The Smoking Seagulls are a loosely affiliated bike club formed by FMX star Drake McElroy a
Where do freestyle motocross bikes go after they die? Drake McElroy’s clapped-out 2006 Honda CR250R went straight to hell—in other words, to a custom-bike show at the annual Sturgis Rally. When iconic motorcycle photographer Michael Lichter wanted new blood for the “Eternal Combustion” bike show he organized at Sturgis in 2010, he invited McElroy, who’s an emerging talent on the custom-bike scene. Wanting to build anything but a conventional chopper, the inspired McElroy instead transformed his battered jump bike into a ’60s-style café racer, spending as little money and recycling as many old parts as possible. The frame and swingarm are stock, and the long-travel suspension was cut down 6 inches with the help of Ronnie Williams at Race Tech. Wheels are 19-inch Excels fitted with vintage-looking K70 front tires from McElroy’s sponsor, Dunlop. Another sponsor, FMF, contributed the exhaust. The Ducati single bodywork is from AirTech, rattle-canned and hand-sanded by McElroy to create the desired denim effect, then lettered by hand. The best part? McElroy says he has less than $1500 invested in the build—a stark contrast to the bloated chrome barges the Sturgis crowd is accustomed to seeing.