published at 10.04.2012, 12:41
Motorcycles

From Paris with love – BMW style

Paris-based Blitz Motorcycles have become a byword for edgy, exciting custom bikes. Their latest creation combines sophisticated British style with a raw punk edge – and it was inspired by the owner. It is the first bike the 27-year-old advertising executive has owned and Fred Jourden, of Blitz, says he and business partner Hugo Jezegabel wanted to reflect the new rider’s personality in his machine.

“We were inspired by the owner of the bike in terms of its design – he himself is the perfect mix of English gentleman and anarchist,” says Hugo. “This is what the bike is about: sweet and gentle at first sight, but totally punk when you look a bit closer.

“It was an honour to build his first bike – we’ve certainly made him one he won’t forget! We named it the BSA and the ‘B’ in the name stands for Birmingham, which is where he lives.”

The bike is not the first collaboration between Blitz and their British customer – he was responsible for building their stylish, photography-led website, www.blitz-motorcycles.com. Browsing the images of the bikes the Blitz boys have built makes it easy to understand how the website designer decided he wanted one for himself.

The BSA is the latest mean machine to leave the Paris workshop, but is one of a growing number. Word has spread quickly about the truly individual bikes Fred and Hugo create and the number of requests is growing quickly, with customers coming from all over the world.

“The owner of the bike is always the biggest inspiration for each project,” says Fred. “However, we do also take some idea from the parts we pick up at swap meets.
“When we built the BSA we totally dismantled the original bike, a BMW R 60/6. We opened the engine, shortened the frame, and changed the rings of the pistons, as well as the top engine gaskets.

“We then painted the engine in a high temperature-resistant matt black, while the frame, wheels, and engine covers were all shiny black powder coated. The seat is bespoke, as are the leather straps on the tank. And of course, we simplified the electric wiring to make sure it would fit in the shorter funnel of the BA tank.”
There are big plans for the bike this summer. In July, it will head to Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the annual BMW Motorrad Days event, and it is also bound for the super cool Southsiders party, a three-day event held in southern France.

“We have a busy year,” says Fred. “We’re shooting the sequel to Riding September [a popular short film showcasing the Blitz lifestyle], preparing the 12 bikes ordered so far, setting up a Blitz party in Paris for the beginning of this summer, and displaying a fashion collaboration with Japanese denim brand Edwin.”

But despite packed schedules and a growing reputation for unrivalled style, Hugo and Fred still have some dreams they’d like to fulfil. “The bike we’d most like to customise is a GS, fitted with carburettors. The person we’d most like to design a bike for is Evan Glodell, the director of the movie Bellflower.”

With the demand for Blitz-built motorcycles going global, it’s easy to imagine the boys’ dreams coming true. But like all true artists, Fred and Hugo let their creativity lead them, rather than trying to plan ahead. “Will we be doing this in 10 years’ time?” says Fred. “Honestly, I have no idea.”
To see more of the bikes created by Blitz Motorcycles, visit: www.blitz-motorcycles.com.