There are certain artists, designers and builders whose work is instantly recognisable in their field and often even into the broader community: A Hendrix riff, a Pollock painting or a Scorsese film. In the world of custom bikes few builders’ creations are more instantly recognisable than those of David González from Spain’s Ad Hoc Café Racers. Twelve miles outside of Barcelona along the C58 Highway, with mechanics apron on, David operates out of his small workshop that is equal parts artist’s studio and motorcycle garage. It is here that his unique creations are realised and while some may consider them quirky, David in fact is sticking to the true Latin meaning of the name Ad Hoc – or for this – a solution designed to solve a specific problem. In this case it’s a 1991 Yamaha XT600 known as “Rising”, a flat tracker that’s built to shred the wildly varying street surfaces of Greece.
If you could go into the future to see which motorcycles would become classics you could make a hell of a fortune; if I had a DeLorean and some Plutonium I’d give it a try. Those who’d picked up Honda CX500s or BMW R series bikes for pocket change are now cleaning up and if you’d mothballed a Z1, a K0 or a CBX you can now add an extra zero to what you paid for it. Of course it’s never that easy or we’d all be rich but with Triumph going from strength to strength the early Hinckley Trumpets could be one of the future classics to keep an eye on. Fresh from their Ducati Scrambler success at World Ducati Week Russell Motorcycles are back with an old friend, a 1998 Triumph Speed Triple, that’s now a retro racer.
To say the Italian’s know how to enjoy themselves and throw a party is one of the great understatements you can make, so when the 90th anniversary of the much beloved Ducati Motorcycle Company rolled around you knew the annual World Ducati Week was going to be something special. A 90 minute drive from the Bologna factory finds you in the Province of Rimini, where right next to the Adriatic Sea is the Misano World Circuit that hosts the Ducatisti from all over the world for a week of all things Ducati. From new model launches, to the endless track action with past and present GP stars ripping it up to the joys of the new Scrambler Land, just attending the event is a dream come true. But for Eduardo Iglesias of Spain’s Russell Motorcycles and his team not only were they invited by Ducati to attend the event but given a brand new Scrambler and asked to make something special to wow the crowds.
Great artists are always challenging themselves, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and creating new pieces that require them to go to a place they’ve never been before. When you live in the incredible city of Elche, Spain, with its beautiful historic town centre, Baroque splendour and you spend your days churning out some of the best custom motorcycles in the country, it would be easy to rest on your laurels. But not the team at Tamarit Motorcycles. Specialists in turning modern Triumphs into cafe racers and scramblers for their backlog of clients, they decided to set themselves a challenge. Throw off the shackles of a customer’s requirements, liberate themselves from their previous styling and time constraints and see what would emerge. It all started with a simple Google search and the end result is this stunning Dirt Tracker for the streets, a 2010 Triumph Bonneville known as “Superstar”.
For 2016, the Triumph Bonneville has finally shed its air-cooled status and embraced a raft of new technologies that brings the engine of the retro-styled machine truly into the 21st century. It’s a brilliant machine that will no doubt sell like hot cakes, but with such a change there is also a chance for a new bike to become a modern classic. That very well could be steeds like this “new” 2004 Triumph Bonneville. With no electronic aids, no fly by wire and carbies for induction it is perhaps the true bridge between the old classics and the new retro-tech masterpieces. Either way, Macco Motors in Spain sure know how to turn out a brilliant Bonnie of any vintage and this little lady known as ‘Wayra’ sure likes her hair in the wind.
I once worked at a company that was going through some major restructuring. Turning up to work one morning, we found copies of a book entitled “Who Moved My Cheese?” placed on our desks. A quick thumb through its pages revealed it to be a rather patronising little ditty that had been handed out by management to ‘prepare us for change’. Its intended message was simple; companies (and their employees) that are quicker to accept change stay ahead of the competition. Or, as the book puts it, “The Quicker You Let Go Of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese”. All we took out of the experience was that management saw us as rodents. Bastards. But it’s not entirely without merit. Stay doing one thing for too long and you just might find yourself ‘without cheese’. It’s a thought that Spain’s Macco Motors took to heart after a string of rather nice Triumph builds. The result? Their first ever BMW.
A little bit of old, a little bit of new and lots of out of the box thinking makes this Ténéré Tracker unlike any other, and that’s always the way it was meant to be. Starting with a “fit for the junkyard” ‘89 model Yamaha XT600, Santiago Garcia of Corb Motorcycles in Spain had a very unique vision of the sort of bike he wanted to build for himself. For more than 6 years in the city of Terrassa, 30 km from Barcelona, Santiago has been churning out customs for his clients and gaining an impressive following of fans and other local builders all determined to keep the true spirit of motorcycling alive. But when you build customs every single day and you finally find time to build something for yourself, it creates a chance to push the boundaries in every way.
When Macco Motors built their No. 3 Triumph Bonneville named “Dusty Pearl”, they created a machine that would inspire customers from around the world to send the Spanish workshop orders for a Macco Bonnie just like it. Each bike has been created with a twist here and turn there to suit the visual tastes and the type of riding each client desires. But when a big German by the name of Martin made the call for a Macco Bonneville of his own, the guys convinced him that it was worth taking his 2008 Triumph Bonneville for a walk on the wild side. It was time to create “Apache”.
Spain’s Macco Motors are building a large following with their clean and classic builds of everything from Harley V-Twins to little European 2 Stroke smokeys. But it is there Triumph Bonneville builds that are gaining fans from all corners of the globe and it was this that brought to them Jarlath, a customer from Belfast in Northern Ireland who’d seen the Macco Bonneville’s and had to have one of his own. Who could blame him, Macco Motors build many of the parts themselves, they do everything in-house and all of their builds are first class. Road racing is arguably the national sport in Northern Ireland but with its iffy weather Jarlath wanted a machine that was more than capable in all conditions; Macco delivered exactly that and more, a 2010 Triumph Bonneville delivered across the Irish sea sporting the most fitting of names, “Pilgrim”.
The Scrambler is my favourite of the retro classic line up. It’s strikingly good-looking, reliable as any other Triumph and the engine has far more character than the standard 360-degree powerplant offered by Hinckley. It’s an ideal everyday ride, for around town or even some light off road work. And that’s how this custom started, when Spanish workshop Macco Motors were approached by a client who wanted to customize his 2013 Triumph Scrambler. The owner, Gonzalo, had been riding the motorcycle around the rural outskirts of Barcelona for the last two years, but he wanted something more than the standard offering from Triumph. “The idea was to build something simple and with a strong look at the same time.” the guys from Macco say. And after some research and some clever modifications, I think they’ve nailed it.