Mellow Motorcycles are anything but. They don’t do partial restorations or touch ups and they’re refreshingly forward about charging a premium for the work they do. Work which is consistently clean and clearly belies the name they’ve given themselves. And nowhere is their dedication and incredible craftsmanship more apparent than on their latest bike, a Ducati-Honda sprint racer named FRKNSTN.
Motorcycles are more than just moving pieces of metal or basic transportation, for those of us who truly love the two-wheeled world, each bike becomes a chapter in our life’s tale. And so it goes that from the land of the long white cloud one man experienced the best and worst of life as he built his dream machine. The result is this low and lean beast that started life as a 1997 CB1300 X4.
Custom builders and factory designers used to be at polar opposites of the spectrum. Like chalk and cheese or Harvey Weinstein and Germaine Greer. But as the custom scene has kicked down the factory doors, we’re seeing more and more crossover. The biggest victory in the past few years was Ola Stenegärd’s R nineT tour de force at BMW. Don Cammorata, aka ‘Machineform’, is also a BMW designer, a big custom fan and good mates with Ola. His new F750 & F850 GS designs were officially revealed at EICMA yesterday. And today we’re equally as thrilled to bring you this, his ‘custom that looks like it came from the factory’ KTM 950 Supermoto.
In the biggest hint yet that Indian could finally deliver a production Street Tracker, the major American comes correct with this incredible road racer to be unveiled at EICMA this week. With the all-conquering Wrecking Crew on hand in Milan to lift the cover, Indian are set to present to the world a street legal variant that has mouths watering. Known as the Scout FTR1200 Custom, could this one-off build be the basis for a dream machine coming to a showroom near you.
Pipeburn is full of stories concerning engineering genii who make us all look like drunken monkeys when it comes to customising a bike. Guilty as charged. But for the most part, it’s average Joes and Joannes who build bikes. The trick is knowing when to bring in the big guns. Clearly not one to do things by half measures, Switzerland’s Michael Thalmann pulled the pin on European custom’s equivalent of a nuclear weapon to help him out and the end result is a Ducati Monster cafe racer that’s blowing our minds.
More than a decade ago I watched a team rebuild a 1000+hp Subaru engine in just over 20 mins with the lead mechanic screaming, “just slap it together!” On the very next run it broke its class world record; incredible to observe but not the attitude I hoped the Qantas engineers would adopt for the aircraft flying me home. So when a client with a background in aviation engineering approached KickMoto in Halifax, Nova Scotia, they decided to adopt that meticulous aircraft attitude for the build. The result is KM006 an incredible 1985 Suzuki GS1150 Neo-Racer.
Despite being one of the most enlightened countries in the world, the Netherlands doesn’t have a thriving motorcycle scene. I’ve no idea why this is – they could be all too busy getting ripped, getting drunk or falling off pushbikes to really catch the bug. But for whatever reason, Roosendaal-based Ozz Customs breaks the silence yet again with their latest build, a Ducati ST4S touring bike cut down into a mean cafe fighter.
Here’s a little bobber Inception for you. By definition, a ‘bobber’ is a factory bike that’s been stripped down to decrease weight and improve performance. So this begs the question, if a factory builds a bobber, can you still ‘bob’ it? It seems that France’s FCR Original have gone a few levels deeper to provide us with an answer, and that answer is a resounding ‘oui’.
Yesterday we had an 80s endurance cafe racer and today it’s rally cars that are setting the scene. But not just any rally car; it’s arguably the rally car. The Lancia Stratos HF with its Ferrari V6. Argentina’s Vida Bandida are, like many of their country folk, huge rally fans. And to pay tribute to the Lancia and rally’s Group B golden age of the 70s and 80s, they’ve built an perfectly Italian tribute in the form of this dirt-eating Ducati Monster.
Here’s a movie idea. A BMW that’s owned by the chief of police gets purchased by a somewhat suspect hemp farmer who uses it for ‘deliveries’. It’s then customised by a bunch of Austrian bike freaks and turned into an endurance racer for a wealthy goldsmith. Too far-fetched to be believable? Think again, because that’s the gospel truth when it comes to the history of Titan Motorcycles’ latest build, a BMW R80RT endurance racer.