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.
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.
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.
The agony and the ecstasy; that’s the roller coaster ride you learn to live with when you enter some of the world’s most prestigious motorcycle shows. But from his base in Russia’s beautiful cultural capital of St. Petersburg, Leonid Skakunov, has found a way to balance the triumphs with the adversities. And out of heart break, fuelled by determination, he took a bone stock 2011 Ducati 796 and crafted a show winning machine. It rolled into his Drive-in Workshop as a Monster and left as the God before you, Prometheus.
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.
Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Keith Treder
When it comes to motorcycles, it turns out that if you ask for ‘just what the doctor ordered’ then the answer is a tricked out Ducati. To discover this, we didn’t just turn to any old medicine man, but Dr Chris Stout who was named one of the World Economic Forum’s 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow. They’re serious credentials and he’s a busy man, so to build his perfect weekend weapon to deliver that two-wheeled therapy he assembled a talented crew. Together they’ve brewed up a potent café racer from the unique Ducati Monster S2R: they call it the ‘Double Espresso’!
How many 21-year-olds do you know with an amazing bike collection? The answer is probably zero. That’s because getting older seems to be a distinct benefit in the bike scene. In retirement many of us find ourselves in a position where those dream bikes we’ve always wanted are finally within reach….
In only a short few years Spain’s XTR Pepo have produced the best racer-inspired customs in the world. Every time one of their builds smashes into our inbox we drop what we’re doing, drop our trousers and get ready for some serious Italian eye candy. This time was no exception…
For a brief but magical time in music history the Seattle Sound dominated the airwaves and shaped a generation. Now another of the cities institutions has crumbled and gone, the equally mystical and murky Alaskan Way Viaduct. But now a new creative force is flourishing in the North West…
While factory sportsbikes and the Superbike World Championships aren’t our usual fair, there’s one thing we’ve learnt. When a customiser like New Hampshire’s Walt Siegl drops a build designed to slug it out with the formula’s best and brightest, you sit up and pay attention…