Rust: the new paint?

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We’ve seen rust on bikes before, there both deliberately, as on rat bikes, and not-so deliberately, as on all the bikes I’ve ever owned, but rarely have we seen it look as good as this. These two Wrenchmonkees Z750s feature different approaches to corrosion. The first has a naked tank, scoured with steel wool then oiled to keep things in check; the second looks like it was pulled straight out of a junk yard. Both juxtapose the OCD level of detail applied to cleaning up the rest of the bikes’ looks, heightening the sense of functional nostalgia that makes all the Copenhagen custom builder’s bikes unique. As long as the tanks have been gelled inside and the mounts are solid, this shouldn’t lead to any short-term issues. Sure beats candy metal flake.


  • Tanshanomi

    Rust: the new faddish gimmick?

  • steve781

    Pardon me, but is that oily rust smeared all over your inner thighs or did you soil yourself?

  • bzr

    Damn, if you had told me this 4 years ago I wouldn’t have sunk in so much money on my CB550F project AND could have won Best of Show.

  • TR

    “scoured with steel wool then oiled.”

    i knew a girl into bondage who liked that.

  • Urban Rider

    Looking good there! I met a guy who buried his tank in his garden for a period of time to get this effect.

    Maybe the wrench boys can enlighten us to their technique?

  • massivattack

    I routinely neglect my bike, aesthetically, But no, it isn’t the new black. That bike deserves more.

  • Bowds

    I like it. Wrench monkees bikes are so tight they would look good smeared in fecal matter. The less chrome the better I say.

  • Chuluun

    Love it, especially the oiled tank — looks almost like bronze. Never cared much for ratbikes — not the ‘artfully’ ratted type anyway — but I’m very partial to a good honest ‘beater’. Obviously these are a lot more contrived, but they still look pretty. Kawasakis are the only Japanese bikes you could do this with I reckon. Maybe the odd Yam.

    • amsterdam

      Check the Monkee #14 Triumph TR6 Bonneville!

  • Cameron Baum

    This is pretty cool, but I wonder (like others have said) what it would do to the knees and legs of one’s riding gear as the bike is ridden. If this bike isn’t actually ridden like many show bikes and Harley’s then that wouldn’t be a big deal I guess.

    I always wondered why something like parkerizing has never taken off as a tank covering, or on other metal areas like the bars rather than tacky chrome. I would think it would make a fairly durable coating.

    Personally, my favorite tank coating is just a simple application of Herculiner™ rubberized bedliner material. It’s nearly indestructible and just screams rat-bike. Plus, instead of making the thighs of your riding pants turn red it acts as a more grippable material which helps one hold onto the tank with your knees. Toaster-side tanks eat your heart out!

  • The Grudz

    I’m applying this process to my Ducati 900SS…and I can’t wait for the reactions from the Italian bike nerds.

    • Wes Siler

      Sounds pretty cool, you should send us pics when it’s finished!

    • jconli1

      promise to do it to the GS too?

  • Trav

    I wonder if you parkerize a tank, if it would effectively hold up agaist corrosion on the INSIDE as well. of course the exposure to gasoline is something someone else would know about more than I. It would be really cool if it was effective! I was thinking about blueing, myself.

    I enjoy the wrenchmonkees, period. However, there is a certain freedom that they have helped to engender within me, as my exposure to them occured right about the time I was coming to terms with maintaing a motorcycle I have put so much work into ‘restoring’ and now ride regularly. For a time I would clean and wipe it down over-obsesively.. to please noone but myself… However, observing nature take it’s course non-the-less was somewhat heart-wrenching. They glorify reality, and that’s awesome.