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Woolie’s wild Pikes Peak hill climb racer

17.06.2019

The Pikes Peak race is just two weeks away now, and the competition is getting red hot. We’ve already profiled the Zero SR/F, and Ducati has just announced that it’ll be running its Streetfighter V4 prototype. There’s a chance that both those machines will be eclipsed by this fire-breathing monster from Deus Ex Machina, though. It’s the latest incarnation of ‘Beastie,’ the ongoing race bike project from Michael ‘Woolie’ Woolaway, and this time it has a 200hp Ducati 1198 R engine. The first version of the bike debuted at Pikes Peak last year and took second in its class. But the motor later blew up after it sucked in the air filter on a dyno run. It was back to square one.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 16 June, 2019

16.06.2019

This week, we’ve got Ducati’s new Pikes Peak contender, an electric land speeder from the 70s, and a Harley-Davidson XR1000 from Mule. We also look at how S&S Cycle turned the FTR 1200 into a legit flat tracker, and how to improve the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled’s off-road ability. Buckle up! Indian FTR 1200 Race Bikes by S&S Cycle If you’ve been wondering what it would take to convert the Indian FTR 1200 into a pukka racer, S&S Cycle has the answer. The Wisconsin company has just race-prepped a pair of FTRs for Hooligan class racing in the UK, and they look spectacular. Each bike weighs 25 kg less than stock, because anything that makes the FTR street legal or practical has been cut out.…

Hip To Be Square: Walt Siegl tackles the bevel Ducati

14.06.2019

The bevel era is part of Ducati folklore. The engineering prowess of Fabio Taglioni made the British bikes of the 1970s look prehistoric, and bestowed a rosy glow over the Italian motorcycle industry—just before the Big Four Japanese makers turned the superbike world on its head. The ‘round case’ bevels are fondly remembered and sold well, but the later ‘square case’ bikes weren’t quite so popular. Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro restyled the engine covers, but most folks regarded the new look as a retrograde step. Walt Siegl is well known for his expertise with Ducatis, and for his latest build, he’s had a crack at the square case. It’s called ‘Bedeveled’ and it was a commission from Bobby Haas, the man behind the incredible Haas Moto Museum in Dallas.…

Type 18: Auto Fabrica builds a futuristic concept for BMW

12.06.2019

The 21st century ‘alt moto’ custom scene was built on a love for classic style. But lately we’ve seen a trend towards futurism, and we’re digging it. Auto Fabrica have played on both sides of the fence, always with arresting results. Their latest project, ‘Type 18,’ is a BMW R nineT that sits unapologetically at the futuristic of the spectrum. It was commissioned by BMW Motorrad to show off at the annual Wheels & Waves festival in Biarritz. When brothers Bujar and Gazmend Muharremi got the brief to mod BMW’s modern classic boxer, they latched onto the fact that BMW originally manufactured aircraft engines. And as they gathered their thoughts, influences ranging from geometric architecture to aircraft design started converging. “We had a stack of design work for this bike which showcased lots of different directions,” the brothers tell us, “but all very ‘concept bike’ feel.” “When we originally flew to Munich to meet the team, they were not expecting to see any design work—it all happened in a short space of time.…

Sleeper: A Ducati Scrambler tweaked by a Zero engineer

11.06.2019

A lot of folks who work at American motorcycle manufacturers are compulsive tinkerers. Indian’s design head, Ola Stenegärd, has been building choppers since forever. And Brad Richards of Harley-Davidson always has something sweet on his workbench. Tom Zipprian is a mechanical engineer at California’s Zero Motorcycles—and he too likes to fill his precious downtime with wrenching. He’s just finished turning his Ducati Scrambler into a street tracker, and it’s a total sleeper build. “I’ve been working on my 2016 Ducati Scrambler for about two years now,” Tom tells us, “with a simple project brief: What if Bologna made a factory Super Hooligan racer?” “I finally finished the bike in time for the Quail Motorcycle Gathering last month in Monterrey, and I’m honored to say that I took home the Spirit of Scrambler award presented by the CEO of Ducati North America!” At a glance, Tom’s street tracker doesn’t look too far off the stock 2016 Ducati Scrambler.…

Building a Honda CBR600F for the road trip of a lifetime

10.06.2019

The Honda CBR600F is one of the great bargains in the motorcycling world. It’s fast, reliable, and beautifully engineered—and able to handle the daily commute as well as a spirited lap around the local racetrack. A tidy example can be had for between $2,000 and $3,000 in the USA. For your money you get traditional Honda build quality, sharp and failsafe handling, and a peachy liquid-cooled DOHC inline four that pumps out 109 bhp. The styling of the CBR600F is perhaps its weakest point these days, unless you’re into sportbike plastics. Which makes the Honda the perfect candidate for a little custom work. This beautiful 2001-spec CBR comes from Italy’s North East Custom, run by brothers Diego and Riccardo Coppiello.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 9 June, 2019

09.06.2019

A limited edition version of the beautiful Saroléa Manx7, a Honda FMX 650 built for the Scram Africa event, and a rare Maserati motorcycle from the 1950s. Plus a stunning Honda CB750 Bol d’Or from France. Honda FMX 650 by De Angelis Elaborazioni Fuel Motorcycles’ annual Scram Africa tour is all about riding classic-style scramblers in North Africa. To partake, you need either a vintage scrambler, a modern classic scrambler, or a bike customized in the scrambler style. For Giorgio De Angelis at De Angelis Elaborazioni in Italy, this custom Honda FMX 650 was just the ticket. The FMX was a thumping supermotard that Honda made in the mid 2000s, with the same 644 cc motor as the XR650L. That means it’s tough and reliable.…

Perfect Storm: A custom Buell S1 Lightning from CW Zon

07.06.2019

Custom Works Zon have a stellar reputation in their home country of Japan, but are only just becoming known outside. Six months ago, BMW propelled Zon into the limelight when they revealed the R18 ‘Departed’ collaboration at the Mooneyes show—and now Zon are back with an equally amazing Buell S1 Lightning custom. It’s called ‘Zonkern’—which means ‘core of the sun.’ And almost everything on this V-twin, aside from the engine, has been fabricated by hand. It’s an extreme build, but by Zon’s standards, it’s fairly practical. In Japan, builders Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda are known for their outrageous show bikes—including one with a hub steering system built for a Michael Lichter show—and others with unfeasibly large wheels. This time, Yuichi and Yoshikazu have toned things down a little.…

A classic Laverda Jota with modern performance

05.06.2019

Every Laverda that Jean-Louis Olive lays his hands on gets the star treatment. Most of his projects are restorations, but this 1978 1200 Jota America was a full-blown custom job. And it turned out so good, it starred in the pages of Practical Sportbikes magazine in the UK. Jean-Louis is more than a little obsessed with Laverda. He had his first encounter with the marque in 1977, and has been in love ever since. He’s written multiple Laverda-themed books, and launched the Laverdamania website and owners’ association. Jean-Louis refers to his passion as “only a hobby, but almost a full time job!” It took him a few years to wrap up the Jota, because he was working abroad while the project was active.…

Tarmac Raven: A Street Bob custom from Rough Crafts

04.06.2019

Two years ago, Harley-Davidson flew Winston Yeh to Barcelona to test ride the new Milwaukee-Eight big twins. And like most riders at the launch event, he was impressed by the new Softail platform. “I’ve had the idea of building a performance version of a Softail in my head ever since,” Winston tells us. “So when a customer arrived with an open brief, I knew exactly what I had to do.” There’s a dark, almost baroque feel to ‘Tarmac Raven.’ It drips with the signature Rough Crafts style, but remarkably, it didn’t require any grinder work. Which must have been a relief for Winston’s longstanding fabrication sidekicks at CT-Garage. The new bodywork sits comfortably on the stock frame, and accentuates the long, sled-like vibe.…

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