Recycling. Making something new out of something old. A truly worthy mantra, yet amidst the constant stream of lust worthy custom machines, we can forget it is a principle fundamental to our slice of biking pie. For father and son team, Lionel and Florian, the force behind new workshop the French Monkeys, recycling is the core foundation of their work. They even recycled their name! Welding a new front end and tail section to the name of one of our favourite established builders…
Working out of their garage in a small village on the outskirts of Lyon, the pair have created an eclectic stable of bikes, this XS400 Cafe Racer joins a Motobecane Moped Chop, a brat CG125 and a bobbed Goldwing. The XS carries the monicker “HoodRide, In reference to the style – rust and chrome! Our trademark!!”
The recycling began with the XS receiving a tank from its bigger 850 brother and wheels, front and rear, from its SR500 cousin. The wheels were laced with unusual rust brown coloured spokes against the polished rims: Remember the rust and chrome trademark? The Salvage scheme even stretched to reinventing old concrete reinforcing steel rods for exhaust brackets. The sleek seat is covered with suitably distressed brown leather and the Clip on bars with colour-matched grips.
The design theme is crowned with the tank, a lacquered smorgasbord of paints, primer, rust and metal. It will split opinions on taste but it is bold and unique, imbuing the bike with a camouflage of patina and character. The visuals are topped with a steampunk smattering of brass, including a custom end cap on the two into one exhaust.
The engine is stock and required little more than a spruce to come up like new. It is fired by a switch on the minimally instrumented dashboard powered by a lithium-ion battery hidden beneath the saddle. The bike ends with a tail light reclaimed from a seventies moped, the Motobecane per chance?
The French Monkeys are proving that recycling can include more than just sorting your cans from your cardboard. We look forward to seeing where those XS wheels and tank show up…
You can see more of the gents salvage work at their website, www.FrenchMonkeys.com