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Cheap thrills: Racing custom Coleman mini bikes with Icon

17.11.2019

Our friends at Icon Motosports have a few screws loose—and we mean that as a compliment. The riding gear they produce is wild, but the bikes they build in their Portland workshop are even wilder. So when Icon decided to spice up the annual dealer show of parent company Parts Unlimited, things got real weird, real quick. They decided to rally their friends in the biz, and organize a no-holds-barred custom challenge…with Coleman mini bikes. [More] Arizona-based Coleman jumped on board with six BT200Xs: tiny air-cooled mini bikes that normally cost $799. They’re powered by a 196cc four-stroke single, weigh less than 140 pounds, and are good for a top speed of 20 mph. The ICON Mini Bike Roundup was underway.…

Surprise: carbon expert BST reveals the $80,000 HyperTEK

15.11.2019

There are always a few surprises at the EICMA motorcycle show. This year, one of the biggest was the launch of this radical electric bike from the carbon wheel specialists BST—otherwise known as Blackstone Tek. BST are at the high-tech end of the wheel market, but even so, an electric motorcycle is a huge leap for the South African company. And to help them make that leap, they’ve partnered with South African-born designer Pierre Terblanche—the man behind the Ducati Supermono, the 749 and 999, the SportClassic and the Hypermotard. Terblanche says, and this is a direct quote, “This is the best work I’ve ever done.” And that is one hell of a statement from someone who was responsible for styling many of the best Ducatis of recent years.…

Super Duper Ténéré: A Yamaha XTZ 750 from Colombia

14.11.2019

There was a subtle takeaway from this year’s EICMA show: adventure motorcycles are more popular than ever. As well as the regular slew of new model upgrades, we saw a hefty dose of nostalgia in concepts like the Husqvarna Norden 901 and Scrambler Ducati Desert X. While modern dual-sports have become angular and over-designed, those two designs hark back to icons like the original Honda Africa Twin, Cagiva Elefant and Yamaha Ténéré. Older bikes that we love, because they remind us of simpler and more stylish times. So here’s another, even sweeter reminder of the way adventure bikes were: a delicious 1991 Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Ténéré, from Marco Saldarriaga in Colombia. He’s played his cards right here, keeping the Ténéré’s general vibe, but with a contemporary edge and key performance tweaks.…

Stingray: An otherworldly addition to the Haas Museum

13.11.2019

There’s a term that was fashionable in MotoGP racing a few years ago: ‘Aliens.’ It referred to the small group of factory riders who seemed to operate at a higher level than everyone else, with astonishing speed and ability. The custom world has its own Aliens, and we could probably all agree on the members of that group. But it looks like we have a new entrant: the Canadian builder Jay Donovan. Jay is no grizzled veteran of the scene (sorry, Craig Rodsmith). He’s a young British Columbian in his mid-twenties, and the man behind Baresteel Design. He’s based in the garden city of Victoria, and despite his tender years, has a quite remarkable ability to shape metal—a trait we noticed when we featured his Yamaha XS650 a couple of years ago.…

Review: Riding the (frankly bonkers) Arch KRGT-1

11.11.2019

I’ve just swung a leg over the most exclusive production motorcycle we’ve ever tested: the $85,000 Arch KRGT-1. It’s a made-to-order performance cruiser, with unapologetic looks to match that hefty price tag. But do Arch owners Keanu Reeves and Gard Hollinger actually know what they’re doing—or is this just a vanity project for a Hollywood star? And how much bike do you get for Tesla Model X money? I flew from Cape Town to LA to find out. Along with a select few other media outlets, Bike EXIF was invited to Arch’s hometown of Los Angeles to ride the KRGT-1, visit the company’s headquarters, and pick the brains of Reeves and Hollinger. The KRGT-1 concept came from Reeves himself: he wanted an American-made cruiser that would actually handle.…

Hit Parade: The best EICMA Bikes of 2019

10.11.2019

In the moto world, EICMA is the Greatest Show On Earth. Held at the gigantic Rho Fiera exhibition center in Milan, it’s spread over several pavilions—and you can easily walk several kilometers a day without seeing everything on display. All the big guns wheel out their concepts and new launches at EICMA, along with countless range refreshes and minor updates. So we’ve sifted through all the PR bumf and picked out the bikes we reckon have a significant chance of success—or are game changers in some way. Husqvarna Norden 901 concept After wowing previous shows with the Vitpilen and Svartpilen, Husqvarna has turned its attention to the ADV market with the twin-cylinder Norden 901. The styling is crisp and original, and the specs suggest serious capability—starting with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear.…

Put up your dukes! A KTM 390 custom from Ellaspede

08.11.2019

Since its release in 2013, KTM’s 390 Duke has become a staple in the entry-level segment. It’s amassed a slew of awards but despite its plus points—a sub-330lb dry weight, modern reliability and high-end suspension—the little Duke is one of the most commonly-overlooked platforms for customization. One of the handful of shops that have recognized the merits of the Austrian single is Australia’s Ellaspede. The Brisbane outfit has given the Duke 390 a blacked-out, off-road-oriented makeover—and provided an alternative to the newly unveiled KTM 390 Adventure. The build started life as a low-mile 2017 390 Duke, and was commissioned by a client who already owns a one-off Honda CT110 from Ellespede. He was looking for something a little more powerful and contemporary, which would also be capable of some light trail duties.…

On Sale Now: The 2020 Motorcycle Calendar

07.11.2019

The world’s most prestigious motorcycle calendar is back. The 2020 edition of the famous Bike EXIF wall calendar showcases 13 incredible new customs, including Walt Siegl’s Ducati superbike, K-Speed’s Honda Monkey cafe racer and the custom Energica from deBolex Engineering. The cover star is Colonel Butterscotch, ICON 1000’s Suzuki Bandit, one of the most popular motorcycles featured on Bike EXIF. We’ve also got the very best BMW airheads from Renard and Vintage Addiction, a crisp CB350 from Merlin Cycleworks, and Analog’s Honda XR650L Nicky Hayden tribute. Adding a touch of radical engineering is Jackson Burrows’ incredible 1960 Harley-Davidson Super 10. You can never have too much of a good thing, so this 13-month motorcycle calendar is sized at a mighty 17 x 11.3 inches.…

Hot stuff: A Honda CBX 750 built by a firefighter

05.11.2019

The annals of motorcycling history are filled with ‘tweeners’—motorcycles that improved upon outgoing models, but eventually fizzled out to make way for the next generation. Just like the Honda CBX 750 F. The CBX 750 F was an update on the beloved (and indeed iconic) CB750, but it wasn’t nearly as popular, and wasn’t really sold in the US either. It was pretty cool in its own way though, with a ‘modern’ DOHC 16-valve motor and radical sport touring styling that, like most things from the 80s, hasn’t dated well. There aren’t many CBX 750 customs out there, and more’s the pity. There’s a lot of potential in this 80s-era machine—and Chris Scholtka’s just shown us how to unleash it with this wild 1984-spec model.…

‘Twins FT’: A Royal Enfield x Harris flat tracker

04.11.2019

Four years ago Eicher Motors, the owner of Royal Enfield, bought the famous British company Harris Performance. Since the 1970s, Harris has been building high-performance ‘specials,’ and the Hertfordshire firm had already developed the chassis for the Continental GT and Himalayan. Harris has now gone back to its racing roots with this very intriguing prototype flat track racer based on the 650 twin engine. It’s a collaboration with Royal Enfield’s technical center in Leicestershire, and although it’s essentially a custom project, we’re wondering if it could also herald the start of a flat track race program. “Inside Royal Enfield, we like to have a bit of fun,” says RE’s industrial design boss Adrian Sellers. “So we’ve started working on ‘Factory’ builds, to push the limits of our motorcycles’ capabilities.” “To date, these have included a record breaking Bonneville Salt Flats racer, two drag bikes, two retro racers and now this new ‘Twins FT’ flat tracker.” The tracker is probably the most ambitious build yet.…

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