The Best Custom Motorcycles In The World, October 23rd, 2014
Welcome to the Week in Bikes, your weekly CliffsNotes for the best new custom bikes in the world.
Renard Speed Shop’s BMW R12 Scrambler Prototype
If Renard wasn’t already your favorite Eastern European garage, they are now. Their goal with this Beamer was not only to turn it into a scrambler while maintaining perfect drivability, but to make it look like the kind of show bike BMW would produce on its own. By the looks of this bike you'd never guess that the R12 was first introduced before World War II. Caution: there’s serious bike porn if you click through.
Exesor Motorcycles Yamaha SR 500 “Machine”
This bike was originally bought as a pile of junk. Seriously. For less than $300, the guys at Exesor picked this thing up in multiple pieces. Before they put it back together, they modified the rear to extend it by nearly three inches, added that beautiful leather seat, swapped the fuel tank for a lightweight aluminum number, and hand-beat the rest of the bike’s aluminum into shape, all in keeping with a steampunk theme.
Vicious Cycles’ Honda CM125 Cafe Racer
At first blush, this daily-rideable bike is somewhere between a bobber and a cafe racer, but categorizing it doesn’t do it justice. It was built in Singapore, home to seriously restrictive laws when it comes to modifying motorcycles. Still, the guys at Vicious Cycles went all out, picking this Honda because it came from the factory with dual exhaust and setting it up to ride on gloriously retro Firestone Champion tires.
Max Hazan’s Supercharged Ironhead
This one’s a little different...from any bike you’ve ever seen before. Builder Max Hazan started by literally welding the engine to his work table, then building the rest of the bike around it—resulting in a bike that’s 8.5 feet long. That front brake started out as a single 400-pound block of aluminum that was machined down at a race shop. The tires came from an old Indycar. The seat is gorgeous wood: “No, it’s not comfortable.” There are a ton of detail shots at Hazan’s site. It’s well worth the look.
“The Crunch”: Das Tramwerk’s BMW Boardtracker
This one is a tribute to the early 1900s American board trackers, on which riders would routinely hit 120 mph without brakes. This one does have brakes, though, since it’s Austrian, and the government is picky about things like that. The guys at Das Tramwerk wanted it to have a nice patina, so they actually buried the fuel tank under a farm for a few months. That obnoxiously loud yellow paint is the same pigment favorited by Van Gogh, by the way.