Making a splash in a small American town isn’t hard. Some fancy new clothes. A fresh haircut. The fact you’re holding hands with someone new. It all gets noticed. But for One-Up’s Taylor Henschell, the thing he tends to get noticed for is his custom bikes…
If you’ve ever visited outback Australia, you’ll realise just how a movie like Mad Max could come about. With nature’s brutal extremes an always-present reality, and dusty old Australian cars the only real means of transport, things tend to get rather apocalyptic very quickly. Now Sicily may seem a world away from this brutality, but remember that Palermo, Sicily’s capital, is actually closer to African desert than it is to Rome, and that the island has been subjected to thousands of years of invasions from many unruly southern hordes. Add this to the fact that the last Mad Max movie was actually filmed in Africa, and the parallels between Australian and Sicily start to make real sense. Channelling this, and adding a large dose of wine, women and food for good measure is Delux Motorcycles. Here’s their latest, a BMW R65 they call ‘Mad Max’.
The real charm of a Rat bike is to pick up something cheap, get it up and going on the smell of an oily rag and retain all of that true mechanical character without a care in the world for high-end paints jobs and overpriced components. Sadly the concept has become a style and when anything becomes fashionable, large sums of money enter the mix with people spending big dollars to create the “Rat Bike” look. Point well and truly missed! Luckily for us there are builders out there like Parisian Arnaud Morel who has built himself this uber cool 1979 BMW R65 Ratty and done it all for just 500 Euros; an incredible achievement and completely in the true spirit of the rat concept.
From an old factory in the Dutch city of Roosendaal, Daan Borsje and his team at Moto Adonis share a common purpose of “building awesome vintage bikes”. Having shown they can build clean vintage customs with an impressive portfolio of both European and Japanese vintage machines, they decided to take a different path on this, their latest build. From the remains of an old Dutch Police Bike, a BMW R65, they have created a Neo-Utilitarian Scrambler that wouldn’t be out-of-place shredding the boggy fields on the Keutenberg or centre stage in a new Mad Max film. Stripped of all its law enforcement paraphernalia, the little BMW from the R range was taken back to bare bones to reveal the outlaw within.
Perception is a funny thing. It can be the difference between a positive or negative outcome, between liking or not liking something or someone and often the cause of missed opportunities. To change perception usually takes a change of mindset or to be shown there may be more to something than meets the eye. Until recent years, BMW R-series bikes from the 1980s could have been considered in a similar light. A bike for old guys into function more than form. Solid, dependable, but neither exciting nor innovative. Or at least that was a guy called Bruce’s perception of them when he visited Brisbane’s Ellaspede Customs as a customer. But that was a view which was soon to change – especially after eyeing a certain R-series on a little site called Pipeburn.
Written by Ian Lee.
Solid. If I was going to use one word to describe the BMW R series bikes built in the 80’s, that is the word I would use. From all angles you can see it’s packing some bulk, even from the rear, with it’s horizontal heads sticking out wide. As today’s feature bike from Hook Motors shows, they also make a solid base for a scrambler type build, it’s aesthetic giving the idea that if you can’t find a way around, you could just wind on the throttle and punch your way through. Fat offroad tyres, exhaust & handlebars all give the effect of something you could take to the trails on a Sunday, and be able to ride it home afterwards with little issue. Or in the words of Hook Motors “Designed for hill or dirt roads alike, this special motorcycle feels light and manageable. This bike is meant to be ridden hard”. Amen to that.
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“Barn find,” they call them. And the ‘they’ in this case would be an American-dominated coalition of nations that do actually have barns. Which kind of leaves those in the world who don’t actually have barns as part of their local bucolic repertoire kinda in the lurch, don’t you think? Well, not being a nation of people who take these kind of things lying down, us Aussies refused to put up with second best and trumped the barn with a marvelous creation we call the “shed.” See, whereas a barn can contain many things that aren’t even remotely cool (take the humble yet smelly cow) the average Aussie shed will always have something cool it it. It’s the law in some states. Forget animals, ploughs, and nesting birds – sheds are much more likely to be inhabited with things like engine parts, bar fridges, welders and greasy tools. Oh, and BMW motorbikes, if Tony Botrall’s find is anything to go by…
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Here’s something you may or may not know, depending on your own, personal level of smart-ass-ed-ness. The current BMW logo has been developed over many generations of refinement to the point it’s at today – the familiar circle divided into blue and white quadrants. But do you know where it started? Here’s where; as a white spinning propellor against a blue sky. That’s right, a propellor. Motorcycles were essentially a sideline for the company after the treaty of Versailles banned Germany from making arms in 1918. Talk about making the best out of a poor lot. So almost 100 years later we find ourselves in Sydney with a Frenchman pondering just how to trick up his ’83 R65. Then in a moment of divine inspiration, he realises exactly what he should do. Behold the world’s first BMW motorbike decorated in the colours of the French Airforce. Vive la différence!
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