Written by Ian Lee.
Sometimes a bike appears in our inbox that is hard to write a post on. It’s not so much the bike is built in bad taste, or lacks description from the builder, it’s because the damn thing has so many features it can be hard to know where to start. Today’s bike falls into this category, it is a cacophony of build aspects, all vying for attention at the same time. Coming out of the Rusty Bolt Garage in Santa Fe, this Yamaha RD400 has been built with everything “either upgraded, replaced, or repaired on this baby.” And what a beautiful baby it is.
As someone who swims neck-deep in bikes every day, it’s all too easy to think that nothing great ever happens in the custom scene unless the people involved are in a similar state of bike-a-holic dependence. If you don’t wake up at 3am with an idea for a build burning a hole in your cerebrum, you just aren’t trying hard enough. But here’s proof that you can lead a bike-free life for many years and yet somehow pull a custom bike together that’s, well, that’s like this. Here’s Andreas Goldemann’s first bike in 10 years, and it’s a doozy.
In most western civilisations, we take basic human rights for granted. Take, for instance, clean drinking water, political freedoms and the ability to ride high powered motorcycles. This stands in stark contrast to our brothers and sisters in Indonesia, where any bike that was over 200cc was illegal to import or buy unless it was for military or police use. But why should they get all the fun? Well, today’s bike is a left over from the good ol’ days of South East Asian law enforcement and it’s addressing this imbalance, big time. It’s an Indonesian Kawasaki KZ1000P Police Edition named ‘Kwakazilla’ and thanks to it, criminal getaways in Indonesia were about as successful as a North Korean metal band.
As guys who see a lot of bikes, there’s nothing more intriguing than a build that seems to be hard to pigeonhole. Now that’s not to say that a classic café racer doesn’t whet our whistles, but there’s something about a mix of styles or fresh idea that make you look twice. Needless to say, the bike you see here a.k.a. the latest build from France’s amusingly named Ed Turner Motorcycles just so happens to be one of them. Built by and for ‘Head Ed’ Karl Renoult, it’s a Honda that looks like the result of a one night stand between a café racer and a supermoto in a 1970s amusement park. And in our books, that can only be a good thing.
It’s not every day you ride past Jay Leno and your freshly built bike catches his eye. So much so that he then tracks you down to appear in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Well, that’s what happened to Adam Gaspic from Gasser Customs. It also helped that Gasser Customs is located in North Hollywood, just down the road from Jay’s garage – so it wasn’t very hard to find him. The concept of this project started when Adam decided he wanted to build something in the spirit of the Hot Rods and Gassers of the 1950s and 60s but with some modern technology. So in between clients builds, Adam has built this mean looking Honda frankenstein named ‘Titan’.
Some people are just destined to build bespoke motorcycles. Bruce McQuiston, owner of Moto Studio in Miami is one of those people. He has a background as a sculptor, race car driver and race car engineer – culminating in a perfect combination to build performance bikes that look great. After Bruce retired from car racing he discovered a love of motorbikes. His desire to build a bike for himself eventually morphed into building bikes for friends and then customers. McQuiston’s choice of motorcycles are classic Ducati’s and Moto Guzzi’s. “I admire many builders from around the world that work with other manufacturers,” explains McQuiston, “but for me, the bike needs to start with a soul.” So his latest build is this stunning 1995 Moto Guzzi 1100 called “Loca Moto” – and yes, this Italian has soul.
Some of us dream of throwing in the towel on our day jobs to do what we truly love. Whether it’s building custom bikes, opening a café or just taking more time to focus on your family, it’s a fantasy that’s as common as slap bass in Seinfeld. But as with most things inline, there’s another option to consider. What if, instead of leaving one job for another, you just combined your passions and did both? Sounds impossible, right? Well don’t tell that to North Carolina’s Tattoo Projects, who are currently a successful advertising agency and a custom bike shop. It might seem crazy, but when you consider that they count Victory Motorcycles amongst their clients, you can kind of see the logic of it all. And what have they been up to when they weren’t standing around with whiskey and cigarettes Don Draper-ing? This is what.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
“Oh come on!” is not a quote from the builder of this custom masterpiece but my own as I gazed across the first images that appeared in my inbox and realised that like my latest build this too was done at home. But whereas I thought I was fairly clever for making a carbon fibre seat for my ride, Ram Ram has literally built this bike from scratch. We both started by searching eBay, but that is where the similarities end and I for one can only stand, applaud and tip my cap to a man who takes back yard builds to a whole new level.
Written by Ian Lee.
It takes a true artist to see the true beauty in something that is otherwise unappealing. It may take time, it may take effort, but the final product is something that makes all the trouble worthwhile. Today’s feature bike is one such example, a bike that in standard trim would hardly warrant a second glance, let alone be the bike to consider as a platform for a bitchin custom. Coming from Kerkus Cycles, (by their own description) a backyard builder based in Kuala Lumpur, this CBX750 café racer is a stripped down mean ass version of it’s former self. Definitely a far cry from the police spec bike it started life as.
Seems like everywhere you look lately, there’s death and destruction all over the news. This country hates that country or some such ‘us and them’ type disaster. Makes you wonder what we could all achieve if we just got along. What if we worried less about our differences and instead we looked for more ways we could work together? Take, for instance, the Jasinski brothers from Poland. They’ve found their good Slavic selves becoming obsessed with Japanese customs done in a British café racer style with a little good ol’ American flat track thrown in for good measure. How’s that for loving thy neighbour?