By Ross Sharp - 30 Sep 14
Having just enjoyed a completely splendid day riding the London DGR with some of the finest classic motorcycles from many decades ago, I was reminded what exactly it is about the machines themselves that sets my pulse racing. It's the engineering. I want to see how my steed is propelled forward, and to what lengths the machinist or designer went to in order to ensure lightness and performance remained of paramount importance. Christian Schwarzenlander of ExesoR Motorcycles shares my enthusiasm, as demonstrated with his previous build we featured, the Café Racer. Starting out with a bag'o'nails is Christian's favoured foundation, knowing that he will be remaking virtually everything anyway. The ExesoR Machine was no exception, €200 was exchanged with a mate for a Yamaha SR500 rolling chassis and an engine in a box. 12 months and a dollop of "Dieselpunk" later, here you have the latest creation. The exquisite hand-formed aluminium bodywork and fuel tank was produced by Omega Racer, before being handed over to Bernhard Naumann, AKA Blechmann, the world renowned and award winning craftsman and bike builder, for modification. Christian machined the fuel filler cap. Whilst at it, Blechmann made a seat unit, again from aluminium which Christian had upholstered in aged cow hide. The SR500 frame has had the unnecessary fixings and tabs removed, and the subframe shortened; with LED indicators grafted into the frame rail ends. Machined from billet aluminium side panels cover a small portion of the rear triangle and avoids that gaping look. Porsche Seal Grey coats the frame and extended swingarm. The battery, relays and unsightly wiring are hidden from view under the seat. Only when wiring is of aesthetic interest should it remain on show. Case in point is the naked ignition coil with its custom made copper windings laid bare. The wiring loom is all new and custom made, retaining just the basics and disposing of unwanted heft and complication. As is the norm now, low-load LEDs light the way ahead and warn those behind. The speedo is by Daytona, mounted in custom bracketry, with turned brass warning lights, again with tiny LEDs inset. The clipons are by Fehling with in-house CNC machined brake fluid reservoir cap and aluminium grips, finished in brown leather. The engine was 90% complete when Christian got his hands on it, so a complete overhaul seemed the right thing to do. Whilst the head was off, speed holes were machined into the cooling fins. Nothing says vintage racer quite like speed holes. Velocity stacks feed air in and stainless steel drag pipes by Two Hands Motorcycles blurt it back out. Forks feature upgraded Wirth springs and the stanchions have been shortened 50mm, further speed holes attached to the legs add to the top speed potential. At the rear bespoke Hagon shocks with reduced travel were fitted, to compensate for the longer swingarm. Christian must have stocked up on cutting tips and worked his lathe hard as there are custom brass fastenings from nose to tail. Rearsets are a bit of a pain to manufacture, especially when companies like LSL produce such fine components; so a pair of these were fitted. About the only thing standard on this bike are the wheels, painted in antique copper. Avon tyres maintain a period look and avoid any visual clashes with the rest of the bike. David Matl managed to commandeer a steam train museum for the shoot, nice touch. See more of David's work on his website. Christian is hunting now for another budget donor on which a new project will be based, to see his previous work and to keep on eye on the next build head to his website.