Heaven is a two-wheeled machine you constructed your self…
Launched in 1997, the Suzuki XF650 Freewind was a do-it-all machine with the bulletproof 47-hp single from the DR650 and a multi-purpose mission:
“Cruise comfortably at 80mph, screw the pants off it on a winding highway or peer over visitors from the excessive seat in your approach to work: the Suzuki XF650 Freewind is a flexible bike that’s nice worth and one thing a bit totally different.” —MCN
Enter our new pal Jeff Grandjean, a welder, engine builder, and nomad from Belgium — presently dwelling in Switzerland. Jeff’s been tinkering on automobiles and bikes since he was 16, beginning along with his dad’s Kawasaki AR50:
“I used to be all the time within the storage engaged on his Kawasaki, then by myself. Altering the exhausts, for instance. Then it’s by no means ended…greater bikes, restorations, customizing all the way in which as much as historic Formulation 1 automobiles, a Porsche 356, GT40…”
At present, Jeff spends most of his time on the highway, or else engaged on numerous automotive and bike tasks like his 1954 Chevy Suburban — you may see extra of his tasks at @jeffs.traditional. The construct you see right here began life as a 2001 Suzuki XF650 Freewind — one in all three Jeff and his ex-girlfriend owned:
“We had three Freewinds as a result of I used to be so happy with the mechanics of the bike, 35,000 km with out a downside. One was for me, one for her, and one for components. The components bike is now the Scrambler.”
On the time, Jeff and his ex, who’s a saddler and restores outdated Porsches along with her household, had been customizing a brand new bike each few months, and Jeff determined he needed a motorcycle for himself. He utterly disassembled the donor, rewired the bike, fabricated a brand new subframe and seat, and rebuilt and tuned the engine to an output of round 55 hp.
“All of the components had been sandblasted and painted or powder-coated. So the bike was utterly disassembled and rebuilt. Each bearing, each half.”
Sadly, Jeff completed the bike across the identical time his relationship along with his girlfriend ended, which made the primary trip fairly painful. However a pal reminded Jeff that he’d constructed the bike for himself, motivating him to place the ultimate touches on the challenge. Quickly, he found the thrill of the finished construct:
“Sooner or later I hit my favourite highway with quite a lot of curves and I used to be quicker than the opposite large bikes. It rides like a supermoto — really easy to deal with, greater than sufficient energy for small 180 diploma curves. Superb!”
Generally there’s no higher drugs than laborious work within the store and two wheels on the highway. Under, we get extra particulars on the construct from Jeff himself, in addition to extra putting images from Christian Charlier of XACT Manufacturing.
Suzuki XF650 Scrambler: Builder Interview
• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.
My identify is Jeff, 26, years outdated, welder and engine rebuilder. I’m from Belgium, dwelling presently in Switzerland and I’m all the time on the highway. A bit like a nomad. For bikes, for the fervour to journey, or for work. I used to be all the time inquisitive about bikes, after I was 16 years outdated I had my first outdated bike (Kawasaki AR50) like my father had when he was younger. His outdated Kawasaki was in our storage and I attempted to begin the engine repeatedly. I used to be all the time within the storage on his Kawasaki, then by myself. Altering the exhausts for instance. Then it’s by no means ended…greater bikes, restorations, customizing all the way in which as much as historic Formulation 1 automobiles, a Porsche 356, GT40…
• What’s the make, mannequin, and 12 months of the bike?
The bike is a Suzuki XF650 Freewind, 2001.
• Why was this bike constructed?
Why did I construct the bike? My ex-girlfriend and her household restored Porsche 356’s. She’s a saddler and we had been each enthusiastic about bikes. We modified bikes each six months; I had purchasers for customizing bikes and he or she made the seats or did the leatherwork. Good setup. So I made a decision to construct a motorcycle for me. A scrambler, as a result of I really like outdated enduros and cross-bikes. We had three Freewinds as a result of I used to be so happy with the mechanics of the bike, 35,000 km with out a downside. One was for me, one for her, and one for components. The parts-bike is now the Scrambler.
• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?
I had by no means actually an affect. I simply started to construct, purchased a tank and hoped it will be good. I simply needed it to be slim: single cylinder, no exhaust or quantity plate on the aspect (I’ve now the smallest quantity plate I’ve ever seen on the aspect).
• What customized work was finished to the bike?
I custom-made the rear body and all of the stuff underneath the seat, so the rear body is totally new. All of the cables and issues I don’t want are out. Only a swap to the change the excessive beam and a horn. The seat I made on my own with the assistance of my ex-girlfriend.
The engine and the carburetors had been rebuilt, painted, and tuned. +- 55hp. All on my own. The fork, swingarm, brakes, and suspension are all nonetheless the identical. All of the components had been sandblasted and painted or powder-coated. So the bike was utterly disassembled and rebuilt. Each bearing, each half.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Sure, the bike has a reputation, however I by no means publish it. My thought was “TraXFer 6.5,” like Tracker & XF. 6.5 for 65 hp, 165 kg, and 650ccm. However the 65hp was a bit an excessive amount of and the load…I don‘t know precisely 🤷♂️
• Are you able to inform us what it’s prefer to trip this bike?
The primary time I wasn’t so completely happy, as a result of the connection with my ex was over, so I didn’t actually need the bike as a result of I’d constructed it to trip along with her, and I already had different bikes with extra horsepower. The tank has six liters, so 100 km.
However at some point I hit my favourite highway with quite a lot of curves and I used to be quicker than the opposite large bikes. It rides like a supermoto — really easy to deal with, greater than sufficient energy for small 180 diploma curves. Superb! Moreover, we made the video and the images with my blue van…I used to be so completely happy! It rides so good and the traditional value for a Freewind in Europe is underneath 1500€. I paid nothing, that’s much more humorous.
• Was there something finished throughout this construct that you’re significantly happy with?
I’m proud I completed the challenge. For just a few days, I didn’t wish to see it anymore as a result of it was not of any use to me. However a very good pal helped me and advised me, “You constructed this for you, so end it for you!” I’m additionally proud that I constructed all of it on my own. The engine, the mechanics, the wiring, and many others.
Comply with the Builder @jeff.grandjean
Comply with the Photographer: @xact.professional