Words by Martin Hodgson.
From the time the Café Racer scene had its second coming, the Honda CB750 of the 70’s and 80’s has been one of the bikes of choice for high end builders and backyarders alike. But far too often over looked is its thunderous big brother, with race pedigree and freight train pulling power the CB900 makes a fantastic base for a Café Racer with some extra muscle!
Born just a year ago in Madrid Spain, Nitro Cycles, is a new family run workshop with a passion for the motorcycles of a generation ago and breathing life into bikes that have been long since left to rot. With a fairly wrecked CB900 sitting around it made sense to make it the first Nitro Cycles build and team, led by Antonio, got to work on making the most of what was left of the 1982 model. The CB was taken back to the bare frame, however even this super strong piece of steel was damaged. But the bike was being built in honour of Antonio’s Grandfather and nicknamed the “Fighter” there was no way they were giving up. So with hours of hard graft the twin down-tube steel frame was restored back to original condition before being treated to a new coat of silver paint.
One of the best things about a gig at the House of Burnt Pipes is the fact that you really get to see builders grow and progress in their art. Often, we’ll feature one or two really good builds from someone that we’ll sadly never hear from again. But once in a while, we are lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with a builder who’s clearly headed places and then ride the elevator all the way to the top floor with them. This is one of those times. If there was such a thing as a Custom Bike Master Builder’s Association, this bike would mark Scott Halbleib’s entry submission. Meet his latest build, a.k.a. ‘No. 5’.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Gaige Redd wanted to build himself a café racer with ‘80s race car styling all using a Japanese bike from the Seventies – an idea that could go horribly wrong if it wasn’t designed and executed perfectly. But Gaige had a big advantage, he’s a designer by trade and he knew sticking resolutely to the brief would yield exactly the bike he desired. The finished product is a cracking Honda CB750 that tips its hat to the classic BMW race cars that flew the flag for M Sport.
There any many things in this world that you could class as overdue. Peace in the Middle East, for one. A decent Nicole Kidman film would also be nice. And Nickleback announcing that they are breaking up has been overdue for about twenty years now. But when it comes to us and bikes, there’s been a task on our list that’s been hanging around for ages – and that was to post a bike from one of our first ever sponsors. That company is Brisbane’s Rocker Classic Motorcycles, and this is us crossing that bad boy of our list.
Go on, admit it. At some point in your riding history, you’ve probably fantasised about your bike being able to fly. Any why wouldn’t you? Given the right set of curves, weather, and traffic (or lack there of) it’s probably the closest thing you can get to flying without getting all John Denver with things. And if Hollywood is anything to go by, it’s not just us bikers who dream of going one better than a wheelie, either. But why stop there? Why stop with air? This is exactly what Faisal Malik did when looking for some inspiration for his latest build, this very sleek-looking CB750K.
Featuring non-professional builders is something we don’t do nearly enough of here at the House of Burnt Pipes. There’s something incredibly honest about a guy toiling away in his freezing and/or boiling garage at all hours of the night. And for what? Greasy, skinned knuckles and a constantly empty wallet – that’s what. But there’s something else that can also emerge. Something wonderful. Something that art critics have called one the purest forms of folk art ever created. So here’s Netherlandian Bas Rover’s own little folk art masterpiece, a hardtail Honda CB450 bobber.
Great Britain and the United States of America have a proud history of building on each other’s innovations to move the whole of Western Civilisation along. While English minds may have created the industrial revolution, it took Henry Ford to crystallise the whole thing in mass production for the people. And while (arguably) it was Elvis who recorded the first Rock ‘n’ Roll song, it was clearly The Beatles and the Stones who perfected it ten years later. Then along comes New Jersey’s Kyril Dambuleff and his associates, who have managed to create ‘BLACKSQUARE’ – one of the most beautiful, and one of the most British-looking bikes we’ve seen in a month of high tea Sundays. Philip Vincent, eat your jolly heart out.
Tanks and seats. If you had to distill down the art of the custom motorcycle, moonshine-like, to its base elements in a concentrated form I’d argue the toss that tanks and seats is where you’d get to. Sure you’ve got wheels, tyres, bars and a whole cavalcade of other minutia you can tweak to make things look like this or that, but get the seat and tank wrong and it’s goodnight nurse. So when Barcelona-based De Palma Cycles told us they had a build inspired by the Honda RC110, arguable the world’s best ever tank-and-seat combo, we were more than a little excited. And then we saw the bike.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
With the world of small custom bikes booming globally and being far more affordable than the outlandish choppers that were so popular 10 years ago, it’s no wonder small companies are using custom bikes as promotional tools. When you’re a surf store that focuses on the vintage look, a tough street tracker is the perfect choice. One 1994 Honda XR600 with extra black and bad ass please!
Just the second custom build by Jeroen Potters of Ozz Customs he was commissioned to have the tracker done in just 7 months. Normally you wonder who would commission a new builder and place a time limit on them, but Jeroen (Ozzy to his friends) is no stranger to speed. He lost a leg many years ago in a serious motorcycle accident, so rather than sit on the couch he built a trike and then for more than a decade has been a champion kite buggy racer and designer. And with the sort of behaviour that gets your friends branding you Ozzy of the Osbourne variety, the design for a blacked out, bad ass, urban assault, street tracker starts to seem like it was always in Jeroen’s head!
Written by Marlon Slack.
I’m sure all Pipeburn readers were caught up in the outpouring of emotion that swept the community when Honda discontinued the XR400R. I personally remember lighting a candle and settling into bed early, listening to the radio address from the Pope lamenting the passing of one the tidiest mid-range enduro bikes to be manufactured. No? You didn’t hear about it? Well, you wouldn’t be the only ones who missed the mid-range trailbike’s departure. With its relatively light weight and moderately powerful air cooled single-cylinder engine the Honda XR400 is probably the kind of bike that would suit most people’s riding, but is usually overlooked – but not by the guys at Benjie’s Café Racer, who have spent no small amount of time turning this 2005 model into a beautiful, but practical on and off-road commuter.