Building bikes with friends, the best way. BikeShed regulars may well recall some of the creations that have rolled through the doors of the space shared by Helle, Jesper & Kasper. First up we saw Jesper’s ruggedly handsome CB400n before we met his girlfriend, Helle, through her harlequin head light sporting GN250 and her sumptuous Creme Diamond XS250. When Kasper joined the party with his perfect CB350 we posed the question of whether these serial shed builders were tempted to put a name above the door of their Copenhagen based lock-up and brand their exploits. Now, after some time, they have eventually picked a monicker – Slowbuilt – “Mainly because good things takes time, and we don’t like to rush things.” Splendid choice.
The first completed machine beneath the Slowbuilt banner is this cracking little Suzuki GS 300 by intrepid duo Jesper and Helle. They acknowledge it may may not be your first choice of machine when donor hunting but they wanted to free the swan trapped within the ugly duckling.
“We found this bike with a motor in pretty good nick, but still not the most obvious bike to build, so that was the challenge.. The bike was a GSX 250 from 1983 fitted with a 300 GS motor.”
The plan was to make a clean, simple little “City tracker” whilst maintaining maximum usability. The Suzuki was completely pulled apart and the restoration began. The frame was cleared of extraneous metal and a rear loop was grafted on. A new battery was hidden under the swing arm to create the de rigueur open frame triangle and a new custom wiring loom was installed.
The thankfully well maintained engine was treated to little more than a service and a thorough clean up along with the addition of the new Slowbuilt badge. The bike is (as usual for a Helle, Jesper, Kasper build) made up with parts from many different sources.
“Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Norton, VW, Fender guitars and even IKEA have contributed with parts…. CBX foot pegs, Vintage guitar amp knobs for the lights, (well Jesper used to be a sound tech of profession).”
K60 tires wrap around the original Star of David wheels which are suspended by new longer shocks at the back and reconditioned forks at the front. The braced handlebars, alloy guards and minimal lighting reference the purpose of an old school scrambler while the show stopping chromed tank leans towards cafe racer style. Moody in the night shoot, in the blaze of a high sun this machine would glint like a spinning disco ball.
Helle has been making something of a name for herself with her new upholstery company Bang Seat. No old sofa or handbag is safe from her creative eye when in search of a new motorcycle perch. For the Suzuki a grainy grey leather was sourced and stitched up into a grid pattern with red highlight stitching and the tiny Bang Seat label before being stretched over the optimum amount of foam.
The bike is reportedly very nifty through the Copenhagen traffic where new owner, Thomas Olsen now roams the streets on his newly acquired steed.
The Slowbuilt name may have taken a while to brew but it seems that production might just be stepping up, with plans afoot for a custom Moto Guzzi V35, a BMW R65 tracker deluxe, and a back dated Suzuki TS 185. The mantra of patience and detail will of course remain, we look forward to the next Slowbuilt, but of course are happy to wait… For the impatient among you, follow their progress on Facebook.
Photos by Thomas Skou thomasskou.com