The Honda CX500 has become a staple of the modern Cafe Racer scene, but very few have gone to the lengths that German Heinz Christmann has to make one very special neo-vintage machine. With a ‘79 Japanese bike, plenty of German know how and a cornucopia of the best parts from around the world he’s been able to create a bike that uses pieces as new as carbon fibre and as old as drum brakes. The end result is hard to classify. It’s a Cafe Racer no doubt, but it’s also high on technology while also paying more than a subtle tribute to the race bikes of old. Whatever you want to call it, it’s bloody brilliant.
Every Estate Agent has heard it, a request for a large beach front property in a high value suburb for the price of a small car but when confronted with the motorcycle equivalent, Japan’s Speedtractor Industries proved they’re one builder who can give their customer their cake and eat it too with this knock out 2001 Yamaha XJR400. The exact request was for a machine that was more “Kraftwerk than café racer” light but with the brawn of a 4 cylinder, low maintenance and air-cooled and it had to be capable of riding two up, would you like fries with that? But one of the reasons clients go to masters of their craft like the designers, mechanics and technicians at a workshop like Speedtractor is because they can deliver the type of “the client is always right” requests that not every shop can achieve.
The very nature of custom bike building is that convention gets thrown out the window; convention is what everyone else does, what the manufacturers make, what normal people like and what the average rider owns. The custom world is about going where nobody has gone before and with his latest build Dennis Karlsson of Half Caste Creations in Bangkok has done exactly that – only he jumped light years ahead in the process! I can’t give you a make or model, this is a one off custom motorcycle creation that simply drew on a little of the board trackers of the 1930’s for inspiration, but is truly a 21st century piece of functional art work with one hell of a story to tell.
Imagine you work at a motorcycle dealership that sells only the most exclusive of brands from Italy and Germany. You also own the latest and greatest BMW Sportsbike on the planet. Do you really need another bike that was also built for the road and is nearly 30 years old? Of course you do! And that’s why Joe DeMoss built this stunning 1988 BMW R100RS over a period of nine months. Because motorcycling runs in his veins. Because working everyday at Florida’s Eurocycles of Tampa Bay has made him a hands-on kind of guy. And because his fondest memories are of he and his father sharing time in the garage working on just about anything with wheels.
In 1979, as the first Honda CB900 Bol d’Dors were rolling off the production line in Japan, the legendary American director Martin Scorsese was on set making his masterpiece “Raging Bull”. Staring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, it’s a black and white tale of Boxing and the Mafia in 1940’s America. It had all the subtly of a sledgehammer. So for Bullitt Garage’s heavy hitting, rebellious big block Honda it made for the perfect name and with Gonçalo strapping on the gloves and Luis in his corner, the CB900 Raging Bull was born. Hailing from the beautiful city of Braga, Portugal, the Bullitt Garage team aim to build an exclusive line of custom machines with underground styling and a level of exclusivity for each and every customer.
Whether we’re in the back shed tinkering with our bike or blasting down the road there is a freedom and stress release to motorcycling that cannot be denied. But when your job is literally keeping people alive while they undergo heart surgery the need to relax after work becomes that much more important and so it is that Nicolas Vincent Perna a Cardiovascular Perfusionist from Canada spends his winters building a different bike each year. Nick has a love for low mileage classic Honda’s but having been born in Italy just south of Rome he has a soft spot for the Bologna beasts too. So when he tracked down this 1982 Honda CB750 with just 4000 miles on the clock he saw an opportunity to create one very special Honda with some Ducati sauce and a side of Britain’s best for one hell of a ride.
It’s safe to say this is the biggest launch in Triumph’s illustrious 100 year history. Never before has this British born marque ever released so many new motorcycles on one day. It’s been a four-year project and from the looks of these bikes, they have spent that time getting the detail and performance just right. The bikes have been cloaked in more secrecy than a plot from a spy film – which is fitting, as the new Bond film ‘Spectre’ was also launched this week in London. Shaken and stirred? We were…
Kevil’s Speed Shop describe themselves as “The UK’s premier custom BMW builder, producing top quality, one-off commissioned BMWs.” It’s a bold statement, but with bikes as perfect as this 1981 BMW R100 just one example of what rolls out of their workshop they have plenty of evidence to back it up. Founded by Kevin Hill, a man with decades of experience, the team operate out of the seaside town of Paignton in Devon. Having seen one of their past builds Andrea, who is an IT consultant from Prague, knew exactly what he wanted. With that past build in mind he gave the team free rein to build him the ultimate BMW R Café Racer and boy, did they deliver.
The Netherlands may not be the first country you think of when custom motorcycles come to mind but to say the Dutch are kicking arse and taking names in the bike building world in 2015 is an understatement. The city of Utrecht is home to one such builder and although 33% of all journeys in the city are taken on a bicycle, Wrench Kings like their bikes to have more than one human power. This particular 1982 Honda GL500 is one of their best builds to date with inspirations coming in the form of a B52 bomber and a couple of beers. Which is how Wrench Kings came about to begin with, three friends – Joost, Bram & Laurens – enjoying a few cold ones in a carpark while tinkering with a bike… in Dubai.
“Breaker one, Breaker one, I might be crazy but I ain’t dumb, Craaaazy Cooter comin’ atcha, come on.” Growing up watching the Dukes of Hazzard with his friends Eric Kalter was given the nickname of the wild mechanic Crazy Cooter from the hit show and although he might not be a mechanic you’d never know from what he’s achieved with this stunning 1994 K1100rs. Many would argue you’d have to be crazy to pick a “flying brick” to turn into a stripped down custom machine, but although he is a service manager in the printing industry by day when the shed lights come on Eric becomes one hell of a builder under the moniker Cooter’s Café.