In the world of custom motorcycles, appreciating the skill required to achieve an incredible result can be a difficult thing to gauge. But one thing is for sure, nothing informs a builder of just how hard a certain model is to work on until they take one and get their hands dirty…
If you ask me to tell you the difference between a genuine Louis Vuitton handbag and a 50 buck knock off from eBay, I could examine it with a magnifying glass and still have no idea. But save yourself the 3k and buy your girlfriend the Chinese fake for her birthday…
Here’s a fun fact. Shoichiro Irimajiri, the Honda engineer who designed the first generation Honda Gold Wing engine, had spent the previous 10 years making Grand Prix engines. His initial concept for the Gold Wing was a 1500cc flat six engine that put out 80bhp and propelled the test bike to well in excess of 140mph…
Here’s a little bobber Inception for you. By definition, a ‘bobber’ is a factory bike that’s been stripped down to decrease weight and improve performance. So this begs the question, if a factory builds a bobber, can you still ‘bob’ it? It seems that France’s FCR Original have gone a few levels deeper to provide us with an answer, and that answer is a resounding ‘oui’.
I’m trying to figure out the point when Indonesia stopped being a destination for drunken Australians to embarrass themselves in and started being about incredible little custom motorcycles. It might have been when Deus opened a store in Bali, or it may have been when more Aussies started getting locked up for drug offences. But whatever the reason the result of a burgeoning custom scene are bikes like this one – an amazing lil’ Cleveland CycleWerks boardtracker made by Indonesia’s Kromworks.
The rich and famous certainly live different lives to the rest of us, banking their millions, very little is off-limits to this select crowd. These days they don’t even need to leave home to spend vast sums of money with the most exclusive products just a mouse click away. One such website offers up Yachts, Submarines, an array of incredible Cars and even a bloody Pushbike that’s $50,000. But scroll on over to the Motorcycle section and there is a limited run production motorcycle that won’t break the bank and doesn’t look at all out-of-place amongst the other toys for the 1%. From French design house VIBA comes a machine that combines elegant styling from the coach built era while being crafted using the latest technologies. Based on the all new Triumph Bonneville Bobber she sits resplendent next to Bugatti’s and available only to a select few her name is Qora.
If you’ve been paying attention to custom motorcycles for more than fifteen minutes you’ll be aware of Yamaha’s evergreen SR400. In the west its dominance of the scene is a relatively recent phenomenon, but custom builders in Japan people have been doing it for decades. One of these shops is Heiwa motorcycles, who’ve re-birthed this tidy little SR400 bobber.
Argentina’s Lucky Customs have done more for 1980’s AMF Harley Davidson than anyone else in recent years. A few months back we ran a show-stopping turbo salt racer from the Cordoba-based business and now they’ve followed up with this spectacular blacked-out 1984 Evo chopper dubbed ‘Rock’n’Rolla’.
If you’ve wondered why second-hand Yamaha Viragos are demanding ridiculous money these days I know who you can blame. Greg Hageman. As head of Hageman motorcycles in Iowa, he’s near single-handedly turned a daggy 90’s cruiser into a favourite of the custom scene with his incredible builds. This time around Hageman have knocked another one out of the park with this amazing Vincent-inspired 1981 Yamaha XV920.
After a one year hiatus the good folk at Bandit9 have returned to the custom scene with a bang. This time around they’re leading with this incredible Harley Davidson 750 Street, dubbed ‘The Dark Side’. First up, it’s not named after Star Wars – the team actually drew their inspiration from the dark side of the moon. But I can’t help but see more than a little Vader in the lines of this remarkable build.