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The Black Douglas: A Two-Wheeled Morgan

Fabio Cardoni is a man after our own hearts. “Steel is more beautiful than plastic, and simplicity is more appealing than complexity,” he says.

Sig. Cardoni runs The Black Douglas Motorcycle Company, which makes the vintage-styled machine you see here. Called the Sterling, it’s the two-wheeled …

African Americans

The Hunter: A Scrambler With Extra Firepower

The Triumph Scrambler’s biggest selling point is its looks. It might not be the strongest contender in the performance department, but it has a nostalgic appeal that few others can match. And it’s easy to upgrade.

This stunning Triumph Scrambler was built by Erne’s Euromotos—a dealership and custom …


BMW K 1600 GTL Project: The Builders

Harley-Davidson dominates the heavyweight custom scene in Japan: many of the top builders work on no other marque. But BMW has just disrupted that paradigm with its ‘Ignite Straight 6’ project: it’s given its luxury K 1600 GTL tourer to two of Japan’s most esteemed motorcycle craftsmen.

Keiji …


BMW K1600 GTL Custom Project

At the Osaka Motorcycle Show, BMW Japan has just thrown the wraps off two extreme customs based on the K1600 GTL. That’s the range-topping luxury tourer, a road-going spaceship powered by a 1649cc inline six—and probably packed with more electronics than any other motorcycle on the market …


Red Alert: Down & Out’s Triumph Bonneville SE

Down & Out probably isn’t the most auspicious name for a business. But Shaun Walker sleeps easy at night: business at his Sheffield, England workshop is booming.

For the past 15 years, Shaun has been building very tidy, sharp-looking customs. He works mostly on older BMWs these days, but also …

Red Alert

Running Lean: Fuel Motorcycles’ sleek R65

‘Svelte’ is not a word that sits comfortably in the BMW design language. These days, the machines that roll out of BMW Motorradwerk in Berlin are best described as imposing—or in the case of the sportbikes, angular.

It wasn’t always that way, though. The R65 of the early 1980s had a compact frame, …


The Walking Dead: The Daryl Dixon Motorcycle

EXCLUSIVE If you have a television in your house, you probably know AMC’s The Walking Dead. If you’re blessed with a strong constitution, you may even be watching it.

It’s a post-apocalyptic drama series that scores millions of viewers for every episode. And unlike most shows of that ilk, it’s a …


Absolute Gem: Diamond Atelier’s BMW R100R

We’re calling it: the custom boxer movement has reached critical mass. More BMWs are rolling off workbenches than ever before, so builders have to look at Bavaria’s sweetheart with fresh eyes to get noticed.

This neo-noir BMW R100R from Diamond Atelier is more of a swift kick to the jaw than a …


Boxing Clever: Deus Customs’ Gentleman Jim

Boxing aficionados will know the name Gentleman Jim Corbett. He was a man of taste and manners, who trod the boards of theatres in San Francisco and New York.

He also entered the ring 24 times between 1886 and 1903—including one bout that extended to a brutal 61 rounds—and became the Heavyweight …


Thunderhawk: A New Angle On The Honda CB77

With most Honda CB customs packing 400cc or more, we were a little curious when a CB77 Super Hawk hit our inbox. After all, this was the bike that launched Honda in the USA—and the bike that Robert M. Pirsig rode on his trip in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Plus, the Super Hawk is …


Slate Hammer: Rough Crafts’ custom Sportster

EXCLUSIVE The Harley Sportster is probably the most customized bike on the planet. But there are surprisingly few examples that butter our toast. It’s the café racer look that seems to be the most troublesome: giving the portly Sportster a sleek and pared-back style is not easy.

So when Winston Yeh …

Aston Martin

Made in Australia: Glory Road’s CB750K

Glory Road Motorcycles is a small retail space that’s just opened in the heart of Adelaide, Australia. Step inside and you’ll find apparel, riding accessories—and some fine motorcycles, like this Honda CB750K.

The shop is new, but owner Tom Harrison has been turning wrenches since the age of 17—when …


The Amazing Motorcycle Models of Pere Tarragó

In the small Spanish town of Molins de Rei lives Pere Tarragó, a motorcycle builder of quite extraordinary skill. His bikes are completely unrideable—but that’s only because they’re 1:5 and 1:6 scale models.

These motorcycle models are nothing like the Revell or Tamiya kits you played with back in …


Customizing a classic: CRD’s BMW R80ST

Café Racer Dreams don’t exclusively build BMWs, but you could call them specialists. With several elegant examples under their belts—including these two stunning R100s—they’ve learnt a thing or two about turning wrenches on Bavaria’s finest.

Most of CRD’s classic BMWs share similar technical …


Top 5 Yamaha XJR1300 Customs

The big news on the custom scene right now is the launch of the revised Yamaha XJR1300. The old bruiser has been revitalized and repackaged into two variants: a standard version with wide bars and a seat big enough for two, and a Racer with clip-ons, a small fairing and front fender, and a solo …


Yamaha DT250 by One Down Four Up

Every year, hundreds of custom motorcycle lovers descend on Portland, Oregon, for the One Motorcycle Show. This year Wayne Corbett and Gabrielle Jones of One Down Four Up made the trip, and left with a trophy.

They trekked north from their headquarters in Redding, California, to show off Gabrielle’s …


Happy Landings: Clockwork’s CB750 custom

Samuel Guertin used to spend his days wrenching on choppers—the kind that fly. But after a decade working as a helicopter mechanic, he decided that customizing cars and bikes was more fulfilling.

So he changed his flight path and Clockwork Motorcycles was born, with a base in the countryside half an …

Stainless Steel

Bonneville Performance Triumph Street Tracker

The custom motorcycle scene is a fascinating but often uneasy battle between form and function. Occasionally the two worlds collide in spectacular style—and that’s what happens when you buy a Triumph street tracker from Florida-based Bonneville Performance.

Owner Bill Gately also runs an AMA Pro …


Indy Mile: Gasolina’s custom SR400 Tracker

In Melbourne, Australia—on the Yarra River’s shorefront—you’ll find an outfit called Gasolina. It’s an unusual but very appealing business: a restaurant-cum-motorcycle design studio that doubles up as an event venue.

A few months ago, Gasolina played host to Yamaha Australia when they relaunched the …


Win A Union Garage Robinson Jacket

Today we’ve got an exciting giveaway for Bike EXIF readers: the chance to win a beautiful Union Garage NYC ‘Robinson’ motorcycle jacket worth $699. We’re also giving away one of Union Garage’s famous 50-piece Tool Rolls, plus your choice of a Bell Bullitt helmet with a bonus faceshield, or a Shoei …

The Wright Stuff: Church Of Choppers FXR

The Brooklyn Invitational is one of the most prestigious motorcycle shows in the States. If you’re a builder and you’re invited to present a bike, you have well and truly Arrived.

It’s not a huge show, so it’s an elite list of builders. Within that elite is Jeff Wright: he’s received the treasured …


Tricolore Treat: Wolf Moto’s Guzzi LeMans

One of South Africa’s motorcycling hotspots is the Woodstock Man Cave, a workshop-cum-clubhouse in Cape Town. It’s also the venue for a bike show that’s popular with local customizers.

But a few weeks ago, it was a machine from the opposite end of South Africa that grabbed everyone’s attention. …

Le Mans

New and noted: the latest Motorcycle Jackets

If you live in the northern hemisphere, temperatures are rising (we hope). And that means just one thing—more hours on the bike.

So it’s time to check the wardrobe and the bank balance. Here’s our pick of the latest and greatest new motorcycle jackets: we’ve got new releases from traditional English …


Maxed Out: Yamaha’s Yard Built VMAX custom

The mighty V-Max is thirty years old this year. And it’s still making the news—for both the right and the wrong reasons.

Its creator, Kenji Ekuan of GK Design, died a few days ago. Ekuan isn’t as well known as European designers such as Massimo Tamburini or Miguel Galluzzi, but he should be. His …


Super Scrambler: Analog’s old-school Ducati

Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles is an old-fashioned craftsman. He can turn his hand to fine woodworking as well as metallurgy, and his Chicago-based workshop turns out bikes that are functional as well as beautifully finished.

Tony eschews fashion, but there’s often a stroke of serendipity in his …


Barely Legal: Maria’s stripped-back Bonneville

Most custom shops would relish the opportunity to take a second crack at a build—especially if it was one of their early efforts. So the crew at Lisbon’s Maria Motorcycles must have been smiling when this Triumph Bonneville found its way back onto their bench.

The bike in question is “Silly Kid”: a …


CRD’s XR 1200: the Harley That Should Have Been

Back in 2008, the Harley XR 1200 had everything going for it. Launched in Europe but styled with an American flat track vibe, it was a nod to the much-loved XR750.

American magazines went gaga over the XR, citing the 91-horsepower engine and quality suspension. They clamored for the bike to be …

Moto Guzzi

Just For Kicks: Macco Motors’ XS400

Most custom builders don’t enjoy messing with electrics: they’ll install a lithium-ion battery to save weight and leave it at that. More adventurous workshops might rip out the fuses and install a control box like the Motogadget m-Unit.

Jose and Tito of Macco Motors have just gone one step further. …

Fuel Tank

Go Fast, Turn Left: The RSD Ameri-Tracker

Flat track is where it’s at. It’s a shot of adrenaline for both fans and racers, and the ‘go fast, turn left’ bikes look terrific.

It’s also one of the few codes where Harley is still competitive. The XR-750 ruled the roost in the 70s, and today it’s the weapon of choice for stars like Brad ‘The …

Tracking Devices

Ready to race: Sacha Lakic’s CX500

Who’d have thought that the humble Honda CX500 would one day join the CB750 and SR500 as a staple of custom builders? The poor man’s Guzzi—once loved only by despatch riders—has fast become the sweetheart of the custom world.

The CX500 works best when builders manage to straighten out its awkward …

Exhaust Systems