Meandering along the dark alleys of the Internet you sometimes pass the most unexpected sheds. We all know Scandinavians have a knack for brilliant design. No, I am not talking about the stuff you have to put together with an ‘allen key’ produced in mass quantities by the big blue and yellow brand. Nothing wrong with that, but not custom either.
Working through the long dark winter periods in Stockholm, the interior crafter and wood craft teacher Andreas Jönsson and his pal Håkan Boqvist surprise their fans with a very original view on their two wheeled creations.
When Andreas was just a little boy he already had a fascination for his neighbour’s 50cc Honda mini cross bike. When asked if she would buy him one his mother just smiled and firmly shook her head. Not taking this ‘no’ for an answer, our hero simply went over to the neighbours place when they weren’t there and ‘borrowed’ the bike for a little while to have some fun. Illegally riding along the backroads in his hometown Halmstad he decided that this was the life for him.
His buddy Håkan grew up in the same little town in Sweden with lots of time on his hands as a youngster. Most of the hours were spent skateboarding or spraying graffiti, with no interest in motorcycles whatsoever at first. When his dad picked up riding again our friend was just in his early teens. Riding pillion was enough for him to start understanding the joy of riding at high speed and he feeling of freedom.
As an adolescent, Andreas started off riding mopeds and moved on to motorbikes at the age of 24. Right after he got his driver’s license he bought his first bike. A ’83 Yamaha 400 Special.
A 1982 Honda CB650 was the first project that launched Tin Bird Motorcycles. Aptly christened ‘Tinbird #1’, this beautiful cafe racer was built from scratch. He too has a background in skateboarding and his professional training in woodwork clearly has an influence on his work. Tin Bird motorcycles have an intriguing signature; “a touch of wood”.
We all grew up with beautiful British cars which invariably would have a classy finishing of wood in their interior. A feature seldom seen in bikes. Andreas had found a way to merge iron and wood together in a fascinating way. Handcrafted seats and diaphanous wooden details definitely give Tin Bird bikes a uniqueness that is way beyond any design from Sweden you put together with a hex key.
Introducing ‘Black Lanes Motor’
Recently Andreas joined forces with his buddy Håkan Boqvist and reformed ‘Tin Bird Motorcycles’ into ‘Black Lanes Motorcycles’. Just like Ikea furniture the two Swedes have a seamless fit too. No complicated manuals required. Håkan is a sucker for the old and knackered and Andreas for the shine and the mixture of wood details. They both love the purity of mechanical solutions and the idea of removing everything but the most essential for a bike to run.
‘Black Lane’ #2_Honda 650 scrambler
The results of the first solo project by Andreas called for more. Yet another Honda CB650 was carried into the Stockholm workshop. As our wrenchers are not afraid of a challenge, this project came in parts. Boxes of parts to be exact. They set out to put the puzzle back together again, meticulously cleaning and shaping all individual parts and sometimes using parts (tank from a Yamaha XS 400) from other bikes.
Their ‘piece de résistance’ were again delicately hand-shaped pieces of walnut forming the base of the seat and a casing enveloping the headlight. Currently working hard on their next project, Black Lanes will be publishing the birth of the #3 bike, a 1992 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 on YouTube:
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpJScpstb-4″ width=”740″]
On the road
Living in Scandinavia has a lot of advantages. Being able to ride in the wild all the way up North in Norway is one of them. Our builders have fond memories of riding together. Although heavily packed with camping equipment they luckily did not have any technical problems.
Being in the middle of nowhere surrounded only by reindeer and mountains with rudimentary technical skills and hardly any of the right tools can be hazardous to your health. Judging from their builds, Black Lanes have definitely overcome their inadequacy in this area.
Dreaming & riding
Being creative requires an ability to bring dreams to reality. That’s exactly what our men from Sweden do by building this Harley. Not entirely their ultimate project yet but, moving forward. The look, feel and sound of the old ironheads is pure candy to the senses. “Ultimately cool” is Andreas’ description. We couldn’t agree more.
“Riding or wrenching?” is a standard question we ask all our featured guests. For both men an easy choice as they swiftly respond in unity by pointing to the toolbox. But no fun in putting something together and not being able to take it out for a spin.
When they do, our wrenchers have a habit of moving swiftly through traffic, lane splitting being the customary sin, getting irritated by cars not leaving him enough space to speed through. Probably one of the reasons why we will probably never them him riding a “big fat Harley Davidson” (another being the bike making Andreas look tiny he jokes himself).
Whilst still on the subject of dreams and Harley’s, Black Lanes Motor is clear about their ultimate ride; cutting through the USA following route 66 on, surprise!, a Harley Davidson.
Bikebrewers.com will follow Black Lanes’ #3 project with interest and happily report on its progress.
Names: Andreas Jönsson and Håkan Boqvist
Place of birth: Halmstad Sweden
Currently living in: Stockholm
Education/background: Interior carpenter and a woodcraft teacher.
Company name: Black Lanes Motor
Facebook: Black Lanes Motor
Info about the build ”Black Lane No.2”.
- Honda CB650 1980
- Rebuilt engine and
- Powder coated as much as possible in high gloss black including the carbs.
- Pod filters
- Custom made handlebar in 1” steel.
- The bird on the handlebar calls ”The lucky bird” and it sits on all our builds to bring you luck when you ride.
- The petrol tank taken from a Yamaha XS400.
- The seat are hand made in real leather by Sandqvist.
- All wood details are hand made in walnut.
- New electric with M-buttom and M-unit installed under the seat.
- The rear light stopp/brake are cut into the rear lope with a grinder