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the self-builders

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ER Classics Desktop 2022

When a modern motorcyclist wants to show off his or her unique individuality? Then he or she simply checks off the option list that the manufacturer has made for his model. For a few brands, those option lists have grown into almost voluptuous books. If all that beauty is also mounted by the dealer, then even the warranty is retained. We find this approach a sign of weakness and so we came back to the corner of the self-builders. So a while ago we made an appeal to find out what still lives among us, classic enthusiasts.

There was quite a response

Mostly from the memories corner and from people who were uninhibitedly positive compared to the concept. But we are now in contact again with Masters of the past such as Jan Heemskerk. On the very big plus side, we have been able to add the Frisian Gerard Kramer and Floris Haddock to our circle of friends. The last two also make frames and Gerard's hobby has gotten so out of hand that he also does that for third parties. From that angle he recently made a bicycle part for a Suzuki GT750, which was then neatly finished and with as many original parts as possible.


But there are also people who build on a smaller scale themselves

The great thing about these guys is that they are miles above the builders of all sorts of scramblers, bobbers, and more of that kind of local inconvenience in terms of technical skills. Because from that angle we have already seen a lot of key and construction work based on good classics that may be beautiful because there is simply no arguing about taste, but that is simply life-threatening from a construction point of view.

Such machines are usually built by younger builders who have fallen victim to the failing education system in our formerly cool country. They are often friendly, of good will and motivated. But sawing and welding to frames is not a trick that you completely master after watching a few YouTube videos. We saw this, for example, in a few home-built hardtail constructions. While the most beautiful, classic lines can still be drawn with such an unsprung rear frame. And what we encountered a few times about wiring actions? You won't be happy about that either.

Does it remain that building yourself is of course a fantastic dream

It is also classically justified, because of all times. You dream in your bed. But when the sleeves are rolled up, it is useful to think about the legal and insurance situation. Engines from after 1975 have a type approval. And it describes quite accurately what such a thing should look like according to the factory. With older engines you have more leeway there. But there remains a vague tension between the license plate and that thing in your garage. And where things can go wrong there is when an accident happens. Even if the counterparty is to blame, the counterparty's insurer will moan indignantly that your motorcycle is illegal, ie not insured. And then you can be tough.

On the other hand, you can be afraid of everything

For example, the photos show a Yamaha XS2 and a BMW R60/5. If you recognize them, you can point them out. So it might be time this winter to score an affordable classic car, a Honda CB400T is a nice example of that, watch a lot of YouTube videos and follow a welding course. We'll post some pictures for inspiration…. And as the youth turns out to say "Enjoy!"  

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  1. For example, the engine in the newspaper article is still registered with the RDW, as Norton, that is. So better not to damage it.

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