WOW, the start of a new project! This blog section recounts the development of my stripped down SV650 single-seater project. Much of this has been written well after the event, so it will serve as a kind of summary of the development.
The desire to start this project came when I rode my wife’s (back then she was the girlfriend!) SV650 that I built up for her from a crash damaged ebay bargain. I took it out for a spin, and was surprised what a really fun little bike it is to ride! My normal ride is a pre-VTEC Honda VFR800, which I have been threatening to replace for several years now – just as as soon as it goes wrong – but I’ve been waiting a long time now for this to happen! I’d sold my trackday GSXR600 due to the distinct lack of race tracks around Munich, so now I needed a replacement non-commuting-bike for blatting up into the Alps on. I decided the SV650 would be a great base bike to build something special.
So because of my background in design and modelling, I wanted to create a bike that had a completely new look. At the time of this project’s conception, the cafe racer/custom thing was really on an upswing, and I wanted to get in on this. I knew the SV650 frame would be unlikely to provide for a decent cafe racer look, but I saw this image when I was scouring the net looking for inspiration and it made me think something cool could definitely be accomplished.
So from here I started quickly sketching out some ideas, and ended up with this as a rough starting point. I liked the super short tail in the Yoshi mashup above, but by using photoshop and several bike side views, I created a riding position very similar to that found on the Triumph 675 Daytona, which I find an excellent riding position.
With a project like this, is that it’s easy to get carried away sketching ideas out and then when it comes to standing in front of the bike, you realise that there’s no way they will actually work. A good example of this is demonstrated by the first “Yoshimura” image above. It looks great on paper, but the actual possible fuel volume is basically zero because the frame cuts right through the tank, and the width of the frame as it is means you couldn’t realistically extend out sideways. I much prefer to get my hands dirty and sketch out in the clay once I have a rough direction. Doing that gives you a much better sense of how everything is going to work functionally and proportionally.
So, with my excuses for a poor sketch out of the way, we’ll move on to the actual bike development…