The originality blues

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In 'our circles' we strive for factory originality, or for perfection. Lately, 'patina' has become the new perfection and 'time originality' has become more and more accepted. I once saw a BMW fundamentalist with a face contorted in disgust next to an almost perfect BMW R90 S in my eyes. The thing was worthless in his eyes. Only good for scrap. Because frame, block and box were not 'Nummergleich'. Apparently a different gearbox was once fitted.

People with a bigger frame of mind

Patina as in 'wretched and broke' is a bridge too far, but there are people who even believe in that. In terms of appreciation of 'time originality', there are now people who – just like in the past – fall for four cylinders with stencil sprayed fantasy pyramids, tigers, pyramids and 'babes', four-in-one howler pipes and 'lop-eared steering wheel'.
What makes many classic enthusiasts a bit wary is the truly free spirits who carelessly and happily put the saw in their classics or just see such a machine as nice donors for their own plans. But yes: we used to have the 'King DIY' elections and people who molded an NSU four-cylinder in a Norton Featherbedframe simply got standing applause. While serious classic Nortons were demolished for that.

So: Sawing and renovating Recognized Classics, is that allowed?

Of course you can. After all, the thing is yours. And with engines from before 1975 you can easily go very far with it, because before that time there were no official type approvals. That's why the red single-cylinder in the photo on paper is a Yamaha XS650. According to its license plate, the monstrosity with the DAF block is a BMW R60/5. It is worth noting that no cool, original classics were sacrificed for those examples. On the other hand, you can say that the rarity, or call it the value of original, authentic survivors is increasing.

But then a man like Gerard Kramer comes into the picture

Gerard is a genetic motorcycle enthusiast and technician. And a Suzuki GT750 fan. 'Fan' as in 'the concept', not in the detailed authenticity. So he bought a neat Suzuki 'water bowl', took it apart and threw away the frame. Because that frame? That could be better. More beautiful. In fact, there is nothing new under the sun. Because in the days when 750 cc engines were still the top of everything that was possible, there were quite a lot of suppliers of alternative frames and/or bicycle parts.

They weren't the least

This included legendary names such as Egli, Dave Degens 'Dresda's', Magni, Drixton and others. For the rest, he wants the three-cylinder to be reborn with as much as possible the looks and the execution that he had in his early days. We would like to keep you informed of that development. And we would like to know what you think about this kind of action. And if you've put something so creative on the wheels yourself, we'd love to see a picture of it.


A Yamaha XS1. That is obvious




A BMW R60/5
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Take a Suzuki GT 750


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The start of an idea
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Just keep on starting
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And after a while you are already so far


Leave a Reply
  1. Beautifully made Huib!!!
    And you, too, prove it again: It doesn't need a bucket of power for great driving pleasure. Do not let it rust. 'Flex his muscles', that will do him good ☺️

  2. The more classics (in the making) that are demolished/disassembled, the higher the value of the remaining original classics, right? Isn't that a plus for the current owners? And I also appreciate a diligent piece of homework.

  3. My Blauwtje, BMW R45N from 1982 is officially a classic. The N stands for 'nichts' because with its 27 hp pulling a fatty fish away from a slippery plate was already a problem. More extensive changes to the 'power plant' have now doubled the power and torque. If it had been an R90S, I would have thought three times about 'mutilating' it. On the one hand, because it is already fast enough of its own, but also because its value would plummet immeasurably. An R45 hardly has anything that can count as a classic, while it still belongs to that group. It now measures 650cc, the balance pipes in the exhaust have been replaced by precisely determined expansion silencers, it has been given larger gasworks (with the mediation of the author of this article!!), a double ignition system has been installed, the compression ratio at 12,5:1 and the cardan has been replaced by one of an R100. It's just a nice and fast bike that has taken me back and forth to work for 25 years. Externally, 'the damage' is not too bad. But yeah…. Original is different…

    • That looks like a 'Norvin', with a two-pitter 1000cc Vincent Black Shadow engine. Or at least with black painted block parts. Also a popular combination and perhaps the most prestigious bitza thanks to the V-twin. And in my opinion, much more 'classic' in appearance than the technically very clever combination with the NSU four-cylinder engine.

    • That Norton (with 4 pitters) doesn't look like a Norvin but is one, and a very successful one too! In the Netherlands there are only a few of these, but in the rest of the world and especially England there are even more. Especially in the 60s, all kinds of blocks were spooned into such a Norton frame. The Vincent Black Shadow block is original black by the way. As mentioned, there are quite a few of these, but whether deer steered better than an original Vincent frame (although a Vincent actually has no frame)? The center of gravity was much too high. The Vincent bitza's with an Egliframe that came a little later are a lot better in that regard, and those things are still just made new these days, google “Godet Vincent”

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