Marcus Walz Yamaha XV950

Yamaha have released details of the third XV950 in their Yardbuilt custom motorcycle series. German born builder Marcus Walz has taken a similar approach to the builders before him and transformed the cruiser styled XV950 into a more aggressively styled cafe racer. Named "El Raton Asesino" the bike, like many of Marcus' builds uses prototyped parts and top of the range components to ensure it's performance is as impressive as its appearance.

Honda CX500 RR

Honda's CX500. The Japanese manufacturers only venture into the world of horizontally opposed twins. In many ways the CX was a groundbreaking development in the world of motorcycling with it's water cooled engine, electric start and reliable shaft drive. While on paper it sounds like a milestone in motorcycle production history the CX is often looked upon to with conflicting opinions. On one side there's the guys who knew the CX by it's not so affectionate nickname of "plastic maggot" and by a rather unpleasant period when they suffered cam chain problems that lead to a factory recall. Then the opposing opinions are those of a new breed of custom builder who are taking stock CX500's and turning them into rather tasty looking customs, inspired by builds completed by the likes of the Wrenchmonkees and Moto Mucci. Mike Meyers (note the spelling...this is Austin's new ride) falls into the latter category. The story of his build is typical to what many find when working with old machines that others have previously "tinkered" with, but as you can see his hard work has most certainly paid off and this is one of the best looking CX based builds I've seen to date.

The Mako Harley Davidson Sporster

 Brandon Holstein run a workshop called 'Brawny Built' in Signal Hills, California where he does everything from basic servicing through to full custom builds. Back in 2010 he also co-founded 'The Speed Merchant' workshop and parts manufacturer which has been kicking butt ever since. A couple of years ago he blew peoples minds when he unveiled his Harley Davidson 883 Sporster based "Mako" at Born Free 5 and I had the opportunity to interview him for issue 5 of Tank Moto magazine. Here's some of what he had to say about his Brawny Built beast.

MRS Suzuki VanVan Scrambler

Since buying a Yamaha TW200 last year I've become more and more interested in small capacity dual-sport motorcycles. Nothing puts a grin on your face like belting over kerbs, taking short cuts through park land or grabbing air over speed humps (note: I do not condone or recommend this sort of behaviour...I just enjoy it). In France a hot favourite in the dual-sport, small capacity category is the 125cc Suzuki Van Van. It's sub 12 horsepower rating may not be enough to see you crack the ton, but it's got all the right ingredients to generate one of those aforementioned grins. In it's stock form it's no head turner, but with a good eye and some clever customisation the potential is definitely there. This Scrambler styled Van Van by French workshop Oficina MRS is a perfect example...

Ivory Comet XL Sportster

"Modern Retro". That's how Taiwan born, LA based Samuel Kao of JSK Custom Design describes his 'Ivory Comet' Cafe Racer. Based on a '97 XL1200 Harley Davidson Sportster the Ivory Comet takes fundamental aspects of Cafe Racer design and blends them perfectly with modern styling and modern performance components. Since its completion earlier this year the bike has brought home an impressive collection of prestigious trophies including "Best Cafe Racer" at Born Free 6. Taking over a year to complete the build of the bike pushed Sam to his limits, but as I'm sure you will agree his hard work was well worth it.

Tentacle Paradox CB450 Cafe Racer

We've all seen the listings on eBay. "Perfect project bike", "Needs some attention", "It's all there, just requires reassembling!". The unfinished or forgotten dreams of budding backyard builders up for grabs at bargain prices. Many of us toy with the notion of getting our hands dirty and starting where the previous owner left off but when it comes to placing a bid we get cold feet. There are people out there though that take the chance. They've know they've got their work cut out for them but they jump in head first. Daniel Pon was skeptical when he first saw the advert for 3 rusty, seventies Honda CB450's but 3 years after making the purchase he ended up with one of the coolest looking CB's I've seen...

Bryan's Blacked out CB550

Let's face it. We don't all possess the ability to rebuild an engine, to hand form steel or to even swap out a set of indicators. When you don't have the skill, the tools, the time or the inclination to build your own bike custom workshops like California's Seaweed & Gravel are there to lend a hand. Bryan stepped away from his sports bike past in favour of riding a more stylish and less aggressive steed and Seaweed &Gravel's Brady Young delivered...

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