Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DAILY INSPIRATION: Rudge-Whitworth Custom by Jean-Claude Barrois

Rudge-Whitworth Custom
by Jean-Claude Barrois
Photos by Guerry & Pratt 

It's funny how certain things in life seem to hang low then present themselves at the most opportune moments. For instance, this Rudge-Whitworth custom build by Jean-Claude Barrois surfaced back in 2008. I completely missed it. But, looking back at myself during that time I know I would have never been able to truly appreciate it the way I do now. 5 years ago I had never even sat on a 2-wheeled machine and these days every spare moment outside the design studio is consumed by them. I've rebuilt motorcycle engines with discontinued parts that were only 40 years old so I can appreciate the countless hours and one-off pieces that must have gone into this 87 year old power plant. I've taken classes in welding, machining and fabrication so I can appreciate the Rudge-Whitworth's ground-up frame construction and perfectly arched backbone. I've been to the Harley Davidson museum multiple times, spending hours pouring over the board track racers of the 1920's so I can appreciate the history behind Jean-Claude's aesthetic nod. And I've been to the Bonneville Salt Flats during Speed Week so that I know how un-fucking-believably gorgeous this thing must have looked out there back in 2011 when Barrois chased the line. ...and how ballsy he was to even bring such a beauty to the most corrosive place on earth. 

Suicide knee shifter. Are you serious?

Enjoy this bike. Take in every detail. Most of these shots are desktop sized thanks to the equally elaborate photography of Guerry & Pratt.

What's the kicker is I found this bike by flipping through the 2011 BikeEXIF calendar that's been hanging in front of my desk, untouched since November of that year. The Rudge-Whitworth was December's bike, hanging one page turn away from sight all this time. Hrrmm, yes, quite opportune indeed.


  1. Sir, you should have put NSFW on that title post, that is just pure pornography of the highest order! But being serious, holy crap is that beautiful, looks like a 1926 Harley peashooter but made to be extraordinarily beautiful. I would ride this every single day/

  2. Hi David
    just wanted to complete the story about JCB by theses posts...
    JC Is a "true" man of convictions and goes very far beyond some of our limits . He's a Master but unfortunately didn't like to much the highlights over his personality, that's why everbody's forgotten this fantastic Artwork.. But I hope to put a bit of highlight again next summer, if JCB accepts to show is Rudge, during the next W&W

    1. Thanks for the links Vincent! That last one with the photos of him at the flats is great.

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