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SIXTH SENSE: Honda CX650 by 6th City Cycles

Posted on August 5, 2019 by Scott in Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

As the big corporates gain a larger foothold in the custom scene it can be easy for the vital grassroots to be left behind. But each year Bear of Old Bike Barn throws the Greasy Dozen Run and selects 13 backyard and small shop builders to create machines for the event. While for some it kick starts a stalled project, for Phil of 6th City Cycles it was the final piece of the puzzle in bringing a dream build to life. From their small garage in Cleveland, Phil and his team packed a Honda CX650 motor into a CX500 frame and finished it with all the fruit, christening the steed Recoil.

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SCHIENENZEPPELIN: Honda CB400 by 2VMotos

Posted on July 30, 2019 by Scott in All, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

For a university student who just wants to build motorcycles, all that time stuck in front of a computer can suck the life out of you! Unless of course you’re Marc Vertesi and you cleverly convince your professors that building a race bike would absolutely make sense as your Masters of Architecture thesis project. Joined by his brother Philip, a Physiotherapy student, they run 2VMotos in Lausanne, building and repairing classic customs when their heads aren’t in the books. So, inspired by European designers of the early 20th century comes this peer-reviewed racer from the bones of a 1976 Honda CB400, aptly named ‘Schienenzeppelin’.

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WILD CHILD: Husqvarna Vitpilen by Outsiders Motorcycles

Posted on July 26, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Supermoto, Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

From the moment the first concept was spied at the 2014 EICMA show in Italy, the Husqvarna Vitpilen had the motorcycle world talking. It was obvious the bones of the bike were from parent company KTM’s 690, but it was the radical styling from design house Kiska causing the buzz. Despite most believing it would never come to market, when it finally hit dealer floors it retained the wild look that most concepts sadly shed. But for Outsiders Motorcycles from the Netherlands they saw the chance for an even crazier custom design and transformed this brand new 2019 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 in just ten weeks flat.

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‘Xaver Justus’ Yamaha XJ600 by Motopola

Posted on July 25, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

When you embark on the journey of building a custom motorcycle half the battle can be in simply picking the base you choose. Like a good pizza it sets the foundation and with the availability of all the right ingredients, it can be almost impossible to go wrong. But choosing to start with an ’80s sportbike immediately sets the builder a challenge; they’re usually ugly, rarely modified by others and almost always in terrible condition. Totally undaunted Markus Klett of Motopola chose a 1985 Yamaha XJ600 and custom-crafted all the right toppings for this tasty treat.

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RACE TO THE CLOUDS: 2008 Yamaha YZ450F

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Scott in All, Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb joins the Isle of Man TT as the two most prestigious and legendary time trials in all of motorsport. The ‘Race to the Clouds’ pits man and machine against 156 unique turns on the way to climbing nearly 5000ft in altitude before reaching the summit, high in the Rocky Mountains, some 14000ft above sea level. The demands on the motorcycle are only exceeded by those on the body and tragically some won’t make it home. But for Thomas Kendall the call of the mountain was strong and he re-built his 2008 Yamaha YZ450F in preparation for his first attack on the lightweight class.

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WORK OF ART: ‘Bauhaus 100’ BMW F 850GS by Krautmotors

Posted on July 16, 2019 by Scott in Bobber, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Exactly a hundred years ago German architect Walter Gropius founded Staatliches Bauhaus, an art school whose philosophy was based on Gesamtkunstwerk, meaning ‘total work of art’. The institution would become incredibly influential in all areas of art and design and although it closed 80 years ago at the outbreak of World War II, its students would spread the philosophy around the globe. So to celebrate the centennial anniversary BMW commissioned artist and bike builder extraordinaire Rolf Reick of Krautmotors to build a motorcycle that would honour all the school represents. Presenting “Bauhaus 100”, a combination of BMW’s old and new, it’s a tribute and masterpiece.

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BRAT RACE. Kawasaki KZ440 by AMP Motorcycles

Posted on July 15, 2019 by Scott in Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Take a project of any kind, particularly the weekend tinkering approach, and for generations the world over Fathers and Sons have been swinging the tools together. Whether they’re building a barn, restoring the young lad’s first car or making motorcycles, it’s as much about the relationship as the final result. But somewhere along this journey for Michael Posenauer and his son Allen things stepped up a level and they now run a shop called AMP Motorcycles in Germany. Now from the bones of Michael’s first bike comes this 1982 Kawasaki KZ440 LTD that’s been given a full Brat-Bob makeover.

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BAVARIA TO BEIJING. BMW R80 by Mandrill Garage

Posted on July 11, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic, Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Beijing might be one of the world’s largest and oldest cities, with an ever-expanding motorcycle manufacturing industry, but that doesn’t mean its smooth sailing for the customisers who call it home. All the big companies have a presence there now, but that is a recent development, so when a client approached Mandrill Garage to build them a slick 1981 BMW R80, finding a donor bike let alone parts was a major challenge. Never fear, as the team of friends simply pooled their collective skills to craft a truly one of a kind BMW Vintage Racer from scratch.

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METAL WIZARD. Alonze 600 Special.

Posted on July 3, 2019 by Scott in Board Tracker, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

In the European guild system, the path to becoming a Master Craftsman is a long and laborious task that ensures only the very best in their field rise to the top. The final chapter of the process requires the building of a masterpiece so good the heads of the guild elevate the aspiring journeyman to the ultimate status. Already there in metal fabrication, Jim Alonze has found a way to add industrial design and now carbon fibre creation to his incredible skill set. So, in his downtime at Alonze Custom, Jim has crafted an incredible Ducati Monster 600 that combines the best of modern materials with supreme old school craftsmanship.

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RRETRO. Honda CBR600RR

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Scott in Classic, Racer, SuperSport. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

If you’re old enough to remember, then it’s impossible to forget the 1980s GP bikes ridden by the likes of Wayne Gardner and Fast Freddie Spencer. But building one today is nearly impossible, try finding a 500cc two-stroke for a decent price and you’ll be left scratching your head. But Australia’s James Campbell has come up with the next best thing. Utilising all the performance of a modern SuperSport machine, a 2006 Honda CBR600RR, and transforming the look to give it that proper nostalgia feel.

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