Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

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1973 Honda XL 285

Posted on January 15, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Classic. 43 comments

Short of cash after the build, Jake was forced to send the XL out to work in a bakery

Finding and showing the world great custom bikes. It’s what Pipeburn does. But being at the pointy end of the whole process with it’s constant search for the latest and greatest can easily make you forget about the other amazing part of the process – the part where all you guys arrive and check out the cool bikes. Now here’s the really cool part of the whole process; like some crazy custom bike feedback loop the bikes we find and feature then go on to inspire the new builds to a greater or lesser extent. Like the simple, clean, elegant Honda you see here. Except in the case of Jake Lyons and his XL it was a little more, shall we say, direct than usual. See Jake went from nothing to knee deep in grease and Shoichiro design after his first ever session of Pipeburning. So if you’ll allow us a brief moment of pride, please enjoy the bike that Pipeburn built.


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Vicious Cycles ’94 Yamaha ‘FTW200’

Posted on January 9, 2012 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer. 21 comments

If you could pick any city on earth to settle down and customise bikes in, we think it’s a safe bet that Singapore wouldn’t be at the top of many lists. In a similar fashion to Hong Kong, Singapore has very little tolerance for vehicular modifications and a few of our Pipemates who live over there have told us that you can be defected for something as minor as having non-standard rubber on your rims. And heaven help you if you were to do something crazy like add a new exhaust or tank – that’d result in your bike being impounded. So as you are gazing over the sweet, sweet lines of this little Yammie TW keep in mind that it’s creators, Matt and Merv from Vicious Cycles Singapore, risk severe punishment if they were ever caught riding it in public. Apparently, the last biker who dared do this was forced to watch the movies “Wild Hogs” and “Torque” on an endless loop for an entire month while he was simultaneously made to delete all his browser’s cool bike bookmarks one by one. And that’s not all. Afterward, when he still wouldn’t swear against his beloved custom bikes they forced him to stay in a remote house at the end of a very long, windy road. They then gave him a Wrenchmonkee’s original with all the bells and whistles and covered every inch of the road with lard as they waved goodbye. Bastards.


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1976 Yamaha RD400 – Kickstart Garage

Posted on November 8, 2011 by Andrew in Brat, Café Racer. 44 comments

It just goes to show, you don’t need to over-think a colour scheme. Beautiful

What is it about small bikes? Most bikers will get the bug sooner or later. But just think about it for a moment. In no other area of transportation do you see this phenomena. Cars? With the notable exception of the Mini, you don’t see your average boy racer pining over something with less cylinders and a fraction of the go of their current buzz boxes. And how often do you think your average fighter pilot lays awake at night thinking about that bitchin’ ultra-light he wants to trade down to? Not to blummin’ likely. But things seem a little different with bikes. There’s an undeniable “thing” with the more delicate members of the species. They are small, light, chuckable and they let us feel a little like our favourite racing heroes with levels of horsepower that won’t punish those of us with more enthusiastic right hands. No need to tell this to Craig Marleau from Millville, California. He’s already there, and to prove it he’s banged out this stonking little two-stroke Yamaha to prove a point. Um, Craig? Point taken, my man. Point taken.


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1981 Kawasaki Z200 – Darizt Design

Posted on September 10, 2011 by Andrew in Bobber, Brat. 43 comments

Imagine not being able to afford to buy any type of motorcycle. Not even the rustiest, crappiest, lowest of the low displacement bike that you wouldn’t even play wee-wee firemen with it if an English rioter had agressively flambéd it. Then imagine living in a country that has a very limited selection of bikes. Then imagine (stay with us here) you have a dream to become a great custom bike builder. What do you do? Well, Agus Darizt from Java, Indonesia faced this problem a few years ago. So he worked out the only thing he could afford to customize was small scale model kits. He got so good at handling the super glue and plastic a friend asked Agus whether he would be interested in building a real bike for him. Of course he jumped at the chance and he hasn’t looked back since. “I started from scratch,” he says. “I learnt how to weld, how to use a bench lathe machine and refined my metal shaping techniques, and 5 months later the Preambule Orange CB100 (pictured below) was finished”. Now three years later and Agus is up to his ninth bike, or “attempt number 9” as he humbly calls it. 


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Honda CX500 Street Tracker – “Superfly”

Posted on September 5, 2011 by Scott in Brat. 28 comments

When it comes to the ugliest production bikes ever made, we all have a few that come to mind. Now we’re not talking about your usual “not my kind of thing” ugly – but honest to goodness, feel the vomit rising in the back of your throat, transparent plastic bag full of monkey genatalia ugly. Top of our ‘designed with an ugly stick’ list is the Honda Rune, then probably the nauseous Victory Vision and of course the repelling Bimota Mantra – we’d probably prefer to burn our retinas with a welder than see one again. Then there’s the Honda CX500, which isn’t on our personal ‘ugly list’ but it is on some peoples lists, like Graham Braids. “So I set myself a challenge, what is one of the ugliest bikes out there? The CX500!” says Graham. He tells us that in England, the nickname for the CX500 is the “plastic maggot”, which is why he has named his modded version of the bike “Superfly”. Here’s how Graham transformed this bike from drab to rad.


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1971 Honda CB350 – Ellaspede Customs

Posted on August 23, 2011 by Andrew in Brat, Classic. 39 comments

Ever found yourself in the midst of a stalled custom project due to a nasty case of procrastination? Whether it be a sudden and irrational dislike you develop towards your less-than-perfect tools, an aversion to spending too much time in that cold, damp box you call a garage, or the guilty realisation that yes, maybe your better half is right and that you should spend some “quality time” on relationship building. Whatever the case, the excuses are myriad but the results are the same – an unfinished bike. Consider then the design team of Steve and Leo at Brisbane’s Heluva Pty Ltd who had their project put on hold by nothing less than Australia’s worst ever floods invading their shop. All this and they still managed to turn out one of the most original and innovative CB Hondas we’ve seen in a month of blue moon Sundays. Feeling a little guilty now, are we?


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Kawasaki W650 – Blitz Motorcycles

Posted on July 22, 2011 by Scott in Brat. 37 comments

Did you hear the one about the Frenchman, the Czechoslovakian tank and the Japanese bike? Sounds like a joke, right? But the punchline is this sweet W650 “Gentle Tracker”, built by the Parisian guys at Blitz Motorcycles. When one of their customers came into the shop asking for a unique build and a very open brief, they obviously had a few ideas. But then when he mentioned the name of his business was Jawa Productions, they immediately thought they had to get their hands on an old Jawa tank.


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1972 Yamaha R5

Posted on July 18, 2011 by Scott in Brat, Classic. 43 comments

Sometimes in life you have to be careful who you share your dreams with. They might be shattered, stolen or in this case, they might be bought. You see this 1975 Yamaha R5 was bought by Doug Devine a few months ago after seeing it sitting at his friend’s place gathering dust. “This project started when a friend showed me a ’72 Yamaha R5 he had been storing in his shed for the past five years” recalls Doug. “Upon his move from Austin to Louisville, my friend had intentions of bringing her back to her former glory, but life happened. After a few months of sporadic conversations about the bike, the R5 was mine.” Unlike his friend, Doug didn’t mess around and jumped straight into planning this lil’ smokers reincarnation. We thought we’d let Doug describes the project in his own words:

“Originally, I wanted the R5 to be a low and speedy expression of my personality. My friend, Scott Hableib, and I spent a while just studying the bike trying to figure out how I could make this work. Scott, a graphic designer and fellow bike builder, created a concept drawing for inspiration. I set out to see if the mechanical aspects were there. I bought a battery, points, a condenser, and cleaned the fuel system. Once I fired her up, she smoked badly, but had the potential to run pretty well. I began researching 2-strokes and, in turn, decided to tear down the motor.”


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Evolution Motorsports 1976 Honda CB750

Posted on June 30, 2011 by Andrew in Brat, Classic, Racer. 46 comments

If having your handy work plastered up here on the pages of Tube deTemp Rouge earned you some sort of shiny golden statuette of a stylised, airborne motorbike with a windswept pilot barely managing to hold on while his rattly steed heads for the heart of the sun, then the boys at Evolution Motorsports would be kicking back right now, feet up, staring at four of the things up there on their greasy, old spark plug infested mantle piece. Undoubtedly the initial honour of owning one will have worn off by now, and the first spate of polishing and dusting and showing it to everyone who entered the shop will have subsided, now replaced with casual comedic additions to them including a beer bottle cap as a hat, some racing numbers added with a sharpie, and even a stupendous appendage grafted onto trophy number 2 using some used pink gum. But why? Because of late they have had something else to occupy their crafty, talented minds. What have they been cutting their fingers on and greasing up their cuticles with, you ask? This is what.


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Yamaha XS 650 – Scott Halbleib

Posted on June 1, 2011 by Scott in Bobber, Brat. 18 comments

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since we featured Scott Halbleib’s CB450 bobber. Lucky for us, Scott has been wrenching again, but this time choosing a trusty XS 650 as the donor. “The bike ‘began’ over a year ago when I saw the ’69 Aermacchi scooter tank on Ebay for $65,” says Scott. “I had seen a custom 650 with a similar tank and kind of dug it.” The tank then sat in the corner of his garage while he took a long break from the CB450 which he finished in May of last year. And then winter came, so Scott started looking for a XS 650 to hibernate with. After a few weeks, he found the right specimen at the right price. “It ran, but was a little rough around the edges.”


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