It’s not every day you get stalked by a Hollywood actor to build you a bike. But that’s exactly what happened to Mike LaFountain from Raccia Motorcycles. One day he receives a phone call from motorcycle nut and actor Ryan Reynolds asking to build him his dream bike. Ryan has a nice collection of motorcycles, but the bike that started it all when he was a teenager was a 1976 CB750. We were lucky enough to ask Ryan a few questions about this project and his passion for old CB’s…
How did you discover Mike from Raccia Motorcycles? Did you see a certain bike he built?
I found Mike through countless hours of Internet stalking. I’ve always been a little obsessed with 70′s Honda CB’s. Admittedly, even more so as they rose in popularity yet again these past 10 years. Mike had done a couple of builds which stopped me in my tracks. It never occurred to me I could probably just email him through his website and inquire about a project. But I did just that and we jumped into this thing together.
Written by Ian Lee.
So you want to build a sweet ride, but you don’t want to take the well travelled route. You want something with that café racer silhouette, but you also crave something fresh. This was the conundrum faced by Aditya Green from Mean Green Customs in India, when he was trying to work out the details for the feature bike seen here today. This bike started as a thought, was turned into a sketch and then became a beautiful reality. Sleek lines, low slung and with a side profile to make you weak at the knees, this futuristic café racer is definitely something you don’t see everyday. And that’s what makes us appreciate it all the more.
‘Plastic Maggots’ they called them. And all for an unassuming little fairing that some ‘genius’ decided didn’t suit their tastes. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water. Thirty five years later and the Honda CX series’ full potential is only just being realised. With a bullet-proof v-twin, shaft drive, liquid cooling and failsafe electrical system, this is a bike that oozes potential. Just ask the boys who used the bike to take the 500cc pushrod record at Bonneville. Them, and the very talented Josh Mott of JMR Customs.
Written by Ian Lee.
To ride a motorcycle, we have to forgo a few things. Weather protection. Crash protection. The ability to eat a burger with two hands while steering with your knees. In it’s place is the awesome sensation that is the reason we do ride. That real feeling of the ground passing inches below your feet and the way you feel at one with the machine as you lean into a corner. Today’s feature bike is owned by one such person, who has forgone luxury in order to be able to enjoy the sweet feeling of throttle roll. Micah, the owner of this 1975 Honda CB400F decided that even with unconstrained access to his Dad’s luxury rental car business, a motorcycle is the way to travel in Melbourne. While scouring the net, Micah happened upon Salty Speed Co’s #002 build on Pipeburn and fell in love. It had to be their workshop who modified his bike. And so it began.
When it comes to designing a custom bike, everyone has their own way of working. Some like to sketch, others like to use Photoshop, and a brave few will just build from a picture in their head. When Pablo Luzzi from Buenos Aires recently started Utopian Customs he wanted to approach each build in a similar fashion as he does in his day job as an advertising art director. “I prepare a creative brief to serve as a guideline and start developing a concept in accordance to that.” says Pablo. “That’s how I initiated this first project, spending hours making thumbnails and messing with Photoshop until I came up with a comp of the final bike.” Once Pablo had created his perfect ‘comp’ of the finished design, he then had to find the right donor bike to suit the concept – which was made harder by living in Argentina.
“I had to cut the tree down that was growing through the old bike I found.” It reads like some kind of urban legend or biking folk law, right up there with the story of the guy who wheelied all the way home after he punctured the front. That and the one about loud pipes saving lives… but we’re here to tell you that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. And the guy with the saw? Introducing Wes York from Indianapolis, Indiana and his rather sawdusty Honda CB750 brat.
I’ve got to admit that I’m a total sucker for a good Goldwing. Now with that said, please don’t ask me exactly what it is about these Japanese gigantors that really pushes my buttons. Sure, the flat four and shaft drive tick the ‘unique’ boxes and the ‘CB750′s bigger brother’ look of the initial models really helps things along. But going from our previous ‘wing posts they tend to stand out from the crowd with a magic little something; there’s just this solidity and a ‘skunk works’ vibe they exude that gets me every time. And this bike, from the now legendary Adam Nestor from Adam’s Custom Shop in Rävlanda, Sweden is no exception.
Written by Martin Hodgson
When you’re starting your build with a bike colloquially known as the “Flying Maggot” and other nicknames even less flattering the test of a builders skill is going to be put to the maximum test. Lorenzo and Delano both graphic designers with Nozem Amsterdam were more than up to the challenge of turning a maggot into the classy café that sits before you. But with the likes of Wrenchmonkees, Hageman Motorcycles and Moto Mucci already having built incredible examples, making a CX500 stand out from the crowd is increasingly more difficult. And the Nozem boys knew it “The idea was to make a cool, authentic looking CX500, there are a lot of CX500 builds nowadays, so it was a challenge to make the bike stand out.”
OK, maybe we’re slow or something, but apparently African Honey Badgers don’t give a shit. Now we hadn’t heard this before. That’s not to say that they spend their days watching cable TV and smoking weed. Hell no. Besides, their lack of opposable thumbs would make using a cigarette lighter almost impossible. See, these Honey Badgers are apparently renown for being totally and utterly fearless when it comes to fights. Whether it be snakes, birds of prey or even a lion – they’ll take it on without batting an eyelid. Now just imagine the Honey Badger is actually a bike builder named ‘Isiah’ and his fight was getting this bike ready for the 8th Annual Rockers versus Mods show in Dallas…
If your life ever takes a turn for the worst and you decide to fund your insatiable thirst for custom motorcycles by joining a gang that pillages and plunders, there’s a few things you should remember. Firstly, you’ll need to be nimble and light on your feet lest you be caught in the act. Next, you’ll need a nice little secret compartment to stash your ill-gotten gains should the law come a-knocking at a bad time. And finally, you’d best arm yourself with a gun or pistol should the worst come to the worst. Which brings us to today’s build, a bike that fits this bill perfectly and not by coincidence, either. Introducing the latest build from Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche with their very aptly named ‘Brigante’ or ‘Bandit’.