Retro Swan Tune – Ironwood Bikes Gate Keeper Honda GL500

Retro Swan Song – Ironwood Motorcycles Gate Keeper Honda GL500

Every successful business experiences change – whether it’s planned or not. As a business finds its place in a market it has to adapt to meet demand or to better serve the needs of its customers. In some cases that means a complete change of tack. Arjan van den Boom the frontman of Amsterdam’s Ironwood Motorcycles has been in the custom bike business since 2012. Back then Arjan made his mark customising classic R-series BMW motorcycles. After a few bikes […]

The post Retro Swan Song – Ironwood Motorcycles Gate Keeper Honda GL500 appeared first on Return of the Cafe Racers.

Each profitable enterprise experiences change – whether or not it’s deliberate or not. As a enterprise finds its place in a promote it has to adapt to fulfill demand or to higher serve the wants of its clients. In some circumstances meaning an entire change of tack.

Arjan van den Increase the frontman of Amsterdam’s Ironwood Bikes has been within the {custom} bike enterprise since 2012. Again then Arjan made his mark customising traditional R-series BMW bikes. After a number of bikes gained reputation on-line it wasn’t lengthy earlier than buyer orders began piling up and Ironwood was on its technique to turning into successful. However now, 10 years after the Ironwood journey started, it’s time for a change.

Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

“Since 2012 our work was 65% BMW classic boxer,” says Arjan. “This stopped 6 months in the past, by our personal alternative, and we are actually ending that legacy with the final carbureted bike from my store in Amsterdam.”

To many Ironwood Moto followers, that is positive to come back as a shock because it was the classic bike builds that made them so well-liked. As a substitute, Arjan and his crew in Amsterdam might be turning their consideration to modifying trendy bikes, designing futuristic-styled initiatives and leaping on the EV bandwagon. Together with customising bikes, they’re additionally shifting into product design and growth with the objective of manufacturing Ironwood Moto kits and elements for riders all over the world to suit to their very own rides.

However by no means concern. Should you had your coronary heart set on commissioning an Ironwood classic BMW they’re nonetheless out there. By way of a particular partnership with the Arizona-based workshop, Wyld Storage Co. they’re producing a few of Ironwood’s most iconic fashions to order.

To mark the tip of Ironwood’s carbureted customs Arjan created ‘The Gate Keeper’. Based mostly on a 1982 GL500 Silver Wing it’s Ironwood Amsterdam’s retro swan tune and it’s a shining instance of what made their work so well-liked within the first place.

The Gate Keeper was constructed for a buyer trying so as to add one other Honda to his assortment. However slightly than a inventory bike, he was searching for one thing a bit of totally different. Funnily sufficient, the GL500 Silver Wing is itself considerably of an oddity.

In 1981 Honda determined so as to add a mid-sized tourer to their providing. To make the job simpler they borrowed the v-twin engine from their Moto Guzzi-Esque CX500. To correctly put together it for long-haul duties the CX engine went into an all-new body design. The important thing part of the chassis was Honda’s rising-rate Professional-Hyperlink rear mono-shock suspension which made room for baggage. The engine additionally sat additional ahead within the body and the swingarm was 1.5 inches longer than that of the CX. As for styling, the GL500 wore every part Eighties tourer lovers needed. There was a detachable trunk that provided 28.5 litres of storage, detachable saddle baggage and a big entrance fairing full with a tall windbreaker windscreen. It was under no circumstances probably the most highly effective tourer in the marketplace, but it surely was succesful and exceedingly comfy.

As interesting because the GL500’s providing would possibly sound to members of the Iron Butt Affiliation, Arjan had different plans.

Honda GL500 cafe racer

Honda GL500 cafe racer

In typical Ironwood fashion, the Honda has been stripped and trimmed to dispense with something deemed as non-essential. This contains the entire touring gear, the rear of the body and the chunky inventory seat.   Through the teardown, the Honda’s gasoline tank and entrance finish additionally went within the elements bin to organize it for its Ironwood makeover.

“Daring, aggressive and minimalistic have been written on the board earlier than take-off let’s say.” says Arjan in regard to their idea for the venture. “We needed it stanced like a jet fighter, enticing on the attention and loads of sharp traces.”

Over a interval of 24 months, the GL500 got here collectively as a aspect venture at Ironwood HQ. Together with upgrading a lot of its parts with trendy alternate options, Ironwood fabricated a number of parts to understand its idea. Probably the most outstanding of these is the sharp, angular subframe. Because of the GL’s mono-shock design the tail hovers over the rear wheel which is considerably of a signature function of Ironwood initiatives. All the meeting is bespoke with LED lighting and a tidy license plate bracket built-in into the design. On the entrance finish, you’ll additionally discover a custom-made fender and bracket and to permit the fitment of a brand new entrance finish, there’s a custom-made billet high tree.

The forks Ironwood picked out for the GL500 is a Ducati Monster 1200 merchandise. It’s fitted to the bike utilizing the {custom} high clamp and nonetheless bears the Ducati entrance wheel and brake meeting. Honda’s Comstar wheels could also be iconic, however they didn’t go well with this bike’s design transient. For the reason that inventory rear wheel would stay on the bike Arjan fabricated a set of discs to disguise it. Consistent with the aggressive new styling, the wheels are wrapped in Pirelli Sport Demon rubber and to stability out the suspension upgrades the rear shock has been swapped for a TFX different.

The Honda’s gasoline is now contained in a CB750 tank that sits flat on the GL500 body. For a sportier driving place, Arjan put in a set of Messner Moto Panigale clip ons sporting Motogadget grips and bar finish mirrors. The electrics are powered by a Motogadget m-unit and the usual key starter has been changed by a Motogadget m-Lock RFID ignition. Arjan has additionally put in a Daytona Velona 60mm Speedo to finish the brand new look sprint.

All the Honda’s lighting now runs on LEDs. Together with the tail lights Ironwood put in Kellerman bar finish flip alerts whereas the headlight is a Koso Thunderbolt unit.  “The headlight place was difficult,” Arjan admits. “I needed to haven’t any lamp ears on the fork so I requested my buddy Chiel from Nius Moto to assemble one thing distinctive.”

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Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

To finish the transformation the GL500/CX500 v-twin was given a clear up too. Through the overhaul, Ironwood added a hand-welded 2-into-2 exhaust by Wagner Welding and pod filters to assist unlock some additional grunt. A recent coat of gunmetal gray, stainless fasteners and {custom} badges give the 41-year-old motor a recent new look however the icing on the cake must be the CNC valve covers by Scheffers Engineering.

All the Gate Keeper’s paintwork was laid by Ironwoods buddies at Royal Kustom Works and the tan leather-based seat was upholstered by Silvermachine Seats.

Arjan tells us that driving the GL500 is now, “vastly totally different with all of the mods and upgrades, I imply the braking is excellent, 17 inch entrance wheel in comparison with inventory 19 makes a distinction as properly and it has a pleasant sound with {custom} exhaust and mufflers. Clip-ons make it deal with extra direct and suspension tweaks entrance and rear and are additionally claiming their roles.”

Though this can be a stellar construct we have now to confess we’re upset that that is the final {custom} traditional we’ll be seeing from Ironwood Moto. Then again, we have now little question the brand new path goes to spawn some unbelievable work which we’re trying ahead to showcasing right here sooner or later.


Images by Paul van Mondfrans Lindén

Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

Ironwood Motorcycle Honda GL500

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