The custom bike scene, like pretty much everything else in life, has trends. Right now it seems to be BMW boxers. A while ago, every second bike we received was a CB Honda with Firestones. And back when we first started, SR Yamahas were all the rage. Now these trends come and go, but there’s one thing that we’re pretty damn sure of….
The Iron Curtain. The Cold War. The USA v the USSR. The 60s and 70s were tough years for Eastern Europe. With hardline communism ruling the roost and the Nazi occupation still fresh in most people’s minds, it’s little wonder that a movie like Steve McQueen’s The Great Escape with its Polish locations and flying moto finale, might have struck a chord with the locals…
Old motorcycles, while they may look like heaven in the fancy studio shots you’ll often see, can be right little bastards in the flesh. Their exorbitant cost, oil leaks, starting issues and inexplicable breakdowns are enough to challenge even the most even-tempered of riders…
Listen to any good rock song from across the ages and that rhythmic pulse that you tap your foot to is provided by the bass player. Often maligned, rarely the charismatic front man, what they provide is the reliable foundation for every great song and band…
Ever since Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman used BMW GS motorcycles to tackle their epic journeys around the world the Adventure bike category has been selling strong. Brands as diverse as Royal Enfield to prestige marque MV Agusta have been getting in on the act but the BMW remains the gold standard. However with the GS and other major challengers now coming with things like GPS, stability control, a quick-shifter and other technological wizardry it seems to be less adventure and more twee Sunday ride. So to get back to the gritty survival spirit, California’s Gasser Customs has built this Baja beast for the intrepid explorer. It’s a 2005 Harley Sportster 1200 that will take you anywhere, kick sand in the oppositions eyes and rightfully earns the name ‘Adventure’.
With the success of the original BMW R nineT you can’t blame the big Bavarian for wanting to cash in on the success of the model. To do that they’ve increased the line up to five variants all designed to appeal to various sectors of the market. While many categories enable them to get away with cosmetic changes, the desire to pay homage to the original all-terrain long-distance enduro G/S requires a whole lot more. Sadly the R nineT Urban G/S doesn’t quite tick the box with urban being the operative word. But never fear, Spain’s XTR Pepo is here, with a knockout 2016 R nineT that drops the urban pretence and delivers an authentic Paris-Dakar race replica known as RAID.
Hot on the heels of their CB250 from a few weeks ago, Poland’s T. Jasin Motorcycles have just rocked up with another killer Honda – this time it’s an ‘83 CB400 that’s clearly just been to Spain for its summer holidays. Deciding that the Bultaco MX livery was the perfect vibe for this Comstar’d and knobby’d little champ, the Japan-loving Jasin brothers have left the thing co-branded to add a little frisson to the mix. And boy, don’t they mix well?
When you’re planning a trip, the most important thing on the list is a few like-minded friends to accompany you on your journey. People who are there for the ride and don’t really care about the destination. So that’s what we did. A four man crew of mates were our riders: Forrest Minchington, Lewie Dunn, Cal Lathrope and Thomas Edwards. We packaged them up with a couple of photographers and sent them off with nowhere in particular as a destination.
There was a time when British bikes of the ’60s could be had at a wrecking yard for chump change and the old scallywag behind the cash register was happy to see them go. But those days are over, as all that is old and oily is somehow new again with a steep price tag to match. The task is even more difficult when the object of your desire is a rare factory racer and crashing it first time out at turn two could be the most expensive ten seconds of your life. So Steve Bright from Washington State, USA, has done the smartest thing a man in his position could do. Taken a 1967 BSA B441 Victor Enduro and turned it into a factory works replica racer that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the privateer’s paddock of the day.
Life can be a lot like a game of Texas Hold’em, you can’t determine which cards you’ll get dealt, but what you do with them and how you play that hand is down to you. It’s something we instinctively know and why so often we find ourselves cheering for the underdog, knowing their victory was hard-earned. It’s fair to say that Maxime Montaggioni didn’t get dealt Aces, he is missing his right arm; but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming a World Champion Snowboarder and winning Gold in Taekwondo. But racing down mountains and kicking people in the face just wasn’t enough adrenaline. So he’s commissioned fellow Frenchman Lionel of Duke Motorcycles to build him a steed of speed based on 1993 Honda XR600, appropriately named Mad Max.