For years now manufacturers have been offering off the shelf accessories for the vast bulk of their range of motorcycles. On new models, just like at car dealers, a list of optional extras could be yours and all you have to do is tick a box to have them fitted. Since the boom of the custom motorcycle scene, it seems each manufacturer has expanded their list of factory custom parts to almost ridiculous proportions. But is it really the best way to get bang for your buck having just forked over an already large sum for a new machine? One buyer of a brand new BMW R nineT decided there was a better way, by throwing the keys to Spain’s Ad Hoc Cafe Racers and the resulting Scrambler more than proves the point.
In a strange kind of synchronicity, Brothers Rahul and Birju Sinroja were 16 years old when their family upped and moved them from India to England. Now they’re producing custom Indian motorcycles for Brits. The first of which is this incredible Royal Enfield Continental GT dubbed the ‘Surf Racer’ – one of a pair of Enfield specials produced for the Wheels and Waves festival.
Anyone who knows about cage fighting will tell you that the match itself is the easy part. Believe it or not, the pre-match process of ‘making weight’ – or losing mass to make your fighting weight by intense dehydration is the risky part. Go too hard and you could be facing hospital time or much, much worse. But for Canada’s Motovida, the consequences of dramatic weight loss had a decidedly more pleasant outcome – more go. And here’s their title-winning champ, a 1098 Ducati they call the ‘Cage Fighter’.
Sometimes it’s the simple things that you keep going back to. You buy yourself a new leather jacket, but somehow you end up riding in your old, worn one. You splash out on an expensive watch, and yet you always find yourself wearing your Dad’s old beater. It’s the same with bikes. Something a little understated can mean there’s no stress about it getting stolen or landing you in jail; you can just enjoy the ride. That’s probably why France’s Bad Winners made this; it’s a nimble little Suzuki GN125 that’ll eat up city streets while the big toys can be kept clean for those special Sundays.
There’s a certain amount of irony in the fact that Boston’s Madhouse Motors is little more than a mile from Harvard University, as the contrast between the two couldn’t be more different. And while Harvard has a whole string of amazing medical firsts under its belt, we’ll take a bike like this over world-first kidney transplants and a cure for smallpox any day. Run by J. Shia along with an army of family and friends, they produce an esoteric range of customs and restorations, including choppers, Italian race bikes and this here BSA; a bike-meets-kinetic-art-piece they like to call ‘The Manipulated’.
Working on a bike project with a team of new people can be a hellish experience. Even simple things like picking paint colours or upholstering a seat can take up many hours while terms are defined and differing expectations are met. But for Switzerland’s Gannet Design and the Wrench Kings and Vanguard Clothes from the Netherlands, it really seems as if they were all freakishly, cultishly in sync. It’s the only explanation we can come up with for how such a superbly turned-out bike came out of such a diverse bunch of brains.
I’ll readily admit going into the 2017 Wildays show feeling a little jaded. Bike shows? I’ve seen ’em all. They’re either a car park full of bikes and corporate tents in the summer sun, or they’re a convention centre full of bikes and corporate stands with air-conditioning. Been there, done that. But by the end of this particular show, my eyes had been opened. There is another way to do bike shows. A better way. And I think Italy’s Wildays show has found it.
Munich’s Diamond Atelier have produced some incredible, high-end motorcycles over the last few years. But lately they’ve decided to take a new approach, making a run of customized motorcycles all based around the same platform. This allows them to nut out the quirks and challenges of each build and offer up a motorcycle that’s cost effective but equally bloody gorgeous. The first to receive this treatment is this gorgeous Ducati Scrambler Sixty2.
Pipeburn was lucky enough to be invited by Royal Enfield to attend the 2017 Wheels & Waves show in Biarritz. While we did our fair share of socialising and sun soaking, we were also there to document something a little special. For the 2017 show, Royal Enfield teamed up with Leicester shop Sinroja Motorcycles to make not one, but two custom bikes especially for the event.
Walking through the rows of bikes recently at a small regional motorcycle show, I got chatting to a guy who’d just finished a three-year rebuild of a Triumph 6T Thunderbird. She was a beauty, glistening in the sun like the day it had left the factory floor. With great enthusiasm I asked the owner how it was on the open road, the answer sadly is one that’s becoming all too common, “It doesn’t leave the garage!” Thankfully the motorcycle gods have given us Kengo Kimura of Hiroshima’s Heiwa Motorcycles who builds the most incredible old school customs and boy are they built to ride. His latest offering is a ’58 Triumph Tiger T110 that’s original patina earns it the nickname ‘Flavor’.