Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Jimmy Ban
In addition to young motorcyclists and custom builders who’ve found a love for bikes of a different era, part of the success of the retro revival is fuelled by those going back to the bikes of their youth. But never before have we featured a builder who’s been building bikes and winning races since the end of the Second World War. Enter Bill VanTichelt, founder and patriarch of the Vantech family; who together combined to build a bike that was always for Bill the one that got away. A stunning cafe racer powered by a Ducati Monza engine, in a frame he designed to great success more than 50 years ago.
The Colt Wrangler from New Braunfels, Texas, has become well known for building clean and classy looking smaller café racers and electric bikes. So when a customer contacted him a few years ago about customising his Harley-Davidson Dyna Fat Bob, Colt got a little bit worried. “I thought to myself, ‘Does this guy really want to bring this bike to me? Maybe he’s at the wrong shop.’” The customer, Marc Snoddy, didn’t have the wrong shop and was adamant he wanted the former bull rider to build him a bike, saying he would ride the bike over and bring some photos for reference. “I feared that he was going to show me pictures of a really awful bobber with ape hangers that he wanted to replicate.” Luckily, Colt was pleasantly surprised when Marc showed him a picture of the “Gorilla” built by Rough Crafts. That got Colt excited, as he’d always been a fan of Rough Crafts and was looking forward to building a murdered out Harley on a much needed diet. We like to call it the Slim Bob diet.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Somewhere in those teenage years most of us, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, are bundled into a careers advisors office and asked what we want to do with the rest of our lives. Given a whole ten minutes, if you’re lucky, you’re soon agreeing to a job you didn’t even know existed. Now leaving dazed and confused many stumble on this path forever; but not Madrid’s Antonio Schefle. At 40 he packed it all in to follow his dream of building custom bikes. Each a unique expression of his client’s deepest desires, like his latest BMW R65 ‘Invader’, purpose fit to monster any type of road.
In the beautiful country air just outside the Spanish city of Madrid, Antonio setup 72 Cycles Performance in 2012 to pursue his passion. But for him, it’s not just the name of a company or a workshop that builds bikes. It represents his own personal brand of artistic interpretation of the customers ultimate custom craving and then bringing each to life in mechanical form.
Before Steve McQueen starred in the cult classic film, On Any Sunday, riding his 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, there was another Husky that had started his obsession with the Swedish motorcycle brand. That bike was a 1969 Husqvarna Viking 360cc that Steve had bought off world champion Swedish rider, Bengt Aberg, after watching him win a race on it in Santa Cruz. This great little film by Petrolicious explores the story of the “King of Cool’s” first Husky, the history of this incredibly rare machine and where it has ultimately ended up. We love the fact that the owners of this bike, Blacksmith Garage, still make sure this “quarter of a million dollar” two-stroke is ridden and not just sitting as a piece of art in someone’s living room.
Written by Martin Hodgson | Photos by Nic Walker
Over the years we’ve noticed a common trend here at Pipeburn; some of the best workshops around the globe, large and small, have their origins in friendships formed over a love of motorcycles. Australia’s Sabotage Motorcycles is one such story, it began in the car park of a hardware store when two men met on their ’70s Honda’s and have gone on to produce some show stopping custom rides. Now they’re back with a truly unique creation, artistically formed by the pairs talented hands and lucid imaginations. It’s a 1926 Douglas EW with power from a little engine by the big H, to deliver one beautiful board tracker.
Not only is Paulo Rosas the head honcho at the aesthetically pleasing moto gear brand Pagnol, but he is also a talented photographer that is always shooting away at every motorcycle show. Paulo is also a good friend of Pipeburn, so we hit him up for some photos of the Quail Gathering and were impressed when we saw the shots – he even wrote a few words to go with them. Enjoy…
This year, I was hired as the Quail Motorcycle Gathering (QMG) official photographer for the 2nd time in a row. This all started three years ago when Pagnol was a vendor there and I took some shots of the event for a Pagnol story that they loved and then one thing lead to another and here we are again.
Photography by Tadashi Kono
Growing up as a kid, Kevin Busch always looked up to his Grandfather. You see, his Grandfather was a mechanic, fabricator and engine builder who had a passion for going fast. He used to build drag bikes in the 1950s and his JAP drag bike was one of his favourite builds, built and raced by him and few of his friends until 1960. “After 1960 the bike was taken apart as they had all moved onto racing dragsters” says Kevin. “Some of the bike was parted and was forgotten about and left in the back of the shop gathering dust for many years.”
Every country has some national symbols that they are proud of. America has the bald eagle, Australia has the kangaroo, England has the Queen and Argentina has the gaucho. What is a gaucho, I hear you ask? The gauchos were fearless and skillful horsemen who used to handmake tools for carve out wood and metal. These men were legends and are a significant part of the folklore in Argentina, where bike builder and sunglasses entrepreneur Sebastian Achaval is from. “I am from that part of the world and wanted to make something that would capture the spirit and be unique in that way,” he says. This 2003 Ducati 749, named “Arriera”, with all its handcrafted wood, leather and metal, is not only a tribute to Argentina’s past but also to its future.
Yesterday was International Female Ride Day, so we thought it would be fitting to start by showcasing some inspirational females who have all made an impact on the motorcycle industry in their own way. First up we have the legendary Jolene Van Vugt, who is the first woman to backflip a full-sized dirt bike. She is also the holder of many Guinness World Records, and was a regular on the hugely successful Nitro Circus. She is now a stunt woman and Indian Motorcycles sponsored rider, who has definitely helped pave the way for the next generation of female riders.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
The agony and the ecstasy; that’s the roller coaster ride you learn to live with when you enter some of the world’s most prestigious motorcycle shows. But from his base in Russia’s beautiful cultural capital of St. Petersburg, Leonid Skakunov, has found a way to balance the triumphs with the adversities. And out of heart break, fuelled by determination, he took a bone stock 2011 Ducati 796 and crafted a show winning machine. It rolled into his Drive-in Workshop as a Monster and left as the God before you, Prometheus.