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.
There’s some things that most of us would take for granted if we were intending to break a land speed record. Obviously an endeavour like that would take a lot of money – so you’re probably going to need a sponsor or twelve. And you’d also be wanting a whole bunch of top shelf engineers and support crew, too. Not to mention a brand new bike and some seriously hardcore safety gear. You getting this all down? Great. Now tear the list up and come salt flat racing the Chris Bridgewater way – on a wing, a prayer and a blown, 171HP, S&S equiped Harley.
It seems fitting that for our first bike of 2014, we’ve chosen a matt black Harley with hand-painted artwork. Not only does the bike look amazing in its own right, but it also harks back to one of our all-time favourite posts – Jed DePyper’s infinetly badass ‘69 Sportster rat. Both bikes show scant regard for chrome, polish and delicate aesthetics. Instead, like a drunken sailor’s tattoed forearm, they display a brute artistic impulsiveness that screams rock ‘n’ roll from the rooftops. Meet The Drayton Porkchop; a bastard lovechild from an unholy union between Boneshaker Choppers and the Ilovedust design studio.
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Anyone that has studied the creative process will tell you that the world’s great artists eventually develop a style that is simultaneously totally original, yet uniquely and utterly their own. Think Kimura. Or Falcon. Or Lennon & McCartney. They seem to reach a point in their careers where they just manage to transcend their contemporaries and take flight. After that, their work is a good as their signature or their offspring; inherently and unmistakably theirs. Looking over the shots you see here of DP Custom’s lastest creation, I’m beginning to think that they, too, have taken flight. Please welcome back the brothers Del Prado, with their 6th (!) bike to make it’s Pipeburn appearance – the larger than life Harley ‘del Rey.’
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Life is the biggest lottery of them all. And it seems like Dan Kocka from Chicago won the jackpot in the ‘Cool Dad’ lottery. “I grew up around hot rods and rock ‘n roll thanks to my dad who always owned bad ass muscle cars” says Dan. “Dad owned a few bikes as well – an old BSA chopper that was pretty cool.” Dan taught himself to ride at a very young age, but was never that interested in building or tinkering on his motorcycles. Until recently, when he was given a solid insurance claim for his hail damaged car. Instead of replacing the car, Dan decided to do something sensible – for the first time in his life – and save the money. That was the plan until he came across a rolling chassis and a ’96 Sporty motor on Ebay. “I’ve been an electrician for 5 years now so I have a decent sense of how things work, but motors are something I’ve always wanted to learn” he says. So Dan threw himself into his first motorcycle project – and what a project it was.
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