A lot has happened since we first featured Ratatoskr from Recycle Motorcycle in September 2011. We did mention back then that the bike was a work in progress which is also the case for many creative projects, what we didn’t realise was how big the transformation would be.
Same bike, same builder with a new workshop name! Now trading as Farmer’s Racer, Lars Gustavsson has done quite the number on Ratatoskr. We did wonder what the finished Custom Yamaha SR400 aka Ratatoskr would look like! Lars takes over where the previous feature ended and tells us what he has done to Ratatoskr.
“Ended last years biking season with burning too much oil – so I decided to take the engine apart. Found out that the exhaust valve was overheated, and oil has burnt into the piston. Not a quick fix, but I decided to use the opportunity to change all parts involving the compression chamber: valve guides, valves, new bore and a high compression piston. This inside renovation cost me a lot, but was a really good way to get to know the engine. To celebrate this knowledge I invested in some cosmetic changes for 2012. Clip on handle bars have been on the wishlist for a long time. The previous tt-bar raised the front end and broke the lines and movement of the original tank. The clip-on is lower and gives the tank line more of a back bone look to the profile. The difficulty was to bring down the speedometer to the same level – there was a headlight in the way and I didn’t want to move the light forward. So the only way was to drill two holes in the Bates to lead the speed cable threw the light. Works really good – but it is a pain to adjust the light angle.
The bar end mirror is handmade for the bike. The long triumph handles are really long enough for the width of the bike. I did not want to add to this distance. Many bar-end mirrors on the market have a mount construction that adds a few centimeters, and a mirror that rides outside the bike. Wanted a more narrow construction. There is an excenter construction inside the clipon and the mirror stem is threaded and rotated to mount the mirror to the handle.
Side panels. In a world where many builders are cutting away stuff, it is funny to add. Cowls and fairings is the natural progression after naked bikes. After putting back the plastic battery covers inside the frame I’ve been thinking a lot on covering more. Not to hide, but to bring interest to looking behind. The most difficult task was to design mounts for the panel – and tiny nuts with wire locks. Don’t want the panels to fall off my thumper (but I need to get inside to check the spark).
I have been fighting the urge to use wood on the bike. I’ve been thinking: it’s not a boat, but in the end I could not resist. The package holder is made from rifle scope mounts and birch. Just big enough for a pair of extra gloves or a drink.”
Ratatoskr received a new front light, clip on handle bars, custom made bar end mirror, custom aluminium side panels and fittings, Wiseco 10:1 piston, new bore 88mm, new valves and custom package holder.
The overall picture of the bike is astonishing from firestone tires, to the tank and side panels forming great lines with rest of the bike. Our personal favorite are the side panels, a nice approach. Finally the Nordic mythology creature Ratatoskr / messenger has a motorcycle to keep up with it’s never ending task, thanks to Lars for helping Ratatoskr with it’s quest. Farmer’s racer also designs and produces motorcycle parts, to find out more take a look at their new website.