A project of the heart of Maxime Fontvielle
There is nothing unusual about building a custom bike mainly for a trade show. But what if the trade show in question has nothing to do with custom bikes at all? That is quite surprising.
France, May 2021: The Yamaha SR500 pictured here, a flat tracker or speedway bike with a striking design, is the pet project of 27-year-old Maxime Fontvielle. He works as an applications engineer at the French branch of the U.S. machine tool manufacturer Hurco. He embarked on his career path because of his love of two-wheelers.
“As a teenager,” he tells us, “my passion was motorcycles. While browsing through various forums, I saw people making parts for racing motorcycles of the 90s. That’s when I thought: I want to do that too! I went through apprenticeships at various companies and then started at Hurco.”
By chance, Maxime discovered a scrap Yamaha SR500 for only 100 euros and had a bright idea: he wanted to rebuild it as an exhibit for his company to showcase at machine tool industry trade shows.
The somewhat different exhibit
“At trade shows,” he says, “every year, manufacturers show off their new machines with classic parts from the aerospace industry. In my opinion, it lacked a bit of passion and spirit.”
I wanted to build a beautiful motorcycle with parts that were machined with a machine tool. So I made the suggestion to my boss to get this bike ready as a real speedway monster. American racing discipline, American company … fits like a glove!”
Wisely, Maxime’s boss gave the okay – but there were only three months until the next trade show. So Maxime decided to divide the work. He entrusted the rebuilding of the engine to the Paris workshop Machines et Moteurs, with a very precise checklist. Meanwhile, he concentrated on the chassis.
Back came the engine with a displacement increase to 540 cc and numerous interior changes. Highlights include a sharper camshaft, improved oil flow, a Mikuni TMR36 carburetor and a K&N filter. There’s also a new manifold and a megaphone muffler with countercone, both from SC Project in Italy.
Piece by piece to a unique piece
Maxime’s first task on the chassis was to install a 19-inch rear wheel to match the front wheel. He ended up getting a second SR wheel and machining it to accept a sprocket and 300mm brake disc. He then made special wheel axles, adapted the front wheel to larger bearings, and made both wheels lighter by “splitting” the spokes.
There is no brake at the front, but there is a Brembo caliper and master cylinder at the rear, connected by a stainless steel jacketed line. Since Maxime converted the bike from a rear drum brake, the entire brake system is custom – right down to the caliper mount and foot switches.
Up front is a Yamaha XJR1200 suspension fork; the handlebar stem, triple clamps and handlebar risers are custom.
In the rear, two new shocks are attached to a custom swingarm – a part Maxime’s boss requested to demonstrate the capabilities of Hurco’s machine tools. The swingarm was made in collaboration with CAD/CAM company Mastercam and is custom-made for this bike. It features small details like a brake caliper support bracket and supports for a paddock stand.
Custom bike in Hurco colors
It’s a nifty piece to admire up close; but that’s just as true of the other custom details on this Yamaha.
From the engine covers to the massive footpegs to the kickstart lever and pedal, Maxime really went all out without overdoing it. An even closer look reveals other fine details, such as the logos engraved on the sides of the triple clamps.
Up top, there’s an Airtech Streamling rear fairing that matches the original gas tank, a front race number plate, and speedway handlebars. For the paint, Maxime’s brother, a designer at Austrian design agency Kiska, helped out with over thirty designs – all in Hurco’s corporate colors.
Everything is now painted in black and gray, with two shades of blue as accents (one for the paint and one for the anodizing). Another friend, Jerome, took care of the decals; they are a thank you to all the partner companies that contributed to the project.
Not only does the SR look damn good, but by all accounts it offers a lot of fun to ride. Soon, Maxime wants to take the bike out for some wild drifts on a speedway track … but until then, his main task is to set the scene for Hurco’s next trade show booth.
Picture: ©Yann Deret
Article from www.bikeexif.com
HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH
Gewerbestraße 5 a
Phone +49 89 905094 29