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Flying start: An MT-07 supermoto from a first-time builder

11.12.2019

We love customs that have that ‘well sorted’ look—where you get the impression that everything is in the right place, it all works well, and it’ll be a hoot to ride. These bikes are usually the work of pro builders, racers, or folks with a lot of bike building experience. But this striking Yamaha MT-07, to our surprise, is the debut build from an obviously talented amateur. Andrew Stagg lives in subtropical Queensland, in the northeast of Australia. He’s a metal fabricator by trade, and toying with the idea of setting up his own custom shop. As a donor bike, the MT-07 needs no introduction here. Previously known as the FZ-07 in the States, it’s won a shedload of ‘best bike’ awards, it’s Yamaha’s bestseller in Europe, and it has a legion of fans amongst beginner and experienced riders alike.…

Bull Face: An R nineT Pure from Heiwa Motorcycle in Japan

09.12.2019

The best thing about the Japanese custom scene is that it defies all conventions. Stroll around the annual Mooneyes show for example, and sure, you’ll see plenty of choppers—but you’ll also see another realm of genre-bending machinery. So while the rest of us argue about the differences between café racers and street trackers, Japan’s top builders continue to operate miles outside the box. Just look at this glorious R nineT Pure from Hiroshima’s Heiwa Motorcycle—our second highlight from this year’s Mooneyes. It’s sort of a bobber, but it also has hints of classic American and British motorcycles. And with a plethora of interesting hand-made details, it’s one of the most interesting R nineTs we’ve seen in a while. Heiwa main man Kengo Kimura calls his creation ‘Bull Face,’ and tells us it’s based on a 2017 R nineT Pure.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 3 November, 2019

08.12.2019

A stunningly beautiful custom MV Agusta F3 from Switzerland, a fire-breathing KTM Super Duke R built for the Erzberg Rodeo, a vintage-inspired Yamaha YZF450FX from Deus, and an Italian prototype with a two-liter engine … placed upside down. KTM Super Duke R by Jiří Heiník The 177-horsepower KTM is one of the most rapid yet usable motorcycles you can buy. In the hands of an accomplished rider, it can embarrass liter-class sportbikes around a racetrack. Czech Jiří Heiník is an accomplished rider and a veteran of Pikes Peak, but his latest project has little in common with smooth asphalt. He’s taken the mighty Super Duke R and, with the help of the garage RaceTool KTM and ace builder Jan Žuži of JZ Handmade, he’s turned it into a dirt weapon.…

Road Tested: Gear from Icon 1000, REV’IT! and Saint

07.12.2019

I’ve got a thing for stealthy, murdered-out gear. So this week, I’m profiling some low-profile pieces: the Brigand jacket from ICON 1000, the Arch gloves from REV’IT! and a new version of the popular Saint Unbreakable Stretch jeans. Let’s take a closer look. ICON 1000 Brigand jacket The Brigand jacket follows ICON 1000’s tried and true formula of gear that is a little bit retro, a little bit casual and a little bit tactical—while still being unapologetically ride-focused. Icon have absolutely nailed its bomber jacket design, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s become an instant staple in my gear closet on looks alone. It’s well made too, and loaded with little touches that add to its style, comfort and practicality.…

The ‘neo board tracker’ that stole the show in Jakarta

06.12.2019

After reporting on the custom scene for over ten years, it takes a lot to stop us dead in our tracks. But this incredible Harley custom from Smoked Garage is one of the most radical builds we’ve seen in the past decade. It was commissioned by the organizers of the huge Suryanation Motorland event in Jakarta, one of the biggest custom shows in the East. The brief was simple: blow the collective socks off the thousands of visitors. The Smoked Garage guys are no strangers to these pages: their custom Royal Enfield Himalayan was a massive hit a year ago. The company has two bases: one in Brisbane, Australia, and one just west of Denpasar city in Bali. The Bali outpost is where founder Nicko Eigert built this bike, calling in help from his 15-strong team of crack fabricators and mechanics.…

46Works turns the first-gen Multistrada into a looker

04.12.2019

The incomparable Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show went down this past weekend, and as usual the brightest stars of the Japanese custom scene pulled out all the stops. We weren’t there in person this time, but thanks to social media we’ve already earmarked our favorite builds from the show. Here’s the first: a genre-defying Ducati Multistrada from 46Works. 46Works is the current project of Shiro Nakajima, the original founder of the Japanese powerhouse Ritmo Sereno. He now lives a quieter life at the base of the Yatsugatake Mountain range, in a gorgeous wooden building that also contains his home workshop. Nakajima-san spends a lot of his weekends either on the track, or on a multitude of nearby B-roads, on two wheels and four.…

Revival of the machine: Herzbube’s Indian Scout 101

03.12.2019

BMW’s annual Pure&Crafted show is a goldmine for seekers of unusual motorcycles, and not just those manufactured in Berlin. At this year’s shindig in Amsterdam, one of the most intriguing machines we spotted was this 1928 Indian 101 Scout, resurrected from the dead by Bernhard Elflein of Herzbube. Bernhard has finally managed to arrange a photo-shoot for the Scout, and he’s filled us in on its unusual backstory. He’s owned the Scout engine for 14 years. It has an interesting history: in the days before the German reunification, the engine was used in East Germany to power a tractor, and the rest of the bike was discarded. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a professor of philosophy bought the engine to save it from the crusher.…

An Electra Glide built for Austrian mountain passes

02.12.2019

If you’re looking for a classic American tourer, a Harley Electra Glide is just the ticket. They were popular with police departments for a good reason: few machines could match their all-day riding comfort. But if you like to carve the canyons of LA, or European mountain passes, the Electra Glide is likely way down on your list. Which is exactly why Wolfgang Mayerl picked one to customize. Wolfgang’s a mechanical engineer living in the tiny Austrian town of Ardning, a popular spot for hikers and mountaineers. For the past three years he’s been wrenching after-hours as Mayerl Motorcycles, but he’s been into bikes as long as he can remember—and was already building mopeds at age ten. Most of the commissioned custom work he does these days is basic—so he occasionally starts a personal build, just so he can go wild on it.…

Moose Project: An Enfield street tracker from Bangkok

30.11.2019

Royal Enfield’s 650 twins have only been on the market for just over a year. But they’ve become a hit with both buyers and road testers—offering classic style, accessible pricing and just enough performance for a big section of the riding demographic. Over the past few months, Royal Enfield has been keeping the spotlight on the twins via a steady stream of custom builds from all over the globe. Right now, they’re focusing on the flat track vibe: a few days after the ‘official’ collaboration with Harris Performance, we have this very sharp-looking effort from Zeus Custom of Thailand. Mooyong, the owner of Zeus, filled us in on the details. It’s his second project with Royal Enfield, after the ‘Prime’—a classic café racer based on the Interceptor.…

Moose Project: An Enfield street tracker from Bangkok

30.11.2019

Royal Enfield’s 650 twins have only been on the market for just over a year. But they’ve become a hit with both buyers and road testers—offering classic style, accessible pricing and just enough performance for a big section of the riding demographic. Over the past few months, Royal Enfield has been keeping the spotlight on the twins via a steady stream of custom builds from all over the globe. Right now, they’re focusing on the flat track vibe: a few days after the ‘official’ collaboration with Harris Performance, we have this very sharp-looking effort from Zeus Custom of Thailand. Mooyong, the owner of Zeus, filled us in on the details. It’s his second project with Royal Enfield, after the ‘Prime’—a classic café racer based on the Interceptor.…

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