Written by Martin Hodgson
So it’s pressure you’re after; how does building a custom bike for the founder of the Backyard Axe Throwing League sound? Oh, and he also owns the incredible Dyna Guerilla by Rough Crafts that the new machine must be able to match and complement. For Rob Chappell of Origin8or Custom Cycle Co it was barely pause for concern. Because from the earliest of ages he’s been drawing up designs and then spinning spanners. So it comes as no surprise that the 1970 Triumph Bonneville they call ‘BATL’ had everyone smiling when it finally rolled out of his Ontario, Canada based workshop.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
On the port of Hiroshima, in a nondescript two-story building with rust marks staining the roller doors, you’ll find the headquarters of Heiwa Motorcycles. Here amongst the crowded chaos of vintage motorcycles and associated parts you’ll find the team building some of Japan’s best classic customs. For fortunate Western Australian Tony Wong, a friendship with the company’s head honcho, Kengo Kimura, has resulted in a brilliant road going revival called ‘Chilli Mussel’. From the bare bones of a 1963 Triumph T100SS comes this gorgeous classic that’s full of subtle flavours.
The cat is finally out of the bag. When we say cat, we mean big black purring panther. We caught a glimpse of the BMW 1800cc airhead engine in Austin, Texas last month at the Handbuilt Show. Revival Cycles did a stellar job showing off this beautiful 1800cc boxer engine in the titanium framed ‘Birdcage’. Now here is the highly anticipated BMW Motorrad Concept R18 in all its glory. Launched at the very fitting Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, this R18 concept motorcycle has put a modern twist on BMW’s classic boxer engine design from the 60s and the classic lines of the BMW R5 from the 30s.
Photography by Nick Fraser.
After a two year hiatus, the Throttle Roll Motorcycle Show was back with a vengeance last weekend, as the sound of rockabilly music and motorcycles reverberated through the back streets of Waterloo, Sydney. This year, Throttle Roll was held in an old paint factory that’s been turned into an ultra-hip creative warehouse space called Commune – and that name and venue is fitting for the show. The definition of a commune is a close-knit community of people who share common interests, and we definitely saw a community of liked minded individuals who came together over their love of custom motorcycles, music, food, beer and just having a bloody good time.
Over the years the trusty Yamaha XS650 has found itself to be one of the most popular donor bikes around. And why shouldn’t it be? It has the Japanese reliability and an engine and frame that lends itself to many different custom styles. Which is the reason Martin Castelberg from Moto Incendio in Switzerland has held onto this bike for so long. “I restored the bike and originally built a café racer and rode the bike for 5 years and about 50,000km. During this time, I learnt everything about this XS650 – that’s why I like to say my first car was a motorcycle.”
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.
Words by Justin Benson.
Revival Cycles’ latest build; “The Birdcage”, at first glance – looks to be the work of a madman. Showcasing BMW’s newest prototype boxer engine, the frame is entirely comprised of titanium (a first for the Revival team), made up of 150 separate pieces, taking a full 2 weeks, day and night, to finish welding. Almost every piece on the bike was fabricated in house, with great attention paid to design, function, and most importantly – weight. The asymmetrical frame of “The Birdcage” weighs in at a mere 25 pounds, and thanks to the beautiful marriage of hexagonal carbon fiber suspension and CNC-machine aluminum parts, it’s light as a feather. The only hint of color on the bike comes in the form of the frame and titanium exhaust system, which were anodized, adding a subtle peacock purple and green shade to the metal.
Since 2012, Dutch shop Ironwood Motorcycles have pretty much dominated the classic BMW custom market in Western Europe. So much so, that their style has pretty much become shorthand for an entire genre of custom Beemers. It’s their ability to break the mould and think outside the square…
It’s crazy to think that nine years ago we featured a few bikes from a random little show in Portland called the ‘One Moto Show’. Then it its second year, it had 75 bikes and around 1500 bike enthusiasts come through the doors to check out this ‘new wave’ of custom bikes. But ten years later…
As many shops now ponder their 142nd cafe racer build, the trends that prevailed in the 70s, 80s and 90s are now being seen with new, more forgiving eyes. In that spirit, New Jersey’s BCR Designs set themselves a challenge; go back to the future with a classic Harley Softail bobber…