Esoteric arguments about a custom bike’s relative merits are all good and well, but as we all know it always comes down to the same old fact that there’s no accounting for taste. I like red. You like blue. The rest is mere conjecture. But all bets are off when you own a bike signed by Jorge Lorenzo…
On our recent trip across the Rajasthan Desert on Royal Enfields, we were lucky enough to have all the action, all the spills and all the general lunatic hi jinx captured by Melbourne photographer Jason Lau. His take on the journey and the impressive shots he managed to capture really piqued our interest. And looking through his back catalogue is an eye-opening experience, too. The sheer number of photos in there that we’d admired before but never connected back to him is seriously impressive. Talk about a quiet achiever. So we asked him for his best 15 shots.
Some brands transcend their own industry and become part of a culture so linked that one simply goes hand in hand with the other. If you mention motorcycles and India everyone’s mind is instantly drawn to the name Royal Enfield and their classic designs that have been around for generations. Enfield’s have been the transport of choice for the motorcyclist in India doing it in style, from the Brit’s who stayed behind after Independence, to the Indian Army and Police, Guy Martin on his epic adventure and our own Scott Hopkin’s high into the Himalayas. For Charlie Hallam and the Mid Life Cycles team from Melbourne, Australia, the RE Classic just made perfect sense as the platform for their latest custom and a chance to build a bike that not only looked incredible but could be easily replicated in a cost-effective manner for a limited production run. The result is this brilliant Royal Enfield Classic 350 wearing just enough of India’s most famous alloy to earn the name ‘Brass Rajah.’
In the space of less than a year in the late 1960s two Japanese heavyweights released motorcycles that would go on to be hugely popular in the modern custom bike scene. First Yamaha with its XS650 and then Honda with the CB750; while the Honda is considered the first Superbike and was designed to seek and destroy its British rivals, the Yamaha was based on classic styling and an engine as Brit as Big Ben. Whereas the evolution of the CB range has progressed to the most modern of motorcycles, the XS650 remained true to its classic styling for its entire production run. One man who truly understands classic design and builds a mean Yamaha is Christian Condo of Melbourne’s Modern Motor Cycle Company and this 1981 XS650 Heritage Special is his latest masterpiece.
We love discovering custom shops in our own backyard. These guys are called Speer Motorcycles and are based in Melbourne, Australia. They do a mixture of servicing, restoring and customizing of vintage, unique and performance bikes. Here’s two of their latest projects, the first is a Suzuki T500 cafe racer. The second is a BSA B31 250cc hard tail. Both look like they were built to ride. Check out Speers Blog if you want to see more from this shop. [Thanks to MC Trader for finding this one]
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