Live to Ride and Ride to live Free.

While some self-proclaimed custom builders simply buy a frame and an S&S engine, pick out some slick controls and trick wheels, then bolt it all together and call it a one-off motorcycle, on that rare occasion you run into a craftsman who still takes the time to do things the old-fashioned way, pounding sheet metal meticulously by hand, bending tubing by blowtorch and elbow grease. Wayne Ransom is a young custom builder in this vein.
Ransom Motorcycles first caught our attention a couple of years back by sourcing sportbike engines for its customs instead of the traditional V-Twin. The prior builds were heavier on bodywork, showcasing Ransom’s sheet metal skills, so when we got our first peek at the aggressive, streamlined-design of his latest build, The Serpent, we liked this new direction.

Ransom's latest creation takes its lines and hones them to a razor-sharp edge in the exotic motorcycle called The Serpent.
The bike is full of points and angles, from the spear-like end caps on the 56mm Mean Street fork to the blades of the black RMD Billet Predator Wheels. The tank’s lines roll down the back before coming to a point at the small, sheet metal tail. The aluminum radiator shrouds on both sides of the bike look like they’d cut your finger if you ran it down their edge. Even the shields at the end of the stainless steel exhausts are aggressively angled. The Serpent looks more like a Euro-style streetfighter than the creation of a small custom house out of Jersey.
Look for welds connecting the tank, seat, and tail and you won’t find them. The artistry of the bike’s topside might be Ransom’s crowning achievement in fabrication. The fuel tank, seat, tail, taillight, battery box and instrument panel are contained in one aluminum piece. They integrate so seamlessly that, as Ransom put it, “looks like it’s poured from a mold.”

The sides of the tank rise up to form two scalloped ridges. In between the ridges, a digital speedo and an analog tach from a GSX-R are integrated into the top of the tank. The tank’s fluid design flows cleanly into the small triangular patch of a seat by Kustom Seat Kreations, and with no rear fender, Ransom incorporated the taillights under the seat. The amazing part is, when it comes time to service the engine, just loosen five bolts and the whole top comes off.
All of this sits perfectly on the backbone of a silver tubular trellis frame. To give the bike the same aggressive attitude inside as out, Ransom sourced the formidable powerplant from a 2008 GSX-R1000. Just as in Eve, the frame sits below the tubular frame and serves as a stressed member. Ransom generally decides on what engine to run before building so when it comes time to mount the mill it’s a bolt-on job for the most part. He also used the stock Gixxer Thou transmission, but the 4-into-1 exhausts running below the bike are his design.
The combination of no fender on the backside along with a single-sided swingarm put the full focus on the black mass of the 300mm Avon Venom tire (The Serpent, Venom, Predators – I sense a theme here). The thick swingarm he made is attached to dual Works Performance Shocks, a feature the owner appreciated as he went out on his 150-mile weekend ride a few weeks back.

The bike is long and low, with a 69-inch wheelbase and a fork set out at a 39-degree angle. The 21-inch tall front tire helps maintain the bike’s aesthetic balance between its beefy backside. The rider’s triangle is sport-oriented with the black Ransom-made handlebars set low, the Vortex foot controls rearset and a moderate seat height .
Small features like silicone brake lines and a compact, powerful Eurocomponents headlight complement the tidy build. Ransom sought the services of Xtreme Kreations’ Jim Caruso to apply the wicked paint and pinstriping that breathe life into the bike. Ransom’s signature Cross logo, a testament to the One who inspires his work, is painted in the middle of the side-mounted license plate holder and on top of the headlight. No weight is listed, but Wayne has a habit of keeping his builds on the lower end of the scale by using aircraft-grade aluminum and Titanium. With a low curb weight (for a custom), a screaming literbike engine, and a chassis capable of keeping that power planted, Ransom wants his customs to be ridden hard, stating “I don’t like to compromise performance for looks.”
It’s a treat in this business to witness a custom builder’s skills evolve. With many talented builders out there, But Ransom has come a long way since we first met. His fabrication skills warrant attention, and something tells me we’ll be seeing him again somewhere along this long and dusty road.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...