A Frankenstein’s Monster of a Bike (sans the neck bolts)

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A mountain on the quiet outskirts of Barcelona might not be the archetypical location one thinks of when one imagines a motorcycle workshop, but for David, the man behind Ad Hoc Café Racers it couldn’t be a more ideal spot. Far flung from the distractions of urban life, David’s shop has on hand all the equipment necessary to build a bike from scratch, or in this case to bring a classic one back from the dead. Working from the skeleton of a 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 café racer, David’s work is akin to a Frankenstein’s monster, sans the shoddy seam work and neck bolts.

Working from the skeleton of a 1986 Moto Morini 350 K2 café racer, David’s work is akin to a Frankenstein’s monster, sans the shoddy seam work and neck bolts.

The bike was first deconstructed so that the frame could be shortened at the back and chromed. He then breathed life into the frame with parts from other broken-down bikes; the fenders of a Puch mini-cross bike; the seat and tank from a Europlast. All these parts had to be modified to fit the Moto Morini’s frame, along with a complete rewire. To find a dual-disc front hub that would work with the bike’s spoked wheels, David used a Honda Transalp that he matched with a Moto Morini Coguaro’s rear hub. All the parts and models put into this one bike can be a bit hard to keep track of, but it displays just exactly why he named his company Ad Hoc; his skill as a mechanic grants him a unique intuition for the universal aspects of bikes, combining seemingly incompatible parts with a surgical skill. This combines with a keen aesthetic eye, as seen in the final touch of painting the bike with a Subaru color that contrasts nicely with the chrome frame. His process reminds me a lot of the renovation projects that often get featured on this blog; a process of seeing the potential in the old instead of blindly embracing the new. And when it’s done with such a deft hand, it transcends the constraints of time and truly becomes an art.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn’t decided yet.
You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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