As well as trying to update this site as often as possible I also write for Tank Moto and Fuel Magazines as their motorcycle features editor. The following is a story I wrote about Leon's awesome pre-unit Triumph Tiger in Fuel Magazine issue 17. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did writing it...
Labels: harley davidson
It's been a couple of years since I first featured one of Kevin Hills custom builds. Since then under his leadership his Kevil's Speed Shop has amassed an impressive portfolio of custom BMW's showcasing everything from sleek Cafe Racers to knobbly tired Scramblers. He's developed a formula of basic modifications that he applies to each BMW build before they undergo the full custom treatment. One such bike is this BMW R100 Cafe Racer christened 'Vault'.
Bali, Indonesia. Beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests, killer surf, cheap shopping and Bintang beer. Bali also happens to be a place where motorcycles rule the streets. Not Harley's or the Sportsbikes we see in Western countries, but scooters and small capacity motorcycles that transport a large percentage of Bali's inhabitants to and fro. While we might not think they're cool because they can't break the ton these bikes are the backbone of Bali's transportation system and the locals love them. With so much appreciation of their daily rides going on it's natural to see a blooming custom culture developing and one workshop that's quickly building an impressive portfolio of custom builds is Smoked Garage in Kuta.
Suzuki Katana. Honda Dominator. Kawasaki Ninja. These are all bike names that inspire visions of power and awesomeness. In some bizarre, magical way they appeal to men before they've even laid eyes on them. It's motorcycle marketing at it's finest. Then there's the Yamaha Virago, the Honda Gold Wing and let's not forget the Kawasaki Zephyr. Not exactly awe inspiring titles are they? But somewhere along the way people have chosen to look beyond these product naming disasters to focus on what really counts about these bikes. They perform just as well as others in the same class, are famously reliable and most importantly make a great base for customization. So even though I cringe a little every time I get an email from a builder who says they've customized one, I'm often pleasantly surprised by the result. This Zephyr 750 by Sameiros Motors in Portugal is the perfect example of just that.
A couple of months back I flew to Sydney to attend one of Australia's best custom motorcycle events. Organised by Mark Hawwa of Sydney Cafe Racers, Throttle Roll is a 2 day music, motorcycle, lifestyle festival that takes place at a huge pub just outside of Sydney's CBD. A great wall of custom motorcycles rising up over 10 meters high surrounded the pubs beer garden, beer flowed freely and live music kept everyone's feet tapping till well after the sun had set. Outside the pub hundreds more bikes lined the streets with just as many jaw dropping custom builds as we'd seen inside. It was an awesome show, put on by a rad dude whose passion for the custom scene has created something truly amazing. Read on for video coverage of the show...