El’ Privateer

by James Pratt
What happens when you mix a 1985 Honda CR-250, a national level Supermoto racer, a stretched custom chopper and a need to create a bike that is unlike anything built before?  If you are Monte Frank and Tony Baustert, you wind up with a rad-looking bike with no front brake, exotic welded titanium exhaust, a chrome suicide shifter and an attitude that says “let’s rumble”.

 As a nationally-ranked professional AMA Supermoto racer, Monte Frank knows a thing or two about going fast and sliding sideways.  After a career in motocross racing, Monte spooned slicks onto his dirt bikes and began banging handlebars on a Supermoto bike with the likes of Jeff Ward, Mike Metzger and Dough Henry, culminating as top privateer racer in 2006 and a factory ride with ATK in 2008.

When it came time to build his own custom chopper, like most riders Monte wanted something a bit different.  He wanted it to reflect his own style and taste – a chopper with a taste of motocross, supermoto and flat track racer.  Monte began his build with a 3” stretched Sante softtail frame and squeezed in a 100’ Revtech v-twin motor.  He decided to attach a Hayabusa front end and to a 23” front wheel from a CR-250 motocross bike.  This gave him the mix of dirt bike, flat track racing and supermoto he was looking for.


A few months into the build Monte decided to enlist the help of Tony Baustert, owner of T-Fab.  A custom fabricator with an extensive background building specialized parts for the aviation industry, Tony has become the “guy who can fabricate anything” in the OKC bike scene.  Tony went to work and built a custom peanut tank from a Harley sportster, a customized oil tank, mounting brackets, oil lines, seat and other parts for the bike.

A special touch is the suicide shifter.  Tony had the idea to use a piston from one of Monte Frank’s pit bikes to top of the shifter.  This work of machining art really sets the look of the bike.  Another special touch is the custom welded titanium exhaust system.  Monte wanted all the welds to show on the exhaust, just like with his race bikes.  Tony scavenged an exhaust from a 2007 Kawasaki ZX-14 and used parts from it to fabricate the beautiful, light weight titanium exhaust for Monte’s bike.

Monte continues to race AMA Supermoto across America, but when home in Oklahoma City, he cruises on his “El Privateer” for fun.

About James Pratt

I am an Oklahoma based writer, photographer, videographer and adventurer. I love telling stories about people. A motorcycle is my preferred means of travel, and I have over 5,000 hours piloting small airplanes.

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