When it comes to the Greasy Dozen Builder Collective, you never know what you'll see. The range of makes, models, and even styles is so broad, when selecting builders each year we look for things you don't always see and Alex Krill's submission was exactly that! Alex submitted his Suzuki T500 into our tracker category and as soon as we saw his submission we were sold. The T500 isn't the most popular model from the 60s-70s, some may have never even heard of it, but believe it or not this was a 10 year production bike. Although they may not be the most popular model to build off of today, these bikes were commonly used in road race and flat track applications back in the 60s and 70s. With that being said, when we saw Alex was planning to build a street tracker we had to select him and see what he could do! Without further ado, let's dive into this interview and learn more about his build.
Let's start with the basics, what’s your name and where are you from?
Alex Krill from Denver Colorado
Take us back to the day you found out you were selected as a builder for this year's GD, what was going through your mind?
I had been with my family for thanksgiving. I drank too much and my girlfriend was driving me home while I passed out in the passenger seat. I woke up to a ton of alerts on my phone and saw that I had been picked. My first thought was maybe they fucked up because why the hell would the pick me.
Tell us about the starting platform for your build (year, make, model)
Bike started as a 1971 Suzuki T500. When I got the bike from a friend it was just a rolling frame with a seized motor.
What was the inspiration for the build?
I wanted to build a monocoque body with all period correct parts. Mainly it was just to use a ton of techniques that I hadn't done before.
Have you named the bike? If so, how did you arrive at that name?
It’s a death trap. So that’s a good a name as any.
Were there any favorable moments during the build process?
Favorable moments? Finishing the body work was pretty neat. And finding a ceriani front end in my parts stash was also pretty cool.
We know building a motorcycle can be challenging and everyone runs into a set back at some point. Did you have any notable setbacks that you were able to overcome?
The whole bike was a set back. The motor was totally dusted. I have a scrap aluminum pile bigger than the bike. Oh and that Covid thing.
Throughout the build process we tend to learn new things whether it's a skill, knowledge or even something about ourselves. What are some things you’ve learned throughout building this bike?
I wanted to try a bunch of stuff I had never really done before. When building anything in the past I always focused on mechanical rather than fabrication. I knew how to weld but had never welded aluminum. I had never done any real metal shaping. Never done paint or body work. I wanted to try and do all this myself this time. Learned a ton.
Paint tends to be one of the first things that draws people in and then they start looking at all the other details in the build, who did your paint and what made you go with the color scheme?
The original paint idea was white body work with a seafoam frame. It looked awful. My girlfriend picked out the current color scheme which looks a million times better. She’s smart like that.
Now that the build is wrapped up, what’s your plan? (Catching up on sleep?, ripping it around the countryside?)
Gonna try and get it out to the track and hopefully not die.
Any plans for a new build?
Working on a few other customer builds currently. A ‘92 gsxr and a cb350f.
They say “It takes a village” who would you like to thank?
Jessie Lycan, my girlfriend who picked my color scheme and lived in the shop sanding things. Gary Pasquale for letting my use some tools and pick his brain. And Ladd Forde for the rad photos and bringing me beer.
Lastly, where can people find you (Social media)?
A.k. cycles on Instagram