Ducati 749R – Ezikiel Dacanay
Taking the cutting torch to a Ducati is not something you do lightly, when that Ducati is a limited run 749r homologation special it’s no wonder it took some time before the power tools spun into action. This is not Ezikiel Dacanay’s first Custom Duke having previously built a café racer out of a 1997 916 but that bike was lost to an accident and it would take a few swings and roundabouts to get to the bike you see before you.
Wheels & Waves 2015
I’ve wanted to go to Wheels and Waves since I first heard of it. I’ve spent half of my life around bikes but never really got into any of the scenes in the north of England – sportsbikes, full-dress Harleys, classics or streetfighters. The new custom scene hasn’t taken root here yet, so for a shed monkey like me with a preference for hands-on over wallet-out, this seemed the place to go. Aboard my rebuilt W650 tracker, I rode the 1600-mile round trip from Leeds to Biarritz with my camera gear on my back, accompanied by a mate on his much-admired Honda 400/4 café racer. Here's the highlights.
Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk II – Kevin Rudham
While every brand has its share of fanatics, it’s the Italian marques that seem to inspire the most passion. Some people fawn over their race-bred Ducatis, some battle mercurial Laverdas while the remainder squirrel away in their sheds, tinkering at old Moto Guzzis. While not strictly a Guzzi fanatic, Johannesburg-based professional photographer Kevin Rudham will no doubt have Italian fans nodding in appreciation at his re-born 1980 Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk II. Impressively, he completed nearly all the work himself. ‘It took two years,’ Kevin says, ‘and I outsourced only the powder coating and electroplating, but the rest I did myself, including the paint job with a borrowed compressor and a cheap Chinese touch up gun.’
Yamaha Yard Built XJR1300 ‘Iron heart’
Old world craftsmanship, timeless quality and innovation in design are two things that go hand in hand with both the Yamaha Yard Built Specials and Shinichi Haraki’s Iron Heart Selvedge Denim range. With the all new 20th Anniversary Yamaha XJR1300 part of the Yard Built program and Iron Heart a company dedicated to providing the very best in denim and jean wear to the motorcycling world it made sense the two would team up.
Norton Commando – The Gasbox
Not too long ago The GasBox were featured on these pages when their BMW R80 was 3rd in Pipeburn’s 2014 Bike of the Year Awards, so it’s fair to say they can build one hell of a bike. But pinning down owner Jesse Bassett’s style isn’t easy. Take this 1974 Norton Commando 850. It’s neither a custom Café Racer nor a Concours d'Elegance build due to the modifications; but it, like all of Jesse’s builds, are as close to perfection as you can get. The again, maybe that’s his style.
BMW K100RT – Motofication
Some bikes lend themselves to customisation more than others. Twin-shocked stalwarts like the SR500 and CB750 are so easily stripped back and chopped, lowered and lightened it takes something pretty special to grace the pages of Pipeburn. Other bikes, like this 1985 K100RT from Nuremberg's Motofication, take considerably more finesse, planning and cutting discs to be transformed into something truly attention-grabbing.
Kawasaki KZ400 – Garaje 57
Hand built in Colombia by a pair of craftsman who were on a tight deadline to make a big show in the USA, this 1974 Kawasaki KZ400 is anything but rushed and far from factory. Esteban Pasquale and Gustavo Pasquale are the co-owners of Garaje 57 based in Bogotá that specialises in hand-built motorcycles with no discrimination between vintage Vespa’s all the way through to Modern Ducati sports bikes. But give them a 70s Kawasaki and... well, just take a look for yourself.
Triumph Bonneville – The Bullitt
In the café racer scene few motorcycles are as important as the parallel twin-powered Triumph Bonneville. From the early pre-unit bikes, to the engines that powered Tritons and Tribsas, all the way to the modern re-imagining of the Bonneville that you can buy new off the dealer floor; the bike has pretty much defined the scene. Now, we all have our opinions and right now this is mine; I believe this is the best looking Bonnie ever built, bar none.
Honda XL600 LM – Matteucci Garage
Head of Italian workshop Matteucci Garage, Marco Matteucci, is adamant he’s not a mechanic. ‘I’m not even close, I wouldn’t offend the category’ he insists. Instead he comes to motorcycles from a different background, as a graphic designer and advertising photographer with over 20 years experience in the industry. And it shows, with an impressive attention to detail and immaculate fit and finish on his latest build, a Honda XL600LM he’s dubbed ‘True Blood’. While he may not be a mechanic, Marco certainly built one of the most head-turning builds Pipeburn has featured this year.
Honda CB750 – Rumblesmith
A great custom bike is more than just the sum of its parts; it tells a story about the life and times of the machine and its builder, woven together by the dreams and desires of the one who will call the keys their own. While some builders clock on and clock off, others truly live what they do and that is abundantly evident in this café’d Honda CB750 RC42 with more than a little ole school dragster appeal created by Wesley Kim of Rumblesmith in Maryland.