Motorcycle News - Getting Personal: The KTM Max Hazan Built For Himself
Luckily, there are collectors and museums that have the funds to commission bikes like this, so the rest of us can enjoy them vicariously. But what happens when Max builds a bike for himself, with his own money?
“I’ve always wanted to build a liter-powered supermoto, and the KTM LC8 provided the perfect platform,” Max tells us. “The engine layout is a ‘V’ as opposed to the many L-twins out there, which lent itself well to this project.”
Surprisingly, ‘950SMR’ is the first bike that Max has built for himself. So it was done in the down time between the projects that pay his bills. (“I completely lost track of how much time went into it.”)
“It’s possibly the ugliest bike KTM made with that motor,” Max admits. “But the bones were there. The KTM was carbureted from the factory, which let me simplify the design by avoiding EFI parts.”
“I wanted it to have fenders and bodywork, and not look like a KTM that was chopped. With almost everything being rearranged, it was a lot more work than it looks like. But I guess that was the idea.”
Since Max was building the KTM out of his pocket, he plumped for a set of magnesium Marchesinis from a CBR1000 race bike. The sizes are 17 x 6 and 16.5 x 3.5, and Max has machined the hubs, carriers and cush drive to squeeze them into the swingarm and forks.
“The biggest things to eliminate were the massive tanks that KTM adventure bikes use, holding fuel on either side of the frame,” says Max. “So I made a load-bearing fuel cell that took the place of the rear subframe. It holds about 2.5 gallons and also houses the electronics.”
The oil tank on a 950 SM is located in front of the engine, below the radiator. Max has made an aluminum replacement that sits where a normal fuel tank would be, and although it looks small from above, it holds more than the stock tank.
The exhaust was one of the easier components to make. “I knew where I wanted it to end up, and what characteristics it should have,” he says. “It’s thin wall .625” stainless steel, merging into 1.75” before flowing through an Akrapovič silencer.”
The 950 SM was famous for its good handling, so Max has retained the stock WP suspension. “I just played with the valving, lowered the forks, and used stiffer springs and oil. But I went way softer on the shocks—the bike has shed a lot of weight and doesn’t need to support two-up riding any more.”
So what’s it like to ride? “It has a huge amount of engine braking,” he says. “It’s geared for about 120mph in sixth, and was in need of a slipper clutch to smooth out downshifts in the lower gears. But I just found myself ‘backing it in’ wherever I was going, as soon as I installed it.”
It’s certainly a looker. But unlike many customs from premier league builders, Max’s KTM offers visceral as well as visual pleasures. We can’t imagine Max releasing a kit version of these mods, but if you have one of KTM’s big supermotos in your garage, there’s a ton of inspiration to be gained right here.
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
May 29, 2018 at 12:10PM