Bringing you the world's best café racers, bobbers and custom motorcycles


Yamaha XVS650 Dragster

Posted on March 4th, by Scott in Racer. 16 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

Made Men is a small Danish workshop that specializes in slammed and chopped bastard motorcycles. Their talents are not limited to bikes either – their website features a few early production Volkswagen Beatles dropped on the deck, a brace of BMX cruisers and a matte GMC van marked ‘Kidnapper’ with ‘free candy and stuff inside’ emblazoned on the rear. But their motorcycles are of the most interest to me – they’ve produced a few tidy CB750’s and CX500s but their best work is with their mid-life-crisis-on-a-budget specials like the Honda VLX and Suzuki Intruder. All are distinctive, blacked out and mean looking – and none as striking as this 1997 Yamaha XVS650 Dragster.

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‘76 BMW R90/6 – Garaje 57

Posted on March 2nd, by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 15 comments

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After five long years in the motorcycle blogging game, we’d like to think that there’s pretty much nothing we haven’t done. Electric bikes? Been there. Drag racing? Done that. Borrow a new bike from a large Japanese manufacturer and then total it? Um, we totally have no idea what you are talking about… But after all those shenanigans, there’s still one thing that we’ve never done, and that’s feature a build from Colombia. Until now. Here’s an amazing BMW from Bogotá’s brothers Esteban and Gustavo Pasquale and their shop, Garaje 57.

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‘77 Honda CB550 – ‘Blacksquare’

Posted on February 28th, by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 42 comments

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Great Britain and the United States of America have a proud history of building on each other’s innovations to move the whole of Western Civilisation along. While English minds may have created the industrial revolution, it took Henry Ford to crystallise the whole thing in mass production for the people. And while (arguably) it was Elvis who recorded the first Rock ‘n’ Roll song, it was clearly The Beatles and the Stones who perfected it ten years later. Then along comes New Jersey’s Kyril Dambuleff and his associates, who have managed to create ‘Blacksquare’ – one of the most beautiful, and one of the most British-looking bikes we’ve seen in a month of high tea Sundays. Philip Vincent, eat your jolly heart out.

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‘83 BMW R80 – Kevil’s Speed Shop

Posted on February 26th, by Andrew in Tracker. 8 comments

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Written by Marlon Slack.

While possibly the least effective language to serenade someone, the German dialect has an unusually large repertoire of words to describe some very particular feelings. For example – deppenfahrerbeäugung is the glare you throw a bad driver after overtaking them and backpfeifengesicht means a ‘a face that asks to be slapped’. UK-based Kevil’s Speed Shop have seized this wonderfully descriptive language to name their 1983 BMW R80 the Uber – a German prefix meaning anything great or superlative. And also an affordable crowd-sourced taxi company. But mostly the superlative bit.

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‘Flying Dutchman’ – Janus Motorcycles

Posted on February 25th, by Andrew in Other. 27 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

Over the last decade we’ve seen the return of the Café Racer, the Tracker, the Bobber, the Scrambler and many of the bikes that dominated the scene in days gone by. Now the renaissance is taking its logical next step, a return of the small motorcycle companies building limited runs of handcrafted motorcycles that mirror the customer’s desire for vintage flare. One such start-up is Indiana-based Janus Motorcycles who, in the spirit of Harley Davidson and Norton, are reviving the small to big approach with an unwavering belief in quality manufacturing.

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‘95 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport – Moto Studio

Posted on February 24th, by Andrew in Racer. 12 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

When Moto Guzzi released the 1995 1100 Sport the global press first fell in love with the idea of a true Guzzi sports bike and then just as quickly turned to frowns when it was announced the dry weight would be an obese 230kg. That sort of weight and “sport” just don’t fit, but some 20 years after its release experts of crafting Italian classics, Moto Studio of Miami Florida asked themselves a simple question. “How do you make a Moto Guzzi into a sport bike?” The answer is to shed as much weight as possible, increase horse power as much as one can while still running pump gas and dial in some serious suspension bits.

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2015 Yamaha XJR1300 Review

Posted on February 23rd, by Scott in Review. 45 comments

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A little while back I received an invitation from Yamaha to the XJR1300 European press launch. Naturally, I was thrilled to be part of it and sent back a RSVP with the requested passport information saying I would love to be involved in the European launch. So my mind wanders off, picturing where we would be riding the XJR? Maybe we would be taken on the legendary German autobahn where pesky speed limits have been slain? Or perhaps we’ll disappear down the picturesque Amalfi coast with the Mediterranean breeze flowing in my locks? Or could we be taken up one of the most famous and photographed roads in Italy, the Stelvio Pass, with its endless hairpin turns? Then reality hit when I finally read the details of the invitation. The launch was actually going to be held in Sydney, Australia! What? That’s where I live. So after the initial disappointment, I realised being a native could actually come in handy while doing the press ride, like being comfortable riding on the left hand side of the road… but more on that later.

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‘79 Yamaha XS650 – Analog Motorcycles

Posted on February 19th, by Andrew in Brat. 69 comments

Written by Marlon Slack.

Analog Motorcycles is located in Gurnee, Illinois and under the guidance of founder Tony Prust they’ve produced some incredibly clean bikes. Increasingly often they’ve turned their hand to some relative oddballs on the custom scene – with a 1958 BMW R50, 1949 Indian Scout and a 1975 Ducati GT860 rolling out of their shop in the last year alone. This time around they’ve gone back to a staple of the custom scene – a 1979 Yamaha XS650. And given the exceptional attention to detail and the quality of the work that has gone into the bike I think we’re all the better for it.

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‘86 BMW K100 RS – Motofication

Posted on February 17th, by Andrew in Café Racer. 10 comments

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What a renaissance the good ol’ BMW K-Series is having of late. From humble beginnings as the laughing-stock of the second-hand bike scene, the model has enjoyed a slow and steady rise in popularity over the past few years. And why wouldn’t it? Terminally underpriced second-hand examples can still be had for a little as US$2,500 in most countries. And, if you take your time, you’ll land a low mileage German-engineered motorcycle to have your wicked way with. What’s not to love? Which is exactly the attitude Herr Marc Robrock from Nuremberg’s Motofication took when he began this, his second ‘K-Fé’ K100 build.

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Yamaha VMAX by JVB Moto

Posted on February 15th, by Scott in Other. 14 comments

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To celebrate the VMAX 30th anniversary, Yamaha approached JVB Moto to build a bike that would become a fitting tribute to the heritage of this legendary machine. It has even become more fitting because the original Japanese designer Kenji Ekuan passed away recently – who not only designed the VMAX but also the iconic Kikkoman soy sauce bottle. We are sure that JVB Moto’s design would have made Kenji proud. We wanted to find out more than the usual Yamaha press release, so we hit Jens vom Brauck with a few questions. He is a man whose work speaks louder than words, but we did try to get a few insights out of him:

Pipeburn: Must be a good feeling to be approached by the mighty Yamaha to build them a bike. How did it come about?

Shun Miyazawa asked me when we met at Wheels & Waves in France last year. I just couldn’t say no.

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