It’s not often we go to Italy. And it’s not often we feature mopeds, either. Hell, it’s not often that a bike goes largely unnoticed by our crack team of moto-loving freaks. But that’s exactly the perfect storm type scenario that unfolded on our recent trip to the continent. Last month, Marco and Mario from Italy’s talented OMT Garage flashed us a phone photo of his Deus Bike Build-Off winning ‘Silhouette’ Piaggio Ciao. With our focus on the show’s larger capacity offerings, we clearly let this little green gem slip under our radar. But now, many months later, we’re smitten. And not a moment too soon.
A few months ago we featured a bad arse Harley from the young fellas at Young Guns Speed Shop built in their old school themed workshop in the picturesque Rapperswil Switzerland. But late model Hogs are definitely not all they do, from the best of British in old school Triumphs and BSAs, to Japanese mainstays like the Yamaha XS650 and vintage machinery in the form of a beautiful ’47 AJS; so it should come as no surprise that their first build was something a little left field, a bike so out of the ordinary I’d never even heard the name.
As most long-term readers will know, we’re always up for posting a sweet little ‘ped every now and then. And that goes double for someone with the track record of Philly’s Austin Tremellen and his Rouge Builds moped shop. He cheerfully informed us that this, his latest build “is called ‘Sieben’ and was commissioned by the CrossFit superstar Chris Spealler.” We have almost no idea what that means, but with a bike that looks this good we’re happy to just sit back, smile and nod appreciatively. CrossFit… that’s like Motocross, yeah?
It’d be a pretty safe bet to say that most Pipeburn readers would have heard of café racers. Hell, if you haven’t then there’s probably not much hope for you. At all. But in stark contrast to the English tradition of café racing, the Dutch chose instead to race around their local village churches on mopeds. And while it would seem that something so predictable would be a godsend for the local police, you’ve got to admit that it sounds like one hell of a good time – especially if you were blessed enough to be out in front on a ‘ped like this. Meet Rook Motofiestsen’s ‘KermisKoerser.’
It’s no secret we love mopeds. But having said that, it’s been a long time between drinks for us, ‘ped-wise. Nine months, to be precise. Are we embarrassed that we haven’t done more to support our be-pedalled brethren? A little, but where here tonight to set things right. And how. Here’s one of the best-looking mopeds we’ve seen since the Janus Paragon. Meet “Moby 5” and her proud maker, Craig Dueck.
‘Jolie laide’ is a unique French expression that is often used to describe someone or something that is unconventionally attractive. The direct translation into English is ‘ugly beautiful’, but you’d be mistaken if you were to think that the phrase was a case of damning with feint praise. It’s been used in reference to some of the world’s most beautiful women, include Sofia Coppola and the remarkable Charlotte Gainsbourg. And today we’d like to use it in reference to something else rather remarkable. Meet the most ugly beautiful bike we think we’ve ever seen, Dauphine-Lamark’s unconventionally beautiful ‘69 Honda C110.
Written by Martin Hodgson
In the post World War II period there were two types of people who rode a motorbike in America, outlaws and the police. But all that would change in 1963 when armed with his small Super Cub model, Soichiro Honda launched his campaign to win over the masses. The 12 year blitz that included sponsoring the Academy Awards convinced the US and the World that motorcycles offered a lifestyle they could aspire to. 50 years on and the success of the marketing campaign is obvious. The Super Cub has surpassed 60 million units and made Honda the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. But never could Mr Honda have envisaged his little Super Cub being converted into an outlaw in such a way as Minority Custom’s “The Eyes”.
Blood Lust. Bloodless. Cyborg Death. Let’s face it; when it comes to naming his builds, Austin Tremellen from Philly’s Rogue Builds is a guy with some rather gruesome influences. Sure, he builds some of America’s best mopeds, but we’re genuinely worried about him. Then we find out he’s named his latest build ‘The Oracle’. Harmless enough, you’d think. But do a little research and find out that in ancient times, ‘oracles’ were priests that told the future by gutting a bird and reading its entrails. So, the truth is obvious. Poor Austin is clearly possessed. We’re off to find an exorcist; you guys keep yourselves busy by reading on.
READ MORE ►
To build a custom bike is, in many ways, and exercise in knowing where to draw the line. It starts with small decisions, like whether that replacement carb you need is going to be new or reconditioned. Then it’s the off-the-shelf seat versus the bespoke leather one. Soon you add up all the ‘little extras’ you’ve decided on and realise that if you continue down this particular road you’ll be riding the world’s most expensive two-wheeled vehicle; a two-wheeled vehicle that you’d be lucky to be able to sell for half the money you spent on it. But what if you didn’t stop? What if you had the time, money and patience to keep going? This is what. Meet what is quite possible the world’s most loved-up moped, Matt Turner’s Honda PA50.
READ MORE ►
Modern life is rubbish. Or maybe it’s just us and our take on what we think matters in the 21st century. Whichever way you look at it, downtime in our lives has never been at more of a premium. We’re constantly online and never really out of reach. What’s the real casualty of this? For those of us that aren’t fortunate enough to work with bikes for a living, it’s our riding and building that suffers. And that’s because the finite amount of hours in the week means that the more we’re social media-ing and talking on our gadgets, the less we’re getting our hands dirty. The answer? Find more hours in the day. That’s exactly what Håkan Boqvist did. He realised that the lunchtime he spent staring into his Facebooks at work could be better utilised staring into oily metal componentry. And instead of building ‘likes’ or ‘friends’, he built this.
READ MORE ►