BlackSmith Motoring Co.’s ‘El Vaquero’ is proof positive that you can indeed make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Starting out life as a humble and decidedly unattractive Honda GL1000, this machine is a testament to what an ingenious custom motorcycle builder can do with the most humble of raw materials.
El Vaquero keeps racking up the accolades, and this time around it took both the Retro Mod Class and People’s Choice award at the Cleveland Progressive International Motorcycle Show.
Honda sold an entire battalion of the venerable Honda GL1000’s, mostly to old guys who appreciated the homely machine for it’s tame, predictable handling and a motor which ran all day with a quiet, buttery smoothness on long hauls.
The one thing the Gold Wing never had was, well, any semblance of sex appeal or danger.
It does now, thanks to a handful of builders who’ve taken the old boy out for a makeover.
This version, the Blacksmith Motoring ‘El Vaquero,’ started out looking like this:
Seeing something this magnificent made from one of the ugliest bikes ever to run down the road should give hope to every mullion on God’s Grey Earth that beauty really does reside within. The guys at Blacksmith even managed to make the World’s Most Ungainly Motorcycle Tank look fine.
Though if I have any beefs with this machine, and truth be told I have only one, it would be with the seat. A ride this slick deserves a little more glory applied to the place one drops one’s ass – particularly given the comfy-as-a-sofa legacy of the original donor bike.
Other than that, I think El Vaquero sets the standard by which all Gold Wing customs ought to be judged going forward…
Round Lake, IL
Phone: (888)740-2077 ext. 12
By Appointment Only
Phone: 888.740.2077 ext. 11
Blacksmith Motoring NV
Phone: (888) 740.2077
Mon-Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm