When you think about it, basements kind of have a bum rap. For instance, how many movies have you seen where the characters go down into a basement and wonderful things happen? The answer is, of course, not many. The more likely scenarios usually involve people being tied up, power tools being used for things that their user’s manual would definitely not condone and the odd sex dungeon or twelve. But here’s a story that cellar lovers all over the world will be cheering; a basement in Berlin that was used to create art rather than remove body parts. Introducing Van Hai Nguyen and his ‘76 hog Ironhead.
With Harley-Davidson recently unveiling two new models, the Street 750 and Street 500, we were wondering who would be the first to customise one. Well, we don’t have to wonder anymore. The guys from The Speed Merchant were approached by Mike Davis from Born Free on behalf of Harley to see if they were interested in customising one to be showcased at the Born Free show. Of course they said hell yeah. “Having never seen one in person, it was very intriguing” says Brandon from The Speed Merchant. “The new Harley-Davidson Street 500 is what showed up at my shop with about 3 months to get the job done.” They were given an open brief by Harley, but with all the choppers at Born Free, they wanted create something a little different that would stand out from the crowd.
Written by Ian Lee.
Motorcycles are much like dogs in their visual complexity. A basic blueprint, and from that so many aesthetically different versions of the one type can be produced. The major difference I can see between the two is that it is much easier to ride a motorbike. Trust me. Today’s feature bike is of a special breed, a paradox in that it is a Harley dirt tracker with an incredibly clean appearance. Built by One Down Four Up customs, the Ironhead Sportster has been given the full vintage race treatment. With a slant towards a race inspired theme, the builders weren’t looking to produce a mock-up race bike, just something that would appeal to the older track racing crowd. In doing so, they have created something that is appealing to many more people on the custom scene. Hell, the custom exhaust system itself is a textbook example of how to use pipewrap.
Written by Tim Holdup.
In the world of custom motorcycles fresh new shops and builders are forever surfacing globally. Standing out is somewhat paramount to success and first impressions are crucial to get the ball rolling in your desired direction. Without further adieu, meet ‘NADIA’, she is an intriguing, hand-crafted rigid tail Harley Davidson 883 Iron. NADIA is the debut build from TJ Moto, a small custom bike studio located in New Delhi, India – and from the looks of things, it won’t be their last.
Another month and another world class Harley bobber from Jarrod and Justin Del Prado and the rest of the team at DP Customs in New River, Arizona. As with previous DP builds, this one has a racing theme, and one that which wasn’t immediately apparent to me when I first saw the bike. Here’s a very subtle clue – the bike’s nickname is ‘Hollywood’. Here’s another – if the bike wasn’t a Harley, it’d be a Nissan.
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In life, you’ll see plenty of things that seem pretty good from a distance but just don’t stand up to scrutiny once you have a closer look. Take, for instance, cheap tools. Or your local politician. Or just about any film James Cameron has made. Similarly, custom bikes can sometimes look great at first glance, but upon closer inspection they just don’t impress. Well, here’s a bike that kind of reverses the equation. Now, that’s not to say that it’s crap from a distance. Hell no. See, what the latest build from Kevin Clarkson and the Boys at Lucid Customs in Calgary, Canada manages to do is to fool you into thinking it’s a rough-and-ready parts bin special. But get up close and, well, just take a look for yourself.
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Buying expensive things on ebay can be very dangerous, especially if you’ve been consuming a few too many beverages. We have all been there. We talk ourselves into needing the thing so badly that we make a spontaneous decision to buy the thing before someone else beats us to it. Russell Lowe had one of these experiences. He was so excited about leaving New Zealand for the sunny shores of Sydney that he thought he would buy a new motorcycle for the new country. “I decided not to ship my current bikes (Moto Guzzi 850t, Sunbeam S7 and a 1920 Douglas 350) over with me as it gave me a great excuse to get another one” he says. So after looking through bike magazines and on ebay he admits he “got a little crazy about finding something”. Then this Harley WLA appears on ebay and he knew he had to have it. Russell impulsively hit the ‘buy it now’ button in fear of missing out on it. Then around a week later the Harley was delivered from Melbourne and he got the shock of his life…
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Study the keeping of time and you’ll soon realise that methods for keeping track of the multitudinous moments that tick by before we all drop off this mortal coil are as many as they are varied. Which is all good and well, but what’s the best way of accurately measuring time if you are a biker? You can’t see a wristwatch under your leathers and take it from me, using radioactive isotopes to power your handle bar-mounted atomic clock really isn’t a good idea – the judge said I may never get off that damn terrorist watch list. But never fear, for I have found a way to measure biker time so accurately you’ll never need a watch again. How? It’s easy! You just need to note the time that has elapsed between two cool Harleys that are rolled through the out door at DP customs and divide by 60 to get a perfectly accurate 1 second measurement. Why? Because that’s just about how often they’ve been managing to produce their superb new creations. At this rate, every Arizonian man, woman and child will be riding an DP Customs Ironhead by this time next year. Best get your ear plugs now before stocks run out.
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I’ve studied the evidence. I’ve taken the facts at hand and made an educated deduction. Inside all mysteries there lies a precious core of truth, and I have arrived at the center of this one. Giant metallic moths. Giant metallic mechanical moths. Possibly powered by uranium, or an isotope there of. Maybe Einsteinium. Now I would like to say they have wings, but I think that multiple tentacles is the more likely of the appendages. Tentacles that are able to handle many tools at once – metric, imperial and British Standard Whitworth. And they would be aligned in rows – but not just any old rows. They’d be in a kind of shark’s teeth formation so that if one should become inoperable another unit would rise up to take it’s place almost immediately and would be individually assisted by a cloned army of that old lady called “Shirl” who lives down the bottom your street, but with a cyclops eye due to an error in the genetic code. And the moths would operate with a pneumatic scream not dissimilar to the sound of a thousand formula one wheel nut removers, which would of course be very loud. But not as loud as the music playing over the PA system. It’s Yello with that “Oh Yeah” song from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Probably at about 145-150 dB, slowed down to half normal speed, and played backwards.
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If you’ve ever studied art (yes, yes – but I’m all better now) you’ll know that history’s best artists often hit a sweet spot in their career where they just can’t seem to do any wrong. It’s like the planets have aligned for them and they have some sort of sixth sense about what makes a masterpiece and what doesn’t. Picasso had his blue period. Monet had his water lilies. Coop had that series of pictures with the hella sexy nudie devil girls. Oh, hang on; that’s all his work. Anyhoos, we’re beginning to think that Arizona’s DP customs has reached their own particular acme of perfection. It seems that every bike they have completed of late is somehow from a collection of work yet each one is a superb example of the custom bike art form. We are not worthy.
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