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.
I'm often surprised by the motorcycles that become popular donors for custom builds. Take for example Honda's 'Plastic Maggot' CX500, BMW's 'Flying Brick' K100 or Yamaha's 'Vanilla' Virago. It seems that despite their rather average stock appearance and similarly average performance they've struck a cord with enthusiast customizers. This infatuation usually starts when a talented builder manages to transform one of these sows ears into a silk purse prompting others to give it a go.
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Rob Chappell of 'Origin8or Cycles' in Ontario Canada. I work a 9-5 job in graphic design, run a freelance web-design company, have a partner that keeps me busy most evenings and I build custom motorcycles on the weekends and during any spare time I have left.
When it comes to building custom motorcycles I think all of us lose momentum from time to time. Be it due to a client being difficult or simply running out of money so the project sits idle. Finding the energy to start again can sometimes be difficult, so here are some tips that I find help me stay on track with my own builds that may help you as well.