The Week in Bikes, June 13th 2014
Welcome to The Week in Bikes, your weekly Cliffs Notes version of the best new custom bikes in the world.
Salty Speed Co.'s Honda CB400F
This is just the sixth bike from Salty Speed Co., yet the Australian shop has already set themselves apart with it. They started with a classic Honda, swapped out the front suspension and handlebars to give it a lower, meaner appearance, then completely redid the electrical system to make as reliable as a new bike. Coated in matte black, it's a mean looking ride, isn't it?
Kurumazaka's Rickman Kawasaki Z1000
The chances are pretty good that, even if you're a Kawasaki fanboy, you'd have to look incredibly close to figure out what's going on here. The bike was originally a Rickman Kawasaki, which is kind of the bike equivalent of buying a Callaway Corvette or a Saleen Mustang today. After 40 years of use and neglect, Japanese shop Kurumazaka opted to use it as a canvas, making use of LED lights and some careful re-drawing of the lines to make it a thoroughly modern-looking vintage bike.
KTM 450 Rally
This one's technically not custom, but it's just too awesome not to include here. KTM announced a while back that they were going to make a replica of the bike they used to dominate the grueling Dakar Rally, and now, you can walk into any KTM dealer and order it. The coolest part, amazingly, isn't all the fancy race suspension or the clear front shield (for better visibility). It's that when you buy this bike, one of the factory options is to have a team of support mechanics with you at your races.
Herr Funk's Yamaha T125
Three things make this bike stand out from the crowd:
1) The owner's name is Herr Funk.
2) The rear fender is actually a skateboard tucked underneath the seat.
3) The whole bike cost less than $2,000. Not too bad.
Renard's Triumph T1000
Renard is an Estonian outfit that's got more ambition than most much larger companies. A few years back they dropped the $100,000 Renard Grand Tourer, and now they've turned their attention to a Triumph. Their main goal was to keep the bike as nimble as possible, so they heavily reworked the suspension, and kept the body work to a minimum. For added visual oomph, all the gauges have been replaced with sleek electric units, and there's a gorgeous carbon fiber strip running down the middle.
Revival Cycles' Yamaha W650
As we've come to expect from Revival, this bike is all about the little details, like deftly hiding the LED tail lights so that they're not visually obtrusive until the instant they're needed, at which point you can't miss them. The exhaust isn't just hand formed, they actually took the time to make both tailpipes the exact same length to ensure better torque and a smoother engine.
Wrenchmonkees' Kawasaki Z750 Limited
There's a lot going on with the latest build from our favorite Danish shop, starting with the roughly three inch drop at the front to give it a much better stance. From there, it's a collection of little things that add up to one seriously well prepped bike, like custom foot pedals, extra low handlebars, and a bespoke seat. The thing you'll notice the most? The stainless steel braided brake lines, which not only look the part, but will actually help you feel the wheels interact with the pavement as you slow down.
Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. He thinks stainless steel braided brake lines are something that should be on every single car and truck in the world, because they make everything feel that much better.