We are happy to introduce a new writer at the ‘House of Burning Pipes’. Marlon Slack is our latest recruit and we’re happy to have him on board for the ride.
Tattoo Custom Motorcycles have taken this 1972 R75/5 – a traditional, commuter-style bike – and turned it into a neat scrambler with a few particularly nice, subtle touches. There’s quite a few boxer engine custom bikes kicking around these days, but it wasn’t always the case. Eight years ago I sat in the café attached to Deus Ex Machina and between bites of breakfast and the occasional superior scowl I tried to throw at the Deus clientele, the side doors opened and a mechanic wheeled in a BMW R65, propping it up in a window display that overlooks the cafe. Behind me an older guy looked up at the motorcycle with a scowl. ‘Please,’ he groaned, ‘we’re trying to eat.’
Another day, another great custom from Portugal. We’re not sure what they are putting in the Peri-Peri but whatever it is, we’re more than little keen to get our hands on some. This graffitied gob-smacker is from Dream Wheels Heritage, a shop straight out of Porto, north of Lisbon. Hélder Moura and his team of merry metallurgists have created the best small capacity Honda we’ve seen in a month of Sundays. And it’s got a rack for your skateboard, to boot. What’s not to love?
Flat caps. Wellington boots. Picnic lunches. The world of Land Rovers seems light years away from the dusty, rough-and-tumble world of desert racing. One’s all cucumber sandwiches and pheasants, the other’s realising that once you’ve hit the cactus and you can see your bike off in the distance doing somersaults, it’s probably far too late to land the jump gracefully. Yet from this ying and yang-ness of contrasts comes today’s rather splendid build, the Triumph ‘Greenhorn Express.’ Colby, the bike’s owner and builder, makes a living restoring Early model Land Rovers and spends his spare time on pursuits of a decidedly more one-wheel drive variety. Or, as he puts it, “It’s a Land Rover and motorcycle hobby run amuck…”
Written by Martin Hodgson.
As static pieces of motorcycle art the creations of Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles are perfectly at home amongst the best in the business. The fact that they also excel at the tough world of long distance trial riding is truly incredible. Inspired by the heyday of International Six Days Trials proprietor of Fuel Bespoke Motorcycles Karles Vives builds some of the most battle hardened customs on the planet, not built just to look like they can take on desserts, they can and do! So when Didier, a French customer saw Fuel’s own R80 STrial, he made the call and ordered one customised just to his liking.
Written by Ian Lee.
Forgotten sibling syndrome, it’s an issue which I’m sure some of us can relate to. Having to grow in the shadow that someone else’s limelight casts, with little view to catch attention. This in no different in the motorcycle world, with today’s feature bike an often overlooked stablemate to the ubiquitous DR650, but in the right hands shows it can offer a far superior option. Coming out of the Vence Prodigal workshop, this Suzuki XF650 Freewind has had a full makeover, with the final result leaving it’s sought after stablemate looking a little less desirable. With much pleasure we would like to introduce you to ‘Lady O’.
Portland’s Thor is an interesting character with an even more interesting name. Not only does he run one of the largest custom bike shows in the world – The One Show – he also builds top notch bikes out of his shop, See See Motorcycles. He recently sent us this bike and included such a comprehensive write-up that we thought we’d run it as is. So we’ll pass you over to Thor to take you through his latest build, this tough looking Triumph Scrambler entitled ‘Gap Tooth.’
Gap Tooth is a strange name for a custom built motorcycle. This is a fact I won’t dispute. Named Gap Tooth because Thor, the God of lightning, had a goat named “Tanngrisnir” which translates loosely to Gap Tooth. Tanngrisnir was his pet goat and when Thor became hungry, he ate ol’ Gap Tooth. After finishing his scrumptious meal, he would simply pile the bones up and poof, Gap Tooth would be resurrected as a live, stinky goat again.
So I found myself building a 2012 900cc Triumph Scrambler, a bike which needs little modification straight from the factory. Not only that but many, many folks have customized this bike into many, many variations – all equally cool and different. The idea was to tear this beast apart and rebuild it just a tad more off-roady, a smidgen more scrambly. In a sense I wanted to chew up and eat a perfectly new Triumph just like the god of thunder and lightning.
After many years selling custom Triumph parts and building bikes under the name 8Negro, the Spanish workshop have decided to rebrand and start trading under the new name Tamarit Motorcycles. With a new name and a new found enthusiasm, the guys chose a 2006 ‘carbie’ Bonneville as a donor for this scrambler project. From it’s initial inception during a round of beers, it has become the showcase bike to show the capabilities of the Spanish workshop – especially their in house fabrication and new parts range. We are glad to present the latest from Tamarit Motorcycles, a Triumph Bonnie scrambler they call ‘Pegaso’.
As the saying goes, life wasn’t meant to be easy. It’s the same reason that diamonds and gold are buried deep underground and not just rolling around in the gutter outside your house. All the best things in life take hard work to achieve. Take, for instance, the bike you just picked up off of a complete stranger for a song. If you brought it home and it customised itself, that’d be no fun now would it? No, it’s the challenges that make it all worth while. And trust us when we say that the challenge Doug Devine from Modern Metals faced after he peered inside the engine of this innocuous little Honda would be enough to test anyone.
Spare a thought for our poor Austro-Germanian counterparts. While some of the world’s best motorcycle manufacturers came out of the region, they are amongst some of the hardest countries in the world to legally customise bikes in. Life is anything but easy for Teutonic tinkerers. It seems that the local authorities have nothing better to do than ensure that every vehicle on their roads is as dull as possible. This is backed up with heavy fines and sky-high inspection charges if you fail to comply. Enter Slovenian shop and Pipeburn regulars ER Motorcycles, with nothing more than a keen Austrian customer, an old boxer BMW and a love of showing bureaucratic paper shufflers what’s what.
You’d think that throwing in your job would be the pinnacle of fear for anyone making the leap and starting up their own shop. But when you think about it, that’s the easy part. It’s the bit where you have to put your spanners where your mouth is and actually make your first bike that will do your head in. So imagine the surprise and delight of a newly minted shop owner who not only manages to make a bike like this on his first attempt, but who then goes on to take Best in Show at the bike’s maiden outing. That owner is the very surprised and delighted Scott Halbleib – Pipeburn regular and creator of this killer XT500.