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Desert Sled


ROUGH DIAMOND: BMW R100GS by Diamond Atelier

Posted on November 15, 2019 by Scott in Adventure, Desert Sled, Enduro, Scrambler. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

When Diamond Atelier first burst onto the scene in 2013 with its inaugural BMW R80 project, it was abundantly clear that the two 20-something-year-old German builders possessed a near-prodigious level of talent and skill when it came to customizing motorcycles. And while the world-renowned shop has stepped out of the limelight for the majority of 2019, that doesn’t mean major moves weren’t happening behind closed doors. 

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OFF THE CHAIN: Yamaha TR1 ‘Django’ by Remastered Cycle

Posted on November 12, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Scrambler. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

In the proud city of Brescia, Italy, they’ve long valued innovation and tradition in everything they do. It is the home of motorcycling God Giacomo Agostini and firearms producer Beretta, so you can imagine they didn’t take it lying down when the Italian GP was moved from their city. Instead, they came up with the grueling Mille Miglia and like everything in the Lombardy region they do it their own way. So when searching for a workshop to breathe life back into his long-deceased Yamaha TR1, Alessandro Gallina stayed local and selected Remastered Cycle to build him a street scrambler that’s off the chain, appropriately called Django.

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THE BIKES THAT GOT US MOVING: EICMA 2019

Posted on November 11, 2019 by Scott in Adventure, Desert Sled. No Comments

Honda CB4X Concept

Designed by Honda’s European R&D team lead by Valerio Aiello, the CB4X is Big Red’s latest CBR650F-based concept bike. The 4X boasts a sharp futuristic design with a one-piece tank and front-fairing unit with wing-esque protrusions just above the radiator, and a host of LED lights tucked beneath the nose, resulting in a smooth form somewhat reminiscent of race bodywork. The front of the bike also sports aggressive looking hand guards, an adjustable windscreen, Ohlins forks, and a dual disc Brembo brake setup.

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TOUGH PROPOSITION: Royal Enfield Himalayan by Julian Palapa

Posted on October 15, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Scrambler. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

For the past few years motorcycle manufacturers have embraced custom builders and through various competitions have had them give a new look to their latest releases. But even a good idea can start to grow stale and rather than stick to the well-worn path, Indonesia’s Royal Enfield importer turned to a fresh pair of eyes. The result is a RE Himalayan designed and executed by leading architect Julian Palapa; ready to rip up the jammed roads of Jakarta, it’s called .02View.

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DOUBLE DUTCH: Yamaha XT600 by Pancake Customs

Posted on September 26, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

It’s long been said that travel broadens the mind and there is nothing like a trip to the Sahara desert to teach a great many lessons. It was there a few years ago amongst the enormous and unforgiving sand dunes that custom bike builder Boy Janssen found a new respect for the humble Yamaha XT. But back home in the Netherlands, he discovered they could be tuned to be just as good on the street and he’s been turning them out for clients ever since. Now the head honcho of Pancake Customs serves up a two-piece combo with matching Yamaha XT600e Desert Sleds that make the perfect pigeon pair.

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ORANGE IS THE NEW BRAAP: 1978 KTM GS250 by Sam Customs

Posted on September 12, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Enduro. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

On the edge of a crystal clear lake, with its stunning historic buildings and sweeping views of the Alps, Thun, Switzerland is a popular place to visit. “Scooter bikes can be rented for the trip back down to the valley if you’re feeling adventurous,” enthuses the local tourism website. Boring! Instead, be like Sam Luginbühl and bring the hills alive with the sound of a rip snorting two-stroke! The proprietor of his own all-round metal fabrication and Hot Rod business, Sam Customs, he’s spent the past five years in his downtime piecing together this killer KTM GS250 with looks that are as good as it goes.

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SHOVELHEAD SCRAMBLER by Sato Marine Cycle

Posted on September 4, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Scrambler, Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

In a world filled with celebrities with no discernible talent and the scourge that is the social media influencer, there comes our favourite antidote. The incredible craftspeople and visionaries that from their humble locales ply their trade without ever seeking fame or fortune. It is in the back streets of any Japanese city that you’ll find many of these fine folk working their magic. And from the beautiful temple filled port city of Onomichi we meet another master, Yusaku Sato. Who presents to us his latest build, a stunning Shovelhead Scrambler from his house of handmade machines, Sato Marine Cycle.

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ESCAPE ARTIST. Buell X1 Lightning by Custom Works Zon

Posted on July 1, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled, Enduro. No Comments

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.

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STREET TOUGH. BMW R1200GS by Original Café Racer Co.

Posted on June 25, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Desert Sled, Racer. No Comments

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.

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LONDON CALLING. Bike Shed Show 10th Edition

Posted on May 30, 2019 by Scott in Chopper, Classic, Desert Sled, Drag Bike, Enduro, Event, Flat Track. No Comments

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.

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