Backyard Engineerings

-12 2014

 “Outside the Box”

Per-Erik Kristiansen-  I’ve been building bikes since I bought my first Yamaha Drag Star XVS 650 back in 1998. The last 3 years my son and I have been building a couple of bikes each winter, and we call ourselves Backyard Engineering. I picked up the ’81 Heritage Special in December 2013, brought it back to the garage and tore it down. My initial plan were to build a café racer, but it kinda changed into this industrial style café-bratstyle. I’m a sucker for patina and bare metal and wanted to do something different.

-11 2014 -15 2014


The frame was de-tabbed and painted in a flat metallic grey. I welded a piece of sheet metal to the rear frame kick-up behind the seat to get some sort of a different ending to the seat area. Side covers are made out of perforated steel plate welded to a frame that I cut from a solid steel plate. I’ve also used this perforated plate a few other places on the bike as a design element.


I tucked the front forks about 2″ up into the trees to get the bike level, and used fork gaitors from an XS1 on the legs. Ditched the old meters and mounted a small speedo from DCC. Clip ons were mounted about 2.5″ down from the top tree to get an aggressive driving position. Handlebar controls were removed and switches relocated. Grips are just leather wrapped around the bars, and tied down with galvanized thread.
Stock pegs, kickstarter and gear lever also wrapped in leather.

-3 2014 -8 2014


I made the seat pan out of steel, 2.5″ of foam and sewed the cove
r out of the same leather used for the grips and pegs. Stock Heritage wheels painted flat black with a Shinko DW240 rear and an Avon Speedmaster II up front. Headlight is a Bates copy painted and weathered to look worn and rusted, mini Bates rear light. The engine is brushed with a steel brush to get rid of old loose paint, and left “semi unpainted”. The engine covers are wet sanded with 240 grit.

-5 2014 -17 2014

Exhaust is made out of 1 3/4″ pipe and exits at the right side of the frame. The end of the pipes are slightly flanged, a lollipop baffle mounted and perforated steel plate finishes them of. Headers wrapped, the rest is bare metal.

-9 2014 -14 2014

Original tank is painted in layers with 6 different colors. First of is primer red, taped of some scallops and painted them white and removed the masking tape. Covered everything in a red color. Taped a “racing stripe” and painted it green. Last I taped a drop shape on both sides, painted those Yamaha yellow and the rest black. 400 and 600 grit wet sanding paper was used to bring out the different colors to get the patina look. I also used an airbrush to simulate rust and bare metal on the tank. Some freehand lettering also found it’s way to the tank.
I think she turned out ok.