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.
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.