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.
Once in a while, the eyes of even the hardest of hardcore custom bikers wander. Sure, old custom bikes are the duck’s nuts - but what if one were to loose all sense of rhyme and/or reason and buy a brand new Japanese bike? Maybe one to keep in the garage next to the antique Far East classics you currently have. Have you ever felt the urge? We have. And guess what? There’s actually isn’t that much on offer. With the notable exception of the just re-released Yamaha SRs and the Honda CB1100, you’re pretty much up Soichiro Creek if you actually want something that looks half decent without a heap of work. Until now, that is. Japanophiles – meet your factory custom bike saviour. His name is Greg Hageman, and this is his rather masterful tilt at a 2014 Yamaha Bolt, factory warranty and all.
Written by Martin Hodgson
When the Bavarian Boffins released the R45 in 1978 as a conservative middleweight they could never have imagined that their little BMW that could would one day be turned into a Two-Wheeled Urban Assault Vehicle. But renowned “Scrambler” builders from Portugal, Daniel and Pedro, of Ton-Up Garage in Portugal have done exactly that and the result is anything but German conservatism.
I’ve always liked the idea of custom bikes having a soundtrack. So much so, we used to always ask the builders who were featured on the site the same question – ‘if your bike was a song, which one would it be?’ Naturally, most of the answers were somehow related to Rock ‘n’ Roll. And as if by a beautiful stroke of serendipity, today’s feature bike is not only a baby of rock, she’s the spawn of the rockiest rock there is – punk rock. Being big fans of the bloody sprawling mess that is punk, we were naturally all ears… and eyes, too. And what a sight to behold; here’s Dagger Cycles latest and greatest hit, a blacker-than-black Triumph Scrambler with an attitude that makes Sid Vicious look like Sid James.
God, I have always thought, probably rides a motorcycle. Whatever the ‘G’ word may mean to you, you’ve got to admit that it’s not a hard thing to imagine your higher being of choice tearing across the sky with a celestial version of your dream bike. And for us mortals, it’s not that hard to imagine that what you experience while on a motorbike at speed is probably a more than fair approximation of life as a deity. Which brings us to Moto Adonis from the Netherlands and their purpose in life; summoning fresh spirits from bikes that have long since gone to their greater reward. Here’s their latest build, a resurrected Yamaha XV1100.
Another month and another killer creation from Gelsenkirchen’s Dirk Oehler King and his merry band of men at Kingston Customs. As before, they’ve turned their nimble fingers to a Honda CX500 but this time they’ve taken it in a decidedly different direction. And that direction is mostly a hard left off the bitumen, onto the soft grass and up the nearest embankment. Introducing Kingston’s latest build – an amazing hybrid motorcycle they are calling the CXL500.
If you believe all the TV shows you see, lawyers are an overworked bunch who seem to spend all their waking hours either in court breaking down lying witnesses, helping street kids beat the odds of a system hopelessly against them, and sleeping with each other after hours. But here’s an exception to the rule. Meet French Lawyer Julien Perier the result of his total lack of after-hour office sexual antics, this rather amazing little Honda 650 SLR.
Most of us will start a custom bike build with a genre, fashion or style in mind. You might want something that oozes classic café racer. Or maybe you’re thinking of a creation in a brat style with a touch of tracker thrown in for good luck. Hell, if you’re anything like me you’re probably planning the colour of the brake leads before you’ve even got a bike. But few of us have the skills or courage to just trust in your love of metal, your passion for bikes and your creativity and simply let the build happen. Which is exactly what Gian from France’s Tredici Custom Castings did. Meet his very groovy ‘Black Smoker’ Triumph.
As the school ma’am cliché goes, “begin as you wish to continue”. Or maybe legendary Australian racer Peter Brock said it better, when he coined the phrase “bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell.” Whatever the case, we thought that we’d kick things off after our big redesign with the latest (and dare we say sweetest) bike from one of Europe’s best shops. Or should we say ateliers. It’s a rather svelte-looking BMW R100R , and it’s from those famous Frenchmen with a German name, Blitz Motorcycles.