Words by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Hiromitsu Yasui
On the outside it looks like a simple little building, with faded weatherboards and an old tin roof in a small historic town in Japan. Surrounded by neatly ploughed fields you step inside and expect to see an old man repairing dated farming machinery, instead you’ve entered the home of one of the world’s best custom bike shops. But despite becoming renowned for their concept BMW R18 ‘Departed’, the bread and butter of Custom Works Zon is American V-Twin muscle. And with a desire to play in the nearby mountain mud they’ve turned an unloved Buell X1 Lighting into a true weekend warrior.
A few years ago, Sean from Original Café Racer Co in London was lucky enough to ride across Africa with Charley Boorman on a Compass Expedition. The experience inspired a crazy idea; turning a BMW R1200GS into a street racer. “Having successfully designed and customised café racers in the past, I wanted to set myself the ultimate challenge; build four, spectacular, limited edition bikes to commemorate the expedition of a lifetime from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, covering South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe,” says Sean.
We were lucky enough to have local photographer and moto journo Tom Bing cover the Bike Shed show for us. He is friends with the Bike Shed crew and a lot of the bike builders, so it was great to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the bikes on display. Words and photos by Tom Bing.
It’s got to be the most exciting weekend of the year in the UK for custom bike lovers. It’s funny, when you’re anywhere near the ‘inner folds’ of something like the Bike Shed, you feel strangely proud of the achievements of all the people who have worked so hard to make the event come together yet again. It feels like a community event – not something you just attend as a punter, but something we are all a part of.
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.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Keep those two wheels turning; across the endless climbs through the Pyrenees, before taking the summit of Alpe d’Huez on the way to the finish line. No, it’s not the Tour De France but how Anton Knutsson of Injustice Customs spends his motorcycling holiday in the European summer; and it gave him an idea. What would be the perfect custom bike to complete the stages of cycling’s grand tours? With the help of BMW and Ohlins he’s built the answer, a 2019 BMW R nineT Urban G/S that’s ready to bring the thunder to the mountain tops, rightly named ‘Thor’.
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
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.
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.
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.