When you think of a scrambler motorcycle, the last thing that probably comes to mind is a Harley-Davidson. With Triumph and Ducati both using the term as the name of two popular current models, it can be a little confusing these days what “scrambler” actually means. Although, a quick search through internet land proves that the label has always been somewhat complicated. Let’s jump into the background of this unique style and the reason I went in this direction after acquiring a totalled 2015 Sportster XL1200.
Thought we’d start the year with something a little different. Our friend and motorcycle photographer Errol Colandro wrote a raw and honest story that we think all riders could relate to.
Words and photography by Errol Colandro.
Riding down this beautiful stretch of road. Miles and miles of pure desert landscape. All I’m hearing is the wind, the engine, that beautiful Harley exhaust note.
Where the hell am I even going? As we all know, getting on these two wheels is our therapy, our escape, our healing. Healing…. the healing of what? I look back a few weeks at what made this “healing” ride happen.
Waking up, not knowing the surroundings, the walls are that typical Las Vegas hotel room, and I am covered in what seems to be vomit and I am alone.
Nothing goes better with the image of Harley-Davidsons than hard liquor and tattoos. So when one of Gasoline Motor Co.’s best clients for commissioned bike builds – William Grant and Sons for the famous Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum – they couldn’t wait to get their hands dirty again. The ‘SJ2’ is the second collaboration build between the two companies. After building a Triumph Scrambler to chew up the dirt in 2018, this year’s collaboration holds the legacy of old-school sailors and hula girls in paradise.
We spoke with Josh Sirlin, creative director, curator and owner of the Black Bear Brand. The brand has had a long history in America and has now been revived after laying dormant for many years. Josh has a passion for motorcycles and the brand he has resurrected. The more we looked into the products Black Bear Brand are making, the more we were impressed. Grab a drink and have a read…
How did you get into motorcycles?
Thinking back I always had an affection for them… but in some odd way I can’t make sense of now; they felt out of reach. It’s really weird looking back at this and the fact it took me until I was a so called “adult” before I rode one and then was on a fast track to buy my first bike.
First time on a bike: I was in Panama doing a freelance odd-job creative project for a resort Travis Pastrana was starting with his Red Bull team manager Hayes Wheels. The resort wasn’t open yet, it was quite and I was one of the only ones there along with Hayes and a handful resort employees. One of Travis’s bikes was there; the bike he ended up crossing the pool in Nitro Circus Live The Movie. It wasn’t working… but over a few days of me nagging one of the employees I convinced him and one of the local kids to try to get it running so I could ride it. And they did! This is where and how I got my first taste and the motorcycle bug; wearing shorts, flip flops, ripping the beach on Travis Pastrana’s bike in Panama.
Words and video by Tom from Purpose Built Moto.
If you’ve been following this build series, you’ve noticed I’ve mentioned a few times that the two adventure scramblers I’m building at the moment, a Nemesis 400 and the Harley Sportster are for an upcoming film project. I’m happy to announce that the official Instagram for the film is now live! @wideofthemarkmovie. After the success of our first film “Handcrafted” produced in collaboration with Electric Bubble we’ve decided to go bigger, better and way f**king out there. Go and check out the instagram to keep up with the project. Ok, now on with the important stuff.
Written by Tim Huber.
It’s hard not to look back at your first motorcycle with a distinct admiration and nostalgia, no matter how beat-up or prone-to-error it may have been. Much like your first love, there’s something highly-sentimental about sharing a host of new emotions, sensations, and experiences with your first motorcycle. For Jonathan “Jonno” Shakesby, his introduction to the world of riding came on a 1980 Suzuki GS850G in 1989. Over a quarter-of-a-century, four-continents, and more than three-dozen bikes later, and the British expat still holds a special place in his heart for the early ‘80s UJM.
Written by Martin Hodgson
It’s not hard to imagine going to the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Austin and coming away inspired to build a custom bike of your own. But while most would be drawn to the endless number of incredible bikes crafted by the world’s best builders, it was inside the Wall of Death that the idea for the machine before you was born! Forged together from a 2002 Harley Sportster and a vintage Harley WL it’s the brainchild of Michael Alton, roaming the roads of Texas where it’s known as Taranis.
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.