Die hard sportsbike fans will tell you that there are some bikes you just don't mess with. They're the elite, creme de la creme, groundbreaking machines that make grown men go weak at the knees. Take for instance the 2012-2014 Ducati Panigale 1199 S. This was a Ducati unlike any before it. With a whole new chassis design, a power to weight ratio verging on insane and all the latest tech bells and whistles the Panigale 1199 S was in a league of its own. It was so good in fact that MCN gave the Italian a 5 out of 5 rating, validating just how special this motorcycle was.
In the custom world, however, everything is fair game. So when a customer rolled up to the French workshop of Ortolani Customs on his 2014 Panigale 1199 S they couldn't wait to sink their teeth into it.
Out of the box, off the shelf, ready made...customs? Sure it's an oxymoron, but boy they're getting good at it. The big motorcycle manufacturers are all cashing in on the custom scene with their "Classic/Heritage" models. Triumph have nailed it with their Bobber and now BMW Motorrad adds a 70's inspired 'Racer' to their lineup to prove that modern motorcycles can be cool too!
It started out as a motorcycle that allowed owners to perform simple customisation, but now the R nineT is available in a range of different styles. Along with the base model R9T, BMW customers can now choose from an R9T Scrambler, Pure, Urban GS or the all new Racer.
After watching more motorcycle building TV shows than I should admit to and a late-night conversation with my wife, we realised how difficult it was finding good quality seats. I’d done all the manufacturing before and had the knowledge to design them so it was just a case of putting that into practice and that's how 'Complete Cafe Racer Ltd' was born.
When we build Café Racers in our workshop, we often make bespoke bodywork (seats, tank covers, mudguards and fairings) which we then replicate and sell. This was the exact process we used with our Rickman styled Suzuki GS550.
It's crazy to think that during an accident standard denim can turn to dust in a fraction of a second. During a high-speed spill, a mere 6 seconds equates to around 75m of slide time. If your Levis fall apart in the first couple of seconds I don't need to tell you what's left to slow down your slide. It's a horrible thought, but one that we as motorcyclists should not forget. Accidents happen. There's no way of knowing if it will happen to you or not, but it's up to you to determine how well protected you'll be if it does.
Australian riding gear manufacturer Saint has succeeded in creating motorcycle riding gear that works well and looks great, but their latest achievement takes things to the next level. These are the Saint Unbreakable 6 riding jeans and they're the companies first CE Level 1 certified, single layer riding jeans.
For the second year in a row, Moto Guzzi Italia are hosting their 'Lord of the Bikes' series. The series sees a handful of Italy's top custom motorcycle builders to go head to head in an elimination-style build off using motorcycles from the Moto Guzzi range. It's a competition that welcomes imaginative thinking and outlandish creativity and this year they seem to be taking things to the extreme. As the 2017 series moves into its 5th round of eliminations we thought we'd take a quick look at the round 4 winner. This is the Vibrazioni Art-Design 'Vertigo' and it's about as outlandish as they come.
We've seen many collaborations between custom motorcycle workshops and commercial brands. Watchmakers, clothing labels and even car manufacturers have enlisted the help of bike builders to promote their wares, but this is the first time we've seen a custom build collab with a company who specialises in sea-going vessels. This is the 'Boes.ch 100'. A collaborative build between Swiss luxury powerboat specialists Boesch and BMW experts VTR Customs.