Motorcycles and timekeeping have been synonymous since the very earliest sepia-toned two-wheeled gladiators tested their mettle in a bid to be the fastest, travel the furthest or jump the longest. Human nature dictates the constant challenge of fellow man, or woman, and with a lack of dinosaurs about the place survival of the fittest instinct must surely have become manifested in the need to race.
If you follow motor racing of any kind you’ll be familiar with the all important tie between watch brands and the race track. TW Steel are Dutch horologists (using Swiss movements) set on expanding their motorcycling horizons.
“TW Steel has petrol running through their veins and have been totally mad dedicated followers of anything fast, with an engine since the company a decade ago. They started to get involved with the motoring world through F1 sponsorship, working with teams including the Renault F1 Team, the Lotus F1 team, and in 2013 the Force India F1 Team. Like all watch brands they have several ambassadors, however most of theirs tend to be real racing icons, including David Coulthard, Dario Franchetti and on two wheels, Mick Doohan. They also sponsor/ partner the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team and work closely with Valentino Rossi on a signature VR46 watch range. Aside from his they are heavily involved in the Dakar rally.”
“They enjoy this high level of sport activity but find it misses the basic, hands on craftsmanship they enjoy in watch making so having spent some time in the last couple of years hanging out at places like Wheels & Waves they chose to work with Roderick at Numbnut Motorcycles to really show the similarity between the two crafts. Making a single watch and bike in tandem looks like a great way to bring the two together.”
We first met Roderick at Wheels & Waves this summer, well we had to catch him first. The Numbnuts Botafogo Type-N XJR1300 bellowed past us on the way to Punks Peak and we gave chase,thanks to the excess decibels pouring from the open exhaust we got the chance to check the bike out in detail.
This collaboration will be a less racy affair as Bike Shed will be bringing exclusive coverage of the build of both the watch and motorcycle, with the addition of something rather exciting early in 2016. More on that soon…..
For now here’s a sneak peak at what we can expect, with more about the project over on the Son of Time website.
TW STEEL’S SON OF TIME TAKES SHAPE – Update March 14, 2016
The project would see the young guns of the custom motorcycle world Numbnuts bring their breakout build style to a unique, one-off machine, inspired by true speed, paying homage to the salt flat racers that live by the mile in the quest for performance.
Bold timepiece designers TW Steel would bring their anti-establishment, standout design skills to creating a one-off timepiece to sit alongside the custom motorcycle, the two complementing each other in a perfect blend of free thinking, good times inspired design.
Three months on and the project is now nearing completion. Numbnuts builder Roderick Seibert has been burning the midnight oil in his Amsterdam workshop, stripping the base Yamaha XV950 and starting to build up the speed machine to its full potential. Gone are many unnecessary parts that add weight and define the standard machine. In their place Roderick has begun to build a picture of a very different bike with a number of specialist parts and unique, one-off Numbnuts items. Bespoke engine covers, air intake, fuel tank and seat unit give the Son of Time its identity, all built around a heavily modified frame. Further trick parts from brands such as Dymag, Brembo and K-Tech continue to build a picture of a bike ready to cut loose and find speed.
On the other side of the city at the TW Steel headquarters, Chief Designer Ton Cobelens has been working his own brand of design magic to create the Son of Time timepiece. Taking shared design hints from the custom motorcycle, the stunning one-off timepiece is wearing its unique identity with pride. Featuring a beautiful Swiss-made mechanical Tourbillon movement for power and high quality Ostrich leather for the strap, the timepiece is nearly ready to stop hearts. The automatic winding, 29 jewels, bi-directional timepiece will have a three-day power reserve with a cage speed of one revolution per minute. Combined with the Numbnut Motorcycles custom machine, the two creations make a bold statement that cannot be ignored.
We can’t wait to see the finished bike in Paris this weekend.
The Numbnuts Motorcycles XV950 Son of Time took pride of place on the TW Steel stand at Bike Shed Paris 2016 and rightly so, it’s a stunning machine. Here are the details from the builder.
Numbnuts founder Roderick Seibert spent the winter locked in his Amsterdam workshop stripping a Yamaha XV950 back to the bones in preparation for the Sport Heritage motorcycle’s rebirth as an homage to the salt flat racers of yesteryear.
“I’ve loved building this bike,” commented Roderick. “From the start of the stripping process you can get really excited about where we are going to go with this. I really sparked with Ton as well, combining our creativity led to some super cool details on the bike. I’m really proud of the finished machine, I believe it stands for old school cool mashed up with new ideas, and above all speed!”
“The bike is such a great match for the timepiece I’ve built,” said Ton. “There’s a fearlessness in both designs that really stand up for what we believe at TW Steel. Attitude is everything, and that is why we don’t follow the pack. We’ve always been bold and unafraid to do things differently. We make big statements so we needed a custom builder to do the same. Roderick has nailed the Son of Time, its definitely going to shake things up!”
In his quest for straight-line speed, Roderick has cut and stretched the frame, losing almost all the standard Yamaha parts with the exception of the torquey engine. Feeding and sharing design inspiration with TW Steel’s Head Designer Ton Cobbelens who is working in parallel to create the timepiece, Roderick has created a number of one-off Numbnut pieces to define the motorcycle. Bespoke engine covers, air intake, seat and fuel tank make it clear this bike is built for speed.
Fellow Dutch customisers Nozem built the exhaust to add the right snarling soundtrack whilst Dymag where called on to deliver achingly beautiful carbon, weight saving wheels. A straight line racer needs brakes to match the performance so the Son of Time gets an upgrade with Brembo monoblock calipers, Brembo 320mm floating discs and a Brembo RCS19 master brake cylinder. PP adjustable brake and clutch levers and Bitwell Kungfu grips put the rider in control and a Motogadget Pro tachometer tells the engine’s story.
Power is nothing without control so the Son of Time also gets a major suspension upgrade. Roderick turned to K-Tech for this important role, using their fully adjustable front fork and rear shock for total control. Keeping the Son of Time glued to the tarmac are a set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres. A Dynojet Power Commander and Dynojet Quickshifter make the most of delivering the XV950’s power and a Baja design LED front light picks out the racing line.
A sublime grey and red paint job sets off the machine perfectly, linking it to its brother the timepiece in more than spirit. The Son of Time is ready to break out, break rules, break with tradition. Good times rolling.