In the world of aftermarket motorcycle parts there's a few manufacturers who stand out in the current custom scene as the cream of the crop. The design and quality of their parts is top notch and for a workshop or homebuilder who is looking for the ultimate accessories to compliment their custom creations, these are the brands they turn to. One such brand is Italian manufacturer Rizoma and their parts range offers some of the best looking indicators, mirrors and dress up parts around. At the EICMA show last weekend Rizoma unveiled a series of parts aimed at owners of the new Ducati Scrambler who want to transform their bike into a bonafide Cafe Racer.
Jeffry Sol's BMW R nineT has been somewhat of a social media sensation since it was unveiled at the Big Twin bike show in the Netherlands. Bike EXIF recently gave it a nod in their 'Custom Bikes of the Week' series and it had me yearning to find out more. Jeffry is a one man band operating his High Octane Speedshop business out of his home garage and his creations are nothing short of spectacular. By pure coincidence I received an email from a colleague expressing Jeff's interest in being interviewed about his bike and so I'm very happy to share with you the following story about Jeff and his radical BMW 'HPNineT'.
After visiting Indonesia 3 times in the past 12 months I've really started to love the attitude of it's custom builders. Their can do approach is, in many ways, a product of the environment in which they operate and it means that there's some incredible talent evolving. They have a real thirst for developing their personal ability and collaborating with local craftsmen in order to learn new skills is common practice. Arxaperiment is one of the new kids on the custom motorcycle block in Yogyakarta, Java. Traditionally an advertising agency they found inspiration in the custom scene and decided to add custom bike building to their list of services. This Honda CB700 is their latest work and from where I'm sitting it looks like a sign of good things to come.
Pat Flynn, founder of 'The Bullitt' blog has been in the bike blogging scene since way back in 2008. Along with being obsessed with writing about everything 2 wheels (and occasionally 4) he's an avid rider and backyard builder. His ongoing Bonneville Cafe Racer project has been a frequent topic on the Bullitt pages over the years and it's now finally finished...just in time for him to sell it and start another project. This is the way of the custom motorcycle builder and while I'm sure he's sad to see it go, there's already a new and exciting project looming on the horizon. I had the pleasure of hearing from Pat recently about his beloved Triumph Cafe Racer so what better way to see it off than with a personal recollection of how the Bullitt Bonneville came to be...
If there's one thing I've learnt about building custom motorcycles it's that things don't always go as planned. Not every bike can be transformed into any style and sometimes it's simply that your vision can't be applied to the bike you've chosen. That leaves you with two option, change your concept or start over with another bike. For Oscar Axhede a change in direction wasn't an option, so when he realised the CB750 he'd bought didn't meet his requirements it was time to cut his losses and start over. Thankfully a solution was found in the 750's little brother, the CB650 and his Honda Cafe Racer project was underway.
The art of coachbuilding and metal shaping is a dying artform. Finding skilled individuals who can take a flat piece of metal and fashion it into a fuel tank or custom fender is getting more and more difficult. Thankfully the demand for such work is on the rise thanks to the popularity of the custom motorcycle scene and people like Craig Rodsmith are leading the way. Craig's an Aussie living in Illinois and he's been manipulating metal for hot rods and custom motorcycles for the past 25 years. One of his latest 2 wheeled creations is this '79 KZ750 Kawasaki Cafe Racer and I had the opportunity to speak to Craig about its creation.
I have to admit I have a bit of a soft spot for the new Norton Motorcycles. They may be out of my price range, but that certainly doesn't stop me from taking an interest in what they're doing with the iconic British brand. A while ago I featured a road test of the limited production Norton Dominator SS, which made a cameo appearance in the latest James Bond movie 'SPECTRE' and Norton have now announced another Commando 961 based limited edition model, built in honour of 7 times Isle of Man TT winner and Norton Works race team member, Mick Grant.