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Dirty 30: Bolt Motor Co.’s BMW street scrambler


We’d love to peak behind the curtain at Bolt Motor Co. Shop boss Adrián Campos is also the sporting director for Campos Racing, and Bolt is based out of the race team’s Valencia workshop. So there’s no shortage of engineering prowess or high-end equipment on hand. Even though Campos Racing works with competitive and modern race machines, Bolt Motor Co.’s deal is older bikes. But each bike that rolls out of their workshop is tastefully executed, well-specced and clean enough to eat your tapas off. For their 30th build, Bolt have taken a humdrum early 80s BMW R100 RT, and turned it into an edgy street scrambler. It’s a trifecta of sharp lines, perfect stance and tasty upgrades—with a little parts bin digging sprinkled in for good measure.…

Vigilante: A Royal Enfield cafe racer from Jaipur


We’ve been keeping an eye on Rajputana Customs for a while now, and it looks like we’re not the only ones. The Jaipur City shop has a tidy business in private commissions, but Harley-Davidson also tapped them to build the world’s first custom Street 750. And now Royal Enfield has commissioned this very elegant Continental GT 650 café racer. Rajputana’s bikes are invariably classy, well-balanced and beautifully finished, and they’ve stuck to that script with this GT, nicknamed ‘Vigilante.’ “When Royal Enfield commissioned us, it was a matter of great pride—and a sense of ‘acceptance at last’,” shop boss Vijay Singh tells us. “This is the first time we’ve had a chance to build for an Indian manufacturer. And we were given the new GT 650, which hadn’t been released to the public at that point.” “The fact that Royal Enfield had kept the 650 twins a secret for years was unbelievable—then to see and ride them for the first time was an absolute privilege.” The stock Continental GT isn’t going to tear your arms out of their sockets when you twist the throttle, but it’s a perky, sweet-handling ride—the perfect bike for a clearing your head on a sunny Sunday morning.…

Review: Harley-Davidson’s electric LiveWire


Right now, it’s hard to judge Harley-Davidson’s tactics without framing them against the stiff challenges the company is facing. If it’s not tariff wars, it’s the reality of an aging demographic. And then there’s same struggle every other manufacturer has in the USA: reaching new riders. But in the midst of this, the Motor Company has just delivered on one of its biggest and boldest promises: launching an electric motorcycle. And the LiveWire means that Harley-Davidson is the first major OEM to release a battery-powered sports bike. The LiveWire is unlike anything else on the market. On one hand, it’s an electric vehicle from a company that built its heritage on petrol-powered V-twins. On the other, it’s a focused and fast naked from a company that normally builds cruisers.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 14 July, 2019


Ducati and BMW raid their archives to create special editions of their most legendary bikes. Plus a Freddie Spencer tribute Honda, and a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Lego kit (yes, really). Honda Hornet 600 by Vintage Addiction and Octopus Soul Bikes ‘Fast’ Freddie Spencer is a legend in Honda circles: he gave the Japanese company its first AMA Superbike victory in 1980, and rode his CB750F Super Sport to second place in the Championships the following year. Two Spanish shops have just joined forces to create a tribute to Mr Spencer, based on the Hornet 600—which, thanks to more modern tech and 97 hp, is actually a faster machine than Freddie’s original CB750F. To get the right look, a CB750F fuel tank has been grafted onto the frame, along with a matching repro tail unit.…

CP3: JvB-Moto’s ballistic Yamaha XSR900 custom


After an incredible seven years, Yamaha’s Yard Built custom program is still firing on all cylinders. In 2012 it kicked off with the Wrenchmonkees’ iconic ‘MonkeeFist’ XJR1300, and there have been over 60 pro builds since. This is the latest, an XSR900 called ‘CP3’ from Jens vom Brauck of JvB-Moto in Cologne. It tips the scales at just 180 kg (397 pounds), and with 115 hp on tap, it’s one of the fastest Yard Built machines yet. The stock XSR900 does 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds flat, but the JvB-Moto machine has around 20 kilos less weight to carry—so the performance will be even more ballistic. The XSR900 is your classic ‘retro rocket,’ but Jens has brought it bang up to date.…

Yamaha Scrambler: An XSR700 that evokes the IT enduros


Any custom Yamaha XSR700 we feature is sure to spark discussion about the base bike’s design. The XSR700 draws criticism for its cluttered mechanics and hunched fuel tank—and both of those are hard for custom builders to get around. This heavily upgraded XSR700-based scrambler rises above both those challenges. It’s a collaboration between Portuguese builders Nuno Capêlo (Capêlo’s Garage) and Ricardo Santos (Elemental Rides), and was built for Yamaha Portugal. It’s not the first time Nuno and Ricardo have worked together for Yamaha Portugal—they built an SR400 two years ago that clearly impressed. This XSR700 was commissioned as part of Yamaha Europe’s Yard Built program, with builders from nine different countries delivering bikes. The project’s theme was ‘Back to the Dirt,’ and this XSR has dirt creds by the bucketload.…

Showstopper: A 21st century boardtracker wows The Quail


The Quail Gathering is the motorcycle equivalent of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance: a world-class display of rarified exotica and immaculate restorations, plus a few jaw-dropping customs to spice up the mix. To win an award at The Quail is no easy achievement. But this year, Niki Smart’s incredible Honda XL500-based special won not one, but two trophies: the Custom/Modified category, plus the ‘Design and Style’ award presented by Arch Motorcycles. Niki is well known in the automobile world: he’s a British car designer now working in the USA. He first hit the headlines as the lead designer on the Ariel Atom sportscar, and followed that up with concept cars for Cadillac. Today, he’s a design manager for General Motors, working with the Advanced Design team in Los Angeles.…

Have your say and win $500 to spend on moto gear


Fancy winning a voucher for US$500 to spend on products from Rizoma, REV’IT! or NEXX? Then let us know what you think of the finalists in the Rizoma Design Challenge. The Challenge is a competition for designers, engineers, and students, and the theme is ‘Create the future of motorcycling.’ We’ve had a fantastic array of entries in two separate categories; one for concept/custom motorcycles, and one for aftermarket motorcycle products or accessories. The winners will be chosen via a mix of professional judges and online public voting. So head over to the voting page and cast your vote before 11:59 PST on Monday, July 22, 2019. There are four finalists to choose from in each category: just pick your favorites, and enter your details.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 7 July, 2019


We’ve got two very different track bikes on offer this week: a modern BMW endurance racer, and a Ducati 999 from XTR Pepo. Plus a XSR700 rally edition by Deus, sexy bolt-on upgrades for the R nineT from Hookie Co., and a simple but stylish short film from Age of Glory. BMW S1000RR by Crazy Garage Modern superbikes are technological marvels that would run rings around the racers of yesteryear. But visually, most leave us cold. Here’s one solution: a 199 hp BMW S1000RR redressed as an 80s endurance racer. It’s the work of Crazy Garage in Korea, and was built for a customer that wanted yesterday’s looks with today’s performance. And it’s no show pony either—it’s actually the client’s track day bike.…

Venier reimagines the Guzzi Nuovo Falcone for 2020


Moto Guzzi has a rich legacy of building motorcycles for Italy’s civil servants. The V7 of 1967 was originally designed as a police bike, and its longitudinally mounted V-twin motor went on to become a hallmark of the company. A couple of years later, the lesser-known Nuovo Falcone pottered onto the scene. The Nuovo Falcone was a smaller alternative to the V7 built for the Italian army, and a couple of years later was sold to civilians too. It was powered by a 500 cc single pushing out around 30 hp, making it just about the most utilitarian Moto Guzzi you can find today. So why customize one? “Well, take a look at the engine,” says Venier Customs founder, Stefano Venier.…

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