CREAM OF THE CROP: Yamaha XT550 by Zombie Gelato
Written by Martin Hodgson Wherever in the world you go, it's not long before you find a kindred spirit who shares a love for motorcycles; it's a truly universal language. But while that passion burns deep across the globe, nowhere is it so heavily ingrained in the national psyche than in the home of road racing, Northern Ireland. So it should come as no surprise that Chris Martin of Belfast got his first bike from his Granny when he was just a wee boy, went to the races with his Dad and now has turned his attention to hand shaping metal and building custom creations. His latest, a Yamaha XT550 will hoon up any hill, haul along on any highway and looks mega doing it.
THE LONG HAUL: Honda CB750 by Cody Fagan
Written by Martin Hodgson Few, if any of the greatest automotive masterpieces to have been built in the last hundred years went through the 'design by committee' process. The entire exercise to take an idea from individual's imagination to complete working vehicle is exhausting, but when led by a single visionary the result is often incredible. For Cody Fagan of Buffalo New York the process began three years ago and the more other areas of his life proved difficult, the more determined he was to build his perfect Honda 750. Thousands of custom CB's have been built, but this is one of the most complete and comprehensive we've seen to date.
HEAVILY CAFFEINATED: Ducati 848 Evo by NCT Motorcycles
Written by Martin Hodgson On the salesroom floor of a motorcycle dealership, no sector of the market sees technology evolve as quickly as in the Sportsbike sector. The constant need of race teams for homologated bikes to have the latest and greatest sees an update almost every year. This, in turn, leads to serious depreciation in the class and before you know it, even modern Ducati's make financial sense for a makeover. But Austria's NCT Motorcycles has done more than just that, putting their full custom stamp on a Ducati 848 Evo to really ramp up the racer element in this cafe machine.
TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TRITON by Icon Motorcycles
Words by Tim Huber. First patented in 1952, Norton’s featherbed chassis was originally developed for TT competition and upon its release (and for roughly the next two-decades) was objectively the best-handling motorcycle frame in existence — at least until Norton one-upped itself in ’67 with its Isolastic frame. And while Norton’s vertical twin engines of the same era were far from lackluster, they vibrated markedly more than the mills from fellow British marque, Triumph — not to mention the Hinckley firm’s 650 and 750cc Bonneville twins were considerably easier to tune for more power.
WAKING UP IN VEGAS
Thought we'd start the year with something a little different. Our friend and legendary photographer Errol Colandro wrote a raw and honest story that we connected with and thought our readers would also appreciate. Words and photography by Errol Colandro. Riding down this beautiful stretch of road. Miles and miles of pure desert landscape. All I'm hearing is the wind, the engine, that beautiful Harley exhaust note. Where the hell am I even going? As we all know, getting on these two wheels is our therapy, our escape, our healing. Healing.... the healing of what? I look back a few weeks at what made this "healing" ride happen. Waking up, not knowing the surroundings, the walls are that typical Las Vegas hotel room, and I am covered in what seems to be vomit and I am alone.
2019 PIPEBURN BIKE OF THE YEAR AWARD
Written by Martin Hodgson While Santa packed up his sleigh and headed off to fill his stomach with Cookies, Rum and Hay, for Rudolph and the lads, back here at Pipeburn HQ we were locked in a small room trying to pick the best bikes of 2019. It's no easy task, but thanks to the custom builders right around the world who continue to amaze and our dear readers comments, likes and shares; we managed to narrow down the field. Plenty of worthy contenders just missed out, we created two new categories to help capture the years best, but in the end there can only be one winner and to top the pack it had to be seriously special, Ladies and Gentleman, you're Pipeburn Bike of the Year...
SINISTER SCRAMBLER: ‘Black Villain’ Ducati Scrambler by Motocrew
Written by Martin Hodgson 2019 has been a tough year for those facing wildfires, from Europe to Australia's East Coast, California to the vast Amazon jungle, the devastation has been immense. But while many of us live in harms way, when it's time to flee there is another group heading towards the flames. The brave men and women of the world's fire fighting community are truly owed a debt of gratitude. But what do they do to wind down when it's all over? For Germany's Chris Scholtka his life long passion for bikes provides the escape and from his Motocrew workshop in his spare time he's turn out this 'Black Villain' beast from the bones of a 2015 Ducati Scrambler.
FAST & LEFT OF FIELD: ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ in Japan
The resurgence of flat track racing around the world is no surprise; it's fast, dangerous, fun and great for spectators to watch. Christine Gabler and Marc Holstein have been over in Japan for the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show but also travelled out to watch the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ event – which as the name suggests, is a bunch of riders who just want to have fun and go left on inappropriate bikes. We thought we'd let Marc and Christine take us through the event. The wonderful photos and words are theirs: Waking up super early to catch train all the way out to Kawagoe proved to be quite a challenge in the busy city of Tokyo. We were on our way to the ‘Have Fun Flat Track’ party event which was being held a day after the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. The practice was to be held on Monday but it rained heavily all day. Tuesday looked amazing so me made our way out to the track, riding one and a half hours through Tokyo and another 30 minutes by taxi. We arrived on site at around noon which seemed like a perfect time as the track has just dried off.
TRI-WHEELED TRIUMPH: LC Fabrications Stunning Sidecar
Written by Tim Huber. Existing today primarily as a novelty genre of sorts, sidecars are without a doubt one of, if not the most seldom-seen style of customs. Plenty of well seasoned shops have never ventured into the three-wheeled territory, and it’s not too hard to see why. The shift from a single-track vehicle to a machine of the three-wheeled variety fundamentally alters the performance and riding characteristics, plus the prospect of adding an extra third’s worth of work onto what would otherwise be a completed build is understandably less-than-inviting to a lot of builders.
TIME MACHINES: EVE LUX and EVE 2020 by Bandit9
Written by Martin Hodgson This guy is like a hurricane, you see him coming a mile away, you can see a storm building on the horizon, you feel his breeze before he gets there, and when he does he rains down on you. Some delight in the incredible show, others need time to gather their thoughts and for a few, it's all too much. But founder and head designer Daryl Villanueva of Bandit9 has been shaking up the custom scene for years and no other builders work is displayed in more museums around the world. Now commissioned by luxury retailer Lane Crawford he brings to life his two most radical pieces to date, the sleek, Sci-Fi inspired EVE LUX and EVE 2020, that are sure to get tongues wagging once again.