Obviously, I love custom bikes and Scramblers! – Earl Manalansan
Movember is an Australian charity event that involves men, growing mustaches, and raising money for Men’s health. It has now evolved to one of the biggest charity events in the world and naturally the bike industry wanted to get involved. When Progressive Insurance went hunting for a shop to build a bike to give away as part of their involvement with The Movember Foundation, they found themselves calling industry heavyweight John Ryland. Now one lucky Mo Bro winner will ride off at the on this killer custom from Classified Moto known simply as ‘Movember XL’.
The bike started as a 1984 Honda XL600R but as the project got under way John explains how the process became more than just another custom build at Classified Moto HQ. “As we were familiarizing ourselves with the project, there was a lot of talk about the toll that stress takes on the average dude, and the fact that motorcycles for all their sketchiness and inherent risk serve as a legit stress reliever. They call it throttle therapy.”
The ’84 Honda might have originally a dual-purpose bike and the CM custom version finished off in the same generic style, but it’s undergone plenty of changes along the way. First,the frame has been heavily chopped back and smoothed out before receiving a host of CM’s signature modifications.
The first is the fabrication of an all new subframe that radically shortens the look of the bike. All the plastics and the big seat of the original might be gone, but the new and improved version is meatier and more muscular than the stock bike original look
A Kawasaki KZ750 tank gets the signature CM treatment and Solarmill modified the traditional tank badges to include a moustache for the cause.
Meshed inserts contrast intensely with the powder-coated frame and there are some special touches along the way. “We had Steve West and Shane Hunter of Silver Piston create some cool, small-scale badging with a nod to Movember. They’re kind of like Easter eggs in a video game. It’s fun when you find them.”
Next to their tanks nothing says a Classified Moto build like the suspension setup and Movember XL gets the splendid treatment. The frame has been changed and reinforced to accept a 2006 Triumph Speed Triple single sided swingarm. This is then suspended by a big dollar Progressive Suspension 465 mono shock with remote adjustable preload.
The Triumph also provides its disc brake setup, an extreme improvement over the tiny stock Honda 140mm drum. A Kenda Big Block tire is mounted on Speed Triples wheel for an utterly antagonistic look.
That road chewing rubber is fitted up front to a Kawasaki ZX6R wheel and the bundle gives the Honda single a monster truck like viciousness. Classified Moto was one of the very first companies to regularly fit modern USD suspension to old frames.
The build has a 2007 Kawasaki ZX6R front end with CM triple clamp conversion and CM’s own billet upper clamp. The Kawasaki also donates its drilled petal discs measuring 300mm and Tokico calipers. Humongous brakes on a tiny bike…It’ll stop on a dime!
To get you up to speed, Movember XL retains the brilliant Honda Single with 589cc and RFVC technology. The Honda power plant is all torque for fun at any RPM but keeping weight down means negating the electric starter and goes back to its kick-start system only.
A custom-made Classified Moto stainless steel exhaust twists its way through the frame maintaining a slim profile. Under the seat it merges into a handmade muffler that emits an evil cackle in the air. That seat is perfect, slim enough to flow with the look while still padded well enough to provide comfort to riders big and small. Wrapped in black leather, diamond stitch for an excellent finish and embracing the lines of the frame.
Inside is a lightweight Shorai Power lithium-ion battery that is the start of an all new electrical system. Keeping the slim profile the front and rear indicators are cunningly affixed so they don’t obtrude outside the lines of the body.
Lighting the way is a twin headlight setup, an ingenious set up. Mounted just below is a miniscule front fender that snags the roads debris like the dustpans at home
Keeping the rear end clean is the brake light that is mounted down on the side of the single-sided swingarm with a numberplate holder, illegal here, but what the hell, it looks awesome!. Affixed adjacent to the rear sprocket is the brake light that illuminates the chain that is shielded with a hand formed cover. Under the engine is a bash plate lets you speed thru rough terrain without fear of puncturing the motor.
The lucky winner will be snug at the controls with new Oury grips mounted on a set of Pro Taper SE bars. At the cockpit, displayed are all the information you need, thanks to the single Acewell speedo.
“Anyone who raises at least $50 for the cause is entered to win the bike after it finishes its tour with the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows.” So whether you’re taking part in Movember, or just admiring the latest brilliant build from Virginia’s Classified Moto; there is no better time to think about Men’s health, just look up this custom bike, and you’re all set.
Pics: Adam Ewing