After countless evenings, weekends and cases of beer, the SV650 Custom project was finally completed last week.
I’ve wheeled the bike outside countless times before, but this time I had my helmet and leather jacket with me… we were finally going for our first proper ride! My heart was racing with nerves, but taking off up the road, this soon melted away into utter euphoria. Finally I could see that all the hours of work ploughed into this project were worthwhile! This first ride has to be kept relatively short, as I was keen to avoid a roadside conversation with the Polizei until the bike is fully legal in Germany. I wanted to see though what kind of range I had in the tank. I managed 75km of spirited riding before switching to reserve, which probably would have another 10-15km. We’ll call it 90km, shall we. That’s enough for a good blast I reckon.
The riding position is comfortable and not too extreme – your legs are tucked up nicely, and the bars just the right distance away to allow you to really get into the ride. I’m really glad that I put some time into the ergonomics, it feels properly focussed without being uncomfortable. Incidentally, the seat height is relatively low, and a friend who is around 1.5m tall can reach the ground. (That’s even without any further suspension lowering that is easily possible on the SV).
A priority was to go out and take some photos of the bike before anything could go wrong! For this I called on my friend Anna Llewellyn, who is a great amateur photographer, with ambitions to go professional. I think she can make it, having done such a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the bike.
We chose several great locations around Munich for the shoot – Königsplatz, Pinakothek der Moderne, and near the Maximiliansbrücke. Anyway, I’ll let the photos do the talking…
I think Anna did a really great job of photographing the bike, and the next task was to try and get it featured in the press. Reading through the submission requirements from some of the online media outlets, I realised that maybe, as great as they are, the photos would not satisfy their stringent requirements to show the bike in fantasticly lit detail. So, feeling like I couldn’t really ask Anna to get up at daybreak for the second time in a week, I struck out alone and revisiting the Pinakothek der Moderne, I captured the following set of photos. I’m still waiting for a feature, but hope it’s only a matter of time! (If you’re a magazine editor reading this… get in touch! )