Chris and Rob Chappell of Chappell Customs are two brothers that have been building a variety of streetable custom motorcycles for a long time now. With Rob in Ontario and Chris in Los Angeles, they don’t build many bikes together the way they used to. But for Chris, this Harley Davidson project took on a challenge much harder than just pure geographical separation. This 1997 HD 883 was owned by L.A. based Chappell Customs worker Chris Hensley, who tinkered on the bike when he had a little spare time. Along the way head honcho Chris Chappell bought the 883 but just two days before it was completed Hensley was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on the way to work. Following his passing the bike sat once more until Chappell did what he does best and finished the bike in a fitting tribute to his friend.
The kids are alright; 26-year-old Sander Ilves from Estonia took a crashed ’84 BMW R80 and created a mean and clean street tracker for his own amusement. The budget? Pretty much zero. The team? Just him. And the shop? Nothing but his cold, Estonian garage.
Dust off the drafting table, refill the clutch pencil and grab the dividers. Retired Dutch Architect Henk Woltjer has teamed up with local shop Motogadgets to create the perfect motorcycle to relive his youth; it’s a millimetre-exact Yamaha XS650 tracker inspired by the first bike he built some thirty years earlier.
For the last few years French brothers Ben and G have been running Angry Lane, a Hong Kong-based store specialising in bike parts and all manner of low-key riding apparel. Keen to expand their business they’ve moved into modifying motorcycles, hoping their creations will act as a showcase for the products they have on hand. Now 16 bikes in, they’ve produced this unusual Kawasaki W650 dubbed ‘Superrench’ – a slammed down tracker that ticks off the motorcycle axis of evil – polished aluminium, header wrap and Firestones – and still comes out looking fantastic.
The Yamaha SR is a staple in the diet of the custom bike world. Easy to work with, reliable and carrying that thumper note, they have made many a solid platform for a custom ride. These days, most seem to end up as café racers or brat styled trackers. Not this one. This SR500 was built with something different in mind – a vintage looking dirt bike with upgraded components. Built as a collaboration between See See motorcycles and Motofactory PDX, this 1979 SR500 has been built for kicking up dust and picking up the odd trophy.
Struggling to find a donor motorcycle for your next build? Asking prices for ratty old SR400’s making your shake your head? Refuse to spend all your time and money on a glorified old Honda commuter? Thankfully there are better starting points for your next project. Big bore trailbikes. They’re reliable, they’ve got a bit of poke and they’re still very affordable. So here’s a guide on how to turn an old chook-chaser into a blacked-out side street carver like this 1994 DR650 ‘Arsenale’, put together by French company Blitz, makers of some of the nicest switchgear you’ll ever mash your thumbs against.
In the last few years news articles beginning with the words ‘Florida man’ have become a running joke. There’s even internet forums devoted to headlines that depict some of the most wonderfully bizarre acts to come out of the Sunshine State. If you get a moment, they’re worth checking out; ‘Florida Man Breaks into House, Poops on Floor and Drinks Contents of Vacuum Cleaner’ is my personal favourite. For me, that best sums up some of the drunken, insane characters that make up the unwashed social fabric of much of the South. Against such inebriated anarchy and swirling head noise stands Florida’s Steel Bent Customs, one of the most professional and consistently clean builders around, who have turned their capable hands to this 1978 Honda CB750 Super Sport.
When you grow up riding dirt bikes in Colorado, you get a good feel for what a decent bike is. That’s where the builder of this KTM custom started out, stirring up the dirt on the trails of the American wilderness. With a build brief based on a Roland Sands design, this 2012 KTM 500EXC has been given a full work over, while retaining the reputation this model has to be thrown around on the dirt.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
If you want to build a custom bike there is no shortage of well-worn paths to go down, a Triumph Café Racer, a Harley Tracker or an XS650 Bobber. The aftermarket parts are available, the internet full of inspirational photos and there are even shops that will make you a turn-key example. But Olof from Sweden’s Mod Moto didn’t want to build something already “done by everybody else seven thousand times”. So he went past left field, took a turn down a boggy lane and continued all the way to a KTM 950 SM.
Written by Ian Lee.
Isn’t new love grand? You just want to spend time together, walking on the beach, holding hands, riding your bitchin Triumph down country lanes two up …This is the thought behind today’s feature bike, a labour of love from the Ton-up Garage in Portugal. Built for a couple looking to spend as much time as possible together, this Triumph Bonneville has been customised while still allowing for two up action. Dubbed ‘Hellzapoppin’ after the dance style that brought them together, this bike is tearing up the streets of Lisbon and backroads of Portugal, showing that Ton-up motorcycles aren’t necessarily about one up motorcycling.