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’.
Argentina’s Lucky Customs have done more for 1980’s AMF Harley Davidson than anyone else in recent years. A few months back we ran a show-stopping turbo salt racer from the Cordoba-based business and now they’ve followed up with this spectacular blacked-out 1984 Evo chopper dubbed ‘Rock’n’Rolla’.
We all know that trackers are tools, right? Simply a very fast way to get from A to A in a big, dusty circle and nothing more. Making them look beautiful would serve no logical purpose. You may as well decorate a shovel or bedazzle a hammer. Except no. See, Utah’s Tyler White obviously didn’t get the memo and he’s gone about creating a Harley XL1200R tracker that’s pretty damn easy on the eyes, too.
Our recent expedition to Northern Italy for the inaugural Wildays show gave us more than just ham-induced consumption, some sunburn and a flat track-related bung knee. It also provided us a chance meeting with Germany’s Hookie Co., who had set up shop right alongside the Pipeburn display area. Bumming their shade, we got to talking over this, their latest build. It’s a 1993 Harley XL883 that’s been given a new lease of life as one of 2017’s coolest trackers yet.
If you’ve been flicking through Pipeburn over the last few years you’ll have noticed a change – everyone is shifting away from traditional retro-styled builds. Tight, fast, water-cooled, turn-and-stop on a dime bikes are becoming more popular as more people are actually riding their custom machines and the zeitgeist finds it’s niche in everyday life. Thankfully for grumpy old bastards like me people are still building traditional, honest-to-god specials. And damn well, as Gasser Custom’s 1974 Ironhead Sportster shows.
Welcome, Harley Davidson Executive Management! You might not have visited our website before. There’s not too much here for you normally, but maybe you’ve stumbled onto Pipeburn looking for inspiration for future models. It’s hard making those big decisions, like picking between gloss black, matte black, denim black or black black. But why not build something different? Like this custom Harley Davidson 2008 Softail Cross Bones, built by Winston Yeh and the team at Rough Crafts, based in Taipei, Taiwan.
Ever wondered what makes a great artist great? Like it or not, we’re about to tell you. A great artist is able to see a masterpiece in just about any base material. Give them a dirty great rock, they see a statue. Give them a bunch of paint, and they’ll see a million dollar painting. And if your weird-ass taste happens to feel the need, give them a big ol’ Harley Dyna and they’ll see something that looks a lot like this. Here’s the latest build from White Collar Bikes, one of Indonesia’s premier bike builders. It’s a Wide Glide Hog that will have you rethinking Harley’s entire range.
Every industry has its virtuosos, those that take a skill performed by many and add a level of genius and artistic flair that’ll leave you speechless and set them apart from the pack. Somewhere out in the world is a breakfast chef who sends his pancakes into the air performing triple somersaults in the pike position before returning perfectly to the pan. In the bike building world, Yuri Shif Customs of Belarus has one such virtuoso in bike building wizard, designer and major show winner, head honcho Yuri Shif. From a man who regularly competes in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building you expect great things and his latest creation, “Ducky” the Cafe Tracker is no exception.
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.