One of the most awesome aspects of customising bikes is the ability it gives you to make your imaginary moto thoughts a reality. What if BMW had made a bobber in the 1970s? What if Harley had embraced racers instead of cruisers? Or, in Ara Mekhtarian’s case, what if Japan had made a futuristic Honda cafe racer in the early 60s?
If there’s one thing about this whole moto blogging malarkey that really warms the hemispherical cockles of our big old hearts, it’s seeing new builders go from strength to strength. When it happens, it never fails to put a smile on our faces…
Custom builders and factory designers used to be at polar opposites of the spectrum. Like chalk and cheese or Harvey Weinstein and Germaine Greer. But as the custom scene has kicked down the factory doors, we’re seeing more and more crossover. The biggest victory in the past few years was Ola Stenegärd’s R nineT tour de force at BMW. Don Cammorata, aka ‘Machineform’, is also a BMW designer, a big custom fan and good mates with Ola. His new F750 & F850 GS designs were officially revealed at EICMA yesterday. And today we’re equally as thrilled to bring you this, his ‘custom that looks like it came from the factory’ KTM 950 Supermoto.
Time for a quick confession. Shaik Ridzwan was probably the first photographer featured on Pipeburn who really made us sit up and take notice. Yes, the fact that he also shot Max Hazan’s bikes can’t have hurt things – but in my mind Shaik was the one who opened our eyes to the fact that shooting bikes could be a whole lot more than wheeling it out on the driveway and telling the local kids to get out of the shot. Here’s a collection of his best ever photos, assembled by the man himself.
As always at this time of year, Harley have just wheeled out their 2018 models to the world’s eager press. Sure they look cool but all we can see is the big, fat hole where there isn’t a street tracker. C’mon Milwaukee! Just slap a light and some indicators on the XG750R and be done with it. No? Well, that’s cool because Mule Motorcycles’ Richard Pollock, a.k.a. California’s king of trackers, has just delivered us a Harley Sportster XL1200 street tracker that should keep all but the most unhinged of HD tracker fans happy for a millennia or three.
Ever since Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman used BMW GS motorcycles to tackle their epic journeys around the world the Adventure bike category has been selling strong. Brands as diverse as Royal Enfield to prestige marque MV Agusta have been getting in on the act but the BMW remains the gold standard. However with the GS and other major challengers now coming with things like GPS, stability control, a quick-shifter and other technological wizardry it seems to be less adventure and more twee Sunday ride. So to get back to the gritty survival spirit, California’s Gasser Customs has built this Baja beast for the intrepid explorer. It’s a 2005 Harley Sportster 1200 that will take you anywhere, kick sand in the oppositions eyes and rightfully earns the name ‘Adventure’.
In this, the latest installment of our series on the world’s best moto photographers, we spoke to Californian Stan Evans on his work shooting some of the world’s best customisers, riders and bikes. While you couldn’t hope to find a more down-to-earth guys, his work speaks for itself; his black and white shots of Max Hazan are some of the best we’ve ever seen. We hope you agree.
At first glance, Taiwan and California would seem to be world’s apart. But when you’ve spent your childhood in the East and now live on the West Coast, we guess the two just might cross-pollinate in some pretty unexpected ways. And for JSK Moto’s Samuel Kao, that mix was the guiding light for his latest build, a Honda Beach Scrambler with more than a little Taiwan built right in.
For any artist there is a fine line between allowing yourself enough creative space to fulfil your passion and doing the work that puts food on the table. For Dustin Kott that involves the delicate balancing act of working at the major Hollywood studios while still giving time to his artistic endeavour, Kott Motorcycles. There is also the small fact that he’s a perfectionist, a time-consuming trait. But that hasn’t stopped him from proving you can in fact improve on perfection; four years since the completion of a Honda he called Ruby Red, Dustin’s back with an homage that raises the bar to all new heights. An elite level Cafe Racer, Ruby Gold is a 1978 Honda CB750 Super Sport that’s flawless in fit and finish.
Ever thought about why you like bikes? I have. And I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, the BMX craze of the late 70s and early 80s probably has a lot to do with it. As we all know, cool bicycles are a gateway drug to full motos and as I’m ‘of a certain age’, most of my pre-teens was spent drooling over CroMoly Diamondbacks and Mongooses. Jeremy from Hutchbilt knows what I’m talking about, even if you young scallywags don’t. Here’s his BMX-lovin’ ‘Skyway’ R80 Boardracer.