It wasn’t one of my prouder moments when I realized the last time I posted to this blog was a little over a year ago. And to all of you who might have thought we packed it in and rode off into the sunset, I understand your confusion. The truth is that we’re in the process of relaunching this entire website, adding a bunch of items to our store and making up for lost time when it comes to staying in touch with the people who follow what happens here at CM. Thanks for your patience, my friends.
Why the radio silence? Workload, y’all. We took on a bunch of builds this time last year and finally have most of them squared away. There are others still in the works from even longer ago — like Chris Czel’s angelic Bonneville, Bob Ranew’s fairly evil CB750 and Wes Malmay’s low and mean XV920. Those guys have earned themselves a place in the Classified Moto inner sanctum for their patience and demeanor. As in, they won’t even have to knock when they visit. They can help themselves to the contents of our fridge, etc. Stay tuned for the release of those bikes and a few more in short order.
This also happened. We took on a partner in crime — Alex Martin — who brings a lot of amazing qualities to Classified, most notably his ability to do mathematics and also his MMA fighting skills. Alex inquired about a build awhile back, but opted to become invested in the company instead. He owns less of the company than I do, but again, he is basically a ninja, so what he says goes.
Also, huge news is the hiring of our first full-time employee, Danik Herashchanka. I met Danik when looking for donor bikes on Craigslist. He was selling a nicely done early GSXR cafe bike that caught my eye. When I called about it, he said, “Is this John from Classified Moto?” Turns out he already knew about us and didn’t need much arm twisting to join the team. He now does all the hard stuff (or the fun stuff, depending on how you see it). Welding, fabrication, electrical, tuning. He was born with shop manuals in his memory banks it seems. The guy is a genius and we’re lucky to have him.
And remember that bike we were building for actor Norman Reedus? Well it’s been finished for a long time at this point. And in fact, we’re already finished with Norman’s second build, which we will post in due time. So far, we’ve had tremendous luck when dealing with famous people. We hear some celebrities aren’t super nice. Not so in the case of Norman Reedus and Katee Sackhoff. They’re both real life action figures who are funny, smart and truly unique. The pleasure has been all ours.
And just this past week, we delivered a very significant build to actor/model Nic Huffman out in LA. We’re told Nic suited up at 2:00 am when the truck rolled into town with the bike. We love that kind of enthusiasm. Bike and rider are going to be a stellar pair.
The bike itself is the very same 1982 Yamaha XS650 “Yamazuki” that we built for our wizard-like photographer Adam Ewing back before we were officially Classified Moto. It’s our first bike that landed on Chris Hunter’s prestigious Bike EXIF site. Having been in the family for so long as a daily rider, test mule and shop ornament, we completely rebuilt it for Nic, while maintaining it’s character, we hope.
We upgraded the motor with a 750cc big bore kit, added a sweet stainless exhaust, leveled out the stance with matching Warp 9 supermoto 17-inch rims front and rear and rounded it out with a ton of higher quality components than in its first life.
A killer Shorai lithium ion battery fits in the same tiny space as the old gel battery, but made it so we could once again use the electric starter. Back in the day, we had to choose between a giant ugly battery or a kick-only setup. No more! We added an Acewell digital gauge, DID gold chain and powder coated everything that had been rattle canned previously.
Passenger accommodations are perhaps the coolest feature of the bike now. Nic did not want to forego the ability to give someone a lift, so we came up with a way to do so without spoiling the look of the bike. A sliding metal fairing covers the passenger portion of the sweet leather seat (upholstered by Roy Baird here in Richmond). This allows Nic to keep the solo look until date night when he can simply slide back the metal fairing (with integrated LED taillight) and bring his lady friend along for the ride.
Anyway, I have to get back to work, and I barely know how to use this computer anymore, so I need to get away from it. Stay tuned here for more info and BE SURE TO FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM … @classifiedmoto. We are able to post there on a regular basis until the new site is up and running.
Thanks again, for keeping up with the adventures of Classified Moto. More to come.
— John Ryland