Bad Winners 010
By Ross Sharp - 29 May 15
Music and motorcycles go hand in hand, and always have done. Jim Morrison rode a lurid green Von Dutch painted Honda CL77, Bob Dylan had a thing for Triumphs and Billy Joel has his own bike gallery. Walid from Bad Winners in Paris might not have scaled the dizzy musical heights of the aforementioned but after 10 years as a DJ and producer he has now been signed to French label Beat X Changers. When he's not spinning the wheels of steel, Walid spends his time in a city workshop building bikes. Sounds like a pretty good gig to us. We got to meet Walid at Bike Shed Paris where he exhibited this Honda XL600, and garnered quite a few fans in the process. The dude isn't just jumping on a trendy bandwagon, he's been working on bikes since the age of seven, learning the ropes from a racer cousin who instilled the importance of proper engineering. Four years ago Walid customised an SR125 for a friend and was so surprised at the attention he decided to set up Bad Winners in a 240sqm workshop and go for it. The Bad Winners 010 - Wall Eyes, originated as an XL600 LM, the Paris Dakar version with two large round headlights. Luckily the customer had given carte blanche and as these lamps provided such a characteristic part of the donor bike's look Walid decided to deviate from the trend of tiny headlights and mount these bad boys in all their luminary glory. If you've ridden an old trailie you'll know that the brakes are designed for gentle retardation on a sandy track, rather than saving your bacon in a congested city. The original front wheel and brake was swapped for a KTM SMC560 combo, meaning not only are endos possible but the smaller 17 incher full of disc looks meaner than the gangly 21" stock hoop. The subframe has been modified and a slim seat made to suit, with a neat kick-up at the rear. There's enough padding for all day riding without looking like an 80s throwback. But to keep that long range Dakar feel the Honda needed a beefier tank, and there's not much beefier than one from a BMW. Trouble is the Beemer unit is a bit long, no bother, Walid chopped it in half. With 15cm removed he set about reuniting the two sections. Underneath that gorgeous ink blue paint is five days of toil, that's right, no filler here just patience with the TiG torch, brazing rod and lot of sanding. Another thing Walid learnt from his racing background was an engine's requirement for cool air so he broke out the TiG torch again and fabricated stainless steel intake pipework to match the handmade exhaust. The twin port, twin carb single should see those big headlights pointing skyward most of the time. The fenders are also handmade, with the front an aesthetic nod to the glory days of desert racing. This is one street scrambler than would be just at home being thrashed down a green lane or fire road as it would across the cobbles of the Champs-Élysées. Walid burnt a barrel of midnight oil over the last few weeks and pitched up to Bike Shed London at the weekend with 3 bikes, including 010 Wall Eye. The other two bikes went down a storm and we'll be featuring them over the next couple of weeks. It seems that Bad Winners are really rather good.