New Build: The Bullitt OG2 Triumph Scrambler 900

A new journey begins

I never could have guessed how much one purchase could change my life until I bought my first Triumph back in 2008. I had grown up riding dirt bikes as a kid and even had a motorcycle to commute on in college (love that SV650) but something about the Triumphs spoke to me in ways nothing else ever had. Even before purchasing one, I fell head over heels for them. Devouring as much information as I could find; the history of the brand, the influence the wars had on transportation, the birth of the cafe racer era. I literally couldn't get enough. I went so far as geeking out on the history of the Triumph logo. For some reason, I needed to understand why operations shut down in Meriden and how John Bloor revived the brand, moving them to Hinkley in the early 80's. The infatuation was not logical and I couldn't even explain when I was so enamored. I just was.

The Bullitt OG2 in its "stock" form
The Bullitt OG2 in its "stock" form

Subsequently, there just wasn't much information available at on cafe racers in 2005-2007. There was a couple companies making aftermarket parts but there were no big custom motorcycle websites, blogs, or Instagram at all. Funny to look back now and say that information on custom bikes was much harder to get "way back in 2006". I was working my first post-college big boy job but still not making much money and didn't think financing a brand new motorcycle was in the cards at the time. I was still rubbing pennies together to try to make rent and feed myself! I had my eye set on a Thruxton back then but they were brand new so used Thruxtons weren't happening. Next on the list was a Scrambler 900. Still too expensive.

A year or two went by and my obsession for Triumph did not subside, and I was squirreling away a few extra bucks here and there. Finally, I found someone online selling a Bonnie for way too cheap. I made sure it wasn't a mistake or a scam and literally left work midday and scrambled to snag the bike before the seller came to his senses. It was a 90 min drive through deep LA and I found a ride out there. I had ridden freeways before, but never through busy LA traffic, and certainly never that far before, but I didn't care! I had finally secured my dream machine.

The Bullitt OG2
Stoked on a few of the accessories - but certainly not all

The dream machine evolved into my first real two-wheeled love, known better today as the Bullitt OG. That bike was my drug. Many years and many adventures later I found myself working for Ducati North America. At the time we had a French CEO (who I came to love) but he would give me endless shit for parking the OG in the back with all the Ducatis. It felt like it was time to move on and I naively sold her. This was back in 2016 if my mind still serves me. Since then I've had many bikes - many much faster and more capable bikes - but in some fundamental way, few even got close to scratching the same itch that my OG did. Across late nights and with bloody knuckles, I changed, removed, touched, upgraded and painted every surface on that bike multiple times. I knew it like I new a lover. Never had I shared such a bond with a heap of metal.

 

So, time marches on. Jobs and circumstances change and I've longed for another Triumph. Flash forward to a shitty 2020 and I needed a pick-me-up. I wasn't really even shopping for another Triumph intentionally. One late night, I stumbled across a deal, showed up with cash - way less than he was asking - and he begrudgingly accepted. I left my car in Long Beach and rode that mother fucker home. Well, ladies and gentleman, this is the new Bullitt OG2, and we're gonna do this thing all over again. And frankly, I couldn't be more excited.

 

This time around I'm partnering with British Customs and somehow am more excited for this build than I was for the original. I've gained knowledge, skills, and industry connections. I have big aspirations for this bike but one thing I've promised myself is that I'm going to take my time, enjoy the journey more, and have a good time watching this bike evolve. Maybe it's because I'm a dad now and am forcing myself to slow down and watch my kids grow. Shit, maybe I'm just getting older... Either way, we're about to embark on a killer journey and I'm so happy to have you ride along.

 

All photos you see here are of the "stock" condition I purchased it in. Stay tuned to see where we take the Bullitt OG2 from here.


Alex Earle

Behind the Bars with Alex Earle

Alex Earle or Earle Motors

Welcome back to another installment of Behind The Bars, The Bullitt’s celebration of the humans behind the machines we love. If you are a regular reader of this column you know we are generally bullish on the overall state of affairs within the moto industry simply because, well, we’re like you and are addicted to the sound, smell and sensation of riding. Plus, The Bullitt is located in SoCal which feels like the epicenter of motorcycle culture – we tend to only see the good and ignore the haters, industry articles and social media mentions about the flatlining of the motorcycle industry. Recently, we decided it would be fun to profile some of the people who inspire us, challenge our point of view on design, or in some cases, just one up themselves and the industry as a whole.

For our next feature, we’ve chosen an amazingly creative, soft spoken, and wildly talented Alex Earle of Earle Motors. By day, Alex works in the Audi design department and teaches motorcycle design at Art Center College in Pasadena, CA. He also runs Earle Motors, a custom motorcycle company where in addition to building some badass bikes, he makes functional components like his popular swingarm extenders for Ducati Scramblers. I've gotten to know Alex personally over the years, starting with my time at Ducati. He is genuinely such a nice guy and his passion for design and motorsports is undeniable. We honored to share a little about Alex, and happy to have you here reading this. Without further ado, here's Mr. Alex Earle!

 

The Alaskan custom Ducati Scrambler by Alex Earle of Earle Motors
The Alaskan custom Ducati Scrambler by Earle Motors

Name: Alex Earle

Company: Earle Motors

Tell us a little about yourself. Maybe a fun fact or something not commonly known.
I have a sweet tooth. If i buy a bag of Oreos, I am eating the whole bag of Oreos (sometimes in one sitting). My family gets nothing.

Where are you from, and where do you live now?
Salt Lake City, Utah now living in Thousand Oaks, CA.

What do you do for a living?
I work in the Audi design department and teach motorcycle design at Art Center College in Pasadena.

Ducati Desert Sled comp by Alex Earle
Ducati Desert Sled comp by Alex Earle

What was the first bike you bought and why did you buy it?
BMW R75/5 I like the industrial look of the engine and classic styling. Good traveler too.

1970 BMW R75/5

What one person has influenced your interest in these machines - what about them helped form your ideas on this sport?
Hard to select just one honestly - John Britten for his combination of resolve and naïveté. Intuitive engineering skill and ability to synthesize amazing solutions of pure inspiration

You just found out you have one week to live. That gives you a few days to squeeze in 1-2 days of riding. What bike, and where do you go?
That's intense! Quick rip on my 501 on some Colorado single track and then rush back to my family- I mean 1 week?!

What’s a life lesson you learned from motorcycles?
Accountability to yourself and the will to see things through

Have motorcycles helped you discover some aspect of your personality and/or have they helped you understand your purpose?
I started seriously cycling when I was 12 or 13. I've spent countless hours alone in the saddle over the years. Motorcycles have extended that for me. I think my personality is well suited for motorcycles but I don't feel they help me understand my purpose.

You have $10k and one hour to buy a bike…. Go.
I'd get a KTM 990 Adventure R

KTM 990 Adventure R

When you're not wrenching or riding, what else keeps you busy these days?
I have a 1 year old daughter named Alma so..... that's about it! And my day job, and Art Center.

Gear is a big part of this sport, what is one thing you cannot live without when riding?
I always carry a Leatherman carbon Skeletool.

Name a designer (or individual), not in the moto space, that influences your work.
Burt Rutan- Scaled Composites

Any previous builds or projects that you're proud of, or surprised with public perception?
Very proud of the original tracker monocoque. It's very comfortable and i think it's beautiful. I was surprised by how much attention the one piece design received.

Ducati Monster by Alex Earle
The original Earle Motors tracker monocoque

Custom Ducati Monster by Alex Earle

Any cool projects/builds you're currently working on?
I just assembled a tracker monocoque for myself on a Ducati S4RS chassis so that has been incredibly satisfying to take to the track.

The newest carbon-clad tracker monocoque on a Ducati S4RS

What's next for you? What project has your attention?
Also sourced a Harley Davidson LiveWire for my first electric experience.

You're editing your own moto video - footage of you riding with best friends. What song opens the video?

We're in this industry because it brings us joy. What was your most joyous day on a motorcycle to date?
Yesterday I was at Willow Springs with a Ducati Testastretta and an electric Harley. Both were so rewarding to ride and the weather was perfect. Spent the day with truly great friends that I don't get to see often and pushed the bikes onto the trailer as the sun went down. I was the last person at the track. The quiet after the days commotion was fantastic. Perfect day.

Extra Credit #1 - This industry is small, so give a shout out to a few people who are doing something unique, interesting or worth copying.
Brady Walker, Ramming Speed Racing WLF Enduro.

Extra Credit #2 - Please nominate one additional personal that you think we should feature in "Behind the Bars". Bonus points for females.
Mesa Lange

Earle Motors: Online | Instagram | Facebook

Here's a great video by Petrolicious about Alex with his killer 67 Jeep Commando and his 94 Ducati Monster.


Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion'

Scorpions love the desert

We're big fans of German tuners, Hookie Co and have been watching them closely over the past few years.  Everything they put out is simple and super clean. One thing we particularly dig about them is that they are making kits for other people to be able to emulate their look, without needing an angle grinder and a welder. It's a little bit out of the British Custom's playbook, which has also been a huge assets to weekend builders. Allowing shed builders the tools they need to be able to crank out a killer build is a good thing in our opinion. A fine example of this is their "Grey Chameleon Kit", build for modern BMW RnineT's. And while most of Hookie Co's builds employ a minimalist aesthetic, their latest build based on a 2020 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled stretches away from their signature subdued look, but not too far. And for those who'd like to emulate this look, the Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion' kit is coming your way!

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion'

THE ‘SCORPION’ IS MAINLY A MOTORCYCLE FOR EVERYDAY USE. RELIABLE, SPORTY AND CONFIDENT.

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion'

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion' fender

Words below from Hookie Co on their new kit:

The inspiration and template for this conversion is a sports shoe. For us the perfect symbol of a daily companion that is ready for any situation, whether in the mountains for hiking, leisurely at work or sporty for jogging. With a sports shoe you are prepared for any situation. The perfect template for the Ducati Desert Sled. In our view, it combines all the properties of a sports shoe, whether daily driver or light enduro tour. This bike is ready to go. With the add-on kit and the entire conversion, the bike should now look even sportier and make the Desert Sled much more present in its overall look. The designs and typography from the design ‘Confident purple’ are thereby an inspiration from science fiction movies, Akira and the 90’s.

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion' color options

The core of the conversion are the side panels with integrated additional lighting. Here we designed brackets that can be mounted on the original tank bracket as we already use it at all our conversion kits. Everything is bolt-on, reusable and without any modifications on the original bike. This is always one of the biggest and most important challenges for us. To change the design without touching the bike too much in its original state. Unlike at the beginning of Hookie, when we sawed away every piece at the original main frame.

The newly developed panels are all made from AE12, a CO2 friendly 3D printing process. They were reinforced from the inside with an aluminum frame and attached to the tank. When developing and selecting the material for the conversion, we paid special attention to one thing in addition to environmentally friendly manufacturing – durability. The AE12 offers tremendous flexibility and for us, it represents a perfect material property for fairings. Because when you play hookie, it always can happen that you lie down with your bike. Of course, that shouldn’t happen, but if you challenge the bike, you should expect it. We know what we’re talking about!

The Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion' design concept shows the variety of design possibilities and with the panels it offers the perfect opportunity. The first design is ‘Confident purple’. In total there will be 10 different designs, which we offer as single pieces.

The drop with the add-on kit, as well as individual add-on parts will soon be available in limited editions.

 

Hookie Co Ducati Desert Sled 'Scorpion' Modifications & Parts:
– Custom fuel panels with LED lights
– Custom number plates
– Custom Alcantara Seat
– Highsider Proton Rear lights
– RAPID° Front Indicators
– FROZEN° Dark Grips
– FROZEN° Valve Caps
– 7″ Koso LED Headlight
– Custom Painjob by Chiko
– Pirelli Scorpion STR tires front and rear
– Highsider rear mirrors
– Hand guards
– Blacked out details

Hookie Co.  Web | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


MV Agusta Dragster 800RR Urban Scrambler by Rough Crafts

A murdered-out Dragster 800RR

MV Agustas are rarely lacking in the styling department, even straight off the showroom floor. Italian brands typically all focus more on aesthetics than other manufacturers and MV often has more flair than their brethren. That being said, Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts knew he would be able to improve on the already handsome Dragster 800RR.

MV Agusta Dragster 800RR by Rough Crafts

This build was commissioned by MV Agusta Taiwan, with a simple (but not easy) task: once completed, it still had to look like it could be a production machine. Yeh didn't know it when he started, but this project coincidentally happened during the same time MV launched it's own RVS program. For those of you unfamiliar, the (RVS) or “Reparto Veicoli Speciali” is MV's new Special Vehicles Operations department that launched in 2019 with the first bike being a reinterpretation of the MV Agusta Dragster. Maybe they were able to pull a few notes out of the pages of Rough Craft's book.

MV Agusta Dragster 800RR by Rough Crafts

This is the first build for Rough Crafts where they had to work with existing components. Winston admitted that it was still quite the challenge.

"I have to admit it's equal challenging to make sure the design works with the pieces, and still make a new concept statement." - Winston Yeh

 

MV Agusta Dragster 800RR by Rough Crafts

Kicking off the project, Winston instantly decided the Dragster 800RR need to go an "urban scrambler" route based on the fact MV wouldn't make sense for their usual "Guerilla" philosophy. New Pirelli MT60RS provided a perfect scrambler vibe without giving up street performance, that were wrapped in the same wheels made for their Ballistic Trident by Wukawa. Have you seen their Ballistic Triddent by the way? That this is a killer modern day dustbin racer.

Upgraded Beringer brakes provide all the necessary stopping power for the 800RR. The headlight he ran isn't too dissimilar from the stock unit but has a bit more enduro feel. The slimmed down tail give a bit of tracker inspiration and cleans up the whole look.

When comparing a side by side of the Rough Crafts against the stock Dragster 800RR, it's not wildly altered. That being said, it IS slimmed down, cleaned up, murdered out AND looks like it could have rolled off the Varese production floors. So, that being considered, I'd say mission accomplished.

Specs

  • Year / Model: 2015 MV Agusta Dragster 800RR
  • Engine Make / Size: MV Agusta/798cc
  • Front End Make / Type: Stock blacked out
  • Rear Shock: Gears Racing
  • Exhausts: HP Corse "Hydro-Tre" black
  • Wheels F: Rough Crafts x Wukawa Industry "VGP-6" style / 17 x 3.50"
  • Wheels R: Rough Crafts x Wukawa Industry "VGP-6" style / 17 x 6.00"
  • Tires F: Pirelli MT60RS 120/70 ZR 17
  • Tires R: Pirelli MT60RS 180/55 ZR 17
  • Brakes F: Rough Crafts/Beringer one-off
  • Brakes R: Beringer
  • Painter: Air Runner Custom Paint
  • Chroming / Plating: Anodizing
  • Assembly: CT-Garage
  • Sheetmetal: MS Pro
  • Gauge: stock
  • Foot controls: stock
  • Handlebars: ACCEL Pro bars
  • Handlebar controls: stock / Beringer
  • Headlight: Rough Crafts
  • Taillight: Rough Crafts
  • Bar-end turn signals: Motogadget
  • Seat/Tail Section: Rough Crafts
  • Mirror: Motogadget
  • Gas caps: CNC Racing
  • Risers: Rough Crafts
  • Grips: Motogadget
  • Rear sprocket/nuts kit: AEM Factory

Rough Crafts: Online | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by JL Photography


Two-Face by Deus Harajuku

Our idea of playing dress up

Have you ever had more than one vision for the aesthetic for a particular motorcycle of yours? With our Bullitt OG, I always had a spare tank and seat that could drastically change the look and feel of the bike. One moment the bike could look like a stripped down cafe racer, and the next, a clean modern classic. Apparently the team at Deus Harajuku (that's their Tokyo location) had a similar idea; take one bike and essentially create two separate looks. Based on a 1982 BMW R100RS, they whittled down numerous designs down to two final looks. After some time in the garage, "Two Face" was born and ready to roam the streets of Tokyo.

Ever since its opening, The Residence of Impermanence, aka Deus Harajuku, has delivered custom motorcycles that incorporate the Deus DNA.

The Harajuku flagship’s final customization, Two Face, is a custom concoction of a BMW R100RS their builder had stashed away for years, waiting for just the right moment to give it new life.

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Initially forgotten but in excellent health, this Airhead had only run 4000 km — just enough run to it break in. For its rebirth he gave it a completely new “face” or you could say 2 faces and injected it with a dose of new modern oil and brought it back to life.

Custom by Scrambler by Deus Harajuku - Two Face

Two Face custom BMW tank

With any design process, many ideas are inevitably going to get scrapped. Their builder managed to curb his enthusiasm down to two concepts before hitting his creative wall. Instead of going with one or the other, he chose to go with both, customizing two tanks and modifying an exhaust system, headlight cowl and tail cowl to fit both. Similar parts merging in perfect balance creating a union of two vehicles into one.

“All you need is a screwdriver and wrench, and you can enjoy setting it up yourself depending on your mood that day, be it sporty or modern. It’s easy, like choosing an outfit,” laughed their builder as he polished Two Face, and a quote from Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings came to mind:

THERE’S NO RIGHT WAY TO DO INDIVIDUALISM. IT’S ALL THE SAME JUICE
- Dare Jennings

There's just something so fun and practical about having two set ups. Like having a DRZ that can be a dirtbike one moment and a supermoto the next is a pretty clear 2-for-1. Yeah, you do have to get duplicate parts in some cases but it's a whole lot more affordable than building two complete bikes.

 

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Personally, I dig the white slim tank and the steam punk front cowl most but also think the black/gold tank does look pretty proper. And maybe that's the reason why there are two. They're both rad for their own reasons and why just settle for one when you can have both?

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Deus Japan: Web | Facebook | Instagram
All Photos by Akira Kuwayama

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

Vagabund V13: Honda NX 650

3D printing motorcycle components

Austria-based custom shop Vagabund builds some clean bikes, predominately based on classic BMWs, like their V12 we recently featured. With their V13 build, they're taking their signature style to a very different platform — the dual-sport Honda NX 650. After two years of development, the Vagabund V13 uses 3D printing to product an angular, functional look that takes the old donor to a modern and elevated level.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

On the Vagabund V13, the fuel tank, rear cowling, handlebar control housings, and turn signal brackets are all 3D-printed.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

A Husqvarna front fender from a TC85 with a magnetic rack adds storage to the front, while two GKA fuel cans mount on either side of the seat for extended off-road range.

The engine has been completely rebuilt and a custom stainless-steel exhaust replaces the stock unit. New 320mm disc brakes and a Wilbers monoshock make the V13 ready for the outdoors, no matter how rough the terrain gets.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

Taking an old (1991) Honda dual-sport and blending modern technologies and upgraded components is something we love to see. We've been eyeing an old XR400 to do something similar and this may have just gotten the creative juices flowing. Kudos to you Vagabund!

Vagabund V13 custom Honda NX 650

Vagabund V13 Specs

  • 3D printed fuel tank (Polyamid 12) with integrated motogadget mini speedo
  • 3D printed rear end, air filter cover, indicator light bracket and handlebar switch housings
  • Exhaust System: stainless steel manifold with custom-made two into one collector and modified Akrapovic muffler
  • 320mm HE disc brakes
  • Engine rebuild
  • Husqvarna TC85 front fender
  • Custom-made front rack with integrated Kellerman atto turn signals,
  • 3D printed indicator light bracket
  • Highsider headlights and quick release/magnetic mounting system for "Black Ember" bag
  • Wilbers shock
  • Custom made license plate holder with integrated Kellermann atto tail- / brake light / turn signal combination
  • GKA fuel pack with custom-made rack
  • Bridgestone Battlax tires
  • Custom made Alcantara seat
  • OTR oil cooler
  • Custom made rear frame
  • Powder coated wheels with stainless spokes
  • All new wiring
  • Modified fork bridge with new handlebar / clamps / controls / levers

Vagabund Moto: Online | Facebook | Instagram
Photography: Stefan Leitner


Moto Guzzi Scrambler

Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler by Moto Studio

Moto Sutdio's V9 Pro Build

Moto Studio’s Bruce McQuiston is normally a café racer type of guy. But his hometown of Miami is not really built for café racer living; the roads are less than perfect, and the traffic is dense. In that type of urban environment, a café racer simply doesn’t appeal to comfortable riding needs.

Regardless of what type of bike is perfect to take on Miami in comfort, McQuiston still believes in embracing style - especially styling taken from the architecture around Miami. What better way to do so than with a custom Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler?

Moto Studio was selected as one of four builders for the Moto Guzzi V9 Pro Build series, and the Kutztown University graduate of Fine Arts and race car driver went to work on a bike that reflected the Sunshine State. When finished with the V9 Roamer, his creation and subsequent solution was dubbed the “Braapster.” And for good reason.

Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler by Moto Studio

This urban scrambler is not just knobbies and handlebars with some custom paint. Rather, the entire bike was overhauled for a truly custom scrambler, and includes a swing arm fabricated at Moto Studio, Dellorto PHF carbs, and a front end borrowed from a KTM. McQuiston’s mission was to embrace the look of a Moto Guzzi, but the feel of a Moto Studio motorcycle, saying “where the Moto Guzzi design ends, the Moto Studio design begins.”

The Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler was designed to handle well, and has some very unique suspension and a cushy 8 inches of suspension travel from the upside-down front fork. But it’s out back where things get interesting; the Braapster is equipped with a Sachs Formula Matrix 4 way damper designed for a race car. It was re-fabricated to use with the Braapster’s mono shock setup and fabricated rear swingarm.

Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler

The 853cc engine was next for customization. First, it was stripped of any modern electronics, including fuel injection. The transverse twin now breaths through a set of Dellorto PHF 36 carbs mounted on a gorgeous Moto Studio intake, the induction system providing a classic 1960’s feel. The exhaust is equally as gorgeous as the swingarm, McQuiston hand-building the 2-into-1 setup. Taking care of the firing is a Radical Guzzi ignition box.

This clean engine simplicity transitions to the bodywork, which was fabricated in house at Moto Studios. Noticeable is the tank’s wideness, a tail piece that perfectly blends into the air, and the custom black-leather seat with metal accents. Other highlights include an LED combo rear tail light, a flush-mount headlight with a grille built out of machined Guzzi parts, and Renthal bars dressed with a Motogadget tach and Domino parts.

Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler custom tail

And you can’t forget about the gorgeous gas cap, or equally gorgeous black wheels that are shod in Allstate Dirtman tires.

This is one Guzzi that will remain at the forefront of the custom urban motorcycle scene for some time. Great work on this one Moto Studio!

Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler with Bruce McQuiston

Moto Studio: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Hookie Co Grey Chameleon

Hookie Co BMW Scrambler - Grey Chameleon & Moto-Kit

Life is a one way street

Dresden, Germany based Hookie Co. is a custom motorcycle shop that has a passion for building unique motorcycles. As previously noted, they have a paired-down aesthetic that we here at The Bullitt love. And while they have built customs based off a number of different marquees, it's become clear that BMWs are a favorite at the Hookie Co camp. They've actually built "moto kits" that you can purchase, and with no cutting or welding, can build your very own custom BMW R nineT. And if building your own isn't your thing - you can purchase the fully baked version dubbed the Grey Chameleon.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler overhead

The Hookie Co Moto-Kit has numerous options, allowing you to choose your favorite cover design and change it the way you want it. It's "plug and ride", so in just seconds can have a fresh new design. The kits comes with a custom tank, subframe, seat, filters and more. The kits range from €6,100.00 – €6,450.00 depending on options. Not cheap for sure, but damn do they look good!

The subframe and seat combo is one of the big changes to the Beamer, physically and aesthetically, and one that you're likely to not want to do yourself. The frame practically stretches the length of the bike, and the upswept tail is a nice touch with a convenient cargo strap incorporated.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler tail detail

Arrow exhaust - Hookie CO BMW Scrambler

Arrow exhaust sold separately, but a much needed addition!

The Grey Chameleon and the Moto Kit utilize 2 DNA air filters and a single DNA engine breather filter.

For the Hookie Co Moto Kit, the quickly exchangeable tank covers come in 4 different colorways sure that each has it's very own look and feel. Kits are compatible with all new BWM R nineT models.

Hookie Co Moto-Kit2 Color Options
Hookie Co Moto-Kit2 Color Options

While we don't have a R nineT in the garage ourselves, but ogling these kits has made us want to get one. Everything is handmade in Germany and is clearly high quality and well thought out. If you have a R nineT yourself, we recommend putting the Hookie Co Moto-Kit on your short list of mods to add in 2020.

Hookie CO BMW Scrambler stealth

Grey Chameleon Specs

Donor Bike: 2019 BMW R NineT Scrambler
Hookie Co Moto-Kit, including:
- Custom subframe
- Modified passenger frame
- Aluminum fuel tank
- "URBAN” carbon-fiber gas tank cover
- Alcantara seat
- Aluminum E-Tray (black)
Exhaust: Arrow Pro-Racing Titanium
Tires/Wheels: Front 19″ Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR, Rear 17″ Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
Electronics: Antigravity 12-cell lithium ion battery, Kellermann Atto front, Kellermann Atto DF rear
Other Modifications: DNA Air Filter, Motogadget m.view Spy mirrors

PRICE: €27,900.00 (INCL. VAT)

Hookie Co.  Web | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


British Customs Scrambler

British Customs Scrambler 900 Custom: The Dirt Bike V2

A scrambler that we need

Scramblers come in all shapes and sizes these days. The term “scrambler” has often been misused or applied to bikes that I wouldn’t call a true scrambler. A scrambler should be a bike that can handle some off-road trails and for me, really needs high pipes. The original scramblers from the 60’s were modified variations of standard, street-going, machines. Stripped down, raw, with chunky tires and high pipes. Back then, these bikes didn’t come off a showroom floor - they were built in garages. That alone makes them all the cooler to us! And while it’s true, not all of the original scramblers had high pipes, to us, they’re pretty important.

British Customs Triumph Scrambler Dirtbike

While some builders and even OEMs have made some soft version of what we think a scrambler should be, the dudes at British Customs have hit the nail on the head. With a factory 2011 Triumph Scrambler 900 as their base, their iteration dubbed “The Dirt Bike" has seen thousands of miles, many of those off-highway, and it has stood the test of time. This bike has cruised county back roads, blasted up the beach's sand, and roosted desert ghost towns. They’ve taken it up the mountains, through the trails, and it has never let them down. Over the years, it has be re-born a couple of times but they keep coming back to this air-cooled Scrambler. The stunning Triumph you see here is their latest iteration, or V2.

custom Triumph scrambler

After digging around for a little "scrambler" reference points we stublemed across a pretty cool article on the history of the scrambler by BikeBandit where they listed what they deem to be the essential ingredients for a Scrambler. Have to say I agree with it all (kudos guys). Their list is below and their article can be read  here.

The Essential Ingredients for a Scrambler

If you want to build a scrambler, or just want a bike that looks the part, you have to become familiar with the scrambler “recipe.” Scramblers have a distinct look, and the essential components of a scrambler are:

  • A torque air-cooled single or twin cylinder engine
  • High mounted exhaust pipes for ground clearance
  • Knobby, usually square-blocked tires on spoked wheels
  • Dual rear shocks
  • A short, padded seat
  • A smaller-than-normal tank
  • Mini-gauges and a small headlight
  • An overall stripped down appearance

Custom green triumph scrambler - british customs

British Customs Scrambler

One of the best things about British Customs is that their parts are always bolt-on. You could take a bone stock Triumph Scrambler 900 (2006-2016), snag a few parts from BC and build your own variation of their dirt bike over the weekend. And while the parts are bolt-on, there are still countless ways to make the bike unique fit your style.

Featured Upgrades:

Shotgun Pipes - Scrambler 900

  • Designed and Tested by Ernie Vigil and Nick Apex
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Significant power boost
  • Minimal styling resulting in weight savings

$499.95  - Get yours here

British Customs Black Slammer Seat with Integrated Tail Light

Slammer Seat with Taillight

  • Black Leather-Like Vinyl
  • Medical Grade Gel Insert
  • LED Lucas Tail Light
  • Seat Pan Lifetime Warranty
  • Made in the USA

$429.95 - Get yours here

British Customs scrambler

Don't these killer photos and this badass bike make you want to go snag a Scrambler right now and get to building your very own? For me personally, I can barely stand it. After watching the video they made with Icon 1000 I'm currently listing my other bikes and trolling Craiglist for a new donor bike immediately. Nicely done, gents!

British Customs: Web | Facebook | Instagram


Bullitt CB Build Update

Tear it down and build it back up

We were pumped to have our Bullitt CB selected to be in the OG Moto Show. We were basically getting it prepped for the show and realized that it had gotten pretty beaten up over the last few years. Some of the powder coating was cracking, the fork boots were deteriorating...the list went on. It almost seemed easier to just tear it down, re-coat, repaint, and replace everything that needed it. So we did!

Bullitt CB torn down

Love to see 'em naked, amiright? That freshly coated frame, crinkle coated engine cases, cleared swingarm look so good. OK, maybe the white chain was a bit too much but it coordinated with the tank. Probably won't do that again though.

CB350 custom tank

The original version of the tank. First time hand-hammering knee dents and pin striping. Came out ok, but didn't feel "pro" if you know what I mean.

Stripping her back down bare.

Decided to fill in and smooth out the knee dents.

custom CB250 tank

Had to add in a Bullitt touch. Special thanks to Ronnie Simmons for the killer paint work.

Shortened up the headlight ears to pull the headlight in closer to the forks.

Adventure van loaded up with freshly coated parts and new shoes.

Third time's the charm! After 3 sets of tires, finally settled on some meaty Heidenau K60 Scout Tires. 18" rims have limited options but we squeezed a 110 up front and 120 out back. They virtually look the same size on, which is what we were going for.

custom Honda CB350 - Bullitt CB

Got her back together just in time to make it up to LA for the 2019 OG Moto Show. I had custom decals made for the tank and clearly mismeasured. They are definitely smaller than I would have preferred but I had no time to redo them and just had to roll with it to meet the deadline. I might remake some larger ones and just lay them over the clear. Or we'll just see if the current size grows on me...

When there's killer wall murals outside the show, you definitely snag a shot!

The show and the deadline was the kick in the pants needed to give the old girl a makeover and to get it done. Up next, taking her out for a little scrambling and action shots. Stay tuned!

If you want to see the build page for the Bullitt CB, and see how far she came, check it out here.


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?


Steve McQueen's Husqvarna 250 Cross on the auction block

Own a piece of motorcycle history

Husqvarna and motocross in general was picking up steam in Europe in the early 50's - long before reaching US popularity. Credit for introducing the sport of motocross to America goes to one motorcycle and one rider; Torsten Hallman and his Husqvarna 250 Cross. In 1966, the reigning 250cc World Motocross Champion flew from his native Sweden to the U.S., where he planned to tour the country, enter races, hopefully playing up the bike's good points and driving customers to the nearest Husky shop.

With American's not being familiar with the newer style of dirt riding, he made quick work of the competition. During his two-month stay, Hallman entered nine races – a total of 23 heats – and won them all, sometimes lapping the entire field! At the Hopetown Grand Prix, the biggest off-road race on the West Coast, Hallman bested 800 entrants on his way to the checkers. His smooth riding style, and the Husqvarna's light weight and punchy two-stroke motor were an unbeatable combination.

One rider who took notice of Hallman's performance in '66 was Malcolm Smith, a Greeves racer who had previously considered the Husqvarna too spindly for rough riding in the California desert. Soon Smith would become synonymous with the Husky brand, winning eight gold medals in ISDT competition plus numerous Baja 1000 and 500 victories, on his way to general acclaim as one of the world's best all-around off-road riders. Smith and his Husqvarna were also featured in everyone's all-time favorite motorcycle movie, On Any Sunday, which in no small way also fueled the popularity of dirtbikes in America.

McQueen's 1971 Husqvarna 250 Cross

1971 HUSQVARNA 250 CROSS

This Husqvarna 250 Cross was one of them, bought new by McQueen in 1971. Like most of his vehicles, it was purchased through Solar Productions, as attested to by a Transfer of Interest notice from Husqvarna distributor Med-International to the California DMV, plus a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin signed by Export Manager Edison Dye transferring ownership to "Solar Productions/Steve McQueen." Those documents will be included in the sale, as will a Med-International invoice for the $898 cost of the bike, which includes a typed notation, "Ship to Valerian's for Steve to have picked up," referring to McQueen's favorite Husky shop in Los Angeles. Serial numbers listed on all of these documents correspond to the stampings on the motorcycle.

At some point in its post-McQueen existence the Cross was restored, though in the several times it has changed hands since, the details of who did the work and when have been lost. It's not known, for instance, if the painted plastic fenders are holdovers from McQueen or were added later. The bike has seen some light use in the ensuing years and shows a few paint nicks and scuffs. Recently serviced, the Husqvarna starts and runs, and is ready for even more action – something which the originally owner, no doubt, would heartily approve.

The historical vintage bike will be going on the auction block at the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction on Jan 24, 2019, at 13:00 PST. Estimates for the final price are in the $50-60k range. MORE HERE.


British Customs Triumph Desert Sled

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled by British Customs

A stunning (modern) desert sled

Riding a motorcycle, no matter the style or type, has is roots in escapism. Escaping the doldrums of everyday life and feeling the wind in your face. There’s very few things in life that are more enjoyable to us two-wheel fiends. Images of a desert sled ripping a dusty trail epitomize that feeling to the fullest. You don’t have to be Steve McQueen or Bud Ekins to experience the joy either. There are plenty of capable bikes out these days that will let you get out there and go smash some burms, but our friends at British Customs hit the nail on the head with their recent Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled.

British Customs Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled

California-based motorcycle accessory makers, British Customs, have been helping Triumph owners transform their stock machines with bolt-on accessories into whatever style of bike they prefer for over a decade. Cafe racers, scramblers, trackers, bobbers, and desert sleds to name a few. British Customs made it possible for our Bullitt OG to come to life - as they have done countless others. Recently they’ve been upping their game not only producing a bevy complete DIY custom builds, but letting us mentally tag along on in their adventures with quality images in dream-worthy locations.

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled in action

Their Street Twin Desert Sled, shot here in iconic Joshua Tree, CA, is exactly that. A killer bike, shot beautifully, that you - yeah YOU - could order the parts and build in your garage without grinding or welding. That kind of accessibility and freedom is good for motorcycling in general. Give us options. Let us put our own personal touch on bikes. We will all be happier for it.

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled wheelie

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled getting air

Their Street Twin Desert Sled came about as a result of their involvement with the Nowhere Motorcycle Show in Joshua Tree. The BC crew wanted to build something reminiscent of the Bud Ekins-built TR6C sleds from the mid 60s. They selected a Street Twin as the donor bike because it is already light (by Triumph standards) and had the right look for the build. They swapped the Street Twin tank for a larger capacity T120 tank with a classic two tone paint job and then swapped the stock mag wheels for an 18" rear wheel and 19" up front (classic sled sizes).

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled at Joshua Tree

The bike features a prototype 3.5" Predator Pro and a new suspension set up they’re working on with Clark Jones from Noleen. He has extensive experience in the dirt world and his help has been invaluable to their development of the new system. To complete the stance their desert sled is running their Mule Tracker Bar based on a bend by Richard Pollock. The motor is stock but we found that the torque was there for what we were doing. While discussing the build with us, they say that bike exceeded their expectations and was a blast to ride. From the looks of it, they're not lying but we're going to have to judge for ourselves. We need to ride this thing soon!

Triumph Street Twin Desert Sled
Model: Triumph Street Twin
Year: 2016
Performance: Predator Pro 3.5" + Competition Header X-Pipe
Seating: Black Slammer Seat
Tail Light: Pan Tail Light
Turn Signals: Front and Shockmounted Retro Turn Signal Kits
Fender: High Fender Bracket + Shorty Fender
Shocks: BC x Noleen shocks for Street Twin
Shock Accessories: Shock Hardware Dress Up Kit
Front End Gauge area: Single Flat Gauge Kit for Street Twin
Handlebars: Mule Trackers
Mirror Accessories: Screw In Mirror Hole Caps
Grips: Biltwell Thruster Black
Risers: 7/8" Handlebar Clamps
Reservoir: Direct Mount Reservoir
Levers: Pazzo 6-way Levers
Footpegs: Off Road Foot Peg Kit / Passenger Peg Block Off
Side Covers: Number Plates
Badges: Clutch Badge 900
Wheels: Canyon 19 / 18 spoked
Rear Sprocket: Rear Sprocket Retro in 41t
Front Tire: Heidenau K67
Rear Tires: Heidenau K74
Rotors: Galfer Standard Floating Front / Solid Rear
Pads: Galfer HH Sintered Ceramic Front / Sintered Rear
Triumph Street Twin offroad
Triumph Street Twin scrambler
British Customs: Web | Facebook | Instagram

Rugged and Raw: A Triumph Scrambler by Seaweed and Gravel

Seaweed and Gravel dish out a killer Triumph Scrambler

San Diego is up there with one of the nicest places on planet earth. Year round good weather, good riding, fun surf, and a laid back atmosphere. Sea World, Legoland, the San Diego Zoo are some of the more famous attractions but one of the endearing things about San Diego is the plethora of small, family owned shops up and down its stunning coastline. For the past six years, Seaweed and Gravel has called Encinitas home. It's hard to peg Seaweed and Gravel as any one thing but as the name night indicate, they're a mix of surf shop and moto shop, with a lot of uniqueness - like bonsai trees - mixed in. We've been fans of theirs for years but when we saw their recent Triumph Scrambler build, we reached borderline stalker fan level.

Seaweed and Gravel's custom Triumph Scrambler

"Seaweed & Gravel is s retail extension of the collective conscious of non-conforming-never-grow-up-weirdos."

This 2017 Triumph Scrambler came into the shop as a bone stock, off-the-showroom-floor bike, to be built into something capable of being abused in dirt. Since the return on the Bonneville, they have been known staying true to the classic lines of their predecessors while adding in modern reliability. Seaweed and Gravel's main builder, Brady Young, was more familiar with vintage machines, so this new fancy bikes came with added creature comforts but it's own slew of challenges as well.

Triumph Scrambler custom front end

The build process started with testing the donor bike and noting where improvements could be made. Since they knew this bike was destined for the dirt, suspension was the first order of business. Öhlins front and rear, was not only fitting, but was per client request. The rear twin shocks were valved sprung for the application and were a true bolt-on. Aside from the shocks and the Pazzo Racing levers, that’s where the bolt-on list ends on the known bolt-on custom bike platform.

There is an existing bolt-on Öhlins inverted front end solution out there, and while it was tempting and considered, Brady knew it was more of a street-designed setup so he pulled a front end from a Ducati Multistrada for it’s greater travel and narrower posture. It was mated to the frame with a custom steering stem, utilizing stock bearings, and controlled with ProTaper bars. Stopping power comes from an oversized rotor and Brembo caliper.

The subframe was modified and hooped with a custom formed seat pan housing the many electrical components needed to manage a modern machine. Custom shaped front and rear fenders were designed with classic desert sled style and modern dirt bike fitment in mind. The motor breathes through a K&N filter and screams through a one off stainless set of high pipes and a hand formed 2-into-2 muffler.

custom exhaust Triumph Scrambler

There is a lot of what’s not seen that on the build that makes the S&G team proud. They admit their Scrambler is a dangerously fun bike, stating, "Like everyone’s one friend that convinces you to have one more, its always a good time, you just may be late to work…without the hangover."

Triumph modern desert sled

Triumph scrambler lifestyle

Seaweed and Gravel: Web | Facebook | Instagram || Builder: Brady Young
Photography: Christian Guerra


rough crafts xsr700 cafe racer

Rough Crafts XSR700 Corsa Scorcher & Soil Scorpion 2-for-1 Yamaha Yard Built Project

Two is always better than one and Rough Crafts XSR700 delivers

Imagine commissioning one of your favorite builders to build you a custom bike; you have a few rounds of back and forth, come up with a plan, and then anxiously await the finished product. Time seems to stand still because you simply can’t wait. Then, finally, the day arrives. The truck pulls up and as the doors swing open, you start to see double. While you might need another espresso, you’re eyes aren’t totally deceiving you. You see two sets of tires. Two sets of bodywork. Two exhaust systems. What’s going on?

Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts certainly knows his way around a custom bike and when he got a second chance to build a custom for Yamaha’s Yard Build project, he wasn’t messing around. Stuck between building a café racer or a scrambler, Yeh decided to go for both, delivering Yamaha pretty powerful 2-for-1.

rough crafts xsr700 scrambler

Winston knew he was going to utilize the XSR as his platform, but was stuck between the 700 and the 900. After speaking with Shun Miyazawa, Product Manager at Yamaha Europe and the man behind Yamaha Yard Built, he reminded him,

"It's not always about more power, it's the power/weight ratio that counts."

From that point on, Winston knew he was going with the 700.

rough crafts xsr700 Corsa Scorcher

Working with the newly designed XSR700’s shorter frame and detachable rear frame loop, the Yard Build strategy of "no frame cutting" was made possible Yeh got to work on the shape of his bodywork. It was at that point where he found himself struggling with whether he should go with clip-ons and make it a cafe racer, or to go with flat bars and make it a tracker. Que lightbulb above the head and his “ah ha” moment was deciding that he could create the bodywork as a kit, allowing customers to mix and match, creating the bike they want. So, he molded two sets of bodywork, got two sets of wheels and tires, different sets of handlebars, and 2 unique exhaust systems, and managed to create two bikes out of one project.

rough crafts xsr700 Soil Scorpion

Wanting versatility, Yeh designed a set of triple trees that can run a complete R1 front end and by matching the same brand/design rear wheel sized for the for 700/900 one can obtain a direct bolt-on front and rear custom wheels with inverted forks.

rough crafts xsr700 cafe racer front end

To make 2-for-1 concept work further, Yeh went to Shark Factory for their X2E fully adjustable remote control digital suspension, so you can adjust on the fly for street or dirt.

The café racer version is dubbed the Corsa Scorcher and the scrambler version goes by the name, Soil Scorpion. Both bikes got their names from the Pirelli tires provided for the build(s): the Super Corsa and Scorpion Rally.

rough crafts xsr700 cafe racer

The cafe racer version features ultra-lightweight carbon fiber wheels from Rotobox and clip-ons from Gilles Tooling, and an Akrapovic titanium tail pipe for R1, whereas the scrambler version features lightweight forged wheels from Wukawa Industry Co., a handmade flat bar, and Akrapovic titanium XSR700 high pipe modified for a little more tracker flair. The cafe racer version runs velocity stacks, while the scrambler one runs Sprint Filter waterproof filters to allow for stress-free fun when the going gets dirty. Both variations run top-notch Beringer brakes.

Rough crafts XSR700 scrambler in action

The body kit was made with a full carbon fiber mono body with a small aluminum tank underneath.

Rough Crafts XSR700 custom tank

The whole thing is fully bolt-on without any modification, the only thing cut out from the stock frame is 4 tabs that held the now nonexistent airbox. They didn’t weigh the Soil Scorpion version, but the Corsa Scorcher version with the R1 fork and Rotobox wheels went from a stock 410lbs to 370lbs – a 10% reduction of weight with most of the electrical and the ABS system retained.

While we can't speak for Yamaha, we have to imagine they're pleased with this one!

Rough crafts XSR700 cafe racer in action

Rough Crafts: Web | Facebook | Instagram

The fine folks at The Bike Shed in London spent some time with Winston and the Rough Crafts XSR700 and put together a cool little video showing both sides of the bike. Give it a watch!


Ducati Hyper Scrambler - Untitled Motorcycles

Ducati Hyper Scrambler by Untitled Motorcycles

A Hyped-Up Scrambler

If you haven't seen the Hyper Scrambler by now...you must have seen it by now, right? Even if you don't regularly read "moto stuff", this bike has appeared on some pretty mainstream stages like Jay Leno's Garage, Playboy, Designboom and GQ Italia to name a few.

Ducati Hyper Scrambler

The Hyper Scrambler started its life in response to the Scrambler Ducati team's Custom Rumble contest, which was a dealer build-off. And no, Untitled is not a Ducati dealership. So, how do the dots connect, you say? Jim MacLaughlin of Bay Area's Marin Speed Shop partnered with Hugo Eccles at Untitled Motorcycles' San Fransisco location - they have a sister shop in London - to get the job done.

Ducati Hyper Scrambler

The base bike was a 2015 Ducati Scrambler Icon. Eccles kicked off the build by sourcing a Ducati Monster S2R swingarm which, with its tubular structure, better matches the Scrambler's trellis frame. “I originally intended to use a Sport Classic Mono swing arm but it was impossible to source in time," Eccles shares. Having installed the new swingarm a new subframe, to accommodate the S2R monoshock and a new seat design, was fabricated by Turk’s Shop, a local fabricator.

Ducati Hyper Scrambler San Francisco

“I love Ducati’s signature trellis frame on the Scrambler and wanted to celebrate it”. An UMC-designed custom petrol tank that echoes the lines and angles of the frame resulted in a tapered shape which became the overall direction for the build:”the seat, tank and headlight are all part of one single tapered form”. The slim new design also suggested a more pared-down flattrack and supermoto-inspired style which Eccles felt was “compatible with the Scrambler’s DNA."

Ducati Hyper Scrambler by Untitled Motorcycles

From that point onwards, the build was geared towards stripping and removing all extraneous details and components, including numerous plastic panels. The result is a bike that, at 325lbs, is 85lbs lighter than the original. “We’ve created an 800cc motorcycle that weighs less than a Vespa: performance is “lively” says Eccles.

Ducati Hyper Scrambler by Ultimate Motorcycles

custom ducati scrambler - hyper scrambler

Visually, the new UMC Scrambler design consists of three core elements: engine, frame, and body: The engine and other mechanical parts have been stripped to bare metal and vapor blasted to celebrate their raw mechanical nature.

Ducati Hyper Scrambler by Untitled Motorcycles

The frame has been painted in “Rosso Corsa” a neon orange color that Ducati uses for their Moto GP race bikes, to showcase the characteristic trellis frame and swingarm. The nickel-sided petrol tank is a nod to the 1968 original while the bodywork has been painted in a solid grey to match the slim motocross-inspired grip vinyl seat.

Eccles is the first to admit that this build is somewhat out of character for Untitled Motorcycles. “It was competition build so we set out to do something intentionally provocative. Although this bike is road legal, the next road-going versions will be designed and detailed differently."

The UMC-038 Hyper Scrambler is actually up for a Creativepool people's choice award currently. Head on over and cast your vote here.

Untitled Motorcycles: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Landscape photos: Erik Jutras | Studio photos: RC Rivera


Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track concept

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track Scrambler

Falling in love with a concept: the Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track

Moto Guzzi had a handsome display at this year’s recent EICMA show in Milan. There, the manufacturer from Mandello del Lario was debuting a new V7 III model, in a handful of variations like their V7 III ‘Anniversario’ or their new V7 III Racer, a cafe racer inspired variation now equipped with Öhlins rear suspension. I’m definitely a fan of the V7 range and naturally assumed that would be my favorite bike announced by Guzzi, however there was a different model that stole my heart. To the right of their main stage, there was a group of customized Guzzis hanging out, and there happened to be one particular V9 that was given a scrambler treatment that I just couldn’t stop starting at it. Currently, the Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track  is just a concept at this point, but all I could think about was that I had to build one!

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track front end

The X-Track was outfitted with the same red cylinder heads, or ’red heads’, that you see on the new MGX-21 Flying Fortress. Red springs on the rear shocks, red calipers and red logotype on the wheels tie it all together.

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track top view

Another striking accessory on the bike is the set of dual Arrow high pipes complete with a carbon heat shield with a touch a red paint to put the finishing touch on a stunning piece.

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track Arrow exhaust

A raw tank with a touch of paint is a personal favorite of mine at the moment and the X-Track was done proper.

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track tank

Knobbies, a single seat, raised MX-style bars, and beefier red rear shocks complete the Scrambler’s aesthetic.

Moto Guzzi V9 X-Track scrambler

Does anyone else besides me think that this thing looks like a good time? The real question is, if MG were to put this bike into production, would people buy it? My gut says yes…

Moto Guzzi: Web | Facebook | Instagram


Triumph, Bonneville, custom triumph

Custom Triumph Bonneville by Perfekt Speed Shop

 

Dario Callegher, owner of a Miami-based Perfekt Speed Shop, recently sent us photos of his latest creation; a rather striking Triumph Bonneville turned custom Scrambler. Starting it's life as a 2005 Bonnie, Callegher stripped it down, and transformed it based on a friend's direction, who was inspired by the “Bonneville Heuer" a TAG Heuer Special Edition Bonneville from 2009.

 
 
One of the first mods you'll likely notice is the bold orange wheels, spokes and hubs too mind you, wrapped in knobbies. Stock gauges and controls were replaced with much sleeker Motogadget units. The original Bonneville exhaust was replaced with Triumph's Scrambler headers with a black heat shield. 



The stock headlight was replaced with a number plate and dual stacked mini spotlights. Interestingly, Callegher opted to use the underside of the leather giving it a suede-like finish. Sump guard, stubbie front fender, and MX-style bars and grips complete the off-road aesthetic for the build. And while this bike isn't insanely chopped or customized, that never really was the point. Still looks like fun for a good fire trail rip, don't you agree?

 
 
Dario also shared a little about himself:

"Born in Milan Italy, I started following my father's footstep into the world of racing at 6 years old (he was Technical director at Ferrari first, and Alfa Romeo after, Formula One teams). For years in my summer vacations, I travelled all over Europe to see the best Formula 1 Races, I was attracted to the mechanical, performances and design aspect of those cars… till it was time to start racing myself at age of 9. After 10 years of successful racing I didn't have the drive to do what most of my ex-colleagues did, to become a professional race car driver, so I turned my attention to the fashion industry, where I learned more about style and design.
 

After many years working with the biggest brands in fashion in Milan first and then in New York, I decided to move in Miami, where I could combine my work and my hobby.

My passion for engines, cars and motorcycles led me to start Perfekt Speed Shop in late 2013, a place to realize my dreams and that of others. I’ve always been interested and attracted to the aesthetics of classic bikes, good taste, and refinement of brands like Triumph, Ducati and BMW among others. 

Influenced by the retro look, when building a new bike I try to combine style and performance, keeping in mind that each new creation has to be unique and exclusive. I care for detail and seek harmony in curves and forms, in the spirit of the original bike. Therefore, working with the client on the design is fundamental for me, so that their needs along with our particular style meet their expectations."

Perfekt Speed Shop: Online | Facebook | Instagram


CL360, Honda scrambler,

For sale :: 1975 Honda CL360 Tracker

Ever wonder what an AMA Pro Flat tracker might ride around town?

Well, here's expert GNC Flat Tracker Josh Koch's custom CL360, and it can be yours! Josh is no stranger to spinning a wrench and his built himself a clean little street tracker that looks like a total blast!

Read more


Ducati Scrambler Racer by Heath 'The Chief' Cofran

Heath has been a friend of The Bullitt for a long time now. He's a great guy, has a passion for virtually all things motorcycling, and the dude can ride...fast. I've been on all sorts of rides in all sorts of terrain with him; long street rides, big group rides, trail rides, track days, moto camping trips, and he's always pushing to go fast. It's just in his nature.

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati

I've watched Heath compete in his first Thruxton Cup weekend, and win. When Heath finally picked up his first Ducati, a new Scrambler Icon, could hardly help himself, entering a small MX race with the Hell on Wheels crew the first day he took ownership.

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati

Cofran did a few track days on his new Scrambler and figured he'd see how it would fair in a proper road race. With AHRMA right around the corner, he figured a nip here, and a tuck there, and he'd be off to the races...literally!  

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati
With the help of Shift Tech and the masterminds at Arch Motorcycles - yes that Arch Moto - they helped Heath bring his vision to life. 

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati

Rizoma clip-ons and lever protectors look legit on The Chief's race bike. 

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati

A Shift Tech muffler, high mounted, helped squeeze a few extra ponies (4-5 additional hp) out the Scrambler.

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati


The Chief accomplished exactly what he set out to do. First off, take his stock Ducati Scrambler and turn it into a beautiful custom bike, which also happens to be his daily driver. From there, he was able to convert it into a track-ready racer while keeping the ability to put it back to road-going fairly easy. All the better, he's managed to have a lot of fun throughout the process. Atta boy Heath. Keep doing what you're doing, and we'll keep rooting you on!

Scrambler Ducati, cafe racer, scrambler racer, Ducati

 

Static shots by Heath Cofran. Riding shot by @motopiloto.