BikeBrewers ran into Hanok Siefu at the Big Twin Bike Expo in the Netherlands recently. He was competing against more than sixty other builders at the show with his shed built Honda CX 500.
With his roots in Ethiopia, this fellow countryman has firmly set up camp below sea level. Residing in Almere Hanok has spent quite some time in the Dutch army, moving quickly through the ranks, leaving six years later as a sergeant. He then started his career while studying for his bachelor in Psychology simultaneously.
At the end of 2017, he is switching uniforms once again. The blue light stays, however, as he will board the ambulance as a paramedic.
Sights set on the future
With an introduction like this, it is clear this builder has an open mind but clear goals in life. With already two builds completed, he dreams of one day trading his shed for a professional workshop and earning his livelihood building bikes.
He has always had a thing for two-wheeled vehicles, riding scooters as a youngster. While he was stationed in the army barracks near the Assen TT circuit, the speeding racing bikes with their roaring sound were as Sirens luring Hanok with their enchanting music.
He did not crash on the coast as many sailors did in Greek mythology, but the crush of bikes and the culture that comes with has settled deep into our friend’s soul.
Without a drivers license, the soldier was limited to riding within the compound. When he returned safely from a tour in Afghanistan, his wife was so happy, she surprised him with riding lessons.
Builders will be builders, so now our licensed rider took to the streets on a bike that was his first project too.
The cafe racer Yamaha XS750 brings back fond memories, as do most first loves, don’t they? Learning lessons in practice when building your bike and testing your ideas live on the road is challenging and exhilarating at the same time.
Asked about his brand preferences Hanok replies that he does not really care. It is the bike itself and its customizing potential that actually inspires him, irrespective of it’s make. However, he is quick to remark that, although he has no specific taste for a bike, he will never give a ‘Piaggio MP3’ a second glance. But then again, can this be counted as a bike anyway? Three wheels squeezing themselves on the road through a loophole in legislation is more like it.
From shed to shop
Our man from Almere may prefer riding, but at the same time, he dreams of one day being able to spend his days as a pro builder, exchanging his shed for a proper and fully decked out workshop.
Alongside his dreams of becoming a professional, he would also like to build bikes for two guys who are world renowned for their achievements at high speed on four wheels. Modern cafe racers are what our fabricator has in mind for both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen (both F1 heroes).
While we were talking about his dreams Hanok came up with another idea quite a bit left of center. “How about a café racer with a rotary engine?” he suggested. That’s one bike we would be looking forward to for sure!
Honda CX 500 project
Focusing back to the bike that got our conversation started we asked the Dutchman why he picked this particular bike as his second project. “The has been used for similar projects and has proved his reliabilities” he counters. “I really wanted to be able to concentrate on the design and was trying to avoid having to solve highly complex technical issues.”
“I had a clear picture in my mind where I wanted to go with the bike and it had to be loud! Fortunately, Kees van der Starre of Star Twin Motors came up with these phenomenal exhausts. He was also the one that suggested using the ‘Wave’ brake discs.”
“I got my inspiration for this project from the CX500 that Sasha Lakic built.” (in fact, that bike inspired our founder to start with BikeBrewers.com). The Serbian born (1964) Lakic is an all round designer and architect. He has won many awards in a wide array of projects. Definitely, someone who will have inspired many upcoming talents all over the world.
While focusing on the design part and trying to work within the limits of his budget, Hanok wanted to steer away from the whirlpool of technical issues. It prompted him to call in the assistance of Star Twin again for the front end, rear end as well as the wiring. The engine rebuild was performed by Marco Becker.
Hanok is very proud of this second project and rides the bike as often as he can, raising lots of thumb ups along the way. He particularly loves the unique roar of the exhausts. And loud they are!
Readying up for his next project he needs money to make it happen. He has spent over € 10K on the Honda, but it’s for sale for a mere € 5.500. Quite the bargain we guess for those riders who are looking for a one of a kind bike, without the long winter hours in their shed.
Swingarm: Custom monoshock, Yamaha r1 2001shock and a progressive spring
Front fork: Kawasaki zx6r 2006
petrol tank: custom
Triple Tree: ZX6R uit 2006
Rear frame: custom built with a Biltwell seat
Clip-ons: Custom made
Plateholder: Custom made
Brackets headlights: Custom made
Power filters: K&N
Carter filter/ oil filter: K&N
RFID keyless contact + alarm: Motogadget M-Unit V2 -Motogadget M-Lock
3 button switch: Motogadget M-button (2x)
Headlight Honda Grom MSX
Navigation TOMTOM Vio
Rear lights Ledstrip
Exhaust pipes Custom made out of titanium
Silencers Custom made
Brake discs: Motomaster
Custom intermediate brake piece