‘84 Suzuki GR650 – Anvil Motociclette
Want a quick and easy way to sort bikers into ‘buyers’ and ‘builders’? It's easy – just talk about a tragically unpopular model. See, a buyer will judge a bike on its factory form. These are the guys that think showroom looks are somehow hard-wired into a bike's DNA; the guys who will dismiss an entire model or range because they don't like the size of the headlight or the shade of red on offer. Then there's the builders. These are the guys who can see beyond the superficial to appreciate the soul of a bike, no matter how ugly it's superficial, outward appearance. Italy's Anvil Motociclette fancied themselves as the latter, and to test the theory they took on the challenge of customising the optimistically named Suzuki GR650 ‘Tempter’. It didn't tempt us before, but it sure does now.
’74 Rickman Metisse by 66 Motorcycles
Written by Martin Hodgson. The name Rickman carries a pedigree like few others in the motorcycle industry, when it is followed by Metisse you are dealing with royalty, the king of custom frames built by two genius brothers with racing in their DNA. But what you have before you is no off road scrambler, but a 100% street legal urban tracker that can be easily returned to its roots in no time at all. An original classic or a ball tearing street weapon, it’s a 1974 Rickman Metisse with Triumph power built by Australia’s 66 Motorcycles and is simply known as “The Brit”.
‘87 Ducati Indiana – Redonda Motors
Written by Marlon Slack. Under the guidance of engineer João Barranca, Portuguese motorcycle company Redonda is split into three divisions. The first is Redonda racing, specializing in road and off-road race bikes, Eco-Redonda, which concentrates on customizing electric cycles and Redonda motors – heavily modified motorcycles that can be ridden every day. The last collection produced this Ducati Indiana scrambler – a distinctively beautiful take on an often forgotten Italian cruiser. Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of the Ducati Indiana – not many people have. In many ways it was a Cagiva rebranded in a spectacularly unsuccessful tilt at the American market. It can all be linked back to the late 1970’s when Ducati was haemorrhaging cash, partially due to the inaccessibility of their marque bikes and partially due to their production line alternating between ‘artisanal’ and ‘sheltered workshop’. The majority shareholder in the company, the Italian government, was keen to offload the brand and failing that, more than willing to shut it down completely. And there’s no better way to know you’re stuffed financially when even the Italian government is ready to pull the pin.
’71 Triumph Tiger – Vintage Steele
Written by Martin Hodgson. In the Summer of ’69 a young Jim Walsh of Maryland farewelled his cousin Tom, a strapping man with long blonde hair, who was heading off to the West to start a new life. But it was the machine his older cousin rode, resplendent in the summer sun a Triumph Bonneville Twin, that captured his attention and would live on in Jim’s memory for a lifetime. It’s a memory that has become a passion when nearly 50 years later Jim learned of Tom’s death and in this most recent Northern Winter commissioned the boys at Vintage Steele in Vermont to build a Triumph of his own. There are few marques that have had the impact on motorcycle culture as has British maker Triumph. For more than 100 years Triumph motorcycles have been surrounded by owners absolutely passionate about anything and everything the brand does and with good reason. From powering Steve McQueen in the Great Escape with a TR6 Trophy, to the 6T Thunderbird playing a starring role in the original biker film “The Wild One” alongside Marlon Brando and on the track being the first manufacturer to do a 100mph lap at the famed Isle of Man TT there is plenty to be proud of.
‘77 Honda CB750 – Gaige Redd
Gaige Reed wanted to build himself a café racer with ‘80s race car styling all using a Japanese bike from the Seventies – an idea that could go horribly wrong if it wasn’t designed and executed perfectly. But Gauge had a big advantage, he’s a designer by trade and he knew sticking resolutely to the brief would yield exactly the bike he desired. The finished product is a cracking Honda CB750 that tips its hat to the classic BMW race cars that flew the flag for M Sport.
‘79 Kawasaki Z400 – Klassik Kustoms
Written by Marlon Slack Klassik Kustoms is a small workshop run out of a barn in Hagen, Germany. Specializing in Yamahas and Hondas under 750cc the owner, Jan, aims to make affordable, cool specials that are fun to ride and affordable to own. Since 2010 he’s put together several tidy café racers based on old air-cooled bikes but this time around Jan has taken a tilt at something a little more upright with this 1979 Kawasaki Z400 tracker.
‘Art of The Italian Two Wheel’ – Stuart Parr
Imagine for a second that you've made it. Whether it be through sheer luck, hard work or divine skill, you've reached a point in your life where you have everything you'll ever need – maybe even a little more. So you indulge your passion. Now this could mean pretty much anything depending upon who you are, but as you are right here at the House of Pipes then there's a good chance that it involves two wheels. It certainly did for New York's Stuart Parr, albeit with a decidedly Italian spin on things. And ten years later, he's kindly showing the world the Frutti of his labour at a local gallery. He's calling it the ‘Art of The Italian Two Wheel’. We're calling it heaven.
‘87 BMW R100 – Skrunkwerks
Written by Marlon Slack. I like just about every bike featured on Pipeburn. From yard-built bobbers, lean café racers and scramblers of questionable practicality there’s always something of merit in their design and execution that warrants a closer look. But there’s a special place in my heart for performance-based bikes built with a singular purpose in mind. Products of consideration, calculation and engineering, often ridden with stupidity paraded as bravery. So today, here’s a real treat - a gorgeous, beautifully thought-out and immaculately crafted 1987 BMW R100 salt racer designed, built and raced by Adrian from Skrunkwerks in Melbourne, Australia.
‘72 Honda CB750 – Rocker Classic Motorcycles
There any many things in this world that you could class as overdue. Peace in the Middle East, for one. A decent Nicole Kidman film would also be nice. And Nickleback announcing that they are breaking up has been overdue for about twenty years now. But when it comes to us and bikes, there's been a task on our list that's been hanging around for ages – and that was to post a bike from one of our first ever sponsors. That company is Brisbane's Rocker Classic Motorcycles, and this is us crossing that bad boy of our list.
‘Ace III’ BMW R100 – Kevil’s Speed Shop
Thankfully, life has its little sure bets. Those things you can trust in with an unwavering faith because you know they'll come through for you. Warm baths. Steak and chips. Cold beer on a hot day. They're classics because they never let you down; no matter where you are or how you're feeling. But we think it's time to add another classic to that list – BMWs made by Kevil's Speed Shop in Devon, on the English Riviera. It seems to us that they just can't put a foot wrong. And here's another great build of theirs. Just don't ride it while you’re drunk, eating or naked.