Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.


Evolution’s ’72 Harley Ironhead Sporty – “No. 22”

Posted on September 20, 2012 by Andrew in Bobber. 43 comments

If John Player Special made Samurai bobbers… Click for a larger image

Ever get the feeling you’ve forgotten something? That horrible, smouldering worry that you’ve left something behind or forgotten to do something. I’ve had one for the past few weeks, and it’s been driving me crazy. I’ve been checking ovens, keys, wallets, and door locks like a mad man – all to no avail. Then, just when I’d almost given up hope of ever finding what it was I was missing, Paul McKinnon from Pipeburn’s local favourites Evolution Motorsports wheeled the bike you see before you into our basement garage for a photoshoot. Suddenly it hit me – I knew what I’d been missing all this time. Good ol’ fashion, hairy-balls-to-the-wall, down and dirty, blowing angry blue flames out of a red-hot exhaust cubic goddamn inches. It’s been light years since we featured some decent capacity, and I’m here to tell you that this oversight has now been corrected like a nuclear weapon corrects fine bone china with exactly one thousand cc’s of Milwaukee’s finest two-wheeled tractor goodness. Meet No.22.


DP Customs ’99 Harley Sportster – “Centennial”

Posted on July 14, 2012 by Andrew in Bobber. 40 comments

That’s it. I give up. I can’t write any more “humorous” intro pieces for these DP Customs bikes. The guys just work too fast for me. They are wrenching and welding at a far greater rate than my scrawny little fingers with the chewed-down nails can type. I fear that if I keep trying to keep up with them I just may do myself a serious injury – quite possibly something involving my prostrate. So in place of some elaborate opening gambit about them using alien technology or being the direct descendants of William S. Harley and making bikes true to name while the real Harley is being run by Illuminati puppets, I’ll just give it to you straight. Here’s there new bike. It’s a beauty, please enjoy.


Harley “48” Sportster – “Rajmata” by Rajputana Customs

Posted on June 20, 2012 by Scott in Bobber. 31 comments

When it comes to custom bike builders in India there’s only one that immediately springs to mind. This is the fourth bike we have featured from the guys at Rajputana Customs and they have all been unique in one way or the other. The previous three builds were all built using Royal Enfields as the donor bike, but this time they have chosen something beefier – some good ol’ American Iron. This 48 Sportster has a level of craftsmanship and inlay work that you would usually only find on ancient Indian artifacts or Hindu temples. We understand this style won’t be to everyones taste, but that’s ok, because the locals from Mumbai to Delhi are drooling all over this thing.


2003 Harley Sportster – Maindrive Cycles

Posted on January 27, 2012 by Scott in Bobber. 34 comments

Harley-Davidson motorcycles. You either love them or hate them. They may have a reputation for poor build quality but let’s leave that debate at the door for a moment. Why? Because when it comes down to it, when they are done right these bikes can make you want to trade in your Japanese metal for some good ol’ American iron and to hell with the consequences. Like this clean Sportster, built by Cory from Maindrive Cycles in Texas, USA. Corey specializes in Harley‘s but the last bike he built for the same client Andy Hines was a Kawasaki KZ400. So when Andy approached him to turn his Sportster into something a bit more bespoke, Corey was much more at home this time around. Even though he had never worked on a Sportster before. Over to Cory for the whole build story.


Abnormal Cycles – Sportster 1200 Nightster

Posted on September 28, 2011 by Scott in Café Racer. 21 comments

Back in black. And green

Vespas. Pizza. Mafia. Alfa Romeo. Ferrari. Spaghetti. Gelato. Armani. These are all Italian things you will commonly find on the streets of America. But would you find as many American things on the paved lane ways of Italy? You might find the odd McDonalds restaurant in the major towns. You’ll also find loads of people wearing Chuck Taylors and Levi’s jeans, but you wouldn’t think you would find a lot of Milwalkee Iron. Or would you? “You actually do see lots of Harley‘s being ridden around the streets of Milan” says Samuele Reali, one of the owners of Abnormal Cycles, which is based in a town called Bernareggio, not far from Milano. Abnormal Cycles are quite famous in Europe but recently received worldwide exposure when their ‘Union’ H-D Sidecar took out the 2011 AMD World Championships Modified Harley-Davidson Class. Well, this Harley cafe racer was built before the ‘Union’ and has also picked up its fair share of trophies in Europe. But as I soon found out, there’s not a lot of infomation about the bike anywhere – so I attempted to create find some.


Harley Sportster – DK Motorrad

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Scott in Café Racer. 22 comments

If someone asked me to recommend a bike that would make a great cafe racer, a sportster wouldn’t be high on the list. Actually, it probably wouldn’t even be on the list at all. A young German bike builder living and working in Switzerland is trying to change that. Christian de Kant from DK Motorrad has been building bikes since he was 17, which might sound like a long time until you find out he is now only 22 years young. In this relatively short time he has built some very impressive bikes. He usually builds custom bikes based on old-school frames from the ’40s and ’50s. But his love of Harley‘s and cafe racers has led him to develop his own mass produced bolt on kits for 2006 and up Sportsters. Christian was inspired by the many ‘bolt on’ parts that can be found on Japanese bikes and thought: “why not do the same for sportsters?”


2010 Harley Iron 883 Sportster Custom

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber. 29 comments

More fun in the garage; if only I could keep them after I shoot them (click for a larger version)

Ever asked someone about Harleys? I have and I’ve decided that there’s really only three responses that matter. Firstly, and most obviously, you’ll get a flat out “don’t like ’em”. Fair enough. Then there’s the response that a Johnny-come-lately hipster like my good self will give; a long rambling monologue about nothing in particular that you’ll be lucky to stay awake through. Put simply, I like a select few. Then there’s the response that the owner of this bike gave me. No words, he just rolled up his sleeve and showed me an old Harley tattoo. Enough said, I reckon…


Deus ex Machina New Blood Harley Sportster

Posted on December 3, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber. 15 comments


After all the hoo-har of the Deus bike build last weekend I was flicking through my photos of the event and realised that amongst all the bikes entered in the competition, there was a new Deus on display. The whole gig had forced it into a bridesmaid sort of role, but none-the-less we thought it was more than worth a few pixels of Pipeburn’s time.

The custom Harley Sportster trend is something we’ve duly noted here at Pipeburn, as I’m sure you all have. More and more we are seeing custom shops and individuals turning their attention towards this particular type of Milwaukee metal. And as a card-carrying member of the “I’m Not Really Sure About Harleys” Brigade, I’m finding myself more and more intrigued.


Harley Sportster Café Racer

Posted on November 18, 2010 by Scott in Café Racer. 30 comments

Rachael Prevett, or Racy Rach as she is more commonly known to her friends, has been riding motorcycles her whole life. “I’ve been riding since I was 8 on the farm where i grew up” says Rach. She has ridden across Europe to Barcelona and Monte-carlo, raced a Ducati in drag racing, sprinted at Brighton speed trials and ridden Flattrack on her T100 pre-unit Triumph at the Hayride – now you know why they call her Racy Rach.

So when Racy Rach wanted a new ride, she approached Steve at Red Max Speed Shop to build her something special. Rach wanted a newer café racer, so after looking around Steve decided a Harley Sportster would be a good option. “She had to have a 1200 and we wanted a clean late one, so this 2005 seemed perfect for the job” says Steve.


1969 Harley Rat Bobber

Posted on September 22, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber, Classic, Rat. 30 comments

To open, I have a frank and shocking admission to make. I don’t like Harleys. Never have. I’ve always seen them as way too bourbon, bandanas and bald eagles, if you see what I mean. Sure, on the odd occasion I’ve seen a custom HD that I’d not mind being seen on – but for the vast majority of this Milwaukee metal I’d rather set my pubes on fire than have them parked in my garage.

Then I met Jed DePyper at the recent Deus ex Machina Parallel Universe day. I shot the faeces with him for a while and he eventually told me he rode a “Rat Bobber”. Being none-the-wiser, I asked to see it. And Christ on a bike, what a bike; I was pretty much smitten from the get go. It wasn’t until later that day that I put two and two together and realised that I had just had my socks shocked and awed by a Hardly Ableson. God bless America.