Our latest and personal project: The CB500F “Fighting Falcon”
The bike is designed as a tribute to the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The hollow curves of the Aluminum Monocoque structure on the upper sides of the tank, apply to the same elegant lines of the Semi-Monocoque structure of the F-16. I chose to implement the design features of the F-16 because for 6 years I’ve worked as an F-16 mechanic at my daytime job. And a few months ago I switched to the AH-64 Apache Helicopter. As this was a personal project, I wanted to combine work, passion, and my greatest hobby into this bike.
To start with the bike, let’s strip all the parts not needed for the desired design. The original front fork was thrown aside and we’ve fitted a Kawasaki ZX-7R USD front fork with a custom-made steering stem and a few modifications to the rim and original CB500F brake caliper mounting. Then I started shaping the subframe, which was bent on our homemade tube bender.
Before making an aluminum body, I always start by making a wireframe to check the desired shape/design and also do this to see the clearance I have at the front fork, clip-on, and other parts. The wireframe also acts as a template to make cardboard sheet molds for cutting the aluminum plates to the desired shape. In our videos of the bike, you can see how this process is done. (YouTube: Raw Metal Racers) After cutting the aluminum plates, it’s time to form these panels. First I start pounding the aluminum on a hollowed tree stump to shrink and stretch the Aluminum, then I start hammering it on the leather sandbag to get the desired shape. All of those dents from the hammering need to be rolled out in the English wheel, where we can also get some final tweaks to the shape of the panels. TIG weld the pieces together and you’ll get this.
The bike is fitted with a 3D printed air intake with a custom-made DNA Filters XV Hexagon air filter. The exhaust system is made in our shop, we make a lot of custom and production stainless steel exhaust systems at Raw Metal Racers. For this exhaust, we’ve done a collaboration with BOS Exhaust, where we’ve put together a muffler to our specifications. The cone-shaped end of the exhaust represents the converging exhaust of the F-16. I’ve tried to make a design with the muffler under the seat to really implement the F-16 exhaust, but that would have ruined the design of the bike. To top it all off, Marcel Miller from Miller Kustom Upholstery made a really nice black Vinyl seat.
Like with every project we’ve made timelapse videos for our YouTube channel, so be sure to check those out and subscribe to our YouTube and other socials.
Pictures: Maarten Nauta (Insta: @Nautamaarten)
– Raw Metal Racers – Built to perfection –
YouTube playlist of all six parts below: