Imagine for a second that you’ve made it. Whether it be through sheer luck, hard work or divine skill, you’ve reached a point in your life where you have everything you’ll ever need – maybe even a little more. So you indulge your passion. Now this could mean pretty much anything depending upon who you are, but as you are right here at the House of Pipes then there’s a good chance that it involves two wheels. It certainly did for New York’s Stuart Parr, albeit with a decidedly Italian spin on things. And ten years later, he’s kindly showing the world the Frutti of his labour at a local gallery. He’s calling it the ‘Art of The Italian Two Wheel’. We’re calling it heaven.
Fast approaching 100 custom builds the Wrenchmonkees of Copenhagen, Denmark know a thing or two about turning factory machinery into one off specials. But where many rely on a multitude of bolt on parts and big dollar components WM use their vast expertise to bring to life the often hidden soul of factory bikes, make them bullet proof street warriors and then offer the parts developed along the build to their ever growing customer base. It’s not only a smart business strategy but it also results in bikes like build #74, a brilliant retro tech Ducati 900 café racer with all the charm of the 70’s and the high tech of today!
In the Nineties Ducati brought back the Super Sport SS range that had been such a success for the marque in the seventies with the now enormously popular classics the 750ss and 900ss. But while there was nothing particular wrong with the 1990’s version the Monster and top of the line superbikes were dominating Ducati’s sale, perhaps if they’d built their SS like Moto Studio built “Racer 5” sales success would never have been a problem.
‘英’ is the Japanese Kanji character for ‘great.’ It also happens to be the character that the Japanese use for ‘England’. See, when Japan first properly met the British, the poms were in the midst of creating the modern world with their fancy Industrial Revolution. And for a country that had closed itself off to the outside world for over two centuries, Japan-san was clearly impressed. To Japanese eyes, British steam trains were technology from 200 years in the future; similar to you or I seeing a motorcycle from 2214. So what better name than ‘Great’ for a country that could do that? Kind of how we feel when we see the latest creation from dear ol’ Blighty. Introducing Old Empire Motorcycles’s latest revolution, ‘Typhoon’.
When it comes to modern production bikes, it’d be hard to deny that Ducati have put some serious runs on the eye candy scoreboard. Whether it be in GT, Paul Smart, or even faired ‘S’ version, the Ducati Sport Classic is oft-cited as being the pinnacle of modern-meets-retro bike design. But let us remind you of another Pierre Terblanche Ducati design. This one’s a much rarer bird than the Sport Classic, but what it lacks in multitude it more than makes up for with the sheer boldness of its 70s-inspired design. It’s the limited edition Ducati MH900E. And as if that wasn’t enough, this example has been tweaked to produce what we think is one of the best-looking bikes we’ve seen all year.
Perfection. It’s a glittering prize that many of us endlessly strive for but few rarely achieve. For all the polished-to-perfection show winners you see around the traps, there’s a million builds that are quit on or just left to rot. But what if, instead of throwing in the towel on the build itself, you gave up on the idea of that ‘perfect’ bike? What if you took more of a racing approach and simply considered the bike as something that was constantly evolving? A new part here, a modification there. And all with the aim of making something that was just straight up badass and damn fast. Because that’s just what Jens and the boys at JvB have done. And if this is what happens when you kick perfection to the kerb, we’re not so sure it’s such a big loss after all.
Written by Ian Lee.
In the custom motorcycle world, there is a tendency towards ‘feast or famine’ when it comes to trends. Modern Triumphs, classic Beemer airheads, and now the rise of the Ducati Sport Classic. Today’s feature bike is another take on this model, with the brief being that “the owner wanted the chubb taken off, but wanted it to visually remain a Sport Classic”. And ShedX were just the workshop for the job. Keeping the lines given to it in Bologna, this ultra clean ride has been built to give the owner more of a sporting chance, without turning the bike into a track day special. Utilising the Ducati parts bin, as well as their own product, Neil from ShedX has produced a beautiful bike that is much more ‘feast’ than ‘famine’.
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Written by Ian Lee.
What’s better than a Ducati Sport Classic 1000? A Ducati Sport Classic built by an ex World Super Bike/Moto GP mechanic. It doesn’t get much better than that. This machine has an amazing mix of aesthetics and power that just whispers seductively in your ear: ‘look at me’. Over 10 years experience on the European racing scene, including some time at the Ducati factory, has culminated in today’s feature bike: Corse Motorcycles‘ rework of the 2006 Ducati Sport Classic.
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What’s the opposite of a motorcycle? Have a think about it. Bikes are small, nimble, rebellious, noisy, spiritual and exciting. Now think of something monolithically large, very conservative, whisper quiet, painfully intellectual and about as exciting as a book by Martin Heidegger. That’s right, i’m talking about Universities. Naturally, you’d think that the two would have absolutely nothing in common. But you’d be wrong. The bike you see before you exists because of a university. Namely, Madrid’s Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias, which accepted a request from one of its students to build a bike for a final year project. That student was Manuel Ayllón, and the bike is probably the most amazing Ducati you’ll see all year.
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They call them ‘parts bin specials.’ They’re the bikes that have been thrown together from all the leftovers that the other bike builders didn’t need. That old second tank. The spare rear shock. Your mate’s unused set of rims. The very thought of something built this way conjures mental pictures of a franken-bike; something that looks more like the result of a welder gone postal in a bike wreckers than anything that been done with any forethought or planning. But here’s a bike that goes a long way to prove that assumption wrong. So far, in fact, that the results look more like something you hope Ducati would build rather than something they’d run from in fright. Meet engineer John Grainge and his Monster SR2 Café Racer.
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