Written by Ian Lee.
The Honda XRE300 is a dual sport bike manufactured for the South American market. Honda called it “aggressive looking” but in reality it is one fugly machine – with a pointy plastic nose that looks like a black bird beak. The XRE was the donor given to the team at Shibuya Garage in São Paolo to create a stripped back, brat style bike. Owner and designer of Shibuya, Teydi Deguchi, took the brief and got to work transforming this ugly duckling. The goal was to build a bike with a lightweight aesthetic and pure brat style look, which would be perfect for cruising the busy streets on those warm Brazilian nights.
It’s a truism to say that most builders have a kind of love/hate relationship with their project bikes. From the elation experienced when a seat comes together perfectly with a frame to the utter torment of broken bolts, mysterious misfires and parts that magic themselves into other dimensions after they hit the floor, it’s more than common for builds to drag their makers through a gamut of emotions. But I think it’s fair to say that Brad White from Louisville, Kentucky’s 502 Moto has a painful build story that beats most. And when I say painful, I mean just that.
Written by Martin Hodgeson
To create a motorcycle so good that passers-by ask you when the factory started selling them, you need a designer, fabricator and builder capable of bringing such a bike to life. With his CX500RR, Mike Meyers has proven he is all three and starting out with the much maligned 1980 Honda CX500 he only made the task harder. But with a love for the look of the CX’s engine design and ready to prove the doubters wrong he built a café racer that would easily take pride of place on a Honda showroom floor.
True style, as the saying goes, never goes out of fashion. And if there’s anyone who knows about style and fashion, it’s the French. In fact, they seem to have a certain je ne sais quoi about them that allows your average personne Française to be the centre of attraction at any social gathering, seemingly without doing very much at all. Which leads us to today’s build – a nouveau project from Lyon that manages to be both understated and timeless. Rest assured, when all this custom bike malarkey has passed, it’ll be bikes like this that we’ll be calling classics.
As someone who swims neck-deep in bikes every day, it’s all too easy to think that nothing great ever happens in the custom scene unless the people involved are in a similar state of bike-a-holic dependence. If you don’t wake up at 3am with an idea for a build burning a hole in your cerebrum, you just aren’t trying hard enough. But here’s proof that you can lead a bike-free life for many years and yet somehow pull a custom bike together that’s, well, that’s like this. Here’s Andreas Goldemann’s first bike in 10 years, and it’s a doozy.
As the saying goes, life wasn’t meant to be easy. It’s the same reason that diamonds and gold are buried deep underground and not just rolling around in the gutter outside your house. All the best things in life take hard work to achieve. Take, for instance, the bike you just picked up off of a complete stranger for a song. If you brought it home and it customised itself, that’d be no fun now would it? No, it’s the challenges that make it all worth while. And trust us when we say that the challenge Doug Devine from Modern Metals faced after he peered inside the engine of this innocuous little Honda would be enough to test anyone.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
When you think of a dual-sport motorcycle, the first things that comes to mind are the Dakar rally bikes and more recently the BMW GS series ridden by actor’s Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman used on their world famous rides around the globe. What doesn’t come to mind is a handcrafted, urban assault style, custom brawler straight out of a small village in Normandy, France. But that is exactly what builder Simon Garcia has created, taking a Honda NX650 Dominator and making it his own.
Despite what the movies or books may have you believe about tortured artists, the one real killer of great creative ideas is more often than not the disease of over thinking. Forget writer’s block, drugs or a clichéd battle with sanity; we’d wager that getting caught up in the details to the point where you disappear up your own exhaust pipe is more often than not the cause of art that never sees daylight. And the cure is clear. You should always create without the constrains of self-imposed perfection and intricate planning. Just let things go where they take you. That’s what Germany’s Patrick Sauter did. And the result? It’s a bike worthy of Kerouac himself.
As guys who see a lot of bikes, there’s nothing more intriguing than a build that seems to be hard to pigeonhole. Now that’s not to say that a classic café racer doesn’t whet our whistles, but there’s something about a mix of styles or fresh idea that make you look twice. Needless to say, the bike you see here a.k.a. the latest build from France’s amusingly named Ed Turner Motorcycles just so happens to be one of them. Built by and for ‘Head Ed’ Karl Renoult, it’s a Honda that looks like the result of a one night stand between a café racer and a supermoto in a 1970s amusement park. And in our books, that can only be a good thing.
It’s not every day you ride past Jay Leno and your freshly built bike catches his eye. So much so that he then tracks you down to appear in an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. Well, that’s what happened to Adam Gaspic from Gasser Customs. It also helped that Gasser Customs is located in North Hollywood, just down the road from Jay’s garage – so it wasn’t very hard to find him. The concept of this project started when Adam decided he wanted to build something in the spirit of the Hot Rods and Gassers of the 1950s and 60s but with some modern technology. So in between clients builds, Adam has built this mean looking Honda frankenstein named ‘Titan’.