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

Racer


’78 Suzuki GT 250

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 48 comments

Gandhi was a patient man. His commitment to non-violence saw him wait almost 50 years for freedom only to die less than 6 months after India was finally granted independence from British rule. Buddha is said to have once meditated under a bodhi tree for 49 straight days until he claimed to have attained enlightenment. And the Bible’s Job refused to give up even after his family and life was taken away from him. Then there’s the story of one David Ottesen, a man who’s patience makes Job look like Russell Crowe. See dear readers, I promised good David a post on Pipeburn very soon after I shot the beautiful bike you see before you last Christmas. And I promised, and I promised… Soon, summer became Autumn, and the leaves fell from the trees, but did I do anything? Oh no, still I procrastinated and never made good on my empty words. But David never gave up. He persisted until the sheer weight of guilt began to crush me like a millstone. Then, and only then he told me that he planned to sell the bike. And the guilt became too much to bare. David, I’m truly sorry; anyone wanna buy a bike?


READ MORE ►

’01 Suzuki GS500 – Ellaspede 007

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 66 comments

Consider if you will this mental image. Pipeburn, instead of being the super amazing blog that it currently is, is magically transformed into a warehouse. And not just any warehouse, but one that contains each and every bike that we have ever featured in these here virtual pages in the iron. Now place yourself at the open doors of this warehouse with the world’s biggest baddest, most power gun. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, it’s a phased plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range. You let rip, and almost instantly the brute power of the gun begins to tear the bikes to shreds. Firestones by the ton are ripped from arsehole to breakfast time. The pipewrap flies up into the air like streamers at a Macy’s Day parade. But you know the one bike bit you’d see nary hide nor hair of in all this supersonic chaos? The one major component that features heavily on a vast majority of bikes built since the early 80s but is rare as hen’s teeth around these parts? For those of you shouting “beam frames” at the top of you exhaust-infected lungs, congrats. You’ve just won yourselves a case of beer. Off the top of my head the only other bike in recent memory that featured a beam frame was Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. Unfortunately the prize beer is make-believe, just like the warehouse and the gun. But that shouldn’t bother someone with an imagination as powerful as yours so sit down, crack open an invisible cold one, and enjoy the beam-framed splendor of Ellaspede’s superb Suzuki GS500.


READ MORE ►

Yamaha XJR 1200 – “Mastino”

Posted on February 7, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 21 comments

This beautiful creation was built by an Italian shop based in Rome called Emporio Elaborazioni (EE). It was started by a graphic designer, a mechanic and a silversmith who all shared a love of custom motorcycles. This brutal bike is nicknamed the ‘Mastino’ or Mastiff after the breed of large, powerful and rather stocky pedigree dogs. When you look at the stance of this short, mean and muscular café racer you realise the name couldn’t be more fitting if it tried. We always thought the powerful and naked XJR 1200 would be a great contender for a modern café racer, but we had no idea it could look this good – trust the Italians to teach us a lesson in style.


READ MORE ►

1998 Honda VTR 1000F – ‘Christine’

Posted on January 31, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Other, Racer. 69 comments

Christine – more shiny stuff than a dictator’s palace

Every time we post a bike, Scott and I sweat over a good “angle” to open the piece with. Something unique about the bike that will grab a reader’s attention and help them get into the story. Sometimes it’s to do with the owner’s job or a neat little ditty about the bike itself; where it was found or maybe something to do with a tasteless mod a previous owner had done. Most of the time it’s pretty slim pickings, whether it’s lack of time on our behalf or stories that just aren’t that wacky we often end up pulling stuff out of some pretty damn thin air. Then there’s bikes like Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. This bike has more angles than a cubist painting; it killed its first owner when only a few days old. Then it was repaired and ridden by Honda salesmen. Then it was customised in what I can only describe as a “zombie killer” style. Then it was plumbed with nitrous. If you told us aliens had done a burnout on it while riding it across Roswell with a young JFK looking on in a giant octopus costume, we’d just about believe you. Hello Christine you strange, strange woman.


READ MORE ►

Trillion Industries ’79 Honda CB650

Posted on January 4, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 64 comments

Adam Sandler movies. They’re a dime a dozen. He’s an uncultured yet loveable ice hockey player/divorcee/single dad/college drop-out who tries his best to raise a kid/make it into the big leagues/get a job/be responsible/fall in love/manage his successful father’s dildo factory (what – you didn’t see that one?) blah blah blah. That’s what I thought too, and then I saw Punch Drunk Love and I was blown away. What really made it for me was the fact that I went into it with preconceptions of what I was about to see and subsequently had my brain deep-fried by a very clever director who knew just how to screw with the formula to take something good and make it truly great. How the bejesus does that have anything to do with the killer Honda CB you see here? Well, this director’s name is Derek Pauletto and he’s managed to cafe a Honda CB (which some would consider a very tired, “Sandler-ish” formula) and put just enough clever little twists into it to really make it into one of this year’s must-see customs.


READ MORE ►

Honda CB836CR “Sentoh” – AFT Customs

Posted on October 15, 2011 by Andrew in Other, Racer. 28 comments

There’s always an inherent problem being in a “scene” like the current boom for cafe racers, and that is that you are so bombarded with cool bikes that your eyes become a little shuttered to the possibilities you have when you set out to make a bike for yourself. In many ways the eyes of someone outside the “scene” are more fresh and therefore able to really create something new, like this all-original take on a cafe racer by Jim Guiffra and the guys girls at his AFT Customs shop in Jackson, CA. More used to a Californian chopper style of customising, it’s really refreshing to see a racer with a new approach. Based on a 1976 CB750 Four, It’s definitely channelling the spirit of cafe racers but with a healthy shot of west coast ‘tood, a pinch of track gear and (seemingly) a few left-over parts from a giant Japanese robot. It’s one of those rare bikes that makes you do a double-take with it’s deft, effortless mix of genres yet coherent overall look.


READ MORE ►

Royal Enfield Bullet – ‘The Badger’ V2.0

Posted on October 13, 2011 by Andrew in Classic, Racer. 29 comments

Damn show offs. That’s right – we’re calling it as we see it. The guys from Cycle Icons are show offs. Why? Well listen up, ’cause we’re about to rain on their little parade big time. First they go and create one of the sweetest little Enfields we’ve ever seen. It get a serious amount of coverage and applause from almost everyone, except a few guys in the EXIF comments section which means they are obviously doing something pretty friggin’ right. Job done, yeah? Break out a case o’ cans and rest on your own merits, yeah? Of course! But not for these guys. So what do they do? They go again. ON THE SAME BIKE! C’mon! And as if that’s not bad enough we think they’ve actually gone and made it better. Boo! They’re like that high-school jock who saves the game by scoring in the final minute and then scores again with seconds on the clock just to make sure no one missed the fact that he’s so annoyingly talented. Do you have a mental image of him in your head? Good. Now swap the team uniform for a Cycle Icons Tee. See where we’re going with this?


READ MORE ►

1972 Jawa 250 Racer – Highland Custom Motorcycles

Posted on October 6, 2011 by Scott in Other, Racer. 35 comments

As you probably know, India has a hell of a lot of people. Around four times the population of America. Or about 50 times the size of Australia. That’s right, there’s about 1.2 billion Indians and only a small percentage of those people have cars. As of 2002, India had an estimated 37 million motorcycles/mopeds which made it home to the largest number of motorised two-wheelers in the world. And ever since we featured a couple of bikes from India, it seems like we have received about 36 million emails from Indians submitting their motorbikes. Of those emails, here is one that stood out. The bike was built by Umang Shankar and his team at Highland Custom Motorcycles. It’s called ‘Highland’ because Umang is from a village in the Himachal hills and is proud to be a ‘highlander’. He is also a proud member of the Royal Enfield motorcycle group called ‘Road Survivors’ – one of the oldest motorcycle clubs in India. Umang is passionate about motorcycles and passionate about this little Jawa racer, so lets hear from the man himself…


READ MORE ►

J.L. Mekaniikka’s ‘996 Compressore’

Posted on October 4, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 25 comments

More rubber belts than a sex shop. Here is JLMs new ‘996 Compressore’

History is a wonderful thing. But don’t believe what the scholars tell you, the most interesting parts aren’t “the lessons from the ages that we must all keep in mind as mankind progresses.” And it’s not the politics or the relationships or the romances either. No way. It’s the really cool big shit. The catapults, the pyramids, the zepplins, the battleships with a thousand guns that can throw car-sized projectiles over the horizon. It’s the rockets that have 38 million horse powers to carry a car to the moon so that the guys inside can do low-G burnouts on another world. That’s the stuff that really matters – the stuff that they will remember in a thousand years. Janne Leiman knows this. That’s why his bikes are amongst our favourites. He’s not the sort of guy that fluffs about with clever colour schemes and faux-aged finishes; he’s the sort of guy who looks at a bike and thinks “what’s the biggest, coolest, most insane mod I could possibly do? I know – how about an enormous, face-melting supercharger to give it enough giddy-up to melt diamonds on a distant planet and make all the Pharaohs simultaneously rise from their graves and give us a very dusty, skeletal ‘sign of the horns’ with both hands.” Love your work, Janne. Love. Your. Work.


READ MORE ►

Garage Project’s Yamaha SR250 – “Lunacy”

Posted on September 17, 2011 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 20 comments

Of all the wonderful things that the internet has given us, you’d be hard-pressed not to admit that anonymous user comments are right at the bottom of the heap. It magically seems to be able to bring out the worst in us and will often turn a calm, rational, intelligent adult into a name-calling, boasting, irrational, long-winded idiot. Of course, the fact that you can do it with almost total anonymity is the main cause of all the trouble – it’s like the 80s equivalent of a prank phone call where you get time to rehearse your lines. In the midst of all this dissing and lowest-common-denomenatorism, it takes a brave soul to stand up and be counted. Our hats are off to anyone who puts their bike where their (keyboard) fingers are. And that’s just what our next builder has done. And do you want to know the real icing on the cake? He’s done it twice in one week. Assembled Pipeburn bitchers and moaners, behold a man who talks the talk and walks the walk. Meet frequent commenter Rex Havoc and his lunatic Yamaha SR 250.


READ MORE ►