Your weekly CliffsNotes on the best custom bikes in the known universe...
Home Built Harley Sportster Cafe Racer
This bike is a testament to what you can do with a good eye for detail and an incredible head start from a well developed aftermarket. There's almost no work done here that someone of average mechanical inclination can't do from home, and yet the end result is gorgeous—that's the power of a well-thought out design.
Kaffeemaschine's Moto Guzzi LeMans
The latest bike from one of our favorite German shops is this beautifully minimalist Guzzi LeMans. Built for a Swiss client that demanded nothing more than a nice Guzzi to ride around on with a passenger, Kaffeemaschine kept it very angular and aesthetically tidy. Then they stripped down the engine and rebuilt it with performance in mind. The whole bike is light, powerful and brilliant. What else is there, really?
Magni's Filo Rosso Retro Racer
What you're looking at is a seriously light bike with 125 hp—it's got a better power-to-weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron—and a bike that's got soul; it's a modernized replica of the legendary Augusta 500 race bike. You can even get it with or without that fairing, should you want more of a cafe racer look.
Loaded Gun Customs' Yamaha XS650
LGC built this bike for a Discovery Channel show that airs in the spring. The bike's owner is a two-time defending Olympic gold medalist women's bobsledder named Kaillie Humphries. As someone who's used to barreling down an icy chute at ridiculous speeds, she needed something that could handle brilliantly, so the extent of this bike's build is such that LGC actually had to calculate new spring rates for it.
Hammer KraftRad's BMW R100R
First off, the guy who hand-banged the aluminum into the shapes that you're currently drooling over is actually named Michael Hammer, which is too perfect of a name to not mention. He also picked this bike up after having a few cold ones with a friend who had his eye on Michael's Yamaha. He went to work quickly, cleaning up the look, hiding all the electronic bits, and giving it a more modern performance in the process.