In this life, you’ll soon find out that there’s friends, and then there are friends. Friends are the ones who will drop you home on their bike after you’ve had a few too many. Friends are the ones who’ll wash the vomit off the back their favourite leather jacket and never mention the night again – until your wedding day. And afterwards, they’ll take you aside and tell you that they skipped all the crap on your wedding registry list and made you a custom motorbike instead. Needless to say, Junior Burrell from the Texan shop Retro Moto is one of those friends and this is the bike he made for his buddy.
Custom bikes are a challenge that many of us have tried and failed. Whether it be a lack of time, money, skills or a combination of all three, there’s many more projects out there that get sold as spare parts than those that make it to the end. So imagine a project involving four different guys in four different US states that decided to build separate bits of a whole bike and then meet up to put it all together. In three days. At Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival. Doomed to fail, you think? Think again.
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We’ve been at this whole posting-beautiful-custom-bikes-on-a-blog thing for a while now, and you probably won’t be surprised to learn that there’s not much we haven’t seen. Sex. Drugs. Rock ‘n’ (throttle) roll. It’s all old news as far as we’re concerned. But then, just when you think nothing could surprise you, a bike comes straight out of left field and knocks you for six. You see, this is the only bike we can remember that has appeared more than once on Pipeburn. And with some simple additions, it’s builder has managed to create something that’s changed so completely from where it was only four months ago, he had to correct us when we mistakenly called it his ‘new’ bike. Meet Retro Moto’s CM400, version two point woah.
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When you get down to brass tacks, being a bike customiser really is all about the metal. Whether you’re welding it, grinding it, or shaving it off on a lathe, it’s the way you use it that makes or breaks a great design. Some like it seamlessly smooth and reflective like a B-29 bomber. Some like it matt black like a charcoal cat hunting in the night, and some prefer it rough and corroded so it looks like it’s 1000 years old. But which ever way you cut it, the more you love it and understand it, the better your handwork is going to look. Retro Moto’s Junior Burrell is a guy that clearly loves the stuff, which was immediately obvious when we first saw this, his latest build. The wealth of intricate details, handmade parts, and array of different patinas says it in spades. If you love metal, we’re guessing you’ll love this bike.
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