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.
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.
While every brand has its share of fanatics, it’s the Italian marques that seem to inspire the most passion. Some people fawn over their race-bred Ducatis, some battle mercurial Laverdas while the remainder squirrel away in their sheds, tinkering at old Moto Guzzis. While not strictly a Guzzi fanatic, Johannesburg-based professional photographer Kevin Rudham will no doubt have Italian fans nodding in appreciation at his re-born 1980 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk II. Impressively, he completed nearly all the work himself. ‘It took two years,’ Kevin says, ‘and I outsourced only the powder coating and electroplating, but the rest I did myself, including the paint job with a borrowed compressor and a cheap Chinese touch up gun.’
Anniversaries are something we all have to celebrate at some point; often it involves the reluctant spending of vast amounts of money in the hope of a little something in return. Well, Uli Bree had an Anniversary recently and he placed a special order, but you could have no regret about receiving this special Triumph “Fuel Triten” in return, all to celebrate ten years of organising the best Triumph bike festival in the world!
As anyone who has ever customised a bike will tell you, the unavoidable and omnipresent ‘money versus dreams’ equation is a hard one to crack. There’s what you want to do, and then there’s what you can afford to do. Most mere mortals and their bank accounts would run for the hills at the mention of a customised swingarm and all the expense, fiddling and testing that comes with it. But not Washington’s Alex Sailer. He grabbed his dream by the horns and asked Viginia’s Cognito Moto to spare no expense. The result is a Honda CB350 that spares no coolness, and an owner that now has no spare time thanks to his newfound biking obsession.
Some builders have a distinct style you see in all their bikes, Rob Chappell of Origin8or is not one them, he can take the same two bikes and deliver totally different builds, the one constant however is always quality. Just six weeks ago we featured another Triumph Bobber build by Chappell, a springer wearing, orange flake painted Bonnie that screamed look at me. But this 1968 Triumph Daytona 500 is an example of how less can be more and custom cool can still stay true to classic style.
‘A Bobber built for a tattoo shop owner.’ Those words could have started a thousand motorcycle articles over the years, but this time it is something completely unique. Rock Solid Motorcycles from Portugal are back and they’ve gone from a Harley Racer to a Matchless Bobber because when you are this good, reinventing the wheel is all in a day’s work.
Words by Martin Hodgson.
This is the story of three friends who get by on wheels, good looks and attitude to burn. They dress the same and they work together but all perform very different functions for their automotive crazed owner Stan. “Von Doom”, Lil Doom” and “The Raft” are a car, bike and trailer combo that’ll leave any motorhead wanting their own and it all started when Stan decided his newly completed 2014 SEMA bound BMW show car needed a little something more, a motorcycle to match and a trailer for the journey. But this is Pipeburn, so let’s start with the little bike that could, a classic BMW called “Lil Doom”!
The custom bike scene, like any other art form, often finds itself bending to the will of fashion. But there’s no shame in that – music, painting, dance and almost any other genre you care to name have to endure the same challenge. And while in the heat of the moment a certain trend can seem to the viewer to be very ‘cool’ or ‘exciting’, it’s often only a matter of time before the truth becomes apparent. That’s when cool becomes lame, exciting becomes humorous and your wardrobe full of flared trousers becomes an embarrassment. But what happens when time doesn’t weary? When something improves with age? Well, that’s when timeless happens. Classic happens. This happens.
Barn finds are good and well, providing you actually have barns where you live. But as long as you have old geezers who love to horde, you’re going to find old bikes hidden away. Here in Australia we usually find them in sheds or garages. And clearly barns are the preferred storage method for the forgetful oldies in the US. But what about Germany? Apparently carpenter’s shops are all the rage over there. And if Jochen Guske and his find are anything to go by, the common inhabitants of the average Deutsche woodworkhaus are none other than the ‘Kawikus Kaffeus’ – also known as the Green-Breasted Kawasaki KZ400.