Here’s a fun fact. Shoichiro Irimajiri, the Honda engineer who designed the first generation Honda Gold Wing engine, had spent the previous 10 years making Grand Prix engines. His initial concept for the Gold Wing was a 1500cc flat six engine that put out 80bhp and propelled the test bike to well in excess of 140mph…
‘Chuckable’. It’s what we call bikes in England and Down Under that are super easy to throw around on the road. You might call them lithe, lightweight or manoeuvrable. It’s what you get when you start with something that’s already pretty minimal and push it even further…
What have Pikes Peak racers and WWII fighter planes got in common? Well believe it or not, they both face the same challenges when it comes to making engines work at higher altitudes. As with the old fighters, the internal combustion engine on a racing bike might be fine at sea level, but will rapidly lose power as the air gets thinner…
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.