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.”
Photography & words by Phoenix Naman
When a weekend involves camping under the stars, fresh brewed coffee in the morning, hot breakfast and lunch, and best of all motorcycles, it’s a weekend well spent. That is exactly what Australia saw on the weekend at the Australian inaugural Deus Swank Rally. You might think, “what the heck is a swank rally!?”. Well, it’s a good old fashioned enduro time trial. But not as you know it, it’s a day of fun for the whole family at this friendly championship. Goofy outfits, inappropriate bikes, and a can do attitude are encouraged. Friday night saw keen swankers arrive early to set up camp, and catch up around a fire. Early risers were well caffeinated, and fed thanks to Chef Takeshi and the Deus Cafe team.
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.
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
Over recent decades Ducati has sat near the top of the Superbike pack, with the new Panigale V4R now the absolute benchmark and undefeated in WSBK competition. But when the company introduced the Sebring 350 in 1965 it was the biggest bike in their line up and often raced against multi cylinder machines with twice the capacity. So to pay tribute to the little bike that could, Stephen Brisken has taken a beat up ’65 and beautifully transformed it into a machine that is a perfect mix of cafe and racer.
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.
As closely related as they are, the custom worlds of two and four wheels rarely meet. But that wasn’t always the case, with the original Hot Rodders and Cutdown bikes of all kinds, sharing a common philosophy of shoving the biggest engine into the smallest frame possible…