Classified Moto CM185T (for Tiny)

Recently, the impressive Australian blog featured our latest completed bike — Christina Cairo’s Honda Twinstar. They pretty much give the full story behind it, but it makes sense to have it on our own blog, too, I suppose.

Some time ago, broadcast producer extraordinaire Christina got the urge to go two-wheelin’ right about the time our friends Rex and Norma were selling their pet project Honda. Arrangements were made, and the bike stayed in the family. And we made it our own pet project. Little by little we got to work cutting, unbolting, mixing and matching, until suddenly — a year later — we were finished.

Fittingly, as I write this, Christina is completing Day 2 of her M-Class license course. By 5pm she’ll be legal to hit the streets on her elegant Tiny Moto.

The bike started life as a faux cruiser that was visually ahead of its time. And by that I mean that even though it was a 1978 model, it looked very “eighties”. We swapped out the wheels for 18-inchers front and rear to give it a level stance. Then we removed everything that didn’t need to be there. The tank was snagged from an old Suzuki dirt bike and nickel plated to prevent rust. After some waffling on color, we decided to do a copper stripe on top of the tank. Worked out nicely and matches the seat crafted by our friend Roy Baird.

There are lots of little bits of personality on this diminutive moto, including a quick release nickel-plated basket that incorporates an old Cypress Gardens water ski. The taillight is made from a stainless steel fishing rod holder that I snatched from my ancient Aquasport before it went to boat heaven…

What this one lacks in power, it definitely makes up for in character. We’re psyched that it’s going to Miss Cairo. —JR



Classified Moto XS650 (1982)

Classified Moto is hardly an American Icon, but if that day ever comes, we can certainly give a lot of the credit to this bike — and its owner Adam Ewing.

The bike is a 1982 Yamaha XS650 Heritage Special. The owner is a killer photographer. The combo landed us our first real recognition with a feature on Australia’s in December of 2010. When Adam’s stunning shots hit the motosphere, suddenly it wasn’t just a few of us standing around looking at the bike, there were thousands of comments and opinions coming from all corners of the world.

It was weird and awesome. Since then, we’ve built a lot more bikes, but we’ll always have a soft spot for this one.

Having done a couple of front end swaps using sport bike forks, this one was a little trickier. In order to retain front and rear spoke wheels we decided to modify a Suzuki RMZ250 dirt bike front end then fit it with a sweet supermoto wheel and brakeset. We shortened the fork internals for a nice low stance and powder coated the rear wheel gloss black to match the Warp 9 front wheel.

Some sweet Woodcraft clamshell clip-ons were the ticket for the massive RMZ fork tubes.

The stock power plant responded well to some pod filters a free-flowing exhaust and some healthy jetting. Plenty of power for around town and interstate jaunts.

Special touches abound with some very Classified perforated steel side covers, gnarly tires and all-business look.

We like to give a hint of the bike’s previous life whenever we can, so we managed to save a strip of the old ratty red paint on the tank. A coat of gloss clear over the whole shebang slows the aging process to a crawl.

Look for more tweaks on this one from time to time, since bike and owner are near CM HQ.

Classified Moto XV920R (1982)

This lovable machine started as a conversation with Bob Ranew of North Carolina. It seems Bob had seen the “Reciprocity” movie bike we built for director Sunny Zhao and was inspired to have us build something in the same family. The bike evolved a great deal along the way and together we came up with something we’re all really proud of.

The bike was our second to be featured on the premiere vintage and custom moto blog Bike EXIF where it was a big hit. Here’s the skinny on the build…

We took a rather well-kept 1982 XV920R and with much pain and suffering, performed not only our signature sportbike front end swap, but the rear as well — both off very late model Yamahas (YZF R6-R front and R6-S rear). Maxum Machine here in Richmond fabbed up a custom front sprocket/spacer to cope with the increased offset of the rear sprocket and wheel, now sporting a big fat 180mm tire. We stripped off many pounds of 1980′s-style funk from the nerdy looking cruiser, keeping it to a noticeably trim fighting weight.

We opted for top mounted hooligan bars over clip-ons after a lot of waffling by all parties. In the end, we can’t imagine what could be better. When you ride this thing, it feels like some kind of experimental weapon, like G.I. Joe’s personal assault bike. It’s a romping, stomping, elbows-up kind of thing. Pure fun.

Bob has taken it home to North Carolina, and it will be sorely missed. Hopefully visitation can be arranged. Before long we hope to film it in action, so stay tuned for more from the XVCMXX.