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Blue Wombat: Analog’s ice-cool Hodaka restomod


If you’ve followed Analog Motorcycles’ work, you’ll know that founder Tony Prust isn’t a fan of doing things half-cocked. This 1973 Hodaka Wombat is proof: Tony’s original goal was to simply get it running and onto the winter ice near his Waukegan, Illinois workshop. But pretty soon, it turned into one of the tidiest two-stroke restomods we’ve ever seen. “The functionality of taking a vintage off road bike to your local park or trail never seemed practical to me,” says Tony. “However I have always loved the Hodaka brand, and when I had the chance to grab a couple of Hodakas at a swap meet a couple years back I scooped them up.” “Hodaka always had the best model names: Road Toad, Dirt Squirt, Wombat, Combat Wombat, Super Rat…the list goes on.…

Speed Read: A weekly dose of the latest motorcycle news


After exactly two hundred editions of Bikes of the Week, we’re retiring the format and switching things up a little. Our new weekend roundup is called Speed Read, and we’ll be featuring news snippets as well as a steady stream of custom bikes. That doesn’t mean we’ll be featuring 200 hp sportbikes, but we will be showing a few more classics, reporting on interesting new gear, and keeping you abreast of upcoming events and shows. Let us know what you think—and drop us a line if you spot anything interesting that you reckon we should cover. Triumph Bonneville Build-Off Challenge 2020 In its homeland, Triumph has set off down the path of the dealer build-off for the second time.…

Über Tasteful: HB-Custom’s 1977 Kawasaki KZ750


We’re always intrigued to see what custom motorcycle builders get up to when there’s no brief, or client, involved. Personal projects either lead to wild experimentation, or they turn out as honest builds, devoid of the need to impress anyone. No points for guessing which camp this Kawasaki KZ750 belongs to. It comes from German custom builder Holger Breur, who picked it up in boxes with the goal of building something simple and tidy for himself. Or, as he puts it: “I just wanted to build a really nice classic motorcycle again.” Holger’s a full-time electrician based in Husum, a German town on the banks of the North Sea. He runs his workshop HB-Custom as a sideline gig, but still managed to cram this 1977-model KZ750B into a two-month timeline.…

Done right: Rick Hannah’s Kawasaki W650 desert sled


My father was fond of the saying, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.” And that’s the first thought that popped into my head when I saw this sublime Kawasaki W650 desert sled from England. It comes from London-based Rick Hannah, who builds under the amusing moniker of Dirty Dick’s Motos. Rick is the perfect example of a self-taught man. He used to live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and hang out with Marnitz Venter—whose lovely vintage Triumph bobber we featured a year ago. But Rick moved back to London in 2016, disillusioned after his restored BMW 635CSi was stolen. “I have always been restoring and modding cars and bikes, but decided to take the plunge and start doing full nut and bolt builds when I got to London,” he tells us.…

The BMW G650 Xcountry reimagined as a street tracker


If you ask us, the BMW G650 Xcountry was ahead of its time. First released in 2007, it encapsulated the tracker vibe that’s so hot right now—but the market wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t a big seller. So BMW soon dropped it from their lineup, along with the other two G650X models. Which is a real pity, because it’s a cracking bike; a compact 652 cc thumper that makes 53 hp and 60 Nm, and weighs 344 lbs wet. And with its pseudo-retro styling, it would sit nicely in the mix between bikes like the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and the Ducati Scrambler today. Georg Godde and Holger Maninger at Cafemoto in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are BMW spezialisten… and they love the G650 series.…

Building a mini chopper out of a … Honda CG110


We don’t often feature choppers: the innovation and irreverence that permeated that scene in the 60s and 70s evaporated a long time ago. But there are builders out there who stay true to the original spirit of make-do and rebellion. Southeast Asia is now the hotbed for this approach, with multiple builders using traditional skills to overcome limited resources and tight budgets. This wacky little Honda CG110 with a suicide shift is a great example, and comes from East Malaysian builder Nasir Morni. Like the better-known CG125, the CG110 is one of those bulletproof, bargain-basement singles that the average shade tree mechanic can fix with a 10mm socket. It’s only occasionally ventured into western markets, but it’s extremely common in Southeast Asia and Africa.…

Luuc Muis redesigns the Moto Guzzi V85 TT for Vanguard


Moto Guzzi’s V85 TT has a lot going for it: a motor with tons of character, a capable chassis, and a look that mixes ‘adventure’ and ‘retro.’ But with such a unique aesthetic, we wouldn’t have a clue where to even begin customizing it. To make an impact with the V85 TT, you really have to go deep. So that’s exactly what Luuc Muis did with this custom V85, built for the Dutch menswear label Vanguard Clothing. The young custom builder has a background in product design, a fresh outlook and one hella sharp eye—as evident by this wild Indian Scout bobber that he built last year. Luuc landed the V85 TT project after winning a design contest run by Vanguard.…

Gold Standard: Unik Edition’s stunning Honda Seven-Fifty


We love to hear success stories from builders, and Tiago Gonçalves and Luis Gonçalves of Unik Edition are on a roll. The Portuguese duo first hit our radar four years ago, and now have a crew of seven in their shop. In the last two years Unik have ‘gone pro’ and delivered 28 customs. Despite the shared surname, Tiago and Luis not brothers—but they have a common vision and a good eye for style. This elegant 1996 Honda CB750 Seven-Fifty is the latest machine to roll out of Unik, and it was a somewhat tortuous journey. “This project was particularly challenging,” says Tiago. “The first time we met Francisco—the owner—he was researching workshops that could customize his CB750 Seven-Fifty.” That was back in 2016, and Francisco eventually chose another builder.…

Boxer Racer: North East Custom’s BMW R1150R Rockster


Does anyone remember the BMW R1150R Rockster? It was an attempt by BMW to inject some edginess into their capable but somewhat vanilla R1150R. So they gave it squinting headlights, a wider rear wheel, a hazard tape livery… and an unfortunate name. It was good enough to turn heads and agile enough to be a fun ride, but it also dated really quickly. So when the owner of this particular 2003-model Rockster decided it was time for an upgrade, he he had no qualms about ditching the quirky styling, and using it as the base for a custom project. The 1,130 cc boxer went straight to brothers Diego and Riccardo Coppiello at North East Custom in Padua, Italy. The Coppiello bros.…

Winging It: Deus Japan reworks the obscure Honda GL400


They couldn’t have picked a worse time, but our friends at Deus ex Machina Japan have finally managed to open their new store in Tokyo’s historic Asakusa district. And they’re celebrating in style—with a very sharp and slightly offbeat Honda GL400 street tracker. If you’re not overly familiar with the GL400, don’t worry—it’s not a particularly well documented model. Officially designated the ‘GL400 Wing,’ it was effectively a downscaled CX500, sold only in the Japanese market. So it came with the same transverse-mounted V-twin motor, and the same awkward silhouette. This one started out as a 1980 model GL400 Custom: a model that, just like the CX500 Custom, had a teardrop tank, stepped seat and swept-back bars. But Deus Japan’s head wrench, Tomoyuki Soeda, has done a stellar job of shedding the Honda’s 70s pseudo-chopper styling.…

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