The Week in Bikes, June 6th, 2014
Welcome to The Week in Bikes, your weekly Cliffs Notes version of the best new custom bikes in the world.
Cafe Racer Customs' Sportster
"Harley" and "lightweight" are rarely synonymous, but London-based CRC's calling this bike "The Ultimate Harley Cafe Racer." Technically born at Harley-owned Buell, (they've changed just about everything from the frame to the light and gauges), the rear suspension was modified to enable easier maintenance in case find yourself riding this too hard, too often.
Yamaha XJR 1300 by it roCkS!bikes
From a couple of Portugal guys who apparently have deep reservations about making an SEO-friendly name, this Yamaha was designed with a "stealth" theme because the guy who commissioned the bike was "somehow related" to stealth planes. Delving beyond the bike's cool-factor looks, the way it rides has also been incrementally, but substantially, overhauled. The steering geometry up front, for example, is now much more radical, designed to make blasts through twisty back country roads much more fun.
Jerikan's BMW R80
From a French shop that picked up an old BMW R80 on the cheap and wasn't quite sure what to do with it, this bike's got almost no black pieces on it in an attempt to keep it "visually pure." Details, though, really set this bike apart: the tail lights, for instance, are built into the corners of the frame which in turn was painted silver to match the engine.
Simon Ackrill's Kawasaki GT550
Perhaps the best part of this bike is its story: it belongs to an Englishman named Simon Ackrill, originally belonging to his father. For a couple of decades it was driven wild all over Europe, and now father, son, and grandson have worked together not just restoring it, but improving it. They procured parts from some of the best known shops in the world, creating something that's both modern and retro in appearance.
Kott's "Exec" Honda CB 550
Completing a bike with good taste is a somewhat difficult feat to accomplish but that's exactly what this Honda is. The frame is unfinished—simply sprayed with clearcoat—and the materials used to finish the bike range from stainless steel to brass. The engine's all stock except for the intake and exhaust; the suspension's been tweaked to make it more fun to ride.
Wes York's 1973 Honda CB 750
There's DIY, and then there's doing it yourself. Wes built this bike himself. After he literally found it in a tree. It had been sitting for so long the tree had started growing through one of the wheels, so he chopped through it, rescued the bike, and reworked it into the sinister-looking piece of art you see today.
Urban Motors' BMW R80 Brat
Understatement. That's the only word to discuss this bike. Looking at it you wouldn't necessarily realize that the front's been lowered three inches. Or that the bike's BMW core is surrounded by a virtual catalog full of ancillary parts so carefully chosen that they look almost OEM. Probably the most amazing thing about how all this came together, though, is that it's 100 percent street legal...well, in Germany, where inspections are much harder to pass than in the States.