For a professional furniture maker like Monnom’s Mike Gustafson, using wood on a daily basis is a necessity. But when he swaps hats to his role as a custom bike builder, the exact opposite is true. That’s because using wood on custom bikes is damn tricky at the best of times and in many cases it can look downright nasty. But with his designer’s eye, Mike took the wooden bull by the horns and created this terrifically timbered Honda CB550 he calls the ‘M3’.
Moto Guzzi’s are like heroin. You don’t dabble in Guzzi. You don’t just enjoy a little bit of Guzzi over the weekend. If you’re into it and breathe it. Guzzi swallows your life and becomes the entirety of your world and your sole reason for existing.
With the success of the original BMW R nineT you can’t blame the big Bavarian for wanting to cash in on the success of the model. To do that they’ve increased the line up to five variants all designed to appeal to various sectors of the market. While many categories enable them to get away with cosmetic changes, the desire to pay homage to the original all-terrain long-distance enduro G/S requires a whole lot more. Sadly the R nineT Urban G/S doesn’t quite tick the box with urban being the operative word. But never fear, Spain’s XTR Pepo is here, with a knockout 2016 R nineT that drops the urban pretence and delivers an authentic Paris-Dakar race replica known as RAID.
At first glance, Taiwan and California would seem to be world’s apart. But when you’ve spent your childhood in the East and now live on the West Coast, we guess the two just might cross-pollinate in some pretty unexpected ways. And for JSK Moto’s Samuel Kao, that mix was the guiding light for his latest build, a Honda Beach Scrambler with more than a little Taiwan built right in.
During our recent trip to Australia’s Broken Hill on Triumph’s Bobber, we were lucky enough to be able to work with Dean Walters, a local Melbourne photographer who seems to have quite the knack with cameras and motorcycles. We got to spend the week with him while bashing around the Aussie desert and trying not to crash bikes we didn’t own. After seeing him in action, we can say that the guy’s definitely ‘got the gift’. Watching him turn two idiots messing around in the dirt into jaw-dropping shots was a sheer pleasure to behold. So we asked him to give us his best-ever shots and a quick interview; this is what we got.
For any artist there is a fine line between allowing yourself enough creative space to fulfil your passion and doing the work that puts food on the table. For Dustin Kott that involves the delicate balancing act of working at the major Hollywood studios while still giving time to his artistic endeavour, Kott Motorcycles. There is also the small fact that he’s a perfectionist, a time-consuming trait. But that hasn’t stopped him from proving you can in fact improve on perfection; four years since the completion of a Honda he called Ruby Red, Dustin’s back with an homage that raises the bar to all new heights. An elite level Cafe Racer, Ruby Gold is a 1978 Honda CB750 Super Sport that’s flawless in fit and finish.
After a one year hiatus the good folk at Bandit9 have returned to the custom scene with a bang. This time around they’re leading with this incredible Harley Davidson 750 Street, dubbed ‘The Dark Side’. First up, it’s not named after Star Wars – the team actually drew their inspiration from the dark side of the moon. But I can’t help but see more than a little Vader in the lines of this remarkable build.
Here’s another gem we discovered on our recent trip to the bike-rich heartland of Malaysia. The Art of Speed show had a whole bunch of killer bikes; this amazing ‘Tryharder’ Triumph Tiger racer from West Malaysia’s Rotten Motorcycles was our clear favourite in the classics category. As a clean pre-unit bike with amazing lines and racing numbers we were more than sold. Then we realised that Rotten’s Wanzamani ‘Zam’ Ahmad and his crack Baganland team had gone and reversed the bike’s head as well.
Indonesian custom bike building. It probably brings to mind images of hand-beating metal parts while enjoying a beer and the sun in a tropical paradise. But if it did, you’d be dead wrong. Because for Ram Ram Junuar of Bandung’s White Collar Bikes, only the latest and greatest techniques will do. So with processes that would put most Western shops to shame, he’s built this classic-meets-modern Continental GT for Royal Enfield Indonesia.
Ducati’s first and arguably best tilt at the modern cafe racer was their achingly beautiful Sport 1000. We still regret not grabbing a new one before they ceased production in 2008, and we bet we’re not the only ones. But there’s always the custom route to modern cafe Ducati ownership and Germany’s Kaspeed have done just that. Here’s their 2001 750SS SuperSport.