One night, a buddy sends over a Craigslist post: a scrappy looking, somewhat rare 67 TR6C for sale just miles from Amity Twins headquarters. Two things became clear to us from the pictures: 1. The motorcycle was in rough condition, and 2. Amity Twins had to save it. Set up as a café racer, it showed the signs of a troubled past, blown motor and all. Somewhere along the line it had crossed with a ’68 T120, and had the twin leading shoe front brake and an original paint gas tank. The bike was decayed past the point of being a “survivor,” but many of the parts had an amazing patina (look at that gas tank!). Usually we rebuild a bike to look like new, but this time, we thought it would be fun to just turn back the clock a little and return the bike to its desert sled roots as a road-worthy scrambler. Nothing prissy.
It would take too much time and space to list all the ways this machine was wrecked, but pretty much everything was toast. So the motor and chassis were meticulously rebuilt, the frame and cycle parts were painted a low-gloss black to blend with the original patina, and we made a low-profile scrambler seat using a ’65 seat pan. The dysfunctional 6 volt electrics were traded for a streamlined 12 volt system with a Pazon electronic ignition, battery—bright lights, and easy starting. Now, the bike is mechanically perfect. Our favorite detail might be the super rare Webco fork brace, which we had re-chromed. (Update: it now features the right period correct Webco decal!)
Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese aesthetic of accepting the imperfection and transience in things. Embracing that approach, we set out to build a bike that would look better the more it was ridden. So when we took the side cover to Charlie Decker to be lettered, he was asked to paint right over the surface rust. He was into it. The work he gave back shows its brush strokes and looks like it was painted 40 years ago. Honestly, not everyone gets why we’d put so much work into a motorcycle just to keep it looking…well, old. But we don’t care, because Wabi-Sabi will be going by too fast for them to criticize.
Photography by Alicia Millane