As the custom bike scene becomes increasingly crowded, builders constantly try bend, break and make something that’s going to turn people’s heads. There’s genre-defying builds, customs built on increasingly unusual base models and all manner of gaudy paint schemes and odd angles of fabrication designed to get exposure on websites like Pipeburn. Because of this, sometimes you need a build that’s just straightforward enough to remind you how good a simple, tight café racer can be. Devon-based Kevil’s Speed Shop help remind us of how effortless a bespoke ride can look with their 1981 BMW R80 café racer dubbed ‘Jellyfish’.
Portugal’s Maria Motorcycles has a glowing reputation for building quality custom motorcycles that leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of perfection. So it was no surprise when they got a call from a Triumph Bonneville aficionado who had a 2001 model he wanted built to scrambler spec. So confident was the owner, he gave Maria no design brief but having previously built a Spitfire-themed Bonnie the boys had the bright idea to again follow the World War II angle. Only this time with something from the other side of the Channel, a German-themed military spec vehicle that goes by the name of Luther.
Written by Mark Hawwa – Founder of the Distinguished Gentlemans Ride.
The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride had very basic beginnings when I created the event three years ago. I wanted to unite the classic and custom classic motorcycle scene. This idea turned into 2,500 dapper ladies and gents riding on the same day throughout 64 cities all across the globe back in 2012.
This year again, ladies and gents will be dressing in their finest for this ride on the same day, only now with over 30,000 riders across over 80 countries. This has turned into what would have to be the largest global rides held. The 400 cities involved in this years ride has formed a beautiful community for riders of café racers, bobbers, classics, brats, trackers, choppers and everything niche bike in-between.
The artist and engineer usually come at their work from completely different ends of the creative continuum and often go together about as well as a bull in a china shop. But on the rare occasion they do mix well, the results are truly spectacular – and this Custom Yamaha Virago known as “GoGo” just happens to be one such example.
The kids are alright; 26-year-old Sander Ilves from Estonia took a crashed ’84 BMW R80 and created a mean and clean street tracker for his own amusement. The budget? Pretty much zero. The team? Just him. And the shop? Nothing but his cold, Estonian garage.
Dust off the drafting table, refill the clutch pencil and grab the dividers. Retired Dutch Architect Henk Woltjer has teamed up with local shop Motogadgets to create the perfect motorcycle to relive his youth; it’s a millimetre-exact Yamaha XS650 tracker inspired by the first bike he built some thirty years earlier.
Cytech of South Africa have one simple motto: “Never say die”. So when this 1955 BMW R50 came in on a stretcher with yellow skin, complete organ failure and no pulse they fired up the defibrillator and injected new life into this 60 year old Bavarian.
Sunsets. A cold beer. Hearing that Nickleback have split up and been sent to prison. Life’s all about the simple things, and today’s bike is exhibit ‘A’ from the high court of less is more. With a über minimal approach, a slammed stance and a decidedly agrarian look, the latest bike from Michael Mundy and his Steel Bent Customs is one sweet knobbled bobber worthy of a Sunday ride or twelve. Meet the ‘Seven-1’.
It’s crazy to think John Ryland from Classified Moto only bought his first bike seven years ago. Since then he has definitely made up for the late start. By the end of that first year of riding, John had already owned three bikes. This 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140 was the third bike he had ever owned. It holds significant importance to him because he traded a mint ’81 Kawasaki KZ550 for it – unfortunately the Bonnie was a complete basket case.
For the last few years French brothers Ben and G have been running Angry Lane, a Hong Kong-based store specialising in bike parts and all manner of low-key riding apparel. Keen to expand their business they’ve moved into modifying motorcycles, hoping their creations will act as a showcase for the products they have on hand. Now 16 bikes in, they’ve produced this unusual Kawasaki W650 dubbed ‘Superrench’ – a slammed down tracker that ticks off the motorcycle axis of evil – polished aluminium, header wrap and Firestones – and still comes out looking fantastic.