When trying to find your niche possibly the best option is to follow your instinct and work with something you like. Sometimes though fate plays a role in deciding the path to success. Jez from La Busca Motorcycles wanted to to modify boxer-engined Beemers but the narrow path to his shed wouldn’t allow such decadence so a more streamlined twin was required. After stumbling upon the virtues of the super rare Honda VRX whilst embarking on a trip, Jez was keen to add to the donor already on the bench and secure an additional example for when The Dispatch was finished. Honda kept the VRX from UK shores, saving them for more legislatively restrictive nations nearer home.
Found a stone’s throw from the Major Oak, deep in Robin Hood country, the ride back to La Busca’s HQ in Yorkshire proved the decision to be a good one, the motor pulled hard without any nasty noises. While The Dispatch neared completion thoughts turned towards the next build and inspiration was drawn from mid-twentieth century Harley-Davidson KRTT sand racers. Stripped back and clean was the order of the day.
As is often the case, this build started at the end, here it was the front end. Jez found a Bates-style headlight which he thinks is from an old Hovis bread van, but his buddies reckon its from a Henderson. Either way, a starting point had been found. The rebuilt forks, with gaitors and stanchion sheaths eliminate chrome and present the headlight centre stage.
The 400cc V-twin is liquid cooled but the Honda engineers did a pretty good job of hiding most of the ugly gubbins away making Jez’s life a bit easier. Even the radiator does a fairly good disappearing act. The OEM mufflers are now where they belong, in the recycling pile, replaced by turned-down slash cuts. Exhaust wrapping is an overused accoutrement these days but in this case the chrome needed quietening down, allowing the paint and handsome engine to do the shouting.
Despite the source of inspiration, this bike is unlikely to ever leave the safe haven of asphalt so a pair of medium compound Full Bore RT Sports were fitted. Just a slight whiff of knobble but preserving good road manners. Thankfully the first seat that arrived, fit for a Harley Streetbob, was huge, wider than the fuel tank and reminded Jez of a crab shell so the name El Cangrejo stuck. (That’s foreign for crab in case you’d missed the connection)
The chopped and striped front mudguard should keep some crud at bay whilst remaining racy in proportion. Small blacked out indicators are tucked away under the triple clamps, and nearly wide enough apart to keep the MOT man happy.
Similar treatment was given to the rear mudguard, kicked up slightly to give line of sight to the tail light. A side mounted number plate keeps the aesthetically challenged legalities low-down and out of the way. After a brief test ride the stock shockers were binned in favour of a pair from Progressive.
In true shed form the paint job is Jez’s own work using Spitfire Dark Earth, a matt finish, before adding white stripes and lacquering over. It certainly looks jolly smart from here. If previous work is anything to go by then this bike won’t hang around long in the Bike Shed classifieds, The Dispatch was snapped up pretty quickly.
El Cangrejo was given a proper 100 mile road test around the Yorkshire Dales where it proved to be sure footed with plenty of shove. I quite fancy a go on one, but with Jez on the hunt, any of these rare beasts are likely to end up in his shed. And a fine place for them to be. Keep an eye on Facebook for updates.