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Survivor Customs Honda CFR450 Framer

A unicorn, a minotaur, the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch.

In recent years, UK dirt track fans have been as likely to see one of those mythical creatures in the pits as a 450 framer, but one man has decided to change that.

After back-to-back DTRA Thunderbike championships on Rotax-powered bikes he has modified and fabricated himself, Mike Hill of Survivor Customs has gone one step further and created this Honda CRF-powered creation.

The frame is a brand new, one-off that was designed and made by Mike in his Northumberland workshop. It's a full chro-moly chassis, with a direct-acting monoshock. The geometry is based on lowered 450 DTX bikes, the ones he's setting out to beat in the DTRA Pro class. In a feat of self-sufficiency rarely matched in the dirt track world, Mike also made the alloy tank, radiator, exhaust, fit his own design of seat units and fork guards, laced the wheels, machined a lot of the alloy parts and his partner, Vicky, stitched the seat cover.

By fitting a Honda CRF450 engine, it means that Mike can only compete in the Pro class, not the Thunderbike* class he has raced in so successfully in recent years, but the new challenge was too much of a draw.

Survivor Customs are offering frame kits for sale for 450 or air-coooled engines. Contact them through


We featured Survivor Customs and a variety of their Rotax Thunderbikes in Sideburn 34.

* The DTRA Thunderbike class (and before it the Short Track UK Thunderbike class) rules are designed to restrict 450 framers from entering. The class has a lower cc limit of 600cc and is open to framers and road bike based machines, with an unlimited upper cc class, so it can, and has, also included XR750s and hooligan bikes. The class has been dominated by Rotax-powered bikes, though many other machines help fill the grids. A Suzuki SV650 framer has won the title and Yamaha and KTM singles are very competitive.

The Indian DTRA season starts on 13/14 April at King's Lynn. Mike, #35, features on the Ryan Quickfall designed poster.

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