When you’re a builder who has done it all and get to build amazing machines everyday for your clients, occasionally you need to set yourself a challenge so daring you just might fail. When it comes to his personal projects Rob Chappell admits he can get easily bored…
When the custom bike revival began in earnest a few years ago, the bulk of builds were Cafe Racers based on the best of British from the ’60s and the Japanese legends of the ’70s. But as the scene grows, many builders have looked back decades earlier for both inspiration and donor bikes. For Pip Davidson, it started by joining the BSMC and with a few builds under his belt picked up an imitation Board Tracker, a bicycle really, with a 60cc mini bike engine. But it gave him an idea. What about the real thing, built from a small capacity machine, girder front end, vintage and rare? So after a long search and a winning auction bid, he found himself the perfect donor for his very own take on a Board Track Racer, a French 1948 Monet & Goyon S4J.
Tally ho old chaps! It’s been a splendid weekend of moustaches, smoking pipes and all things distinguished. As gentleman from around the world hang up their suits – until their next court appearances that is – it’s safe to say the first Distinguished Gentlemans Ride was a resounding success. We thought it was fitting to feature this hat tip to the vintage board tracker. However, this exquisite board tracker is surprisingly not the vintage most would expect. Built by Co Bappe who was inspired by the board trackers of old. “Bikes never really appealed to me until I discovered the early board track racers” says Co Bappe. After some research Co realised he could never afford a vintage one and would probably never have the opportunity to ride one. “So I bought a welder, angle grinder, and tubing notcher from Harbor Freight and 11 months later I had built my own board track racer” he says. If you’re thinking 11 months is a long time, that’s because Co was learning how to weld and fabricate along the way.
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Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know what you all are thinking. I thought the same thing when I first laid eyes on this cool new Harley from Paris’ Blitz Motorcycles. “Surely they mean STREET tracker, not board tracker?” I wondered. After all, this Harley looks about as much like a board tracker as the Hindenburg looked like a hummingbird. But you, like I, would be wrong. See the concept behind the latest Blitz creation was to take the essence of that much-loved era of fearless riders and death-by-buttock-splinters and and apply it to one of Milwaukee’s finest. And gosh darn it if they haven’t just gone and done that very same thing. The more observant readers out there will also note that unlike pretty much every other blitz bike in existence, this one is in fact “avec de la peinture et sans poussière,” or “not completely filthy” as we say in Anglaise. Please welcome the Gentle Board Tracker to our friendly pages.
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What were you doing with your life in your late teens? If you were anything like me you were flunking out of university, getting right-royally wasted, living at home and you more than likely hadn’t even considered riding a motorbike. At least, not legally. Cough. So what if I were to tell you that the creator of the amazing Moto Guzzi you see above is only a mere 20 years old and that this is in fact the third custom bike he’s built? Well, it’s with gritted teeth and a slightly awkward, jealous smile that I’d like to introduce you to Adam Nestor, creator of this Ferrari blue wonder called “Madame Guzzi“.
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