By Gareth Charlton - 14 Feb 15
A flat line from front to back, a cradle frame and an air cooled engine - the essential ingredients for a cafe racer. But no supposed recipe book was going to stop Roy Holtman from Apeldoorn in The Netherlands from building the bike he wanted to build, and he is none too fussed what moniker you may choose to attach to it either, for him the title #3 will do - AREAGE #3. AREAGE is not a poor anagram of garage but the initials of Roy's name as pronounced in his native tongue, R - H. Day to day Roy can be found working in a music venue for a steady enough salary, but if at times it doesn't quite cover his material desires, it matters little to him. Inspired by his father's pragmatism and practical skills RH has always been in the habit of making for himself what he could not afford, from toys to skateboards and eventually motorcycles. Now he builds bikes out of passion and the desire to resurrect machines that nobody else cares about. This machine started out as a 93' Yamaha YZF 750. "It was a bike that I had standing around under a big pile of dust. Bought as a donor bike years ago, but back then it was only used for fairing parts." "I'm more into the older bikes, from the 70's and 80's. I had some parts lying around the workshop and after dry fitting a caferacer seat the concept was born! I just loved how the seat worked with the frame, gastank and rear wheel setup. It just went from there." After that dry fit up tinkering began in earnest, the seat needed to be widened and the subframe shaved to make it fit. Roy didn't want to change too much about the wheel base and chassis as he enjoyed riding the YZF as the factory intended, he did contemplate stretching the rear swingarm for aesthetic reasons but eventually opted against it for dynamic ones. Roy finished up the build with parts he and friends had lying around in their respective dens, not knowing or caring from what machine each piece originally came, just as long as it looked right. The front fender for example is honed from a scrappy piece from an aluminium off-road guard, the mounts are modified bicycle parts. Roy encouraged mates to hang out in his garage throughout the process, sharing ideas, drinking and working on their own bikes as he worked on his. Black on black was always the scheme of choice, the chestnut brown seat is matched with the grips and fork coating for a cohesive design. The tinted headlight tips it's head to the more vintage machines that part served as inspiration for the build. "I'm happy how it turned out! Still get a smile on my face as I walk into the workshop and see her standing there. No customer yet, but the bike is up for sale..." Roy is rightly pleased with his efforts and is now turning his attentions to a Suzuki Dr500 tracker which he intends to build up with the same lack of regard for perceived conventions. Good luck to you sir.