Written by Marlon Slack.
I’m sure all Pipeburn readers were caught up in the outpouring of emotion that swept the community when Honda discontinued the XR400R. I personally remember lighting a candle and settling into bed early, listening to the radio address from the Pope lamenting the passing of one the tidiest mid-range enduro bikes to be manufactured. No? You didn’t hear about it? Well, you wouldn’t be the only ones who missed the mid-range trailbike’s departure. With its relatively light weight and moderately powerful air cooled single-cylinder engine the Honda XR400 is probably the kind of bike that would suit most people’s riding, but is usually overlooked – but not by the guys at Benjie’s Café Racer, who have spent no small amount of time turning this 2005 model into a beautiful, but practical on and off-road commuter.
Words by Martin Hodgson.
When you’re thrown the keys of a brand new Harley-Davidson Street 750 and asked to build the first custom example in Australia the pressure to deliver is on. But with the first “small” capacity HD in a generation up on the bench the team at The Kustom Kommune have knocked this one out of the park and delivered a perfect homage to the mighty XR750 tracker legend.
The brainchild of Kommune Racer Jimmy Goode the Street 750 is a perfect example of just how to make a new bike look old again while still maintaining all of the 21st century improvements, it’s no easy task. Need some extra pressure? There was just five weeks to build the bike and the Kommune boys had yet to even lay their eyes on a Street 750, but working between 8pm-2am three nights a week they brought this one home first past the post.
It’s difficult not to love Yamaha’s timeless XV750. It’s a bike that was intended as a cheeky Japanese tilt at America’s star-spangled Harley market, but now-a-days it can take on pretty much any custom role assigned to it with mucho aplomb. Café racer? Bobber? Tracker? The bike’s been there and done that. And add that to the fact that the bike used an engine-as-stressed-member design, a rear mono shock and adjustable pneumatic suspension and you have a bike that was light years ahead of it’s competition. Speaking of which, it’s time to meet the builder of this rather charming ride. Introducing New Zealand’s David Sinfield and his very clean DS Design ‘81 XV.
The AMD World Championships for 2104 have come and gone for another year, and as always there’s quite a mixed bag of new bikes to peruse. But what’s good to see is that some of the more traditional Harley builders are embracing new-school influences to move the game one a little. Less billet, more brilliance so to speak. One of those builders is middle Deutschland’s One Way Machine. Starting with a decidedly old-school, mid-ninties HD Softail, they’ve managed to build a boardtracker-inspired custom that is about as close to the original hog as Frankfurters are to sushi. Here’s their ‘La Salle’ Fat Boy bobber.
Here’s something that you probably didn’t know. The movie ‘On Any Sunday’ not only won an Academy award, invented the world’s first helmet cam and single-handedly changed the Western world’s attitude to motorcycling – it also introduced large areas of the world to the wonders of both Flat Track racing and BMX bicycles. Which, if it’s not too long a bow to draw, means that it’s probably also responsible for today’s star bike. Meet Poland’s Pan Sławomir and his very mean, very green flat track Yamaha, ‘Storm Buddy.’
In the cuisine game they call it a fusion. In music it’s known as a mash-up. And in biology it’s a hybrid. Put simply, it’s when you take two different things and make something new, unexpected and original. Now take that thought and consider today’s builder, one Sasaki-san of Brooklyn’s Keino Cycles. He’s bringing the Japanese obsession with craft and dedication to America, the birthplace of cool. So let’s meet the latest result of this grand cultural collision – it’s an unexpected take on a Yamaha XJR1300 created for the company’s “Yard Built Specials” project, entitled ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
When you think of a dual-sport motorcycle, the first things that comes to mind are the Dakar rally bikes and more recently the BMW GS series ridden by actor’s Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman used on their world famous rides around the globe. What doesn’t come to mind is a handcrafted, urban assault style, custom brawler straight out of a small village in Normandy, France. But that is exactly what builder Simon Garcia has created, taking a Honda NX650 Dominator and making it his own.
‘Trailer Queen’. We’ve all heard the phrase before. It implies that a bike has been customised to the point where it just can’t be ridden. Hell, if you believe some of the more mainstream motorcycle writers you’d think that just about any kind of personalisation or customisation somehow renders a bike freakishly unsuitable for anything bar a once-yearly wobble around the block. But in our minds, that’s the opposite of the truth. The fact is that the manufacturers are forced to make hundreds of ‘one size fits all’ decisions on every bike they make. Be it for budget, new rider or even regulatory considerations, there’s no way a mass-produced bike can be perfect for you unless you make it perfect yourself. And we’re pretty sure that this latest build from Spain’s Maccomotors is a perfect case-in-point.
Seems like everywhere you look lately, there’s death and destruction all over the news. This country hates that country or some such ‘us and them’ type disaster. Makes you wonder what we could all achieve if we just got along. What if we worried less about our differences and instead we looked for more ways we could work together? Take, for instance, the Jasinski brothers from Poland. They’ve found their good Slavic selves becoming obsessed with Japanese customs done in a British café racer style with a little good ol’ American flat track thrown in for good measure. How’s that for loving thy neighbour?
With Harley-Davidson recently unveiling two new models, the Street 750 and Street 500, we were wondering who would be the first to customise one. Well, we don’t have to wonder anymore. The guys from The Speed Merchant were approached by Mike Davis from Born Free on behalf of Harley to see if they were interested in customising one to be showcased at the Born Free show. Of course they said hell yeah. “Having never seen one in person, it was very intriguing” says Brandon from The Speed Merchant. “The new Harley-Davidson Street 500 is what showed up at my shop with about 3 months to get the job done.” They were given an open brief by Harley, but with all the choppers at Born Free, they wanted create something a little different that would stand out from the crowd.