigger than the standard XR tank and gives the little critter a bit more presence. In fact, the more the guys tell us what went into this build, the less XR75 it is. The swing arm is from a CB…the forks are from a TL….and pretty much everything else is a one off.
A 17 inch wheel at the rear sports a 3,50×17 Duro tyre, the 18 inch front models a 3×18 Heidenau. The exhaust was imported from Japan but came without any form of mounting bracket. So the guys used a 14/15mm spanner to do the job, and it looks superb, necessity is definitely the mother of invention.
The carb is a keihin PC 20 made by kitaco with a Takegawa air filter and kick start. The handmade seat is so thin that the word ‘seat’ is a little bit misleading. Paintwork is subtle and very urban, the gloss black frame and matte black wheels compliment the hand polished tank and front light nicely.
56 Motorcycles say they love the spirit of the very first Honda dirt bikes and are heavily influenced by the dirt track style in everything they do. But they live in a busy, bustling metropolis, so the ‘brat style’ look creeps into their designs too.
The guys said this bike was a real pleasure to work on, and we think you can tell. Like anything you make in life, if you enjoy yourself while you’re doing it, it will show in the final product.
This bike really does look like the perfect urban transport. Totally manageable performance, light and chuckable, with looks to die for. Yes it’s small, really, really small, but so are the gaps in city traffic. Nice job guys, thanks for wheeling her into The Shed. See more from 56 Moto HERE on on The Bike Shed. Photos by the talented David Marvier.