Featuring non-professional builders is something we don’t do nearly enough of here at the House of Burnt Pipes. There’s something incredibly honest about a guy toiling away in his freezing and/or boiling garage at all hours of the night. And for what? Greasy, skinned knuckles and a constantly empty wallet – that’s what. But there’s something else that can also emerge. Something wonderful. Something that art critics have called one the purest forms of folk art ever created. So here’s Netherlandian Bas Rover’s own little folk art masterpiece, a hardtail Honda CB450 bobber.
Nature has a way of telling us perpetually inquisitive humans when enough is enough. When our touchy little fingers and our peepy little eyes should just back the hell off. It’s called a sting. Whether it’s delivered via fangs, spikes or spines, you know it’s gonna hurt you. Maybe more. And for those who aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, it’s often accompanied by a visual cue, a flash of colour, to let you know that things are probably going to get ouchy should you choose to continue. But when the creature is the latest build from Macco Motors and it looks this good, to hell with the pain.
It’s been four months an a brand new wall calendar since the last AMD World Championships in Cologne, and yet we’re still turning up some genuinely great bikes that were previously hidden deep within the winning ranks. Here’s one from Belgium that’s been handcrafted in a basement by a Mr. Quentin Vaulet, or as he likes to call his nocturnal garage adventures, “Charging Lion”. “It’s a personal project (and a pretext) for which I completely surrender myself to the creation of motorcycle”. Fitting then that this, his latest bike, is called “The Thief”; by the looks of it, she owes Quentin more that a few hours. Much more.
‘英’ is the Japanese Kanji character for ‘great.’ It also happens to be the character that the Japanese use for ‘England’. See, when Japan first properly met the British, the poms were in the midst of creating the modern world with their fancy Industrial Revolution. And for a country that had closed itself off to the outside world for over two centuries, Japan-san was clearly impressed. To Japanese eyes, British steam trains were technology from 200 years in the future; similar to you or I seeing a motorcycle from 2214. So what better name than ‘Great’ for a country that could do that? Kind of how we feel when we see the latest creation from dear ol’ Blighty. Introducing Old Empire Motorcycles’s latest revolution, ‘Typhoon’.
Here’s something we hope we see more of. A sweet bike, a bunch of sweet, sweet photos and a very sweet video. Max Daines is a cinematographer in Utah that has recently turned his hand to a bit of automotive film making. With the help of a damn nice BMW R100 bobber, Photographer Jun Song, and a whole bunch of empty city, Max has managed to produce something that raises the bar while avoiding some of the more typical clichés of the genre. So sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of a star R100 BMW and her first big box office success, “Night Cruise’.
Peanut butter and jelly. Vegemite and avocado. Pickled eggs and beer. In the culinary world there’s a few combinations that, at first glance, just shouldn’t work at all. And yet if you can manage to cross the chasm of logic and walk free in the land of adventurous eating, you’ll find that sometimes gut instincts and leaps of faith work a whole lot better than common sense. It’s the same instincts that Richard, from Berlin’s Metric Customs, used when he decided that there was no good reason why a Harley engine and a Dnepr bike couldn’t work together. Just like Reagan and Gorbachev. Genius.
The AMD World Championships for 2104 have come and gone for another year, and as always there’s quite a mixed bag of new bikes to peruse. But what’s good to see is that some of the more traditional Harley builders are embracing new-school influences to move the game one a little. Less billet, more brilliance so to speak. One of those builders is middle Deutschland’s One Way Machine. Starting with a decidedly old-school, mid-ninties HD Softail, they’ve managed to build a boardtracker-inspired custom that is about as close to the original hog as Frankfurters are to sushi. Here’s their ‘La Salle’ Fat Boy bobber.
Written by Ian Lee.
On the streets of India the cycle of choice tends to be the Royal Enfield. Reliable, easy to work on, spares aplenty, there is little that is not appealing about the retro motorcycle marque. Except if you want to stand out that is. Rolling out of India’s top new custom workshop, this bike is an idea executed with the mindset of a truly different bike being created. Scratch built around a late model Royal Enfield engine, Mean Green Customs have shown what it takes to stand out from the crowd, with their stealth bike concept. In a sea of Royal Enfield bobbers, this hard tail is something else, the mechanical engineer who created this masterpiece yearning to build something unique – and a chance to put his home made frame jig to use.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
There are many ways to start the build of a custom motorcycle; owning a bike that’s just begging to be modified, scoring a wreck and restoring it to your own style or sitting down with pen and paper to design like you’re Tamburini. But Carl Cerra threw convention out the window and started his build with just one item, a rear tire and from there he built a custom masterpiece.
Carl is the lead designer at Gasolina in Melbourne Australia and as he describes it “I bought the Hoosier tire first and said I wanted to build a bike around it just because I like the Hoosier font!” With a rear tire picked out Carl needed a frame to mate it too and with a love of the work of Shinya Kimura, “He is the master of proportion and can make something odd look awesome”, Carl entered into negotiations with Zero Engineering to secure one of their incredible frames. With the Zero frame on the stand, the Japanese theme just made perfect sense and the name Sub Zero was born.
It’s a truism to say that most builders have a kind of love/hate relationship with their project bikes. From the elation experienced when a seat comes together perfectly with a frame to the utter torment of broken bolts, mysterious misfires and parts that magic themselves into other dimensions after they hit the floor, it’s more than common for builds to drag their makers through a gamut of emotions. But I think it’s fair to say that Brad White from Louisville, Kentucky’s 502 Moto has a painful build story that beats most. And when I say painful, I mean just that.