Written by Martin Hodgson
The last time we visited the rural village of Hino in the Shiga Prefecture of Japan we brought to you Custom Works ZON’s incredible American V-Twin mud muncher that’s been ripping it up in the Suzuka Mountain Range. At the time we teased that while Yuichi San had recently done some work for BMW his bread and butter was cool as can be old school choppers. Returning to his shop, that is a step back in time to custom Harley craftsmen of old, we find his latest creation. A stunning 1947 Knucklehead Chopper with all the fruit for both King and Queen.
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.
Written by Ian Lee.
As time goes on, the number of niche custom motorcycle categories increases. Flat tracker, becomes a street tracker, with a touch of café racer, and so on ad infinitum. One area that encapsulates a few areas, while maintaining its own unique identity is the post-apocalyptic style of build. From Icon 1000’s Dromedarri to El Solitario’s Petardo, these bikes have a flavour all of their own. They are visual sledgehammers, built to create conversation, and most of all to be functional. Combustion Industries has just rolled out their latest build, a 2008 Harley Sportster 1200R. Picked for function, as well as form, Michael Bates of Combustion Industries has utilised his experience and contacts in the bike industry to create one rugged bike that looks like it could survive the end of the world.
As the dust settles on 4th of July celebrations in America, we thought this Evel Knievel tribute Harley-Davidson Street 750 by Number 8 Wire Motorcycles would be the perfect hangover cure. Almost a year ago to the day, thousands watched around the world as Travis Pastrana jumped over the water fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas as a tribute to Evel Kneivel – Evel unfortunately never landed it and the jump almost killed him. Unlike Evel, Travis nailed the jump and made it look easy on his Indian Scout FTR750.
There were a few Harley-Davidson loyalists that were shocked at the jump, not because of the death defying distance involved, but because Travis was doing it on an Indian – not a Harley XR750 he was famous for riding. One of those HD enthusiasts contacted Colin at Number 8 Wire and commissioned him to build a Evel Kneivel inspired Harley using the Street 750. “My brief was to design and build an Evel tribute bike with the underlying directive of What Would Evel Do?”
The Colt Wrangler from New Braunfels, Texas, has become well known for building clean and classy looking smaller café racers and electric bikes. So when a customer contacted him a few years ago about customising his Harley-Davidson Dyna Fat Bob, Colt got a little bit worried. “I thought to myself, ‘Does this guy really want to bring this bike to me? Maybe he’s at the wrong shop.’” The customer, Marc Snoddy, didn’t have the wrong shop and was adamant he wanted the former bull rider to build him a bike, saying he would ride the bike over and bring some photos for reference. “I feared that he was going to show me pictures of a really awful bobber with ape hangers that he wanted to replicate.” Luckily, Colt was pleasantly surprised when Marc showed him a picture of the “Gorilla” built by Rough Crafts. That got Colt excited, as he’d always been a fan of Rough Crafts and was looking forward to building a murdered out Harley on a much needed diet. We like to call it the Slim Bob diet.
Written by Martin Hodgson
The old saying ‘Think globally, act locally’ often has us in the custom motorcycle scene looking around the globe for inspiration for our own bikes. But this week I’ve learnt about a builder much closer to home, another bike nut who calls rural Australia home. Mark Lloyd Riddell has plied his trade around the world and now settled in Albury, combines his incredible skill base to produce the most amazing of machines. MLR Custom Coachbuilder’s bring us their latest work, a Hot Rod Harley called the Larry bike, it’s a craftsmanship connoisseur’s wet dream!
The Harley-Davidson XR750 is probably the most beautiful bike Harley has ever made. Which is ironic, because it was designed to get dirty, and getting sideways is what it did so well in AMA flat track races –actually it went on to become the most successful model in AMA history. So when a customer came into the H-D specialist shop called MC Parts in Denmark and wanted them to build a modern street-legal Harley-Davidson that pays homage to the XR750, they couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty.
As many shops now ponder their 142nd cafe racer build, the trends that prevailed in the 70s, 80s and 90s are now being seen with new, more forgiving eyes. In that spirit, New Jersey’s BCR Designs set themselves a challenge; go back to the future with a classic Harley Softail bobber…
For the best part of a century the custom motorcycle scene has been a counterculture that has traversed the globe. But with the corporate conservatives at the major manufacturers now heavily involved and a growing crowd of conformers; that intrinsic free will has come under threat…
Alright, I’ll say it. It’s impossible to hate Harleys. Because no matter what you’re into, someone out there has built a custom ride on a HD platform that’ll flick your switch. Exhibit A: the latest creation by LC Fabrications, an incredible dirt-oriented Sportster build they’ve dubbed the ‘SX1250’…