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‘La Monica’. Moto Guzzi Le Mans III by Dirty Seven Garage.

Posted on July 31, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

By far one of the most significant decades in American automotive history, the 1950s gave rise to some of the most iconic vehicle designs ever created. With stylistic elements reflecting the public’s fascination for the emerging Space Age, streamlined forms, pronounced fins, and other rocket-inspired visual themes on cars became symbols of quintessential midcentury Americana. 1959 Cadillacs like the Eldorado and De Ville are archetypal examples of designs from this era, sporting curved glasswork, chromed accents, fins even more dramatic than their predecessor’s, and distinctive “jet pod” tail lights.

And it’s those tail lights that became the entire basis for this one-off Moto Guzzi, dubbed “La Monica”, from France’s Dirty Seven Garage. Starting with a 1981 Le Mans III, the Toulouse-based shop fully rebuilt the 844cc longitudinally-mounted V-Twin with a 1,000cc kit. The electronics were then overhauled via an Electrosport regulator/rectifier, Dynatek Dyna 3 electronic ignition, and new custom wiring throughout.

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SCHIENENZEPPELIN: Honda CB400 by 2VMotos

Posted on July 30, 2019 by Scott in All, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

For a university student who just wants to build motorcycles, all that time stuck in front of a computer can suck the life out of you! Unless of course you’re Marc Vertesi and you cleverly convince your professors that building a race bike would absolutely make sense as your Masters of Architecture thesis project. Joined by his brother Philip, a Physiotherapy student, they run 2VMotos in Lausanne, building and repairing classic customs when their heads aren’t in the books. So, inspired by European designers of the early 20th century comes this peer-reviewed racer from the bones of a 1976 Honda CB400, aptly named ‘Schienenzeppelin’.

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WILD CHILD: Husqvarna Vitpilen by Outsiders Motorcycles

Posted on July 26, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Supermoto, Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

From the moment the first concept was spied at the 2014 EICMA show in Italy, the Husqvarna Vitpilen had the motorcycle world talking. It was obvious the bones of the bike were from parent company KTM’s 690, but it was the radical styling from design house Kiska causing the buzz. Despite most believing it would never come to market, when it finally hit dealer floors it retained the wild look that most concepts sadly shed. But for Outsiders Motorcycles from the Netherlands they saw the chance for an even crazier custom design and transformed this brand new 2019 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 in just ten weeks flat.

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‘Xaver Justus’ Yamaha XJ600 by Motopola

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

When you embark on the journey of building a custom motorcycle half the battle can be in simply picking the base you choose. Like a good pizza it sets the foundation and with the availability of all the right ingredients, it can be almost impossible to go wrong. But choosing to start with an ’80s sportbike immediately sets the builder a challenge; they’re usually ugly, rarely modified by others and almost always in terrible condition. Totally undaunted Markus Klett of Motopola chose a 1985 Yamaha XJ600 and custom-crafted all the right toppings for this tasty treat.

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KUPFERNICKEL. BMW R80 build by Jason Ralls & Rogue Motorcycles

Posted on July 22, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. No Comments

Words and photos by Jeremy Hammer 

“I didn’t know if it was going to be fantastic or a frankenstein,” are the words that rolled out of Jason Ralls mouth as he reflected on his first-ever custom motorcycle – a 1979 BMW R80 that’s strikingly different, yet beautifully elegant at the same time. A dabbler in building boats and Australian muscle cars, a custom motorcycle had so far eluded Jason until his interest was peaked by a mate’s R80 project. Not one to mess around, Rallsy picked up his very own rusted out, wasp-infested, BMW R80 just three weeks later, serving as the donor for his elaborate ideas.

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RACE TO THE CLOUDS: 2008 Yamaha YZ450F

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Scott in All, Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb joins the Isle of Man TT as the two most prestigious and legendary time trials in all of motorsport. The ‘Race to the Clouds’ pits man and machine against 156 unique turns on the way to climbing nearly 5000ft in altitude before reaching the summit, high in the Rocky Mountains, some 14000ft above sea level. The demands on the motorcycle are only exceeded by those on the body and tragically some won’t make it home. But for Thomas Kendall the call of the mountain was strong and he re-built his 2008 Yamaha YZ450F in preparation for his first attack on the lightweight class.

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WORK OF ART: ‘Bauhaus 100’ BMW F 850GS by Krautmotors

Posted on July 16, 2019 by Scott in Bobber, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Exactly a hundred years ago German architect Walter Gropius founded Staatliches Bauhaus, an art school whose philosophy was based on Gesamtkunstwerk, meaning ‘total work of art’. The institution would become incredibly influential in all areas of art and design and although it closed 80 years ago at the outbreak of World War II, its students would spread the philosophy around the globe. So to celebrate the centennial anniversary BMW commissioned artist and bike builder extraordinaire Rolf Reick of Krautmotors to build a motorcycle that would honour all the school represents. Presenting “Bauhaus 100”, a combination of BMW’s old and new, it’s a tribute and masterpiece.

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BAVARIA TO BEIJING. BMW R80 by Mandrill Garage

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic, Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Beijing might be one of the world’s largest and oldest cities, with an ever-expanding motorcycle manufacturing industry, but that doesn’t mean its smooth sailing for the customisers who call it home. All the big companies have a presence there now, but that is a recent development, so when a client approached Mandrill Garage to build them a slick 1981 BMW R80, finding a donor bike let alone parts was a major challenge. Never fear, as the team of friends simply pooled their collective skills to craft a truly one of a kind BMW Vintage Racer from scratch.

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FULL BLOWN. Supercharged Honda CB550 by Popbang Classics

Posted on July 9, 2019 by Scott in Board Tracker, Café Racer, Classic. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Kenny Smith

All that glitters is certainly not gold; what was supposed to be a quality custom café racer built by a hot shot from California arrived in Australia a disappointing mess. Some carefully taken photos and a host of hidden problems meant this wasn’t discovered until the CB550 had crossed the Pacific. But Justin Holmes of Australia’s PopBang Classics came to the rescue and every time the owner asked him to up the ante, he delivered. The finished product is a supercharged 1975 Honda Hot Rod that finally has the Hollywood happy ending.

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METAL WIZARD. Alonze 600 Special.

Posted on July 3, 2019 by Scott in Board Tracker, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

In the European guild system, the path to becoming a Master Craftsman is a long and laborious task that ensures only the very best in their field rise to the top. The final chapter of the process requires the building of a masterpiece so good the heads of the guild elevate the aspiring journeyman to the ultimate status. Already there in metal fabrication, Jim Alonze has found a way to add industrial design and now carbon fibre creation to his incredible skill set. So, in his downtime at Alonze Custom, Jim has crafted an incredible Ducati Monster 600 that combines the best of modern materials with supreme old school craftsmanship.

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