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Custom Bikes Of The Week: 1 September, 2019

01.09.2019

An Indian Scout from Austria, a Super Cub from Italy, a production electric bike from Australia, and a BMW from Texas—with a 1,500 cc VW engine. We’ve been collecting the air miles this week. Fonzarelli NKD A company with the best name in motorcycling has just produced the first Australian-made production electric motorcycle. It’s called the NKD, it’s tiny and it looks like bags of fun. Fonzarelli already has three electric scooters in its catalog, but this is the first ‘motorcycle’ from the Adelaide-based outfit—albeit a mini-bike. The brushless motor kicks out 9.6 kW and 56 Nm of torque, with a 3.5 kWh battery that’ll take about five hours to charge. Range and top speed are listed as 60 km and 80 km/h for the regular model, and 120 km and 100 km/h for the Special Edition.…

KNTT: A sporty Knucklehead from Max Hazan

30.08.2019

We’d love a glimpse inside Max Hazan’s head. His machines are elegant and visceral, and we’re left wondering how he actually builds these functional sculptures. But what’s really mind blowing, is that he usually makes them up as he goes along. The latest Hazan Motorworks creation has the lines of an Italian sportbike, classic race hoops, and a very special Knucklehead motor. It’s an astounding motorcycle, and extremely cohesive. But rather than emulate a particular style, Max started with a simple idea…and let his imagination run wild. “The idea came about after speaking to someone that loved Knucklehead and Vincent engines,” he tells us, “and me suggesting that I just make a Knuckle that ran two front cylinder heads.” “I always had a sweet spot for the Harley-Davidson KRTT and XRTT race bikes, so I figured why not build one around a KN motor?” And so the ‘KNTT’ was conceived.…

Swedish twins: A pair of vintage café racers from PAAL

29.08.2019

For some people, building custom bikes is a sideline—an after-hours escape from the daily grind. For others it’s purely a business, with success measured by income and Instagram likes. And then there’s the third type: the guys who are so passionate about the scene, they’d mortgage their house to keep going. Malmö-based Fredrik Pål Persson is one of the passionate types: he actually did mortgage his house to keep going, a couple of years ago. He bounced back with a stunning CB500, and he’s just given us a peek at his two latest bikes, a classic pair of Honda and Kawasaki café racers. Having almost gone bankrupt, Fredrik is now wise enough to have a standardized process for most of his builds.…

Silver Dream Machine: 2LOUD’s Honda CB1100

28.08.2019

Based in Taipei City in northern Taiwan, 2LOUD Custom is a one-man show run by Ma ‘Max’ Yicheng. Despite emerging onto the scene only a few years ago, Max has quickly carved out an exceptional reputation. He creates finely crafted, one-off machines with classic Japanese style and unparalleled levels of detail. And the latest stepping-stone on his ever-shortening path to legendary status is this total stunner of a Honda CB1100. The project began its life as a 2014 Honda CB1100 EX, and marks the shop’s first-ever four-cylinder build. The donor’s air-cooled DOHC four—modeled after the engine in the iconic 1983 CB1100F—was kept mostly stock, with a few exceptions. K&N filtration connects to an adapter above the throttle valve that was designed and built in-house at 2LOUD, and a Dynojet Power Commander V handles fuel management duties.…

Abandon All Hope: A futuristic motorcycle from Argentina

27.08.2019

Having a regular stream of customer work is a blessing and a curse. Sure, it puts food on the table—but it also usually means working to a brief and a deadline. And that can get pretty frustrating when you’re someone with an over-active imagination. Patricio Castelli knows this hustle all too well. He’s based in Argentina, where he specializes in shaping aluminum for motorcycle and car projects. But his clients never commission truly radical stuff, so he occasionally builds something outrageous for his own delight. And if you’re wondering just how outrageous it gets, how about an aluminum-clad scoot that looks like it rolled out of a 1950s sci-fi epic? “The concept that surrounds the bike,” Patricio tells us, “is the iconography of the space exploration of the 40s and 50s science fiction.…

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 25 August, 2019

25.08.2019

From cafe racers to scooters, we’re covering interesting ground this week. From the UK we’ve got a stunning Guzzi and a sensible Bonneville, Switzerland offers a sleek Honda CB400, and from the Czech Republic we have news of the rebirth of Čezeta. Honda CB400F Supersport by 2V Motos Swiss Brothers Marc and Phillip got hooked on wrenching when their father handed them a wrecked moped, and challenged them to get it going. Now operating as 2V Motos, they’ve come a long way. The project has quite a backstory. The brothers drove three hours to buy a pair of bikes from a former Swiss hill climb champ, but neither had papers. After a lengthy process, they managed to re-register one bike—but the getting the Honda on the road wasn’t happening.…

What goes through a racer’s mind before the flag drops?

24.08.2019

The fourth and final episode of Slide has just dropped, and it’s a fascinating insight into the psychology of racers. What happens before a flat track race? How do the riders calm their nerves? Are they even nervous at all? Patrick ‘PJ’ Jacobsen and Corey Alexander reveal all. We’re bombarded with the technical details of the bikes themselves, and the clever engineering tricks and rule-bending ploys used by the teams to get one-up on their competitors. But when it’s time to twist the wrist to win the race to the first corner, it’s as much about the mindset of the riders as throttle body design, contingency money and tire hookup. Presented in association with REV’IT!…

Heroic Failure: Flat tracking the Sinnis Scrambler

23.08.2019

Motorcycle racing is a serious business. It’s time consuming, usually expensive, and always risky. But there are still a few folks willing to have a laugh while chancing an ambulance ride, and Grant Killoran is one of them. Grant is the marketing manager for Motorcycle Parts Warehouse, based near Brighton on the south coast of England. “In my ideas for marketing this year, I made a note,” he tells us. “Take a scrapper, fix it up and take part in DirtQuake.” DirtQuake, for those outside the small but passionate flat track fraternity in the UK, is an annual ‘run what you brung’ event owned by a TV company and open to all-comers. There’s a festival atmosphere, and an air of frivolity as squadrons of mostly crap bikes line up in a series of loose classes.…

Bavara: A custom BMW R9T with an R90S tank

22.08.2019

There’s no denying the BMW R nineT’s hit status. It’s fun to ride, comes in six great flavors, and lends itself well to custom work. But here’s the thing: even though it’s unquestionably retro, it cuts a more modern, roadster-like silhouette than the classic boxers it pays homage too. While that doesn’t make it any less pretty, it has given rise to a new trend in R nineT customization. Builders like Hookie Co. and Unit Garage now have kits out to replace the nineT’s curvaceous fuel tank, giving it the more blocky and utilitarian vibe of its predecessors. Here’s another solution, from a custom shop working out of a family garage just southeast of Madrid. TooHard Motor Co. are an eclectic bunch, tackling restoration and custom work across a multitude of marques.…

Boxer Twins: A pair of BMW R100 café racers from Upcycle

21.08.2019

If you want to earn a living in the custom business, scale is everything. Reinventing the wheel with every build will be expensive, unless you have a rock solid client base or a wealthy collector on speed dial. Most savvy builders replicate the parts they use for one-off customs, but Johnny Nguyen of Upcycle Motor Garage has taken the concept a step further: he’s built two BMW R100s at the same time, creating a pair of sister bikes that are equally gorgeous in slightly different ways. Johnny runs his one-man shop out of a small garage in Anaheim, California. “I’ve been building bikes for the last three years,” says owner Johnny Nguyen, “but I’ve worked on cars since I was 12—over 25 years now.” Johnny always had a dream to build a R100, cafe racer style.…

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