Being self-employed has the potential to be quite rewarding, both financially and psychologically. However, self-employment also means making a whole heap of sacrifices in one’s personal life. You know the old saying about the shoemaker and his family having to walk around barefoot? Yeah, it’s like that a lot more often than it isn’t.
But every now and then, a small business owner gets an opportunity to treat himself or herself. And because such indulgences rarely come along, it’s prudent to make the most of them. Fortunately, Sylvain Berneron has done exactly that.
Who is Sylvain Berneron, you ask? Well, his primary vocation is a motorcycle designer for BMW Motorrad in Munich. But he also has a side business designing custom motorcycles under his own Holographic Hammer brand. Eventually, after penning some stylish renderings (some of which gave rise to real two-wheeled customs) for friends and acquaintances, Berneron found time to sketch up a dreambike for himself dubbed the Tzar. And rather than mixing business with pleasure (i.e. basing it on a BMW), he instead chose a turn-of-the-century Suzuki GSX 1200 “Inazuma” as the starting point, mostly for the shape of the gas tank.
However, the tank was one of the few things Berneron and his friend Hugo Lambert didn’t modify. The rear subframe has been shortened by almost a foot and topped with a stubby café racer style seat and tail section under which the battery hides. The stock fork has given way to one from a Suzuki GSX-R1000, and it has been fitted with LSL clip-ons, Acewell instruments and Braking PR19 master cylinders. And while that handsome blue-and-white paint scheme could be a nod to the national racing colors of Berneron’s homeland, France, they’re actually a tribute to the Suzuki RG500 grand prix bike ridden by the late, great Barry Sheene in 1975 (It even has his number – 7 – on a yellow “meatball.”).
But don’t assume the competition vibe stops with the styling; the 1,156cc air- and oil-cooled inline-four has also been messed with in the name of extra speed. K&N air filters, a custom larger-diameter exhaust system and a ZARD muffler give air a smoother passage into and out of the engine, while a tweaked ignition system and a pair of Yoshimura camshafts let the air make better use of its time inside the engine. Bernon reckons output is now about 160 horsepower, compared to 100hp for a stock 1200 Inazuma.
It should come as no surprise that the Tzar has garnered at least as much acclaim from the motorcycle customizing community as Berneron’s designs for other people. As a result, business should be picking up for Holographic Hammer soon (if it hasn’t already), so if you want to get Sylvain working on a design for you, it might be wise to contact him via the Holographic Hammer Facebook page sooner rather than later. Of course, we recommend checking it out even if you aren’t in the market for a HH creation.
Source: Holographic Hammer via BikeEXIF