Two-Wheel Tuesday: Meet “The Bride”

Longtime Hooniverse readers know that I’ve been building a Bultaco-engined custom street bike for the last decade or so. Along the way, there were tons of false starts, second-guessing, and revisions. As a result, I had a lot of cast-off parts I had purchased for that project filling the shelves of my rather cramped workshop. What to do with them? I began to wonder what the parts that didn’t make cut for my other projects might add up to on their own. So, I took the pile of very random cast-off parts from various motorcycle projects and decided to see how cheaply and easily I could build a bike—any bike at all—out of them.

For my framework, I bought a salvage frame from a ’74 SST/Panther 175 Black Shadow for under $100 and began hanging my parts stash on it. The result (so far) is this crazy monstrosity. The tank, forks, shocks, and swingarm are all Bultakenstein rejects. The front wheel had been moldering behind my workbench for more than 15 years, and the seat was originally intended for my Honda CL125S project. I’ve named it, “The Bride,” as in The Bride of Frankenstein. (Or in this case, Bultakenstein.)

It gets even weirder from here

Longtime False Neutral listeners also know that, along with my fellow podcast host Garrett, I recently delved into the fascinating subculture of re-powering motorbikes with Predator/GX200 industrial motors. And that is exactly what this bike will get for power: a brand-new, 208cc, 6½ horsepower LCT Storm Force engine originally configured for snowblower duty. The transmission will be a twist-and-go CVT. The front and rear hydraulic disc brakes will be actuated from the handlebars, as with scooters and bicycles. There will be no foot controls.

This project has gone together remarkably swiftly and smoothly so far, unlike my other projects. That’s understandable; I’ve tried to maintain fairly high expectations (at least for me) regarding Bultakenstein’s construction and performance. Furthermore, I started with a very clear mental concept to which that bike must conform. With this silly project, entertaining myself is the only real goal. I had little idea of where this would lead; I’ve mostly let the parts tell me what they want to become. The resulting proportions are a bit wacky. 48-inch wheelbase. 34-inch seat height. Little more than 3 inches of rear wheel travel. (That’s about the same as a mid-50’s plunger-frame BSA road bike, for reference.)

What might the result be good for? I now foresee it as a minimally street-legal gravel runner for low-speed exploration of the dusty, mostly flat unimproved farm roads of Kansas. In the process, I discovered that it’s much easier to build a motorcycle when unconcerned with optimizing function. Or with how goofy the result might look.

5 Comments

  1. It looks fantastic, nothing wrong with it. Your relative progress with a “low threshhold”-build also sums up my own experience with vehicles; the cheaper, less perfect ones, are easier to relate to and I have more and better memories with them. Just because it doesn’t matter as much if you stray from the righteous path of perfection; in building/fixing, driving/using or just good old everyday neglect.

  2. “So, I took the pile of very random cast-off parts from various motorcycle projects and decided to see how cheaply and easily I could build a bike—any bike at all—out of them.”

    Sounds good so far.

    “…I recently delved into the fascinating subculture of re-powering motorbikes with Predator/GX200 industrial motors.”

    Still very good.

    “The transmission will be a twist-and-go CVT.”

    Outstanding! Please, by all means, continue!

  3. Is the wheelbase short as it looks in the photos? I’m getting a supermotard minibike vibe, which should b jarring next to the Hazard Fraught V-Twin

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