Elegant Bastard R Nine T

After just having the pleasure of pretending to own an R Nine T for the past few days (keep an eye out for my review in issue 6 of Tank Moto magazine) I've become rather fond of BMW's 110hp boxer. Those Germans certainly know how to engineer a great bike and while I will also admit I'm quite fond of it's stock appearance, it's always great to see how custom workshops approach these retro classic, "ready to customise" rides. To give the R9T a popularity boost in the Netherlands BMW's marketing team came up with the "Soul Fuel Challenge". The aim of the challenge was to invite workshops to submit designs, select 3 of the best and supply them each with an R9T to make their design a reality. One workshop who took up the challenge and won first prize for their creation was Rotterdam based 'Smokin' Motorcycles' with their "Elegant Bastard" R9T build.

Le French Atelier Suzuki GSX-R 750

Suzuki's GSX-R has been tearing up race tracks and suburban streets since the mid-eighties. It was the first motorcycle to be considered a "racebike that could be ridden on the road" and was the first bike to use an aluminium box frame construction. It was a reliable, fast and light weight option compared to the bikes being produced by the other big Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and the GSX-R badge is still available in Suzuki's 2014 lineup almost 30 years on. With the current trend in custom motorcycling I like to call the "retro renaissance" motorcycles like this '91 model GSX-R are starting to get the attention of custom workshops. Workshops like Le French Atelier who completed this Suzuki GSX-R 750 Cafe Racer last month...

Vibrations recycled Honda CB750

Despite all the hullabaloo surrounding global warming there's nothing quite like piloting a vehicle powered by oil derived fuel that explodes beneath me and spews noise and filth out into the atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving the planet, but it will be a sad day when I have to lay my fossil fuelled beast to rest and pilot whatever sustainable form of transport they dictate we should use instead. Until then though Italian Design studio 'Vibrazioni (Vibrations) Art Design' may have the perfect a solution.

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...

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