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The Suzuki GS750, revisited

In the mid-70s, Suzuki was reeling from the disastrous RE5 rotary episode, and bet the house on a new 4-stroke inline four. The GS750 was an immediate hit with journalists and riders alike: “The quickest and best-handling 750 on the market,” raved Cycle World.

So why don’t we see more of them on the …


Kevils’ timeless BMW R100 Scrambler

Custom BMWs are all the rage right now. But one workshop in England was producing stunning airheads way before they were cool.

Kev Hill and his crew at Kevil’s Speed Shop have been at it for six years, and over seventy builds have rolled out of the workshop in picturesque Devon. So they know their …


Double Act: Dream Wheels’ custom scrambler

Nuno Capêlo is one of those renaissance guys who have way too much talent. He’s an architect-turned-bike-designer, who can sketch out sharp-looking concepts ready to be turned into metal.

Nuno’s CV includes Portugal’s best builders—including it roCkS!bikes and Ton-Up Garage. And now he can add this …


Enduring Appeal: Untitled’s racing-style R80

You don’t have to see the latest build from Untitled Motorcycles to recognize its racing pedigree. Hear it on the street and you’d swear you were at the track.

“This BMW is very fast,” says Adam Kay, co-founder of the workshop with the strangest name in the custom business. “The sound of the …


Ed’s Burton: a most unorthodox Norton cafe racer

We’ve showcased a fair number of Tritons before—and even a Norley—but this is the first time we’ve laid eyes on a ‘Burton.’ And it’s magnificent.

‘Ed’s Burton’ belongs to London-based Edward Jonkler, and it’s the most unorthodox Norton cafe racer we’ve seen yet. It’s not powered by a Triumph or even …


New and Noted: Motorcycle Gear

This month we’re looking at the most advanced motorcycle jacket ever made, a cool new messenger bag from luggage kings Kriega, an expedition-grade jacket from Aether and pants from Saint and Icon 1000. Let’s go shopping.

Thesis Labs Series Zero Can a motorcycle jacket be worth $2,000? After all, an …


Bloody Fang: A track-ready Ducati GT 1000

Ducati hit a home run with the GT 1000 as far as we’re concerned. Essentially a factory café racer, it had a classic vibe that belied just how quick it was.

Mysteriously, the sales numbers didn’t add up, and it was eventually dropped from Ducati’s line-up. Finding one today is tricky—and improving …


Jung Gun: A psychologist’s custom BMW

Believe it or not, there’s a surf shop in Stockholm. And even stranger, it’s got a motorcycle workshop right underneath.

Despite the odd location, 6/5/4 Motors serves up some fine Scandinavian design in two-wheeled form. They hooked us a few weeks ago with a sharp Ducati 860 GT, and now they’re …


Diff’rent Strokes: Roland Sands’ smokin’ Yamaha

At the Born Free show a couple of weeks ago, there was a lone road racer in a sea of choppers. And not a Harley or Triumph, either: it was a two-stroke Yamaha.

Born Free organizers Mike and Grant must have been scratching their heads, but they had the good grace to let Roland Sands’ 2 Stroke Attack …


The Spirit of ’71: Hageman’s XL1200C Scrambler

Greg Hageman’s known as the guy that convinced us that Yamaha Viragos can look good. But we’ve never seen a Harley-Davidson custom from the American builder.

Which is strange; the Sportster is arguably a better (and more popular) platform than the Virago. And Greg sure knows his way around them—he’s …


Shop visit: Concept Racer, Mexico City

Mexico is one of the world’s great motorcycling destinations. It’s the all-time favorite trip of veteran moto journalist Peter Egan, who heads to Copper Canyon in northern Mexico. And then there’s the famed El Diablo Run, from San Felipe to Ensenada in Baja California.

Despite reports of the …


Heavenly Hardtail: Factory Metal Works BSA A65

Classic hardtails aren’t our regular fare, but we can’t resist the subtle beauty of a Factory Metal Works build.

Three years, shop boss Lucas Joyner blew our socks off with an amazing Triumph built for Mooneyes. And now he’s back with a beautiful BSA A65, its lovely engine cradled in a …

The Auto Fabrica Type 6: Reduced to perfection

In Japan, there is a design theory called Kanso (簡素)—meaning simplicity, or the elimination of clutter. And every time I see an Auto Fabrica bike, I’m reminded of that fine principle.

The machines that roll out of the English workshop are reduced to the bare minimum, but beautifully finished. And …

Mark Twain

Factory Class: Renard Speed Shop’s SR400

Custom builders often strive for ‘that factory look’—bikes that are neat and cohesive enough to be mistaken for OEM machines. And when you’ve got an exquisite, limited edition production motorcycle to your name, ‘factory’ is second nature.

Based in Estonia, Renard Speed Shop is the custom division …


Lvpvs Alpha: A Space Age Moto Guzzi California

Over the past few years, the surge of interest in custom bikes has been fueled by a backlash against modern technology—whether it’s electronic ‘rider aids’ or acres of sharp-edged, plastic bodywork. So this new build from Officine RossoPuro is something of an oddity.

The design is unapologetically …


Extra Lean: Rough Crafts’ Harley XR 1200

Our favorite customs usually leave us scratching our heads: do we want to stare at them all day, or ride the pants off them? Winston Yeh has a knack for building such bikes.

The latest offering from the Rough Crafts stable is no different. It’s called ‘Rusty Slider,’ and it’s a decidedly leaner take …


Going With The Flow: Kawasaki W650 by Clutch

Before the ‘new’ Triumph Bonneville came along, there was the Kawasaki W650. And some would argue that it captured the spirit of the Meriden original even better than the later Hinckley-built Bonnie.

Willie Knoll of Paris-based Clutch Custom Motorcycles is a fan. His Bonneville T100 from last year …


A Honda 650 for Africa: Ton-Up Garage’s Muxima

If current trends are anything to go by, Honda thumpers might soon surpass the mighty CB-series as the platform of choice for custom builders. And why not? They’re torquey, nimble and unbreakable—and in the right hands can both look good and be practical.

Which is exactly why Portugal’s Ton-Up …


Woodland Creature: El Solitario Ducati ‘Mononoke’

There’s never been an El Solitario bike that hasn’t polarized opinion. Which is completely fine by David Borras and Co. They’re happy to march to the beat of their own drum, and even adopted “the world’s most hated motorcycles” as their unofficial slogan for a while.

But the Spanish outfit is …


Side Order: Deus x Yamaha XV950 ‘D-Side’

We’ve always had a soft spot for sidecar motorcycles. But the only serious manufacturer is Ural, which sold a mere 1,200 rigs last year—with half going to the USA.

The bare bones Ural is not everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s hard to resist the charms of this custom combo from Deus Milano. Based on a …


Rebellion Of The Machines: a true Honda CB750 café

Has the term ‘café racer’ been abused beyond recognition? A growing number of experienced bike builders think so, including Madrid-based Rebellion Of The Machines.

“Rebellion is a reaction to the ‘new’ café racer scene,” says founder Adolfo Calles. “We’re fed up with the ‘artisan’ word being used to …


Venier’s ‘Tractor 03′: a Moto Guzzi V7 Scrambler

We wonder if Stefano Venier knew what a hit his ‘Tractor V75‘ would be when he created it. Based on a 90s-model NTX 750, it struck a balance between looks and usability—and has since kicked off a series of builds.

This is ‘Tractor 03,’ and it’s been built using a more modern donor—the 2011 Moto …

Shinya Kimura’s ‘Faster Son’ Yamaha MT-07

EXCLUSIVE Shinya Kimura is probably the world’s most famous custom motorcycle builder right now. But despite this fame, he’s a somewhat enigmatic figure.

He studied insects at college, but chose motorcycle mechanics as a career. It was a smart move: he quickly shot to fame in the 90s building …


Son Of A Gun: BMW R69S ‘Thompson’

The Thompson submachine gun is a legend in artillery and gangster circles. In the 1920s, the ‘Chicago Typewriter’ cost half as much as a new Ford car, thanks to the intricate machining of its metal and wooden parts.

It’s also the inspiration behind this new build from Slovenia’s ER Motorcycles. …


Totally Radical: Ed Turner’s Suzuki GSX1100

Some bikes are built to go far—others to look flash. We’ll let you decide which category Ed Turner’s latest creation falls into.

It’s no coincidence that Ed Turner sounds like “head turner”: proprietor Karl Renoult’s design ethos is deliberately edgy. His client—a designer—shares the same philospohy.


Magione: Krugger Remixes The Ducati Scrambler

As the Wheels & Waves festival winds down, stunning new custom builds are still being unveiled in Biarritz. The latest is this Ducati Scrambler called ‘Magione,’ from Belgium’s Fred ‘Krugger‘ Bertrand.

Krugger has two AMD World Championship titles to his name, and he’s known for building …


Battle Of The Kings: Report From Wheels & Waves

Europe’s top custom festival has attracted strong interest from the mainstream manufacturers this year, with Harley-Davidson choosing the Biarritz venue to showcase its Battle Of The Kings competition.

Public voting had already selected the five finalists—Street 750s built by Harley dealers working …

Harley Davidson

Hero 01: Holographic Hammer’s Ducati Scrambler

If the name Sylvain Berneron isn’t familiar to you, then Holographic Hammer should be. It’s the alias under which Sylvain’s designed some of the neatest custom motorcycle concepts we’ve seen.

As an experienced automotive designer, Sylvain ensures that his designs are always executable in the metal. …


Très Chic: Café Racer Dreams’ BMW R100

Despite the flood of BMW customs hitting the streets, certain workshops can be counted on to consistently produce good examples. Like Café Racer Dreams—who’ve shown their prowess yet again with this elegant Boxer.

CRD #58 is an 84-model BMW R100, and it was built for a regular of the Madrid-based …

“Le Caffage”: Ducati 848 by Apogee Motorworks

There’s a definite formula when it comes to customizing motorcycles. After all, there are only so many ways you can change the look of a bike without resorting to extreme (and expensive) fabrication.

But there are a few builders who throw the rulebook out of the window, freely experimenting with new …