ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

BMW R80 by ROA Motorcycles

ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

BMW is one of the only main moto brands that has never graced The Bullitt garage. Sure we've had some opportunities to snag one but for whatever reason, it just never happened. And that's not to say we have wanted one. Or lusted after many... There is just something so visceral and pure about the horizontally opposed boxer engine configuration. The sound, the vibrations, the subtle pull to the side when accelerating off the line. It all just speaks to me. Vintage and modern BMWs are both rad in their own rights but lately I just can't seem to get enough of the vintage varietal. Take this BMW R80 by ROA Motorcycles for example. Not sure if it's the striking blue paint on the tank or the scrumptious rich brown in the amaretta wrapped custom seat, but there is just something about this Bavarian cafe racer that makes me stare and drool.

ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

Obviously, stripping the bike down was a starting point. The ROA team but their own custom rear subframe and I love the little step in the back. As mentioned above, the seat is wrapped in an "amaretta" material - I had to look it up - which is a microfiber material that is said to have a feel that is smoother than suede, a high-quality appearance, and a soft and supple texture. From the looks of it, we're sold!

Aside from the tank and seat, nearly every surface was blacked out aside from some raw steel accents here and there. The forks were dropped by 20% and with the pared down instrument cluster and the addition of clip-ons, the business end of the machine looks simple and clean.

I mean, did I mention that I'm in love with this tank color?! It's so damn good!

The simple front end, stubby mudguards, and knobby Heidenau K60's complete this build for a handsome and capable urban brawler. I can picture is roaming the streets of ROA's native Madrid, Spain but can also equally imagine it pulling up to Deus Ex Machina in trendy Venice, CA as well. Wherever this R80 roams, it will be right at home.

Specs:

- Model: BMW R80 RT
- Engine: BMW black powder coated
- Rims: BMW black powder coated
- Tires: Heidenau K60
- Brakes: Metallic hoses
- Front fork: Lowered 20%
- Headlight: CLUBMAN
- RMC / 40mm springs
- Speedometer: KOSO (analog / digital)
- Brake pumps: 1/2 NISSIN
- Subframe: Custom ROA unit
- Seat: ROA artisan seat with amaretta upholstery
- Rear fender: Handmade in steel
- Renthal "ultra low" handlebar
- Rear suspension Black springs
- Mufflers: Dual Escapes Megaton
- MINI circle LED indicators
- INOX screws
- BMW Aluminum Emblems
- LED taillight / brake, position, license plate light
- Modified 5cm BMW turrets
- Clip on CLBD mirrors
- Biltwell heat-resistant tape
- CR clutch control with air puller
- Adjustable 42mm headlight support

ROA BMW cafe racer

ROA Motorcycles: Web | Facebook | Instagram


NYC Norton Seeley Commando

For the street and the track

Along with Triumphs, Nortons are some of the most quintessential cafe racers ever. The Norton Motorcycle Company, based in Birmingham, England, started making motorcycles way back in 1902 (though they had French and Swiss engines in the early years). In 1907 a Norton with Peugot engine, ridden by Rem Fowler, won the twin-cylinder class in the first Isle of Man TT race, beginning a sporting tradition that went on until the 1960s. Winning the first ever IOMTT is kind of a big deal if you ask us. Not to mention, the Norton Manx racers of the 1950's were so stylish, so fast, and just so damn cool. Their legacy and racing pedigree make vintage Nortons still so highly sought after and respected.

If you're looking for a custom Norton these days, there is one place to look; NYC Norton. Whether you’re looking for a full Commando restoration, a one-of-a-kind Special, a world-class race bike blueprinted from the crank up, a Grand Prix chassis, or a top spec motor or gearbox rebuild, NYC Norton corners the market. NYC Norton not your standard roll-in service shop but a high-end dedicated workspace, streamlined for the sole purpose of producing and restoring our beloved bikes and assembling their associated components, which are either built in-house or sourced from the best suppliers in the world.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando cafe racer

The NYC Norton Seeley Commando is an absolute wolf in wolf’s clothing, built around a Titchmarsh Seeley MK2 Chassis with a Norton twin motor punched out to 1007cc. Initially conceptualized and commissioned by our good friend John Magyar, the original NYC Norton 1007cc was designed with the sole purpose of becoming the most feared machine on the big city streets. The bike twirled the dyno up to 90s at the rear wheel, and spun up quicker than any Commando we’ve had in our hands. With a total weight of just under 300lbs, careful use of the throttle was necessary.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando

Later, an NYC Norton 1007 caught the eye and became the muse for world-renowned artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s own unique vision on function vs. form. A new bike was built, adorned in Sebastian’s alloy trim (known as “Time Lapse”), was featured at the legendary Art Basel Miami show in December, 2013, and sold within 20 minutes of the VIP preview, before the doors even opened to the public; a testament to the desirability of both form and function. The Time Lapse bike is now on display at The Carnegie Museum of Art.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando exhaust

Now with more in production, the 1007 platform (pictured here) has proven to be more than a one-off pipe dream, combining the highest-performance AND reliability of a road-going Seeley Norton to date.

 

These bikes are available in 750cc, 850cc, 920cc, and 1007cc all in street-legal trim. NYC Norton Seeleys have won numerous championships and races the world over, but the Grand Prix chassis is a very rideable platform for custom street-bike specials. Their Seeley builds have been featured on TV and in print, displayed in museums and international design shows, and the centerpieces of some of the most exclusive motorcycle events around the world. These bikes are a highly technical, exclusive special, built around a replica of the famous Colin Seeley chassis, with subtle additions of modern componentry that make this exotic beauty as surprisingly tractable on the city streets as it is on the racing circuit. And, form following function, it is probably one of the most magnificent machines you’ll ever see.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando Cafe Racer

Photos: Douglas MacRae
Contact NYC Norton for pricing and availability

 

NYC Norton: Online | Facebook | Instagram


RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

A modern-retro masterpiece

The crew at Roland Sands Design build some dream-worthy bikes. We've had a blown up poster of their RSD Desmo Tracker in the Bullitt garage for nearly a decade now. RSD does an amazing job on any of their builds but taking some fast Italian bikes and making them look even cooler, seems to be something they nail every time. Enter the RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR. They taken an already quick and sexy bike, and turned it into something truly lust-worthy.

RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

Words below from Roland Sands Designs

Commissioned builds are always fun and challenging. It's a subtle dance amalgamating styles, input, design, and vision. Ultimately it boils down to communication and trust. Depending on the client's style and or level of care, you can lean on one harder than the other. Luckily RSD has collaborated with this client on previous projects, and they've all been positive, so we felt confident to take liberties with the overall look and design.

This build started life as a 2015 MV Agusta Brutale Dragster 800RR and straight from the Varese factory the Brutale is designed to shred. 800cc of howling triple-cylinder goodness jammed in a compact GP like chassis. As with all our performance builds, maintaining a fully functional machine, and improving that performance are paramount in our process. With the MV Dragster, our goal was to bring a classic aesthetic to the platform while maintaining the MV's racer spirit.

"The RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR was made to eat asphalt and look good doing it." - RSD

We began by replacing the top triple clamp and standard upright handlebars with a set of clip-ons more apt to manage canyon carver duties. The subframe was hand fabricated with Chromoly-tapered tubing, the same tubing used to construct BMX bikes. The one-off subframe also set the stage for the rest of the bodywork. We set a beautiful straight line through the bike, which maintained the new aesthetic from front to back. The shape of the entirely handmade aluminum gas tank was built in the spirit of championed MV racers of the past. However, we added a modern twist by replacing the typical twist off gas cap with a modern, quick fill style endurance racing fuel filler.

The front light was ditched in favor of a modern minimalist café style light and complimented with a handbuilt aluminum shroud following the lines of the tank and tail and capturing that racer essence. The radiator shrouds were also fabricated out of aluminum and then re-popped in carbon. A custom set of Roland Sands Design forged racing wheels were machined from blank billet aluminum using the standard MV hub design.

RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

The wheels were then covered in a Cerakote “Blue Titanium H-185” finish by Specialized Coatings. Specialized also coated MV’s trellis frame and custom subframe in the same “Blue Titanium” to match. Using MV's hub design allowed us to take advantage of the beautiful architecture of the stock single-sided swingarm showcasing the intricate design details of the wheel while giving the bike an un-obscured splash of color.

RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR
Performance details are continued with the Brembo nickel GP racing calipers front and back coupled with RSD radial masters on the controls. Bitchin Rich stitched up a custom grippier suede Café seat. GP suspension rebuilt the forks and coated them in a slick black finish replacing the stock red fork tubes, which no longer matched the bikes' more subtle color pallet. The custom Aquamarine RSD wheels are wrapped in sticky Dunlop Sportmax Q4's. At the moment, no one makes a full system for the Brutale, so our friends Zard fabricated the unique custom header and exhaust in full titanium, ensuring the MV would scream when commanded.

The paint process and color scheme presented its own set of challenges. Getting the design perfect and ensuring the lines were straight required an extra trip to Chris Woods shop in Santa Barbara. Chris applied the precise taped linework on the freshly painted base job. The team at Airtrix did a brilliant job with the detailing, somehow color matching the Cerakote “Blue Titanium” used on the stripes which were meticulously laid over eggshell white, giving the bike a sort of Lux-Race feel. They got us the bodywork back just in time to complete the project and make our deadline for the One Moto Show in Portland.

RSD MV Agusta Dragster 800 RR

The final product is an ultra-modern and performance-based take on a classic café racer and is as fun to ride as it is beautiful to look at. Unfortunately, this one of one masterpiece has already found its home and is being thoroughly flogged and enjoyed by its new owner. However, RSD is giving you a chance to own a bit of the same build quality and design superiority found in all of our hard parts and custom build projects with the limited edition RSD MV Dragster T-shirt.

 

Roland Sands Design: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Photography by Jose Gallina: Web | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram


Deus X Zero

Zero x Deus - A Custom Zero SR/S

An electric custom from Woolie

Deus Ex Machina and their iconic custom fabricator, Michael “Woolie” Woolaway have been longtime favorites here at The Bullitt. Zero Motorcycles recently joined forces with Deus ex Machina to create the first fully customized Zero Motorcycles SR/S. The SR/S was introduced in February and immediately garnered accolades for its elevated design and extended range over its naked street bike sibling, the Zero SR/F. This build marks a significant landmark as Deus’ first electric motorcycle and last Deus build from Woolie.

Zero x Deus - Custom Zero SR/S

Words below from Zero Motorcycles.

Woolaway, who had first encountered the Zero Motorcycles Race Team engineers at the 98th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition in Colorado Springs last summer, was immediately enamored with the platform and began to plan a custom build using a Zero electric motorcycle.

Zero x Deus - Custom Zero SR/S by Woolie

“When I met the guys out at Pike's Peak and really got a good look at the bike I thought, that bike is the perfect platform to build something with because there's no gas tank and there's this trellis frame that's beautiful and everything else comes off and there's nothing there,” Woolaway said. “So in my mind quietly, I was thinking, I'd love to do something with that bike because it's a blank sheet of paper.”

Zero x Deus - Custom Zero SR/S by Woolie

The master builder was sent a stock SR/S shortly before the vehicle’s public launch in early 2020 and immediately set out to design and build a truly unique, one of a kind electric motorcycle. Working through constantly shifting conditions as facilities began to become less accessible due to the coronavirus lockdown protocols, Woolaway used all of his decades of industry connections to keep the build moving forward. The design was inspired by some of the builder’s earliest influences while still elevating the platform’s award-winning and proprietary technology.

“I wanted to do something kind of old and new, old shapes that I grew up with and new technology, no computer work, just foam, plastic, shaping and measuring tools, transfer tools and kind of the old school way,” Woolaway added.

Zero x Deus - Custom Zero SR/S by Woolie

Despite the artisanal craftsmanship that went into the fabrication of the build, there was nothing short of the latest technology available for the build itself. Constructed entirely out of a single mold of carbon fiber composites, Woolaway enlisted aerospace engineers from Lockheed Martin to assist in the completion of the monocoque assembly. The custom body work also still wraps around Zero Motorcycle’s advanced powertrain comprised of a motor capable of producing 114 hp and a top speed of 124 mph.

Zero x Deus - Custom Zero SR/S by Woolie

“We’re thankful to Deus and to Woolie for choosing to work with us on this custom SR/S,” said Chris Metcalfe, VP of Marketing for Zero Motorcycles. “They are each such iconic and influential forces in the motorcycle industry and they’ve been the perfect partners for this one of a kind build and powerful collaboration,” Metcalfe added.

Zero Motorcycles plans to include the collaborative project as a central fixture in their remaining 2020/2021 exhibition schedule. To learn more about the Zero Motorcycles x Deus ex Machina build, the Zero Motorcycles SR/S, or to schedule a test ride, head here.

For information about Deus ex Machina customs, merchandise, or locations, visit www.deuscustoms.com


Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

1974 Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

A Kenny Roberts Tribute

The Yamaha TZ750 was well known two-stroke race bike built by Yamaha 1970s. While the TZ750 is a well respected model, a much lesser known model, the TX750, was also built at the time. The TX750 was a SOHC parallel twin that seems like a model that we should all know. But why don't we? The TX750 was unfortunately plagued with engine reliability issues in its early production and even though Yamaha made several changes to solve the problems the bike was ultimately withdrawn from most markets after 1974 and production stopped in the home market after 1975. For custom builders, as more popular donor bikes get more expensive — like a TZ750, CB750, Bonneville, etc. — some of these less desirable models can be great options for a new project. That is, if you do your homework to make sure you're not getting a grenade, and are up for the challenge.

Recently we ran across Ron George, an Indiana-based shed builder, who has created a TX750 cafe racer that is right up our alley. Polished, handmade aluminum bodywork, a throwback Yamaha "speedblock" livery, and a keen attention to detail make for a stunning finished piece. We reached out to Ron for the feature and he kindly shared photos and details with us. Read below for the story of the build in his own words.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

My name is Ron George, I'm a 37 year old family man from Hobart, Indiana (suburb of Chicago). I'm a husband and father to a 19 year old son. I work full time at a large steel mill in coke operations. My father was into motorcycles when I was growing up but my interests were more car related. I really got into motorcycles in late 2012. I work out of my 2 car garage at home. It's modest but I have most of what I need to get by. I try to do as much as possible without outsourcing.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer tail

The build has taken just over 2 years now. I did all of it during my days off from work. I lost track of actual work hours though. This was just another personal build for me, with hopes to possibly sell in the future if the right buyer and deal comes along.

I received the bike as a gift from my buddy Aaron Collins. It was an abandoned project that he received but had no interest in. It was in very rough shape. It was the first one I'd ever seen in person and didn't know a lot about them. After learning more...I just had to give this thing some redemption. Anyone that remembers these knows that they have a bad history. They were a massive failure for Yamaha so I just had to see what I could do with one! Thankfully this was the updated model with all the fixes that plagued the original release. I was hugely inspired by the Kenny Robert's YZR500 for this build.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

I don't sketch or do any computer renders. I get an idea in my head and go with it. The details usually change along the way but the main vision tends to remain. I really tried to improve some of the shortcomings of the original model while also just trying to add some good modern upgrades.

I started with designing a fully adjustable monoshock rear suspension. It was inspired by the Kenny Roberts TZ750. It utilizes a shock from an R6. Its height adjustable, as is the shock angle, in addition the stock's preload and dampening settings. Rebuilt forks up front with some GP quality Motul fluid. I also converted the front brakes to a dual disc using R6 axial mount calipers and some Suzuki rotors. I dreamed up an idea for a hydraulic rear drum brake to make up for the loss of leverage using rearsets. My past experience with rearsets and a rod acusted drum haven't been favorable. This setup uses an R6 master cylinder and moves a small slave cylinder. Vapor blasted the OE Mikuni Solez carbs and rebuilt them, plus added a handmade airbox. Re-laced and polished wheels with modern Metzeler rubber.

The engine seemed to be in good order so no internal changes were made. Just adjustments and normal servicing ad it had low mileage. I made a new oil tank and moved it to the tail area and it had custom AN and stainless hard lines up to an oil cooler. These had a strange and near unattainable oil filter design so I machined up an adapter than uses a BMW cartridge style filter. I also made a full TIG welded stainless 2-into-2 exhaust that exits through handmade mufflers.

Made a new wiring harness from scratch with modern connectors, lithium battery and modern reg/rec. An aluminum cockpit style gauge pod houses the speedo, tach, oil temp and oil pressure gauges, along with a Hella h3 headlamp.

I hand made all the bodywork from 3003 aluminum. The fuel tank, tail, fairings and fenders and then polished all of it (worst job ever). I also painted all of the Yamaha livery that was once again inspired by the Kenny Roberts race bikes of the day. The custom made seat was done to carry over the Yamaha speedblock design. It was done by Dane Utech.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer custom seat

The whole build was challenging but I'd say all the metalwork was the hardest. As this was really my first time shaping aluminum,  I learned as I went along. I did every part of the build except for the seat...this build took a lot out of me.

I was one of the lucky chosen ones for an event called "The Greasy Dozen" held by Old Bike Barn. This build wouldn't have happened at this level or timeline without their help and the help of all the amazing sponsors. Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the show but an online feature will still be happening.

1974 Yamaha TX750

  • All hand-formed 3003 aluminum bodywork
  • Painted on Yamaha livery
  • Custom made Speedblock design seat
  • Hand-formed aluminum gauge pod
  • 6061 clip on handlebars with R1 controls and Motorex fluid
  • Fully adjustable monoshock rear suspension with R6 shock
  • Custom hydraulic rear brake drum with R6 master cylinder
  • Dual disc front brakes with R6 axial mount calipers and Suzuki rotors
  • Custom made stainless brake lines
  • Rebuilt front forks with Motul fluid
  • Re-laced and polished DID aluminum wheels with Metzeler Sportec Klassik rubber
  • Handmade stainless 2-into-2 exhaust with handmade mufflers
  • Oil cooler with custom AN and stainless hard lines
  • Machined oil filter adapter
  • Machined 6061 foot controls and fairing mounts
  • All new wiring harness with modern connectors,  Antigravity lithium battery and modern reg/rec.
  • Vapor blasted and rebuilt Mikuni Solex carburetors with handmade airbox and Uni filter element

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

Ron George: Facebook | Instagram


Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

A Dutch-built Triton

A Triton cafe racer is the quintessential cafe racer. Back in the 60's and 70's, taking the superior Triumph motor and mating it into a Norton featherbed frame was a recipe for an amazing machine. To this day, this is a distinguished combination and when Dutch builders, Icon Motorcycles, set out to tackle a modern Triton cafe racer they stepped up to the plate ready to knock it out of the park.

Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

Words below from Icon Motorcycles

The cafe racer history built in 1938 the Ace Cafe developed in to one of the most iconic landmarks in motorcycling history. Beginning life as a humble roadside cafe Ace’s two standout features were it’s location, right alongside of one of Britain’s fastest major road networks and it’s opening times, 24 hours a day. As it’s popularity grew among motorcyclists and the Cafe Racer trend developed the Ace Cafe became the place to go for any enthusiast. Teams of riders would gather and listen to Rock and Roll music with their girls before screaming off in to the night to race around a course and return before a song on the jukebox could end.

Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

In 1969 the Ace Cafe closed it’s doors after the development of the motorway network. Motorcycle manufacturers were struggling with the increased price of production while the market for cars boomed. With the iconic Ace Cafe closed the spirit of the Cafe Racers lived on even though other popular cultures had stolen the Rockers lime light. Icon Motorcycles honors the motorcycles from that time and lets them revive. We return to the sentiment of then. We keep a history alive that must not be lost. We create rare motorcycles for the owner. Icon Motorcycles “The best of two worlds” Icon motorcycles goes back to the origins of the cafe racers. Cafe racers as they were originally intended.

Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

By combining the best of two motorcycles into one, the ultimate café racer emerged. The famous Norton Featherbed frame bears a reputation that cannot be equaled. The featherbed frame, a double cradle frame with a wasps waist, the roadholder fork and swing rear suspension, built by the Irish McCandless is the legend of the British motor industry.

Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

At the time, the amazing features of this frame were responded with amazement. From the top in the ball head, two parallel Reynolds 531 tubes in chrome molybdenum steel, walked toward the front bottom of the block to deflect behind the gearbox, where they made a wide 90 degree arc upwards. The two loops of the frame were connected to cross joints on several panels. For the straight-ahead stability of the assembly, the top of the ball head with the upper cross link of the frame and the cylinder head by means of a solid steel plate was secured together.

Triumph Cafe Racer

Icon Motorcycles has created a replica of the original "wideline" version based on an original factory drawing, creating a modern Triton cafe racer. These types of British frames with sublime properties form the basis of every “Icon" motorcycle. The engine heart of the Icon Motorcycle is formed by a Triumph 900cc air-cooled engine. Last real British standing twin with a 360 degree crankshaft guarantees a unique engine character. The main features that a real British café racer had to possess at that time must not be lost and guarantee the sentiment of yesteryear.

Quality and exclusivity is the look and feel of every part of the bike. These two characteristics run through the design as a thread. One of the last motorcycles in the world built by hand, each icon motorcycle is assembled by hand to meet the highest standards. In each part you feel that the British industry is represented. The components colored in the “British racing green", the two-tone color scheme, the short aluminum circuit tank and the curves from the swept back exhaust make you want the British era of yesteryear. The new Triton. The icon of the British cafe racer era.

Triton Cafe Racer

This cafe racer is both man and machine. The human side of the cafe-racer was a perfect match for this type of motorcycle. The riders were young and speed was a requirement. With its spartan look and aggressive feel, the “Triton" is one of the most distinctive and respected motorcycles in the world. “Triton" is the combination of the abbreviations of Triumph (engine) and Norton (frame). Without the emergence of the “Triton" manufacturers might never have developed the modern sports motorcycle. There was also a flow that demanded that their machines be driven even faster and that the appearance be similar to the machines of British racing heroes such as Mike Hailwood and Geoff Duke. Reaching "the Ton", often achieving the top speed of 100 miles per hour, became a goal in itself. The motorcycle had to be tuned to accomplish this. This meant the birth of “The Legend".

Icon Motorcycles Modern Triton Cafe Racer

Icon Motorcycles: Web | Facebook


deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

Scrambler Ducati Cafe Racer by deBolex Engineering

A racy Scrambler Ducati

It's safe to say we're big fans of London-based builders, deBolex Engineering. Each build is expertly composed, with no detail overlooked. Quality over quantity rules here, and it’s something I certainly appreciate. Partners Calum and Des, are builders that perfect the details that no one would typically see. This Scrambler Ducati cafe racer is the 1100cc variation — the big brother to their 800cc version — is yet another prime example of the quality of their work.

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

Utilizing a Scrambler Ducati 1100 as the base, this project was built in collaboration with Ducati UK and Scrambler Ducati to be used on the show circuit promoting the new 1100 model. On the larger 1100 model, the air-cooled L-Twin 86hp and 65 lb-ft of torque. Plenty of power for a nice little cafe racer!

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

The Scrambler was delivered to Calum and Des with a super tight deadline. They had high aspirations for the build so they had to turn on the afterburners to get this cafe cranked out and ready for the masses to oogle.

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

In usual deBolex fashion, there is more than meets the eye. Many details are neatly hidden, rerouted, and designed in a way to disappear. This is all intentional.

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

The engine was intentionally left unmodified. Ducati wanted to show how versatile their base model is in stock form. The exhaust headers on all but the 1100 ‘Special’ look the business straight from the crate (the Special ones are chromed and ironically look less premium) so Calum removed pipework rearward from the cat and TiGed stainless bends to accept a throaty HP Corse silencer.

In relative short fashion, the Brits busted out this lovely Scrambler Ducati cafe racer, along with their 803 endurance racer just in time for the show circuit.

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

deBolex Engineering Scrambler Ducati cafe racer

Seeing OEMs get behind custom builders and to showcase them alongside their stock bikes is something I'd like to see more of. It's something I supported during my tenure at both Ducati and Piaggio. What are your thoughts? Should manufactures commission more custom builds, or stay out of the custom scene?

Regardless of how you feel having the OEMs behind it, there's very little argument to be made over whether or not this deBolex is at the top of their game. They are. No debate needed.

 

deBolex Engineering: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photos: Autohouse London


Hugo Eccle's Moto Guzzi Supernaturale

Moto Guzzi Supernaturale - Motorcycle Art by Hugo Eccles

Moto Guzzi excellence

We featured Untitled Motorcycles award-winning custom back in 2017. One benefit of being personal friends with builders and photographers is that we sometimes get access to special projects or collaborations. In this particular case, I am friends with both the builder and photographer. I had been sitting on these stunning photos from Erik Jutras, aka @mrpixelhead, for some time now. Typically we wouldn't feature the same bike twice, but the photos are killer and Hugo Eccles' 1975 Moto Guzzi 850T ‘Supernaturale’ warrants a second look.

Moto Guzzi Supernaturale cafe racer

UMC-023 SUPERNATURALE
1975 Moto Guzzi 850T

A minimalist café racer, the Supernaturale is 23% lighter than its original 1975 donor and the same dry weight as a Suzuki GSX-R750 superbike. The hand-formed aluminum fuel tank is a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic LeMans and encloses a state-of-the-art electrical system. Custom-engineered brackets and controls house an internal throttle system, integrated master cylinders and hidden switches.

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Bodywork
Custom handmade aluminum tank, designed by UMC
Laser-cut aluminum tank badges, gold anodized, hand-finished
Vintage Enots ‘Monza’ alloy flip-top gas cap
Paioli vintage-style petcocks
Custom seat, upholstered in raw leather
1960s Cibie 45-Iode rally lamp, customized by UMC
Custom front fender and bracket

cafe racer Moto Guzzi Supernaturale

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles cafe racer

Electrics
Custom top bracket with integrated LEDs: left blinker (amber); neutral light (green); oil temp (red), hi-beam (blue); program button; right blinker (amber)
Custom wiring loom, designed by UMC
Custom bar-end turn signals, designed and engineered by UMC
Custom Dynamics LED tail light and turn signals
Fuzeblocks fusebox
Motogadget m-Lock RFID keyless ignition
Antigravity AG-801 lithium polymer battery, hidden under gas tank
Twin Dyna coils, hidden under gas tank
Dyna III electronic ignition
Magnum Shielding custom braided spark leads

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles cafe racer

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Frame & Suspension
Original Moto Guzzi Tonti frame, modified by UMC
Ohlins SD001 steering damper, custom brackets
Original Moto Guzzi rear drive shaft, modified by UMC
Custom rear hoop with LED channel, LED plate light
Custom seat rail
Integrated rear fender
Fournales ‘Air Twin Vintage’ rear gas struts, imported from France
Moto Guzzi Lemans 4 centre-mount side stand, modified by UMC
Showa 53mm BPF forks, stripped and re-anodized
Original 1975 Moto Guzzi hubs
17″ aluminum Takasago Excel rims, stainless steel spokes
Brembo monobloc brake calipers
Custom 310mm EBC semi-floating brake discs
Dunlop Sportmax Mutant tires (120/70-17 front, 150/60-17 rear)

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Drivetrain
844cc V-twin motor, stripped and overhauled: polished and balanced crankshaft
New main bearings, new conrods, conrod bearings
Nikasil-lined cylinders (nickel silicon carbide coating)
5-speed gearbox with upgraded clutch plates
Lightened flywheel
Dellorto PHF-36 carbs with CNC’d caps
Malossi spun aluminum carb trumpets with mesh guards
Custom stainless steel inlet manifolds, designed by UMC
Dyna III electronic ignition
Stainless steel exhaust header, wrapped with tan insulation
Internal removable drag baffles
Custom exhaust tips, nickel-plated
Braided stainless steel oil lines
Stein Dinse internal oil filter upgrade kit
Custom crankcase breather with K&N filter, designed by UMC
Custom CNC’d engine guards, designed by UMC
Custom CNC’d aluminum engine braces, designed by UMC

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale side view

Controls
Custom top bracket with engraved markings: SIN (left); FOLLE (neutral); OLIO (oil); LUCE (hi-beam); DIGI(digital); DES (right)
Motogadget Motoscope Mini (speed, revs, trip, odometer)
Custom hand controls with knurled grips, designed and engineered by UMC
GripAce hidden fingertip-activated buttons
Custom internal throttle mechanism, modified by UMC
Custom Venhill braided stainless steel throttle cables
Vintage alloy-body throttle cable splitter
Magura 190 Series 16mm radial brake master, modified
Custom Galfer braided stainless steel brake and clutch hoses
Magura 190 Series 13mm radial clutch master, modified
Hydraulic clutch slave
Minimal reservoirs with custom-fabricated breather caps
Motocicliveloce rearsets and foot controls, modified by UMC

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

At first glance, Hugo's Supernaturale might look "stripped down" or minimalistic but if you peruse the specs above, it's clear that there's an insane amount of detail, cleverly tucked away in there. If the devil is in the details, it appears that Hugo Eccles has kicked the devil's ass, and tidied up his room along the way. We can't get enough of this Guzzi masterpiece and hope you enjoyed these stunning images as well.

Untitled Motorcycles: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photography by Erik Jutras: Web | Instagram


1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borgotaro

A spotless 1974 Laverda 750 SFC

Peter Boggia is a native New Yorker and operates a small motorcycle workshop called Moto Borgotaro in Brooklyn. The name, Borgotaro—which comes from the village in Italy Boggia traces his family tree to—is a nod to the Old World sense of value and tradition the shop aspires to. Boggia's level of restorations (or customs) is simply amazing.

I was at a Union Garage event a few years ago celebrating "Italian Sporting Bikes" of the seventies, and as Moto Borgotaro conveniently shares a wall with UG, they had their space open too. I was gobsmacked at the level of detail of every completed bike there. A MV Agusta 750 America, a Laverda SF2, a MV Agusta Magni 861, Ducati 900SS, Mike Hailwood, a Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Telaio Rosso... all looked as if they rolled off the factory floors. It was clear that Peter was obsessed with getting every detail right, and I love him for it.

I knew it was time time feature one of his builds and realized we have never covered a Laverda here. Not only did Boggia have a stunning 1974 Laverda 750 SFC cafe racer to share with us, it's also for sale too.

“INCORPORATING MANY DEVELOPMENTS OF THE 1973 FACTORY BIKES, THE 1974 750 SFC WAS ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING SPORTING MACHINES OF THE ERA.”

— IAN FALLOON, FALLOON REPORT

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

The background on the 1974 Laverda SFC, told by Moto Borotago's owner Peter Boggia:

At only approx 541 units produced, the Laverda SFC is one of the best bikes for the buck you can collect and ride! This is a street legal factory race bike that pumps out approx. 70HP, it's fun, fast and vicious-- to me the SFC is the pinnacle of 70's Italian sport bikes, it hits all the marks and its built like a tank. This is the closest bike in feel to a Lamborghini Miura.

1974 Laverda SFC tail

At this point I can say with some authority, that I have owned, bought and sold more SFC Laverda’s then just about anyone in the US, if you look in previous sales, this bike is just 12 bikes later than the last SFC that came through the shop.

1974 Laverda SFC gauges

Every SFC is slightly unique, every bike has a story. This particular example has been in private ownership for the last 10 years, the current owner had the noted Laverda craftsman Scott Potter do a complete frame up rebuild with the intention to ride her on the beautiful California coastal roads. At this point a new Steel tank was acquired and paint matched to the rest of the bodywork, new parts were used as needed and the rear shocks were upgraded.

As the bike had been sitting, I decided to give her a once over and clean and replace the jets, set the points. After putting in some fresh fuel, this BEAST roared back to life. The time and money spent on the rebuild was obvious as the quick pull of the throttle felt the parallel twin whip the bike back and forth, the feel of the SFC is unmistakable. BUY, RIDE, COLLECT.


Representative of the second US specification batch (with numbers between 17110-17166), we introduce you to #17160

1974 Laverda SFC cafe racer

“WITH A LEFT SIDE GEARSHIFT MANDATORY ON ALL MOTORCYCLES BUILT AFTER SEPTEMBER 1974, THIS WAS THE FINAL SERIES 750 SFC READILY AVAILABLE IN THE US”

— IAN FALLOON

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

1974 Laverda SFC engine

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS

  • Frame #17160
  • Engine #17160
  • Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
  • Borrani aluminum wheel rims
  • Ceriani suspension * rear is Marzocchi
  • Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
  • High quality aluminum replica gas tank
  • Nippon Denso instruments
  • Smaller European taillight
  • Original parts included

The US-17000-series 750 SFC included 3C Nippon Denso instruments and switches, and adjustable Tommaselli handlebars.

The US-17000-series 750 SFC included 3C Nippon Denso instruments and switches, and adjustable Tommaselli handlebars.

Twin bleed Brembo F08 series rear disc brake and Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier.

1974 Laverda SFC - rear end

Moto Borgotaro: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photography by James Tyler Reed


Moto Guzzi Airtail Cafe Racer by Death Machines of London

Repurposing a 1981 LeMans MK2

Death Machines of London, you say? The founders of DMOL feel it should be fairly obvious what they do (hint: its custom motorcycles). So, on their website instead of wasting everyone’s time with "marketing bollocks", they break down where their unique name came from. Sitting comfortably?

Airtail cafe racer - Death Machines of London

When he was twelve, Death Machines of London founder James Hilton’s uncle took him on his first motorcycle ride. The uncle advised him not to tell his dad. So he told his dad to see what would happen. Motorcycles going down like a bag of shit is what happened. 'Motorcycles are death machines, son.' was the concluding advice.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi

Such advice clearly fell on deaf ears. And so, thirty(ish) years later, they named their company after all those completely ignored words of wisdom.

For their very first custom build, Hilton selected a lovely 1981 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mark 2 for the base. There are a few striking elements that make the completed bike stand out, and there are a number of less obvious upgrades that make the bike truly special as well.

cafe racer from Death Machines of London

Getting the build started, the entire motorcycle, engine and gearbox were completely disassembled and vapor blasted prior to a forensic inspection of all original parts.

Bringing the Le Mans’ suspension up-to-date, new internals and cartridges were installed in the original front forks. The rear shocks were swapped out for a new set of Hagons, and the original, refurbished wheels were wrapped in Pirelli Sport Demons.

The original instrumentation has been completely restored and housed in a bespoke dash, incorporating 1940 Merlin Spitfire aviation warning lights and main switch. How cool is that?

The frame has been delugged & “airtailed” - an idea proposed by the client - to provide a refined minimalism, ensuring all electrical components are hidden from view.

Airtail cafe racer by Death Machines of London

The completed 950cc engine features a polished, lightened and balanced crankshaft, in-house gas flowed cylinder heads and all-new valves.

Moto Guzzi cafe racer by Death Machines of London

The motor now breathes through a pair of 40mm Dellorto carbs with accelerator pumps. A lightweight R.A.M. clutch and flywheel were also installed.

Death Machines of London custom cafe racer

On the bars, drastically reduced switchgear is made possible with their in-house custom loom utilizing an M-Unit control box.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi cockpit

Precision paintwork is in Italian Red gloss and a satin finish Old English white, with a hand painted Moto Guzzi logo. There just something so striking about the combo of raw steel and gloss paint.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi tank

The result of all of their hard work is a stunning Guzzi café racer. This is surely a bike we’d want in our garage. What about you?

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi

Death Machines Of London: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photos by James Hilton and David Clerihew


Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada

A lightweight Italian supermodel

I met Mike Vienne in person a few years ago at a track day and he had shown up with some pretty killer builds. Over conversations not only discovered that he builds awesome "track ready: street legal" bikes but that I had actually featured one of his previous builds; a Triumph T120R on The Bullitt back in 2014. Small world! Needless to say Mike stayed in touch and when he started working on his super-light Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada we wanted to hear and see more. After wrapping up the build, we eagerly waited for some details and photos. Mike shared a detailed write up in the Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada and share the story in his own words below.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne

"Sandro Parra (Service Manager at Pro Italia) actually connected the owner with me. The client wanted to to revive his very worn out 1995 900SS. In it’s past it had been through a few mechanics and been modded with several upgrades (carbs, wheels, etc) but it was ridden hard and put away wet. From a distance the bike looked ok, but the nearer you got… It had been sitting parked for many years after the motor gave out. A good portion of the original bodywork was damaged and the tank and carburetors were caked solid with the evaporated remains of 5 year old fuel.

As these things typically go, there was a process. Expectations versus funds versus reality. Many discussions regarding the very ambitious goals coupled with a less than equal to the task budget was an early challenge. I compiled a quick (long) list of what it would take to fix everything that we were starting with which led me to conclude that in fact, there wasn’t all that much. From what we had to start with, the idea of trying to obtain Superbike levels of performance was going to be difficult on the initial budget.

Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Jeanne Vienne

The 900SS is an iconic motorcycle. In fact, the first Ducati I ever rode was my buddy’s back in the early 90’s. I loved everything about it immediately  (the torque, the sound, the Italian “soul”, did I say, the torque!) but it’s a SuperSport afterall not a 916 and its very heavy. 415lb dry, I think.

So, like most all of my builds I chose to focus on handling and lightness as the foundation of the build. Lotus design engineer Colin Chapman once said, “simplify, then add lightness”. I use that a lot. Performance upgrades to the broken motor were discussed and dismissed. Upgrading and rebuilding the existing motor and carburetors was going to be costly and ultimately less than satisfying from a performance standpoint. In terms of horsepower, the stock bike puts out roughly mid 70’s. I proposed that we build a more modern version of Ducati’s own 900SS Superlight, which was a limited edition, produced for 2 years in the mid 90’s, with a few carbon bits and Marvic wheels, etc. It’s pretty collectible now.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne
Anyway, rather than fix what we had (which was just about everything), I floated the idea of upgrading everything all in one go, while keeping the outward appearance of a classic 900 SuperSport. A  EFI Monster 1100 Dual Spark motor could work with relative ease with the existing chassis and swingarm and due to newer manufacturing processes it would actually be lighter than the original 900SS engine. Plus you gain a modern reliable mappable ECU in the process all of which was rated at 95hp. Stepping up to fully adjustable suspension and radial brakes would both be significant upgrades over stock as well.

 

Ultimately, as the enthusiasm for the bike grew so did the budget and subsequently more money was allocated to the project. We ended up removing the stock fork internals and replacing them with a Mupo cartridge kit and while they were apart anodizing and Ti Nitride coating the external pieces to give us the look we were after.  Likewise, the brakes were replaced with Brembo’s high end billet GP-4RXs clamping down on BrakeTech’s Iron Axis rotors via a new Brembo Corsa Corta radial master cylinder. Essentially we upgraded the upgrades.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada brakes
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
The stock oil cooler was up specked to a higher capacity custom mounted Febur unit to keep engine temps in control on hot Southern California days. And I added a few additional performance enhancements that I think all modern bikes (especially Ducatis) benefit from: a Yoyodyne slipper clutch, a quick shifter, a set of performance air intakes to help it breathe more freely and I reflashed the ECU.
Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada cockpit
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
In a continuing effort to keep the weight in check the bodywork is all carbon. I was able to find an unobtainium set of original Ducati Performance carbon side panels and had a tail and nose fabricated to match. The fuel tank is actually a kevlar fuel cell. Combined those items alone shed about 20lbs of unnecessary weight!

 

Then I went about trying to lose more gratuitous weight: detab the steel frame, remove all nonessential wiring and componentry. Fabricate a bunch of bits out of light weight aluminum in lieu of using the o.e. heavier steel parts.  Discreet LED lighting and a simple race seat pad replace their heavier counterparts. Essentially, strip it down to it’s core elements. It all sounds simple enough, but in reality it took much more time to ensure everything was going to work and play nice together. Ultimately, there’s room to gain even more weight savings in the future (i.e wheels) But as it sits right now we ended up right around the mid 300’s weight wise - and that’s with a full fuel load.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
After it was all together (before final disassembly for paint and powdercoat) I took the bike up to Willow Springs for a few shakedown laps on the big track and I have to say it’s pretty fantastic. The suspension, brakes and overall lightness come together really well and allow you to dive into any corner much deeper and later than ever before. It’s not going to outrun a modern liter bike down the front straight, but you’ll certainly out brake them going into the first corner, get it turned and back on the power ahead of them. And quick transition corners like turns 3 and 4 of the Omega are effortless.

 

However, in the end the bike is much more likely to spend time carving roads in the nearby canyons than on the track- so we stepped away from the Superlight moniker and I chose SuperStrada as it’s new name. The paintwork and graphics are an homage to the Cagiva era bikes, yet with a modernish feel.  I’ll tell you though it took quite of bit of work to get those wavy original fairing panels straight so that the paint looks like glass, but the results speak for themselves." - Mike Vienne of Championship Cycles

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada in action
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada major mods:
1100DS EFI/ECU motor
Quickshifter
Slipper clutch
All carbon bodywork
Kevlar fuel cell
Mupo cartridge internals in custom coated forks
Ohlins rear shock
LED lighting
Febur oil cooler
Single sided exhaust
Brembo GP4RX CNC nickel plated calipers
High-performance air intakes
Brembo Corsa Corta
Brembo clutch
Brake Tech iron axis rotors
Lightweight Sprockets with 520 conversion

Championship Cycles:
Online | Instagram || Photos: Shaik Ridzwan and Jeanne Vienne

Moto Talbot Museum

Vintage moto heaven in Carmel

If you're a fan of vintage motorcycles, and guess you are if you're here...you really need to know about Moto Talbott Museum. Located in Carmel Valley, California, Moto Talbott Museum features more than 170 iconic motorcycles from 16 countries, and is located on one of Northern California’s most beautiful motorcycle roads. The landscape and riding alone is worth the trip there, but once you're inside, it's a moto mecca. Founded by Robb Talbott - perhaps best known as the founder of the world-famous Talbott Vineyards and curated curator and restorer by Bobby Weindorf (more on him below). And while Robb Talbott loved his California wines, there was something else equally special to him: motorcycles.

A proper Manx Isle of Man racer at Moto Talbott Museum
A proper Manx Isle of Man racer

Young Robb developed a youthful fascination with the speed, noise and commotion of the nearby Laguna Seca Raceway. Eventually he acquired a “very used” Honda 50 step-through, which he remembers as “the most fun he’d ever had.” By the time he left to study Fine Art and Design at Colorado College in 1966, Talbott was irretrievably in love with two wheels. He acquired a succession of small displacement Suzukis, and then a pantheon of iconic dirt bikes, including a BSA 441, Jawa, Bridgestone, Kawasaki and a Sachs. But his most memorable bike of all was the venerable two-stroke Yamaha DT-1 250. During this time he raced motocross and winter hill climbs. In 2001, seeking release from the pressures of a demanding work life, he was inspired to buy one of the new, reincarnated Triumph Bonnevilles.

Wayne Rainey's Yamaha YZR500 at Moto Talbott Museum
Wayne Rainey's Yamaha YZR500

500cc's of 2-stroke goodness

“I never lost my love of motorcycles. This whole thing wouldn’t work if I didn’t have the passion. I love motorcycles.”

— Robb Talbott

1973 Ducati 750 Sport at Moto Talbott Museum
1973 Ducati 750 Sport

Robb read “The Art of the Motorcycle” from the Guggenheim Museum. For Talbott the exhibit was an epiphany: there, framed against the magnificent building, he saw history’s most significant bikes in an artistic context. “For the first time, I realized that motorcycles could qualify as art,” he says. “I started getting really excited about that idea. When you see the cooling fins on an MV Agusta, or the sculpting of a Rickman hub, you realize they’re art.”

Kenny Robert's 1980 Yamaha YZR500 at Moto Talbott Museum
Kenny Robert's 1980 Yamaha YZR500
A lovely MV Agusta 750 Sport at Moto Talbott Museum
A lovely MV Agusta 750 Sport
1977 MV Agusta 850SS at Moto Talbott Museum
1977 MV Agusta 850SS

Suddenly, Robb found himself buying bikes, for the sheer pleasure of their aesthetic presence. Some he had restored, and others he left as they were, resplendent with the patina of age and their strong pedigree. “I’ve always loved barn bikes,” Robb says. Pretty soon, the barn was full. And before long, the fledgling notion of a museum was born. In 2015, after 33 years of hard work, he sold Talbott Vineyards, and began devoting all his time to the concept of the Moto Talbott Collection, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to preservation, restoration, and education. By then he had already accumulated more than 140 bikes from 12 countries.

Clearly Robb has eclectic taste

There is no logic to the Talbott collection, other than the most logical thing of all: it’s full of stuff Robb likes. This means three large categories: vintage dirt bikes, MV Agustas and all things Italian; and tiny, 175cc, pre-1957 Motogiro bikes. There are even a few vintage bicycles.

“I don’t believe you can build anything of note without passion,” says Robb. “The motorcycle museum is phase three for me, after the clothing company and the winery. I want to give back to the sport that has given so much to me.

Italian beauty. An old Gilera racer
1911 Indian Board Tracker at Moto Talbott Museum
1911 Indian Board Tracker
1922 Harley Davidson JD Board Racer at Moto Talbott Museum
1922 Harley Davidson JD Board Racer
Robb Talbott (left), Bobby Weindorf (right)

An Interview with Bobby Weindorf

Imagine if your fulltime job was fettling more than 150 of the world’s most beautiful motorcycles. Welcome to the world of Bobby Weindorf, former factory race mechanic, motorcycle dealer, and ace restorer. Taking care of the prestigious Moto Talbott Museum collection is his fulltime job. We asked him what it’s like.

Q: Do all these motorcycles run?

Weindorf: Yes. I can get anything in here running in 20 minutes or so. There is one bike from China that’s seized, and the Steve McQueen bike is missing a cable and throttle. But it’s my job to make sure all these bikes run!

Q: What are your primary responsibilities at Moto Talbott Museum?

Weindorf: I keep all the bikes running and prep them for shows. And I need to make them correct. When Robb finds a new project, we need to make a decision: should I just make it run? Should I do a cosmetic restoration, or a full mechanical restoration? That depends on how far gone the bike is. And some bikes are left in their original state, to better convey their history and provenance.

We get some bikes that have hokey parts, or are missing things. So I do a lot of research, and get a lot of parts from Italy, Spain, and BMW. With BMW, I spend a lot of time contacting their archive to make sure things are correct.

Q: How did you meet Robb?

Weindorf: Robb came down to southern California to visit another collector I’ve worked for, Guy Webster. Robb said he had an old Husky he wanted restored, and I told him I’d do it. I came up to Carmel, restored that bike. Then he wanted a Vespa restored, and I did that. Then he said he wanted to start a museum, and did I want to move north? So I did.

Q: What are the most typical restoration tasks you perform?

Weindorf: I call it the “Ps”: Paint, polishing, powdercoating, and plating. We don’t have a paint booth, and there is no polisher nearby, so we have to send out for those things. And chromers are getting harder and harder to find. The best chromer in the country, in Kentucky, just closed. I try not to have very many parts powdercoated, but it can be the right choice for the frame and other parts that get banged around a lot.

So often it’s just the little things. Bikes are missing parts, or something small is incorrect. Sometimes I look at a bike with a strange modification or part and think, “What was someone thinking here?”

Q: Do you have to fabricate parts for very old or rare bikes?

Weindorf: Some things will require machining or fabrication, like bronze swingarm bushings. And some bikes have parts that are un-obtain-ium, and you have to figure out how to have them made. If it was a cast part, you’re stuck. Some companies were only in existence for a few years, like the Italian Devil. Where in the hell are you going to find parts for that?

But getting parts has actually gotten easier, thanks to the Internet. Instead of contacting one or two guys that you happen to know, you now have the whole world to look for parts.

Q: Are there problems that are specific to a country or brand?

Weindorf: Every manufacturer is different, and you can definitely see trends among the Germans, the Italians, and the British. But basically, they’re just two wheels and a motor.

Mechanically they’re not too difficult, unless someone blew up the engine. These bikes are pretty bulletproof. The most common thing to fail is wiring. But I love wiring and electrical problems. Old wires fray. Some bikes have specific known issues, like the “slinger” [sludge trap] on old BMWs. If it’s too full, the engine doesn’t get lubrication, and it blows up. So there are things like that, which you know you have to check.

Q: You’ve worked as a mechanic for factory race teams. How does this compare?

Weindorf: Old stuff is good to work on, because it’s so basic. You can get into every part of it—nothing is out of reach. With modern bikes, there are some things that you would never attempt to take apart. Just trying to set valves on modern bike is a headache. With these bikes, if you give me 20 minutes, I’ll have all the valves done. I love the simplicity of old bikes.

New bikes have amazing traction control, and wheelie control, and ABS—but these old bikes in many ways are more enjoyable and accessible. People are intimidated by vintage bikes, but they are really, really easy, once you have a have basic understanding of mechanics and motors. They’re all just variations on a theme. Does it have gas, compression, and a spark? Keeping them running involves checking valves and changing oil. Those are the cheapest insurance measures you can do.

Q: After all these years of wrenching, are you still learning new things?

Weindorf: All these bikes have their special significance and cool factor. We have a BMW R25 with a three-slide carburetor. I thought, “Wow! I’ve never seen that before!” So I took it apart to look at it. It’s wonderful and primitive at the same time.

Q: What do you ride personally?

Weindorf: People like to ask me that! It depends on what day it is. My favorite bikes are whatever is in my garage. There are 30 bikes in there. I just have to decide what I’m doing that day. Some Sundays I’ll ride three different bikes: one to the coffee shop in the morning, another for a lunch ride, and another for a little longer ride. Mostly I rotate between three: my Ducati Multistrada, Moto Guzzi V7, and Honda GB500. I seem to be in a 500 phase. I also have a Triumph 500, a Yamaha RZ500, and a Fiat 500 car. I have a lot of 500 stuff in my life.

I’ve had bigger bikes—my Ducati is big, and I’ve had superbikes, Aprilias, and an MV F4. They’re plenty fast, but I’ll never be able to use all that horsepower on the street. I find the smaller, lighter bikes so much more fun. They give a better illusion of speed. The V7 in the real world is kind of slow and old feeling, but you get the feeling you’re going really fast when you’re doing 50mph! It’s all about how you feel. I could ride my MV and go 140mph—it’s so new and perfect, it doesn’t feel like anything. But you have to be going 140mph! Which is friggin’ crazy….

Moto Talbott Museum: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Triumph T140 Cafe Racer by Woolie of Deus Ex Machina

Most motorcycles belong in the garage. Few are home-worthy.

This is one of them. Michael Woolaway’s artistic creation, a classy 1978 Triumph T140 dubbed "The TTT", will be getting the royal treatment as a centerpiece inside its new residence near San Diego, California.

But Woolie really only builds bikes for one purpose: Going. And damned good too! For him, if it doesn’t perform well, then what’s the point?

The motor is a ported and polished 750cc T140 with all the trick racey bits — Megacycle cams and lightened lifters, bevelled and drilled cam gears, chromoly push rods, and 7mm Kibblewhite hardened valves with modern guides and seals. Handmade intake runners accomodate big gulps from two 34mm Mikuni flat-slide carburetors with velocity stacks.

The frame is one of only two handmade by C&J specially for this motor, with a wishbone section at the lower part of the oil-in-frame backbone to allow for a central monoshock and eliminate the need for an external oil tank.

The long angular aluminum tank Woolie made by hand is styled after Japanese Grand Prix racers of the 60’s and the paint is a black candy over black basecoat, producing a striking wet mirror finish.

To keep true to the slim vintage GP feel of the bike, the same tire is mounted on the rear wheel as the front, 17″ Bridgestone BT45s.

The custom stainless steel exhaust is ceramic-coated in matte black and uses a Cone Engineering megaphone. Paired with the iconic guttural thump of the vintage British parallel twin, the sound is pure nirvana.

The TTT Specs:
-Triumph T140 750cc
-Mikuni TM34-2 flatslide carbs
-Handmade aluminum tank and seat cowl
-Carbon fiber front fender
-Rizoma rearsets
-Motogadget control unit and gauges
-LSL clip on bars
-Tubeless spoke wheels
-Bridgestone BT45 tires
-Ohlins forks
-Rear suspension by Jimmy Wood at Moto Station
-Beringer 6 piston front caliper
-Brembo rear brake
-Saddlemen seat

Special thanks to MotulSaddlemenRizomaSHOEI, and Bridgestone for their support of Woolie’s Worshop and this project.

Deus Customs: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photos and words by Deus Ex Machina


Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT

A murdered-out BMW R100RT

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer

I've seen a number of Vagabund Moto's super-clean builds, and was almost shocked that we haven't featured one in the past. After digging through the archives are realizing we hadn't, it was clear we were  overdue to share something from the Austrian duo. Their recently completed 1994 BMW R100RT, featured here, is a drool-inducing masterpiece. Admittedly, I'm a total sucker for the contrast between a matte and gloss finish of the same color. While the combo gets done often, its rarely pulled off this well often. What makes this bike stand out is the beauty within the simplicity.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer with rider

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer motorcycle

Simplicity is really what makes the bike stand out. Paired down, and while it looks simple, there are plenty of super-clean details that surface upon closer inspection. The custom subframe and blacked out YSS monoshock keep the tail tidy.

Many items on the BMW R100RT were 3D printed such as the headlight housing with 5-3/4 LED headlight from "Highsider", handlebar controls, indicator lights and rear end with an integrated ShinYo stripe LED rear and brake light. We had a Motogadget Motoscope Mini mounted way back when in our Bullitt OG, but it was mounted horizontally into the triple tree. Seeing it mounted vertically is a different take that I hadn't seen before.

custom BMW cafe racer motorcycle - Vagabund Moto

One-off, 3D printed custom details and a milled aluminum Vagabond emblem bring it together. Oh, and fork booties too. Gotta love the fork booties!

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer side profile

The solid rear wheel cover in a unique touch that certainly grabs your attention. Made from GRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) and painted black, it changes the look and feel of the bike.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer rear

custom motorcycle wheel - BMW cafe racer

Much like Cafe Racer Dream’s BMW R100 RS cafe racer we featured in the past, simplicity is king. Details matter, but keeping them subdued makes them all the cooler. Vagabund's BMW R100RT cafe racer is one we'd definitely like to have in the Bullitt garage, and one that would be equally at home here on the Southern California streets. And while this Beamer might be sold, they do sell a Vagabund VnineT, which is a customized - to your liking - BMW RnineT. Check it out here.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer overhead

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT 1994

  • 100% street legal
  • Rear wheel cover made out of GRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) painted black
  • Exhaust System: Modified "HATTECH" Y-pipe and silencer (black ceramic coated)
  • "Retro fit collective" upper triple tree and fork nuts
  • Milled Vagabond emblem (aluminum)
  • 60mm reduced front fork
  • 3D printed fork covers with integrated LED turn signals
  • Custom rear subframe
  • Shortened LSL street bar
  • Grimeca Brakemaster cylinder
  • Domino clutch-lever
  • 3D printed headlight housing with 5 3/4 LED headlight from "Highsider"
  • 3D printed handlebar controls / switch clamp ("all in one" light, horn, turn signal, start)
  • 3D printed housing for indicator lights (oil, turn, light)
  • 3D printed rear end with integrated ShinYo stripe LED rear / brakelight
  • DNA air filters
  • YSS rear monoshock
  • License plate holder with integrated motogadget m-blaze pin
  • Modified LSL footrests
  • Tires: "Continental" RoadAttack

Vagabund Moto: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Triumph Cafe Racer by Tamarit Motorcycles

Triumph Cafe Racer "Blimburn" by Tamarit Motorcycles

Who you calling a conehead?

Words and photos by Tamarit

One of the several uses that we could make off a hypothetical time machine would be probably to travel back in time in order to tell ourselves about future achievements so could we get pumped up and inspired. When you have been building motorcycles for many years and your finished and scheduled project list spans into more half the hundred, it would be always curious to imagine the face gestured if someone would state how far we would get, or the kind of motorcycles would came out from our garage over the time.

Triumph Cafe Racer “Blimburn” by Tamarit Motorcycles

Probably we would not believe a word, or maybe we would get even more excited and raise our expectations. Time paradox aside, BLIMBURN is a project that certainly collects several old wishes that we wanted to include on a project. Same way as motorcycles as RONIN or RUBY were bikes hard to imagine even some time prior to its conception, this showroom café racer arrived to the garage just as a healing potion, achieving many aesthetic milestones we had in mind as objectives. Sometimes we enter the office and say out loud how lucky we are!

When the month of February began, a man called Sergio contacted us, someone who had a Bonneville EFI model from the old air cooled generation. Sergio wanted to transform its Bonneville and coat it literally in a café racer classic style that Tamarit Motorcycles could provide. He liked it very much our former project called THE SON, but only taking it as an starting point, since he wanted it to take the project beyond and to include features and elements that were installed in more recent projects.

That boost and excitement that Sergio came with to make the project with us made us think about the long-awaited project that would become the ultimate Café Racer build. Therefore, the project was being shaped little by little just by adding parts and accessories until Blimburn got to be one of the finest and most complete works we’ve done so far. Sergio wanted to add some of the parts that were being included on the upcoming and current projects during that time: the side covers from this project, the wheels from the other one, that nose fairing we saw on a picture… etc. Tamarit’s norms toss a coin anytime we want to make an hybrid from various ideas, sometimes we get heads, sometimes tails.

Let’s begin from tail to nose, basically almost every Café Racer project based on an air cooled Triumph has to include our racing Café Racer cowl “Jarama”, which blended with the eliminator kit that gets rid of the bulky rear fender provides the usual look of the Tamarit Motorcycles’ Café Racer project. To the regular casted Boludos exhausts, on the rear part is added as well the stainless steel chaincover with the new design. As a reference for the recent projects such as Appalachia and Ruby, Sergio wanted to include as well the open side covers for old generation air cooled motorcycles, which provide an stunning look on the sides of the motorcycle.

Besides the regular Motogadget devices like the grip turning signals, it’s worth mentioning the Blimburn nose fairing, never set on a Tamarit Motorcycles before, something that it’s somehow pleasant to write on this stories, which sooner or later, due it’s amount, would end up telling the same at some fragments anyway. This nose fairing made by AVON was a part that we wanted to work with for a long time at one of our projects since we saw it installed at a breathtaking Thruxton from a french gentleman who is a good client of us. Finally, it was Sergio the chosen one that finally decided to put this part in one of out projects, part shaped as a bullet which result and influence on aesthetics has no need for words.

The classic look of the bike would be completed by an element also very frequent on the projects from this new era of Tamarit, the pure classic vintage style Victory tires, which turned out to be a very nice feature in projects such as RUBY or the one to be released soon, the almighty SPEEDSTER. These tires also were part of the Blimburn project, which as the previously mentioned, has became one of our finest projects so far. Regarding the paintwork, Sergio wanted, according with the rest of the motorcycles, a pure classic color and design. It’s true that Blimburn has been influenced regarding the parts by many other motorcycles which were made recently and The Son for the concept but, we should go back to our beloved COMEBACK SPECIAL to finally find the main reference used for paint and design, which resulted in a beautiful chrome color mixed with gloss black, which would be blended with a golden line which would run along every fiberglass part from cowl to nose fairing as well as the belly pan.

Another Triumph bike project made by Tamarit, on the verge of releasing the long awaited motorcycle number 50, which would open a new era full of sensation and surprises as the ones that provided this Blimburn. Thank you so much Sergio for giving us the chance to work together.

Blimburn Technical Specifications
Model: Bonneville
Year: 2008
Manufacturer: Triumph
Capacity: 800 cc
Exhausts: Boludos
Headlight: Faro origen
MiniSpeedometer: Original
Grips: Original
Seat: Jarama
Tires: Classic Victory
Triumph parts – Tamarit Motorcycles: Jarama seat, chaincover, The Son belly pan, front fender new little bastard, Ruby Side Covers.
Design and paintworks: Tamarit Motorcycles

Triumph Cafe Racer “Blimburn” by Tamarit Motorcycles

Tamarit Motorcycles: Web | Facebook | Instagram


Blacktrack BT-03 Harley Davidson cafe racer

The Blacktrack Motors BT-03 Harley Cafe

A Modern-day Harley Davidson Cafe Racer

Words and photos by Blacktrack

We are excited to present our boldest build yet: the Blacktrack BT-03. Built around a monstrous Harley-Davidson power plant, the BT-03 is a contemporary café racer with low weight, sharp handling and quality components.

INSPIRATION AND STYLE

With the Blacktrack BT-03, our founder and lead designer, Sacha Lakic, continues the fine tradition of looking to the past for inspiration. “The inception of the Blacktrack BT-03 style study came from a bike that marked my childhood,” he explains. “The Harley-Davidson XLCR.”

“Produced between 1977 and 1979, it was the only café racer in the history of Harley-Davidson, with only 3,133 units made. I was spellbound every time I saw one on the streets of Paris.”

The BT-03 isn't an exact replica of the XLCR. Instead, it simply seeks to capture the XLCR's design ethos. You'll notice hints of the XLCR's DNA in the BT-03's angular and elongated fuel tank and tail section, nose fairing and classic seven-spoke wheels.

Similarities aside, the BT-03's overall aesthetic is contemporary and fluid. It cuts a sharp line, with a stance and proportions that give it an unmistakable race vibe. This is further emphasized by the solo seat and radically committed ergonomics. The BT-03 is a pure café racer—designed and optimized for maximum riding pleasure.

BASE MODEL

We picked the new Harley-Davidson Softail Fat Bob 114 as the base motorcycle for the BT-03. Equipped with H-D's 114 ci (1 868 cc) Milwaukee-Eight power plant, it produces 155 Nm of torque in stock form, packaged in a stiff and responsive chassis. 

“The moment I saw the Fat Bob, I realized that this was the ideal platform,” says Lakic. “The Fat Bob is the most exciting Harley Series to ride. The wheelbase is certainly a bit long, but the geometry is well thought out, and allows you to roll turns faster than any other Harley so far.”

There's not much left of the original Fat Bob though. We kept only the motor, transmission and frame—replacing everything else with custom and upgraded components.

TECHNICAL CHANGES AND UPGRADES

The BT-03 features a number of bespoke aluminum and composite parts. These have been designed to not only look good, but to significantly reduce weight too—ultimately improving handling and acceleration.

Each and every aluminum part is designed in the Blacktrack Motors studio, before being CNC-machined by a trusted technical partner. Most crucial is the rear frame assembly—which acts as an interface between the Fat Bob's original frame and the BT-03's custom bodywork. Other parts include the upper and lower triple trees, rear set foot controls and front fender brackets. 

Composite parts include the front fairing, front fender, fuel tank, tail section and a cover plate for the rear shock absorber. The seat features premium leather upholstery, and the fairing's adorned with a low profile red windshield.

The Fat Bob's main frame and geometry remain unchanged. But the running gear has been upgraded with Öhlins suspension, Dymag forged aluminum wheels, and Beringer brakes. Blacktrack Motors have also installed a performance air filter and a custom-built stainless steel exhaust system, with a new fuel mapping to match.

WEIGHT SAVINGS

Replacing bulky OEM parts with Blacktrack items, has resulted in a 40 percent weight saving on parts alone. The complete rear assembly weighs a mere 8.5 kg (5.5 kg lighter than stock), while the front end totals 27 kg (18.5 kg lighter than stock). In addition, the BT-03's changes reduce the Fat Bob's unsprung mass by 13 kg.

That brings the BT-03's dry weight to 248 kg—a huge improvement over the original bike's 296 kg. The result is a custom build with an excellent power to weight ratio, and dynamic handling.

TECHNICAL PARTNERS

We would like to thank their technical partners for their talent, skill and support: Sacha Lakic Design, Acor, Allio Group, Beringer, Dymag, Gilles Tooling, Vision Machine, HEL Performance, Jekill & Hyde, Michelin, Öhlins and SQP Motors.

ACQUIRING A BT-03

The Blacktrack Motors BT-03 is now available on special order, with a manufacturing time of six months. True to our philosophy of creating limited edition motorcycles, only four BT-03's will be produced. Each will be unique, and can be adapted to the customer's personal tastes (within preset parameters).

Exclusive design, quality and rarity are Blacktrack's hallmarks. Like the BT-01 and BT-02 before it, the BT-03 is designed to run efficiently and reliably, with high levels of performance and safety. It will undoubtedly become a collector's item.

 

Blacktrack Motors: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photos by Sébastian Nunes


Custom Works Zon ‘Departed’ BMW

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show 2019

Keeping it weird in Austin

Walking down the boulevard on a sticky-warm April evening in Austin, TX, electric scooters zip by as drunk college-types sloppily navigate towards their next watering hole, we finally see the sign: The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show at the Austin American-Statesman. We’ve made it. Inside the walls of this now defunct newspaper facility is one of the largest, if not THE largest, custom motorcycle shows in the world is taking place. We flash our laser cut aluminum “all access” badges with amazingly detailed BMW boxer engines jetting off the sides, get a nod from an oversized doorman, and walk in. The excitement builds.

To our left we can see the Roland Sands Design Super Hooligan National Championship (SHNC) set up in the parking lot but this is no dirt oval. Not this weekend. This is a TT set-up, hooligan style. There are wooden jumps set up going over grassy gaps from one parking row to the next, hairpin turns, and there’s no dirt in sight. Just plain old unforgiving asphalt and some hard plastic barriers. This is not a place for the faint of heart. As we walk past the temporary racetrack, the smell of food trucks and spilt beer take over the senses.

First things first, it’s time for a drink. We peruse the selections and find a number of signature cocktails available along with plenty of beers on draft. Opting for a whiskey-based libation, we lube up, and head into the massive hanger-like building. This is not my first time here, no, I’ve been to every Handbuilt Show since it’s inception in 2014, but this year already feels different. It somehow feels more special.

Handbbuilt Motorcycle Show - Sosa Metalworks
Sosa Metalworks 1950 Panhead

The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show has always an eclectic mix of bikes, but this year felt even more all over the place, in the possible best way. Mixed in between world class custom builds like Revival Cycle’s very own titanium-caged BMW Birdcage, Craig Rodsmith’s front wheel drive art deco masterpiece, Cristian Sosa’s 1950 Panhead, Walt Siegel’s bevel Ducati racer there was a mix of everything under the sun. Meticulously and carefully placed in between these master builds, were bikes that would otherwise not have a place in a custom motorcycle show. A fully restored Honda mini bike, a stretched-out chopper trike, an electric superbike, a mini Indian and everything in between.

RSD custom BMW at Handbuilt Motorcycle Show 2019

We bump into Alan Stulberg, owner of Revival Cycles and the man behind The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, and ask him a few questions about how the show came to be. It wasn’t until MotoGP rolled into town to the nearby Circuit of the Americas in 2014 that the idea came to mind. Knowing all these motorcycle nuts would be in town, and also knowing the racetracks aren’t open at night, the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show quickly went from an idea to reality. “We knew we had to do it ourselves, before someone else did and f*cked it up,” explained Stulberg.

And f*ck it up, they did not. They show has grown into a “who’s who” in the custom build scene and many of the builders themselves are milling about, striking up conversation and just casually mingling. No egos. No entourages. Just good old fashion motorcycle porn, everywhere.

Revival Cycles Birdcage BMW
Revival Cycles Birdcage BMW

Walking outside, the sun has long been down. The crowd continues to swell and the line for the refreshments and food just gets longer. Chairs have now filled in the main courtyard in front of the SHNC track and projected on the wall is Gareth Robert’s Oil in the Blood documentary on motorcycle community and the people behind them. Maybe it’s the drinks kicking in, or maybe it’s the spirit of the event, but everyone seems to be getting along and all I can see is smiles for miles. The event is open until midnight and we, along with most, stay until closing. Only then do we slowly file out, heading to the nearest Texan watering hole.

Saturday morning comes early but for those of us not racing to the Circuit of the Americas to catch MotoGP qualifying can nurse last night’s hangover a little bit before heading back to the Statesman. Hard rain and strong winds rock the side of the hotel, where I comfortably sip a warm coffee and feel a little bad for the rain soaked crowds surely huddling under tents, fearing the unpredictable Texan wind could turn it up another notch. Back to my warm coffee.

It doesn’t take long before the clouds part and the sun starts to beat down and dry things up. A quick walk across the street and we’re back at The Handbuilt Motorcycle Show where the RSD Super Hooligans are having their safety meeting. The schedule got pushed back slightly, but weather appear to have cleared and the fun can soon begin. The track looks as unforgiving as it did last night, only now, seeing the massive 1200cc Indian machines tearing through the short track it makes me wonder how crazy these dudes really have to be. It’d be one thing to navigate the little course solo, but an entirely different scenario to go bar-to-bar with fellow hooligans.

Indian Super Hooligan bikes
Indian Super Hooligan race bikes
Cool to see Fox get involved with the Super Hooligan series

The practice and qualifying sessions have been going off for some time now and I was stoked to see a mix of riders out there. Young and old, male and female, factory riders and super casual dudes. OK, maybe there is a spot for me here after all. Because, damn, that shit looks fun! Sneaking in for another circuit of drooling over the bikes indoors, then I get a badass tintype photo compliments of Progressive. All I had to do was give them all my info and get an insurance quote…still worth it, I’d say!

Back to the action, I arrive just in time for the main SHNC round. The four men in this event are; Joe Kopp on a British Custom’s Triumph, Frankie Garcia on a Scrambler Ducati, Jordan Graham on his Indian 1200 and Andy Dibrino on a newly converted KTM 690. Pretty rad to see 4 different manufactures in it. Kopp gets the hole shot and holds onto first place going into turn one. Passing on this short track is not easy and while the racing was close, passes were minimal. Seeing these dudes launch over the grass, land in the flats and crank into a tight left turn was killer. The crowds around the track were shoulder to shoulder and stayed that way until the end. DiBrino on his new KTM had set up his chain himself with too much tension and on the second to last lap dropped his chain. End result was Kopp taking the win, Garcia in second, and Graham in third. It was all laughs and high fives in the end, and Graham sent us all off with a proper burnout.

RSD Super Hooligans in action

Super Hooligans in action
Super Hooligans in action
RSD Super Hooligan - Jordan Graham
A celebratory burnout compliments of Jordan Graham

Back inside to make sure I didn’t miss any killer custom builds. There are so many standouts, it’s almost hard to take them all in at once. Ever been to the Barber Museum? Yeah, it’s kinda like that. OK, that Justin Kott Beamer…didn’t get a good look at that bike earlier. Moto Mucci’s little KTM ripper…would smash. Oh, Jeff Palhegyi's TZ750 by the Progressive booth? Hell yes! That killer Bonneville tracker by Paul Hartman in the front left corner? Almost missed that sexy beast. One of the bikes that looked the most fun to ride to me was Gregor Helenda’s Dakar-style BMW. Raw aluminum bodywork with dual tanks...everything about it looks ready to go to work.

Moto Mucci KTM 300 XC-W Six Days
Moto Mucci KTM 300 XC-W Six Days
Dustin Kott BMW R80
Dustin Kott BMW R80
Gregor Halenda R100GS Dakar BMW
Gregor Halenda R100GS Dakar BMW
Paul Hartman Triumph Bonneville Flat Tracker
Paul Hartman Triumph Bonneville Flat Tracker

I took a little more time to soak in the Haas Motorcycle Museum section. Each bike here is worthy of headlining a show. There’s Rodsmith’s amazing front-wheel drive machine dubbed, “The Killer”. Got to chat with him a bit, which is always fun. Fuller’s new build was otherworldly, in a good way. He has such amazing craftsmanship, always. Walt Siegel has been a favorite builder of mine for years and his 70’s bevel Ducati racer, complete with silver metal flake paint was a stunner. Too many bikes to list, but I did post my Top 14 to Ultimate Motorcycling.

Craig Rodsmith ‘The Killer’
Craig Rodsmith ‘The Killer’ front wheel drive custom
Ireland's Medaza Cycles 1973 Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone
Ireland's Medaza Cycles 1973 Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone

OK, the drinks are starting kick in. Hours upon hours of walking and talking. It might be time to call it but there are still more bikes oogle and details to pine over. At least we have Sunday to come back for more, that is if Saturday's hangover allows it. It's nearly midnight again, the show is closing but the party in Austin certainly doesn't stop then. The young college atmosphere here in Austin will crank the energy up long past midnight, and we want it.

For custom motorcycle lovers, the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show is one of those “must see” shows. And not just once. Each year offers something new and is filled with passionate moto nerds, just like you and me. I already look forward to next year, and hopefully meeting you there. Let’s connect. Let’s support the up and comers. Let’s have a damn good time and build bikes. That’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it?


deBolex Ducati Scrambler Racer

deBolex Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer

Red rocket: A sizzling Scrambler from the UK

London’s custom shop, deBolex Engineering, is one of our favorite builders at the moment. Each build is clinically clean, with no detail overlooked. Quality over quantity seems to rule here, and it’s something I certainly appreciate. Partners Calum and Des, are builders that perfect the details that no one - aside from a future owner - would typically see. This Ducati Scrambler cafe racer is no exception.

Using Ducati’s Scrambler as the donor, they stripped it down to the bone and built it back up in retro-racer dress. I think this is the first fully faired Scrambler 800 I’ve seen to date and I’ve seen a lot of custom Scramblers out there. Mr. Martini built a pretty slick little Scrambler Sixty2, but even that was not at this level.

The fully aluminum bodywork is the standout feature on the bike. Created by hand, in the traditional fashion, they managed get all the angles right. Few builders can take a naked bike and massage raw steel into fairings that look like they belong. Getting it to look as good as they have is all the more rare.

You might think the fully enclosed motor on an air/oil cooled bike might get too hot but carefully placed, and tastefully done, air vents provide the needed airflow to keep things cool. And the blue accents? One of my favorite touches on this one!

On any kind of racer, upgraded suspension is high in the list of improvements. For their red rocket, Andreani fork cartridges were slid in up front and a Macron rear shock was fitted out back.

A custom top yoke keeps things tidy upfront along with the stock gauge, which seems to fit just fine on the build. Renthal clip-on and grips work alongside Accossato controls.

In true racer fashion, their 803 rolls on 17” wheels front and back with Metzler Race Tech RR tires.

The deBolex custom exhaust system is another work of art. It almost seems like a waste to hide the lovely work but fear not - the aluminum body panels pop off quite easily for maintenance...or to let others peek “under the hood”.

The deBolex Thruxton, previously featured, was a bike I could see owning and loving. I had similar thoughts with this one. Clean and simple, meticulous, and could be equally at home on a commute or ripping laps on a racetrack. This is one I’d happily make room in the garage for. Well done gents.

DeBolex: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photos: Autohouse London


Ducati 803 Specs

  • Full aluminum body work
  • Alcanatara Seat
  • Maxton Rear shock
  • Andreani fork cartridge
  • Venhill Brake lines
  • Accossato Brake Master
  • Accossato Throttle
  • Accossato Switch gear
  • Domino clutch lever assembly
  • 17” Rims, Stainless steel spokes
    Metzler Race Teck RR Tires
  • Rizoma Rear Sets
  • Custom stainless steel exhaust system
  • Custom Top Yoke
  • Renthal Clip-ons

 


Craig Rodsmith turb-charged Moto Guzzi V9

Craig Rodsmith's turbocharged Moto Guzzi V9 Pro Build

A stunning turbocharged Moto Guzzi

Craig Rodsmith is a man that needs to introduction these days. The Aussie native relocated to Chicago, IL (God knows why) and has been churning out stunning builds on American soil for years. We first got to know him when we were blown away by his 1969 Moto Guzzi Ambassador dustbin at the 2017 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show. He came back in 2018 with another mind-blowing Moto Guzzi, this time utilizing Guzzi's modern V9 platform. He took the mild standard and cranked the volume up to 11.

Craig Rodsmith brings the "Punk Rock" attitude to the motorcycle industry. Rodsmith Handmade Customs motorcycles have been tearing up the roads of North America and around the globe for the past 25 years. Craig is a master builder, fabricator, painter, designer and owner of Rodsmith Motorcycles just north of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois. Craig was born in Melbourne, Australia. As a kid he customized anything he could get his hands on. He started with his ’57 BSA when he was 12 years old. Rodsmith has extensive, hands-on experience in bodywork, paint, fabrication, mechanical, electrical and has built all kinds of masterpieces from bikes to cars, traditional to radical. As of 2019 Craig now has three custom masterpieces at The Haas Moto Museum in Dallas, Texas.

For this particular build, Rodsmith was commissioned by Moto Guzzi Americas along with 3 other top builders in the country. Craig brought his usual raw aesthetics and left no part of the bike untouched. The handmade aluminum tank stands out and Craig managed to keep the visual lines of the V9, with the prominent sharp line running down the top of the tank.

Rodsmith stripped the stock black off the engine cases. It was  not a quick or easy process but the result was clearly worth the effort. It makes the engine look more classic...and more "Rodsmith" at the same time.

Inverted 50mm Marzocchi off a Ducati were utilized up front, adding performance and grit. Aluminum Excel rims with stainless spokes and Rodsmith-modified OEM hubs have the V9 rolling in classic style. Dual 320mm floating rotors, 4-piston Brembo calipers upfront provide stopping power and are joined with a single 260mm rotor, 2-piston Brembo caliper out back.

The black stock frame was detabbed and coated in a stunning red. Matching red pinstriping across the beautifully crafted aluminum bodywork tie it all together.

Moto Guzzi V9 Pro Build - Rodsmith

Moto Guzzi V9 Pro Build - Craig Rodsmith

Oh, by the way...did we mention that this baby is turbo charged? Well, duh! Rodsmith had the audacity to drop a Garrett T15 turbocharger into the unsuspecting 865cc air-cooled transverse V-twin. And bless him for doing so.

Moto Guzzi V9 by Rodsmith

Rodsmith Turbo Moto Guzzi V9 Custom Specs:
●       Model: 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer
●       Engine: 865cc air-cooled transverse V-twin with Garrett T15 turbocharger
●       Air Intake: Aluminum intake plenum by Rodsmith
●       Exhaust: Custom stainless steel system by Rodsmith
●       Transmission: OEM, six-speed
●       Fuel Tank: Hand-crafted aluminum by Rodsmith
●       Frame: OEM, detabbed and powdercoated
●       Front Fork: Inverted 50mm Marzocchi
●       Shocks: Custom by Supershox
●       Brakes (Front): Dual 320mm floating rotors, 4-piston Brembo calipers
●       Brakes (Rear): single 260mm rotor, 2-piston Brembo caliper
●       Wheels: Aluminum Excel rims with stainless spokes and Rodsmith-modified OEM hubs, 17 x 3.5 front; 17 x 5 rear
●       Tires: F/R: Pirelli Diablo Corsa, 120/70-R17 / 160/60-R17
●       Handgrips: Aluminum and leather
●       Headlight: OEM
●       Taillight: LED
●       Rear Sets: Slipstream Cycle Works
●       Turn Signals: Speed of Cheese Racing
●       Seat: Perforated leather upholstery stitched by JBseatz

Photo credit: Grant Schwingle

Rodsmith Motorcycles: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Ducati Monster 821 Pantah by XTR

A throwback take on a modern Monster

Pepo Rosell is a name you might not all recognize immediately, but if you're into custom motorcycles, you know his work. For 13 years, Pepo worked under the name of Radical Ducati. In 2014 he closed the doors to Radical Ducati and we were gutted. After a little soul searching Rosell determined that bikes were his life and started anew as XTR Pepo.

XTR Pepo Radical Ducati

Our previous post was of an original Ducati Pantah from he 80s, and when we saw Pepo's version of a modern Monster 821, I nearly spat my coffee all over the monitor. This is another spot-on job or Pepo doing what he does best; take a modern bike - typically a Ducati - and stripping it down, only o build it back into something more...Radical.

Ducati Monster 821 Pantah by XTR Pepo
Those are the same stunning Ducabike rearsets we had on our Bullitt 821

Tear it down, then make it better

That's just what XTR Pepo did. He stripped the M821 down to its bones, and tastefully added back some top-spec components and some beautiful retro-inspired bodywork and paint. In typical fashion, numerous parts are one-offs. From the front fender, to the rear subframe and seat, much of what you see is XTR. Clip-ons, fairings, windscreen, tank, solo seat and lighting...all done by the man himself.

An Ohlins rear shock upgrades the original, non-adjustable unit. Front forks were retained, but reworked with Andreani (adjustable) internals and anodized gold. Ducabike rearsets and clear clutch cover add some nice bling to the bike while the Spark 2-into-1 exhaust surely add some bark.

Sorry, we were just drooling for a minute there... Gobs of carbon, CNC parts, and loud exhaust makes us all kinds of happy.

XTR-Pepo_Ducati_Monster_821

The execution on the whole bike is stunning. The mix of old and new is pulled off better here than most can. We had high hopes for our Bullitt 821, even had sketches of a faired, throwback look but those were thoughts on paper. Pepo put his money where his mouth is, swung for the fences, and knocked it out of the park. God bless you sir, you're doing the Lord's work. Ok, ok...maybe we should wrap this up before the bourbon takes over. Cheers to another feather in Pepo's cap. We'll drink to that!

PANTAH by XTR (2019)

- Donor Bike : Ducati Monster 821 (2016)
- XTR front mudguard
- DISCACCIATI brake rotors
- SP CNC machined upper yoke
- XTR CNC clip ons
- XTR front bracket
- XTR regulable and foldable CNC machined clutch and brake levers
- Brembo clutch pump
- CNC RACING brake coolers
- Optimized OEM front suspension with Andreani internals
- Anodized fork tubes
- XTR front fairing
- XTR windshield
- XTR front lights
- XTR fuel tank
- CNC RACING quick open gas tap
- RC RADIATORS aluminum race radiator
- DNA Racing air filter
- SPARK 2-into-1 exhaust system
- SPARK megaphone
- LIPO Battery
- DUCABIKE regulable footrest and support CNC machined
- DUCABIKE hydraulic clutch conversión kit
- CNC RACING slave clutch
- XTR solo seat
- XTR rear light
- XTR rear subframe
- Ohlins rear schock
- Carbon4us carbon fiber reservoir cover
- Carbon4us carbon fiber exhaust cover
- Carbon4us carbon fiber coil covers
- Carbon4us carbon fiber rear mudguard
- CNC Racing pinion cover
- CNC Racing water pump protector
- PINTUMOTO painting
- Photos: Sergio Cardeña

• 24 Hours Project : The bodywork , front bracket, lights and rear subframe is a kit for mount plug and play in the Ducati Monster 821 /1200 and the new Supersport. Designed by Alberto Caimi.

• Special thanks to:
- SPARK for the exhaust
- CNC RACING for the nice CNC machined parts and brake rotors coolers.
- CARBON4US for the carbon fiber parts.
- NEUMATICOS RICHARD for the tires.
- RC RADIATORS for the astonishing handmade water radiator.
- SC FILMAKER/ CON OTRO ENFOQUE for the nice pictures and video.
- TRANSMISION GP for the LIPO Battery, Sprocket and chain.
- PINTUMOTO for the incredible painting.
- DNA for his performance air filter.

XTR Pepo | Facebook | Instagram


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