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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.…

Eye Candy: The Motorcycles of the Concorso d’Eleganza

02.06.2019

Every year since 1929, rare and classic vehicles have lined the lawns of Villa d’Este and Villa Erba on the banks of Lake Como in Italy. The Concorso d’Eleganza is a magnificent opportunity to indulge in fine machinery while dressed in your Sunday best. The weekend is dominated by automobiles, but there’s a strong motorcycling component too—and the bikes are no less desirable. The jury is pretty illustrious too, and this year included the fashion editor of Cosmopolitan, the editor-in-chief of the Italian magazine Motociclismo d’Epoca, Mick Duckworth of Classic Bike and The Vintagent himself, the charming Mr Paul d’Orléans. We had the honor of attending the 90th edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza in person, as guests of event sponsors BMW Motorrad.…

Malle hardens up a pair of Enfield Interceptor 650s

01.06.2019

If you’re a fan of classic motorcycle luggage, you probably know the English company Malle. Set up by designers Robert Nightingale and Jonny Cazzola, the London outfit sells tough but stylish travel gear for riders, and classy accoutrements for weekday use. Robert and Jonny also have a knack for running quirky moto events such as the Malle Mille. Their latest endeavor is next month’s ‘Great Malle Rally,’ and they’ve built two very stylish Royal Enfield Interceptor 650s as support vehicles. Royal Enfield signed on the line when Robert and Jonny pitched the idea of rally spec support bikes to them. The goal was to create two machines to carry engineers supporting 100 ‘very inappropriate’ custom and classic motorcycles on the 1,250-mile (2,000 km), five-day rally—running across the wildest landscapes of mainland Britain.…

The Enforcer: an XSR700 from Ironwood Motorcycles

30.05.2019

It’s just over three years since Yamaha launched the XSR700, and sales have been slow. That’s almost certainly down to the awkward styling, because the XSR700 is a good bike to ride—and the 689cc inline twin (with crossplane crank) is an absolute peach of a motor. The obvious visual flaws have prompted many builders to have a crack at the XSR700, with varying degrees of success. The latest to attempt the silk purse treatment is Arjan van den Boom of the Dutch shop Ironwood, and he’s hit a home run. “The customer asked me for something cool,” says Arjan. “Different, high-end, drivable either in Amsterdam or Ibiza, and inspired by the Yamaha TW.” Arjan is a fan of the XSR700.…

The Enforcer: an XSR700 from Ironwood Motorcycles

30.05.2019

It’s just over three years since Yamaha launched the XSR700, and sales have been slow. That’s almost certainly down to the awkward styling, because the XSR700 is a good bike to ride—and the 689cc inline twin (with crossplane crank) is an absolute peach of a motor. The obvious visual flaws have prompted many builders to have a crack at the XSR700, with varying degrees of success. The latest to attempt the silk purse treatment is Arjan van den Boom of the Dutch shop Ironwood, and he’s hit a home run. “The customer asked me for something cool,” says Arjan. “Different, high-end, drivable either in Amsterdam or Ibiza, and inspired by the Yamaha TW.” Arjan is a fan of the XSR700.…

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