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Iconic: The Ron Wood ‘Lightweight’ Dell’Orto Norton

In the US right now, flat track is smokin’ hot. Indian has joined the fray and is giving Harley-Davidson serious competition. The Super Hooligan series, devised by Roland Sands and open to semi-production bikes, is picking up speed. And custom builders the world over are looking to flat trackers …

Motorcycles

Behind the scenes: Cafe Racers of Instagram

If you love custom motorcycles and feed your addiction via social media, you probably follow Cafe Racers of Instagram. It’s an impeccably curated account with a staggering 850,000 followers, delivering quality images of café racers and customs several times a day.<p>The guys behind CROIG, David and …

Motorcycles

The Skills You Need To Build A Custom Motorcycle

We’ve all been there. You’ve seen this great bike at a show, or online, and you’ve gotta build something like it. You can see yourself hammering down the street on it. You’ve scoured the interwebs and found a bunch of photos of the type of bike you love. Maybe you’ve even narrowed down the make and …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 5 March, 2017

Sleek new metal from Rough Crafts, a museum-worthy Honda race replica from Down Under, and BMW turns its youngest engineers loose on a hover bike concept. The motorcycling world is indeed a broad church.<p><b>Justin Steyn’s Honda CB550 race replica</b> Roughly three years ago, Justin Steyn commanded our …

Young Gun, Old Metal: Reviving Dave Hansen’s flat tracker

Younger builders often get criticized for trying out different ways of customizing bikes—whether it’s pushing the design envelope or making unconventional tire choices.<p>But we know firsthand that many of these guys have a keen appreciation for the old as well as the new. Young Guns’ Nik Heer is one …

This Sportster terrorizes the streets of Carefree, Arizona

There’s more than one way to skin a cat; or, in moto terms, there’s more than one way to customize a Sportster. We’ve had all sorts of Harley-Davidsons grace these pages—from bobbers to cafe racers, scramblers and flat trackers.<p>Which has us wondering: is there still room for low-slung, hard-tailed …

BMW ‘Alpha’ by Mark Atkinson and Mehmet Doruk Erdem

<i>Photos: Jun Song / Film: Max Daines</i><p>It’s one of the most unlikely alliances we’ve ever seen: An old school machinist and motorcycle builder from Utah, and a high-tech industrial designer from Istanbul, Europe’s most populous city. But there are few boundaries to communication in the 21st century—and …

More Racer Than Cafe: NCT’s stunning Ducati 848 Evo

Superbikes don’t typically make us weak at the knees—but if we had to spring for something racy, it would probably be Italian. We wouldn’t say no to the 140 horsepower Ducati 848 Evo, for example.<p>So when NCT Motorcycles told us they had just finished an 848, we assumed the bike had been crashed. …

MonoMonkee: Getting dirty with the Wrenchmonkees

The dirt track revolution continues apace. Even the big guns are turning their eyes towards the ovals, and the latest to catch the bug are Nicholas Bech and Per Nielsen of the Wrenchmonkees.<p>We’re guessing the scene is pretty small in Denmark, but it’s only a three-hour drive from Copenhagen to the …

How to build a Yamaha SR500 street tracker, the Mule way

We know Richard Pollock is a master of his craft—and we know he’s thorough. But we’re beginning to think he’s a little obsessive. This Yamaha SR500 went onto the Mule Motorcycles bench for some basic upgrades. But as Richard dug deeper, he found more and more issues. Things snowballed fast…<p>“The …

Fresh: The Bel Air 1200 Framer by Deus

It’s usually a long time between builds from Deus’ L.A. workshop supremo Michael Woolaway—but they’re always worth the wait. Like this seriously hot rodded Harley cafe racer, the ‘Bel Air 1200 Framer.’ It’s got more curves than a racetrack, and enough grunt to spin the wheels at will.<p>“When I …

Major Fazer: Bad Winners amps up the Yamaha FZS600

Apparently, the hipsters are ruining motorcycles. At least that’s the mantra of the old guard, bemoaning every trend from tire choices to velocity stacks.<p>Meanwhile, the rest of us are happy to enjoy bikes for what they are: sometimes impractical; always fun. So join us in giving Walid from Bad …

Rocket Man: Triumph Legend TT by XTR Pepo

It’s hard to resist the sound and spectacle of a classic endurance racer. And no one knows that better than Pepo Rosell. He’s become a cult figure within the bike building business, because he has the knack of giving fast road bikes an appealing vintage race vibe.<p>This gnarly-looking machine is …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 11 December, 2016

A drop-dead gorgeous racer-style BMW R100R from XTR Pepo, a new motorcycle manufacturer based in New York City, and a rare Diamond Atelier build up for sale. The top end of the market has been busy this week.<p><b>Suzuki DR650 by Diamond Atelier</b> This stretched and slammed Suzuki DR650 should look a …

Punk Rock Boxer: K-Speed’s slammed custom Ural

Practicality is a hot topic around here—so much so that we’ve added the word ‘fenders’ to our comment moderation watch list.<p>But our own tastes are eclectic, and we can appreciate everything from finely tuned race machines to bobbers with wafer-thin saddles. And we love the machines that roll out of …

The Yamando: A vintage Yamaha racer with a Norton frame

Brad Monk is a racer. Sure, he has a day job, but come Sunday, he’s a racer—and this is his race bike.<p>Trying to figure out what it is? We can help: it’s a ‘Yamando’; part Yamaha XS650, part Norton Commando. Or, as Brad puts it, “the best of both worlds.”<p>If you’re wondering if the combo is …

ドナルド・トランプ次期大統領、The Chainsmokersのあのヒット曲を歌う

Rough Crafts x MV Agusta: Ballistic Trident

It takes a very, very brave builder to tackle an MV Agusta. The slogan of the Varese company is ‘Motorcycle Art,’ and for once, the advertising is true.<p>But Winston Yeh didn’t baulk when he got a call from MV Agusta’s people in Taiwan. A gleaming new Brutale 800 RR was soon delivered to his workshop …

Black Beauty: NCT’s wild custom BMW R100

There’s a time for building practical, sensible bikes—and there’s a time for hanging loose. Like when you’re working on a shop bike, with no client or brief in sight.<p>You’re looking at National Custom Tech‘s latest in-house project—a BMW R100 RT dubbed Black Stallion #28. Like any good showpiece, …

Road Runner: A Ducati Pantah reborn in Portugal

The Pantah is one of those bikes from the 1980s that looks a little awkward today. But let’s not be too unkind: It set the template for modern Ducatis, with a trellis frame, belt-driven cams and a desmo valve system.<p>From an engineering perspective, you could say that Fabio Taglioni’s swansong was …

A Harley street tracker built to rip up Vermont mountains

In the lakeside town of Shelburne, VT, there’s an old aircraft hanger stuffed with vintage Land Rovers awaiting restoration. It’s the home of Colby Morris, owner of Tin Shack Restoration and a lifestyle that turns us green with envy.<p>When he’s not sprucing up old Landies, Colby likes to wrench on …

BMW Motorrad Japan x Wedge G 310 R

If you want to build a custom based on a current-production BMW, the top choice right now is the R nineT. We’ve also seen builders extract stunning results from sportier BMWs like the S 1000 R superbike and even the big R 1200 R roadster.<p>We didn’t see this one coming, though: A flat tracker based …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 20 November, 2016

A tire-smokin’ Triumph Bobber with nitrous injection, a custom BMW R75/5 beautiful enough to live in a museum, and a stunning Ducati 900SS from Revival Cycles. It’s a top drawer collection this week.<p><b>Triumph Bonneville Bobber by Down & Out Cafe Racers</b> When the lads from Hinckley pulled the wraps off …

The 11 Best Motorcycles of EICMA 2016

In Milan, the huge EICMA show is finally winding down. It’s the world’s most influential motorcycle showcase, and a barometer for the state of the industry.<p>This year, the giant halls were chock-a-block with new bike launches from all sectors of the market. Ducati showed the 1299 Superleggera for …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 6 November, 2016

An exquisite Ducati Monster from Portugal, a Honda CX500 with an 80s vibe, and a wild new build from XTR Pepo—formerly of Radical Ducati. Meet the machines that buttered our toast this week.<p><b>Honda CLR125 by Dream Wheels Heritage</b> If The Ride: 2nd Gear graces your coffee table like it does mine, the …

Yes, you can turn the Victory Octane into a flat tracker

There’s a lot of truth in the phrase “You make your own luck.” And that’s the subtext of the story behind this striking-looking Victory Octane, built by Samuel Guertin of Montréal-based Clockwork Motorcycles.<p>Guertin’s star is on the rise, thanks to a stream of quality builds that capture the …

Prime Cut: Schlachtwerk trims the fat from the W650

The Kawasaki W650 is one of those bikes that respond well to a light makeover. You know the drill: a new tank and seat, and maybe a bikini fairing and clip-ons. All easy to install, and without breaking the bank.<p>That’s not enough to satisfy Tom Thöring of Schlachtwerk, though. He’s a self-confessed …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 30 October, 2016

A Triumph Street Twin with Jaguar D-Type paint, a Tiger Cub with a Sammy Miller frame, and a French XS650 tracker with a Kenny Roberts vibe. The old is new again this week.<p><b>Triumph Tiger Cub by Heroes Motorcycles</b> Browse through the back catalog of Los Angeles-based Heroes Motorcycles, and you’ll …

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 23 October, 2016

A 160-horsepower Ducati hot rod, a truly unique KTM motocross conversion, and a tribute to the iconic Ron Wood ‘big tube’ tracker, based on the Norton Commando. It’s all about performance this week.<p><b>Yamaha XS400 by Real Moto Co.</b> A shop’s first build will often set the tone or design language for the …

Revealed: The new Triumph Bonneville Bobber

Triumph is going all-out to conquer every sector of the motorcycle market. The Triples and Tigers are approaching icon status, and the new Bonnevilles are selling as fast as the factory can make them.<p>It must have been tempting to take a breather, but Hinckley is now pushing into uncharted …