Written by Martin Hodgson
With the Northern Hemisphere riding season now upon us, builders in the top half of the globe are unveiling their latest creations. Those looking to make the most of the summer sun and the conditions that surround them will surely have spent the winter producing just the right bike. Enter Scotland’s JM Customs who’s hit the brief out of the park with a stunning Moto Guzzi Scrambler. From the bones of a 1986 V65 Florida ‘The Flying Scotsman’ is ready to shred the streets.
We were lucky enough to have local photographer and moto journo Tom Bing cover the Bike Shed show for us. He is friends with the Bike Shed crew and a lot of the bike builders, so it was great to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes as well as the bikes on display. Words and photos by Tom Bing.
It’s got to be the most exciting weekend of the year in the UK for custom bike lovers. It’s funny, when you’re anywhere near the ‘inner folds’ of something like the Bike Shed, you feel strangely proud of the achievements of all the people who have worked so hard to make the event come together yet again. It feels like a community event – not something you just attend as a punter, but something we are all a part of.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
On the port of Hiroshima, in a nondescript two-story building with rust marks staining the roller doors, you’ll find the headquarters of Heiwa Motorcycles. Here amongst the crowded chaos of vintage motorcycles and associated parts you’ll find the team building some of Japan’s best classic customs. For fortunate Western Australian Tony Wong, a friendship with the company’s head honcho, Kengo Kimura, has resulted in a brilliant road going revival called ‘Chilli Mussel’. From the bare bones of a 1963 Triumph T100SS comes this gorgeous classic that’s full of subtle flavours.
The cat is finally out of the bag. When we say cat, we mean big black purring panther. We caught a glimpse of the BMW 1800cc airhead engine in Austin, Texas last month at the Handbuilt Show. Revival Cycles did a stellar job showing off this beautiful 1800cc boxer engine in the titanium framed ‘Birdcage’. Now here is the highly anticipated BMW Motorrad Concept R18 in all its glory. Launched at the very fitting Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, this R18 concept motorcycle has put a modern twist on BMW’s classic boxer engine design from the 60s and the classic lines of the BMW R5 from the 30s.
Photography by Nick Fraser.
After a two year hiatus, the Throttle Roll Motorcycle Show was back with a vengeance last weekend, as the sound of rockabilly music and motorcycles reverberated through the back streets of Waterloo, Sydney. This year, Throttle Roll was held in an old paint factory that’s been turned into an ultra-hip creative warehouse space called Commune – and that name and venue is fitting for the show. The definition of a commune is a close-knit community of people who share common interests, and we definitely saw a community of liked minded individuals who came together over their love of custom motorcycles, music, food, beer and just having a bloody good time.
Written by Martin Hodgson
Keep those two wheels turning; across the endless climbs through the Pyrenees, before taking the summit of Alpe d’Huez on the way to the finish line. No, it’s not the Tour De France but how Anton Knutsson of Injustice Customs spends his motorcycling holiday in the European summer; and it gave him an idea. What would be the perfect custom bike to complete the stages of cycling’s grand tours? With the help of BMW and Ohlins he’s built the answer, a 2019 BMW R nineT Urban G/S that’s ready to bring the thunder to the mountain tops, rightly named ‘Thor’.
Over the years the trusty Yamaha XS650 has found itself to be one of the most popular donor bikes around. And why shouldn’t it be? It has the Japanese reliability and an engine and frame that lends itself to many different custom styles. Which is the reason Martin Castelberg from Moto Incendio in Switzerland has held onto this bike for so long. “I restored the bike and originally built a café racer and rode the bike for 5 years and about 50,000km. During this time, I learnt everything about this XS650 – that’s why I like to say my first car was a motorcycle.”
Photography & words by Phoenix Naman
When a weekend involves camping under the stars, fresh brewed coffee in the morning, hot breakfast and lunch, and best of all motorcycles, it’s a weekend well spent. That is exactly what Australia saw on the weekend at the Australian inaugural Deus Swank Rally. You might think, “what the heck is a swank rally!?”. Well, it’s a good old fashioned enduro time trial. But not as you know it, it’s a day of fun for the whole family at this friendly championship. Goofy outfits, inappropriate bikes, and a can do attitude are encouraged. Friday night saw keen swankers arrive early to set up camp, and catch up around a fire. Early risers were well caffeinated, and fed thanks to Chef Takeshi and the Deus Cafe team.
Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Jimmy Ban
In addition to young motorcyclists and custom builders who’ve found a love for bikes of a different era, part of the success of the retro revival is fuelled by those going back to the bikes of their youth. But never before have we featured a builder who’s been building bikes and winning races since the end of the Second World War. Enter Bill VanTichelt, founder and patriarch of the Vantech family; who together combined to build a bike that was always for Bill the one that got away. A stunning cafe racer powered by a Ducati Monza engine, in a frame he designed to great success more than 50 years ago.
The Colt Wrangler from New Braunfels, Texas, has become well known for building clean and classy looking smaller café racers and electric bikes. So when a customer contacted him a few years ago about customising his Harley-Davidson Dyna Fat Bob, Colt got a little bit worried. “I thought to myself, ‘Does this guy really want to bring this bike to me? Maybe he’s at the wrong shop.’” The customer, Marc Snoddy, didn’t have the wrong shop and was adamant he wanted the former bull rider to build him a bike, saying he would ride the bike over and bring some photos for reference. “I feared that he was going to show me pictures of a really awful bobber with ape hangers that he wanted to replicate.” Luckily, Colt was pleasantly surprised when Marc showed him a picture of the “Gorilla” built by Rough Crafts. That got Colt excited, as he’d always been a fan of Rough Crafts and was looking forward to building a murdered out Harley on a much needed diet. We like to call it the Slim Bob diet.