In Tom’s case, mastering the art of motorcycle customization was an intriguing proposition. The English craftsman had been in love with two-wheeled creatures ever since his teenage years, so it made perfect sense for him to turn this passion into a full-time endeavor. “The seed of my bike obsession took hold when my dad brought home a knackered Suzuki GT250 Ram Air,” he recalls.
“He’d been given it as partial payment for some work but couldn’t get it going, so after a lot of pestering, it was given to me. My uncle and I got it to start, but a strip-down found a bent connecting rod. That was it for that bike, but I was hooked.” As of 2013, this whole ordeal led to the birth of Foundry Motorcycle in Chichester, West Sussex.
When the classic UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle) landed on his premises, Tom kicked things off by rebuilding the samurai’s inline-four powerplant inside out. During the overhaul, the air-cooled fiend received a big bore kit that bumps its displacement to 750cc, along with a new crankcase vent and top-grade ignition coils from Dynatek.
The stock Mikuni carburetors have been thoroughly refurbished to bring about optimal airflow, while the standard exhaust system was replaced with a handmade stainless-steel substitute. Additional stopping power is accomplished thanks to a set of drilled EBC rotors, braided brake lines, and a repurposed master cylinder that hails from a Honda CBR.
The bike’s hoops were revamped using stainless-steel spokes, premium Morad rims and a classy pair of Avon Roadrider tires. At the rear, Tom proceeded to upgrade the suspension with dual YSS shock absorbers and a fresh JMC swingarm. In terms of bodywork, Z650’s OEM-spec gas chamber was retained, but the same can’t be said for its fenders, side panels and tail. Foundry MC tweaked the subframe in preparation for a custom cafe racer-style rear section, and the fuel tank was topped with a shiny Monza filler cap.
In between these garments, we spot a new solo saddle that’s been upholstered by the leather experts over at Trim Deluxe. Lastly, AM Metal Polishing was tasked with bringing the raw sections to a mirror finish, while SJago Design took care of the paintwork. All things considered, we'll always be fascinated to see just how far a one-man exploit can go when handled by the right person!