Written by Martin Hodgson.
The name Rickman carries a pedigree like few others in the motorcycle industry, when it is followed by Metisse you are dealing with royalty, the king of custom frames built by two genius brothers with racing in their DNA. But what you have before you is no off road scrambler, but a 100% street legal urban tracker that can be easily returned to its roots in no time at all. An original classic or a ball tearing street weapon, it’s a 1974 Rickman Metisse with Triumph power built by Australia’s 66 Motorcycles and is simply known as “The Brit”.
Written by Marlon Slack.
Under the guidance of engineer João Barranca, Portuguese motorcycle company Redonda is split into three divisions. The first is Redonda racing, specializing in road and off-road race bikes, Eco-Redonda, which concentrates on customizing electric cycles and Redonda motors – heavily modified motorcycles that can be ridden every day. The last collection produced this Ducati Indiana scrambler – a distinctively beautiful take on an often forgotten Italian cruiser.
Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of the Ducati Indiana – not many people have. In many ways it was a Cagiva rebranded in a spectacularly unsuccessful tilt at the American market. It can all be linked back to the late 1970’s when Ducati was haemorrhaging cash, partially due to the inaccessibility of their marque bikes and partially due to their production line alternating between ‘artisanal’ and ‘sheltered workshop’. The majority shareholder in the company, the Italian government, was keen to offload the brand and failing that, more than willing to shut it down completely. And there’s no better way to know you’re stuffed financially when even the Italian government is ready to pull the pin.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
In the Summer of ’69 a young Jim Walsh of Maryland farewelled his cousin Tom, a strapping man with long blonde hair, who was heading off to the West to start a new life. But it was the machine his older cousin rode, resplendent in the summer sun a Triumph Bonneville Twin, that captured his attention and would live on in Jim’s memory for a lifetime. It’s a memory that has become a passion when nearly 50 years later Jim learned of Tom’s death and in this most recent Northern Winter commissioned the boys at Vintage Steele in Vermont to build a Triumph of his own.
There are few marques that have had the impact on motorcycle culture as has British maker Triumph. For more than 100 years Triumph motorcycles have been surrounded by owners absolutely passionate about anything and everything the brand does and with good reason. From powering Steve McQueen in the Great Escape with a TR6 Trophy, to the 6T Thunderbird playing a starring role in the original biker film “The Wild One” alongside Marlon Brando and on the track being the first manufacturer to do a 100mph lap at the famed Isle of Man TT there is plenty to be proud of.
Written by Marlon Slack
Klassik Kustoms is a small workshop run out of a barn in Hagen, Germany. Specializing in Yamahas and Hondas under 750cc the owner, Jan, aims to make affordable, cool specials that are fun to ride and affordable to own. Since 2010 he’s put together several tidy café racers based on old air-cooled bikes but this time around Jan has taken a tilt at something a little more upright with this 1979 Kawasaki Z400 tracker.
Where’d that year go? Suddenly ‘tis the season to be jolly and we’re on our last bike of the year. Damn. So, what better way to say ‘season’s greetings’ than with the latest build from Spain’s Macco Motors? Forget your three wise men; we’ve got a much more efficient package. They’re called Jose and Tito and here’s their latest miraculous build – a heavenly Triumph called ‘Bonebreaker’.
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’.