Imagine for a second that you’ve made it. Whether it be through sheer luck, hard work or divine skill, you’ve reached a point in your life where you have everything you’ll ever need – maybe even a little more. So you indulge your passion. Now this could mean pretty much anything depending upon who you are, but as you are right here at the House of Pipes then there’s a good chance that it involves two wheels. It certainly did for New York’s Stuart Parr, albeit with a decidedly Italian spin on things. And ten years later, he’s kindly showing the world the Frutti of his labour at a local gallery. He’s calling it the ‘Art of The Italian Two Wheel’. We’re calling it heaven.
There any many things in this world that you could class as overdue. Peace in the Middle East, for one. A decent Nicole Kidman film would also be nice. And Nickleback announcing that they are breaking up has been overdue for about twenty years now. But when it comes to us and bikes, there’s been a task on our list that’s been hanging around for ages – and that was to post a bike from one of our first ever sponsors. That company is Brisbane’s Rocker Classic Motorcycles, and this is us crossing that bad boy of our list.
Written by Martin Hodgson
It’s what makes the scene such a creative outlet; no two customs will ever look the same. It’s a philosophy two British companies share and they decided to pool their talents to create a one-off masterpiece. Old Empire Motorcycles is no stranger to Pipeburn, having built “Typhoon” last year’s number two selection in the Bike of the Year Awards and they’ve teamed up with ODFU, a clothing company that specialises in small run, hand drawn designs. The result is a 1980 Suzuki GN400 that leaves the commuter class behind and enters the world of custom classics.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Fast approaching 100 custom builds the Wrenchmonkees of Copenhagen, Denmark know a thing or two about turning factory machinery into one off specials. But where many rely on a multitude of bolt on parts and big dollar components WM use their vast expertise to bring to life the often hidden soul of factory bikes, make them bullet proof street warriors and then offer the parts developed along the build to their ever growing customer base. It’s not only a smart business strategy but it also results in bikes like build #74, a brilliant retro tech Ducati 900 café racer with all the charm of the 70’s and the high tech of today!
Most custom bike shops would gnaw off an arm to build a ride for biking royalty like Billy Joel. It’s the kind of job that can really put a shop on the map. So it says a lot about a builder when they not only complete such a feat, but then set themselves the task of going one better – just because they can. Welcome to the mind of Greg Hageman; one of the world’s greatest Yamaha customisers and builder of today’s gobsmackingly classy XV920R.
After five long years in the motorcycle blogging game, we’d like to think that there’s pretty much nothing we haven’t done. Electric bikes? Been there. Drag racing? Done that. Borrow a new bike from a large Japanese manufacturer and then total it? Um, we totally have no idea what you are talking about… But after all those shenanigans, there’s still one thing that we’ve never done, and that’s feature a build from Colombia. Until now. Here’s an amazing BMW from Bogotá’s brothers Esteban and Gustavo Pasquale and their shop, Garaje 57.
Great Britain and the United States of America have a proud history of building on each other’s innovations to move the whole of Western Civilisation along. While English minds may have created the industrial revolution, it took Henry Ford to crystallise the whole thing in mass production for the people. And while (arguably) it was Elvis who recorded the first Rock ‘n’ Roll song, it was clearly The Beatles and the Stones who perfected it ten years later. Then along comes New Jersey’s Kyril Dambuleff and his associates, who have managed to create ‘BLACKSQUARE’ – one of the most beautiful, and one of the most British-looking bikes we’ve seen in a month of high tea Sundays. Philip Vincent, eat your jolly heart out.
Hurricanes. Typhoons. Comets. Tempests. If you need any more evidence that the world’s weather is going to hell in a carbon-based handbasket, look no further than poor old Blighty and her Old Empire Motorcycles. The Pipeburn Bike of the Year runners-up in 2014, they’ve been suffering the worst luck weather-wise since their inception. And to make matters worse the catastrophes look set tho continue with this, their Yamaha SR-based ‘Lightning Mk. I’. Hang tight, boys. Hang tight and ride like the wind.
What’s the most common item to be modded first on a custom bike, would you say? The seat? The rubber? Maybe the ‘bars? Now consider what the most unlikely first thing to sink your teeth into might be. Actually, don’t bother, because Peter Boggia and the crew at Brooklyn’s Moto Borgotaro already have it figured out. It’s the tacho. And while the rest of us would be wrestling with greasy engines and skinned knuckles, Peter got all Swiss watchmaker on this Guzzi LeMans and followed the look right on through to the rest of this rather sweet-looking bike.
Written by Marlon Slack.
Most custom bikes are meticulously thought out for months before a spanner is turned or an oxy torch is lit. Parts will be carefully considered and increasingly often many late nights will be spent in front of Photoshop tweaking the colours and lines of a build before any action is taken. Moscow-based Elkabikes bucked this trend by producing this 1972 Harley-Davidson XLH in under a month using parts they begged, borrowed, scrounged or purchased from Ikea. That’s right – Ikea. It’s not a bobber or a café racer – it’s a Harley-Davidson Flat Packer.