BikeExif BMW cafe racer BMW motorcycles BMW R nineT Custom Bikes of the Week Custom Motorcycles Onehandmade Other Motorcycle Blogs

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 30 September, 2018

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A wild BMW R nineT from Onehandmade, the CROIG Instagrammers get their mitts on a Street Cup, and the Bultaco Pursang from Easy Riders goes up for auction.

Triumph Street Cup cafe racer by CROIG
Triumph Street Cup by Croig If you are one of the millions of two-wheeled enthusiasts addicted to the ’Gram, you’re probably following @caferacersofinstagram. Run by David Chang and Andy Blashko, the feed has been a hotbed for custom cafes since its inception. But the ‘Motosota’ duo don’t just create content for social media—they get their hands dirty building bikes, too.

The latest creation to roll out of their shop is a fully-faired take on the Triumph Street Cup. Working with Triumph’s American mothership, the duo was limited on time—but was given keys to the accessories castle. A wish list was quickly submitted.

Triumph Street Cup cafe racer by CROIG
New Fox shocks have been fitted, a Vance & Hines high-pipe exhaust was secured, and the tail has been tidied, too. But the prettiest bits here aren’t the factory bolt-ons.

Working with a replica fairing for a CB350, team Croig needed to shave bits here and there to have everything line up just right. (The work around the lower engine looks absolutely spot on.) The brackets holding that fabulous glass in place also had to be fabbed up, but the mounting was kept nice and tight. [More]

BMW R nineT cafe racer by Onehandmade
BMW R nineT by Onehandmade In the custom world, not even a masterpiece is safe from revision. Tastes and trends change, and sometimes a build just needs that extra ten percent to take it from great to godly.

Three years ago, Wes called Onehandmade’s Beemer ‘one of the sharpest we’ve seen.’ It recently got a redux and man, it may now be the best. Period.

The lucky client who bought this bike has an even luckier son, who’d expressed interest in riding the beast. (No kidding?) But that meant revisions, to make it a touch easier to get on with.

BMW R nineT cafe racer by Onehandmade
The clip-ons up front were swapped for a set of bars mounted to a newly bolted up triple clamp, to neutralize ergonomics, and the old twin-pod filters have been binned in favor of a custom made singular intake that doesn’t interfere with knees in the breeze. An all-new exhaust, made of titanium, has also been welded up for a more raucous bark. And the girder look was adopted up front via a set of aluminum fork covers.

Aside from the front end, the biggest (and best) change aesthetically is the move to the M Power paint scheme. I dug the previous raw look, but the new white, blue and red livery classes this thing up incredibly well. [Onehandmade Facebook]

1969 BSA Thunderbolt flat tracker by Zoe David
Zoe David’s BSA Thunderbolt We’re all familiar with the addictions of moto-life around here. For most of us, all it took was that first hit: maybe a blast through a farmer’s field or maybe, like Normandy’s Zoe David, breathing life back into a dead machine.

Since resuscitating a 1954 Peugeot 155, the Frenchwoman has gone on to cement her moto-junkie status with this 1969 BSA Thunderbolt. It now sees equal time running around city streets and getting sideways on the flat tracks of Europe.

1969 BSA Thunderbolt flat tracker by Zoe David
Part bitsa-restoration and part unencumbered beauty, Zoe built the BSA into the bike she wanted. Which is why it rides on matched 19-inch wheels for the dirt oval, but also has an impeccably lacquered Spitfire tank. Forme et fonction are of equal import. Following that same theme, the original subframe has been replaced by new one modeled on a Trackmaster design.

Zoe also opted to rebuild the Thunderbolt’s original forks, while shaving near three inches off their height. Braking is now handled by a 1967 Triumph drums, and the muffler was once clamped to a Norton P11. Those changes helped her qualify for her first race at Wheels and Waves and notch a win at Dirtquake in UK. [More]

Custom Indian Scout Sixty by Motoshed
Indian Scout Sixty by Motoshed Like us, you’re probably waiting for news of Indian’s productionized FTR 1200, due to be revealed tomorrow. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this long ‘n’ low custom Scout Sixty from MotoShed of Swansea, Wales.

The concept for ‘Roadrunner’ came from the desire to see what an under-seat exhaust would look like on the Scout. And those two new seat-warmers were by far the most complex part of this project.

Custom Indian Scout Sixty by Motoshed
Most of the wiring spaghetti, plus the battery and ECU, typically reside where the new cannons sit. So everything had to be redone, and re-routed. Peek a few inches south of the new Rizoma foot controls and you’ll see where most of that stuff now hides, highlighted by the blue hue of a Dynojet Power Vision CX performance tuner and data monitor module.

Custom Indian Scout Sixty by Motoshed
For the Scout’s new (and handmade) bodywork, MotoShed tapped CW Engineering. The nacelle, front fender and rear hugger (acting as a heat shield for the pipes) were all rolled from new sheet metal.

Custom Indian Scout Sixty by Motoshed
Suspension has been upgraded and ground clearance has increased too. This gives Roadrunner a lean angle befitting its more aggressive vibe, while still appearing factory fresh. It’s a tasteful build on a capable bike. I only wonder what stops a rider first: blown eardrums or roasted rump? [More]

The Easy Rider 1968 Bultaco Pursang
The Easy Rider 1968 Bultaco Pursang When you think of Peter Fonda and Easy Rider, the bike that undoubtedly occupies your grey matter is Captain America, the iconic chopper crafted by Cliff ‘Soney’ Vaughs. But before Wyatt and Billy hopped on their hogs and headed east, they met at La Contenta Bar in Taos, New Mexico. And Wyatt was riding this 1968 Bultaco Pursang.

This is the very bike that was used during the shoot. When filming wrapped, it was hustled back to its owner, and it stayed there.

The Easy Rider 1968 Bultaco Pursang
Recently the bike was restored and is now offered in ‘film used condition,’ which is fancy speak for saying it’s been refreshed—but not too much. Now it’s headed to auction, along with some other rare celebrity bikes, at this year’s Barber Fest next week.

Expectations are that this 250 MKII will find a new home for around US$60,000 to US$70,000. That’s a hefty sum, for sure—but it pales in comparison to the seven figures that ol’ Cap’n would fetch. And this one won’t shudder at a corner, either. [More]

The Easy Rider 1968 Bultaco Pursang

ABS Gear Reviews Kawasaki Kawasaki Ninja Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Motorcycle Reviews Other Motorcycle Blogs review Web Bike World

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Hands-On Review


The Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS is a sport touring bike that I was wanting to review for a while. I like the aggressive styling of the bike and after sitting on it in the showroom, I know I wanted to take this Motorcycle for a test drive.

I really like the way the bike feels when you are sitting on it. The handlebars are just back enough that you are sitting in a semi-upright sport touring position and it just feels right.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS in black at showroom

I would like to thank Blackfoot Motosports in Calgary, Alberta for giving me the opportunity to take this amazing machine out for a romp. Please check out their website at Blackfoot Online.


  • Engine: 1,043cc 4-stroke inline four, liquid cooled, DOHC 16 valve with digital fuel injection
  • Front Brakes: Dual Semi-Floating 300mm petal discs with dual radial mount monoblock opposed 4 piston
  • Rear Brakes: Single 250mm petal disc with a single piston caliper
  • ABS Standard
  • Seat Height: 815mm (32.3 inches)
  • Fuel Capacity: 19 liters (4.2 gallons)
  • transmission
  • Wet Multi-disc Manual Clutch
  • Front Tire: 120/70-ZR17
  • Rear Tire: 190/50-ZR17
  • Maximum Power: 105 kW (140.8 Hp) / 10,000 rpm
  • Maximum Torque: 111.0 n.M (81.9 ft-lb) @ 7,300 rpm
  • Front Suspension: 41mm inverted fork with stepless compression, rebound damping, and spring preload adjustability
  • Rear Suspension: Horizontal back-link, gas charged rear shock with rebound damping and spring preload adjustability
  • Curb Weight of 235 Kg (516 lbs.)
  • Kawasaki Traction Control (KTRC)
  • Kawasaki Intelligent anti-lock Brake System (KIBS)
  • Power Mode
  • Kawasaki Corner Management Function (KCMF)
  • Final Drive: Sealed Chain
  • MSRP at time of review: C$14,299 US$12,199

First Impressions

My first impression of the Ninja 1000 ABS was that it was a very nice looking bike. It has the look of a racer and the feel of a touring bike. The bike has a very nice stance, I am 5’9” and the seat was perfect for me.

The handlebar position was not too far forward and did not feel awkward. The footpegs were well positioned and I did not feel like my legs would cramp up even on a longer trip. The seat was comfortable and provided adequate padding, and finally, the complete style of the bike makes it look much more expensive than it is.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS


  • Looks Great
  • Excellent Safety Features
  • Good Power
  • Good Fuel Mileage
  • Comfortable


  • Lack of basic “Touring” features such as Cruise Control
  • HAeated Grips
  • Windshield is not very good in the rain

First Ride From The Dealer To My House

It was not very warm in Calgary when I picked up the Ninja from the dealer. In fact, that morning, I woke up to snow on the ground. By the afternoon it had cleared up and the weather did not call for snow for the immediate future.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS frontal view

I picked up the bike at around 2 PM and made my way home. I took the long way back to my house and tested the Ninja in traffic. I was very pleased with the way this motorcycle handles itself in traffic. I had the power mode set on full power and I never changed it during the entire review.

The bike was amazing in traffic. It did not feel out of place and was extremely good at cornering in the city. In my opinion, this motorcycle would be a wonderful commuter. It was in its environment in the city.

I was a bit disappointed with how dim the instrument cluster is during the day. It is not very bright which is a bit annoying.

I made it home and was admiring the looks of it as I was taking pictures for this article. The lines are very aggressive, yet it still looks refined. I found myself going outside on several occasions to just stare at the bike and admire the lines.

A friend showed up and was quite impressed with the bike. He also loved the look of it and was very pleased when I started it up and he heard the exhaust note for the first time.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS side view from rear angle

Evening Riding

The lights on the Ninja are nice and bright. Illumination is not an issue with this bike at all. The LED headlight and tail light are crisp and clear. If only the signal lights were also LED.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS headlights on at night

At night, the instrument cluster was well illuminated and easy to read. It is simple with an analog tachometer and a digital screen that shows your speed as well as the other functions such as the power mode, traction control settings, fuel etc… A bit utilitarian, but not overly cluttered with information. If it was this bright during the day, it would be a winner.

The windscreen is adjustable. I set it up to the sharpest angle and took a ride on the highway. I was satisfied with the way it deflected the wind away from my chest and head. I did not feel any helmet turbulence at highway speeds.

Back Road Riding

Gerry and Jim of Web Bike World riding their bikes

I met up with my friend and fellow Web Bike World content rider Jim Pruner in the morning. It was very close to freezing at 2 degrees Celsius (36 degrees Fahrenheit) and raining. We had breakfast and finally decided to get some miles in…

We decided not to do our usual Alberta Route 1A as it had snowed quite a bit the last few days and we did not want to take the chance to get caught up in a snowstorm. We headed east.

The Ninja was excellent in this weather. Given that this was a demo bike with about 1000 Km on it from test drives, the tire was well broken in and the bike did not let the cold and damp stop it from doing its thing. I was amazed at how well the bike accelerated. The handling in the turns was excellent and the braking was very nice.

Gerry posing with 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

I was not overly satisfied with the windshield in the rain. It did manage to disperse some of the moisture, but not all of it. My visor was bombarded with droplets during the entire time we were riding.

We rode for about 45 minutes and stopped in a small town east of Calgary. I was testing out a new Olympia X Moto 2 Jacket and Pant combo and I was not cold; however, my gloves were not up to the task. My hands were drenched and it was a bit discerning to see my left index finger as blue as if I had been eating blueberry pie.

Jim and I discussed my predicament and decided to switch bikes for a while. He rides a Kawasaki H2SX SE and it has heated grips. My hands were able to warm up. Both bikes are similar, but the Ninja 1000 is nowhere near the H2SX when it comes to comfort and performance. I guess that is understandable given the difference in price.

We kept riding for another hour and made our way back to Blackfoot Motosports.


Brakes on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The brakes on the Ninja 1000 ABS are amazing. They stop this machine without any issues. I was very happy to see how well they performed in cold weather and in the rain. The ABS is smooth and has the Kawasaki Intelligent Anti-Lock Brake System (KIBS) gives you additional peace of mind in the event of an emergency maneuver.


Seating on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The seat on this bike is comfortable. It is not as comfortable as some more expensive motorcycles out there, but I would be able to do a long distance ride on this bike without too much complaining. It was firm, but not hard. The cushioning was adequate for longer trips and excellent for a commuter.


Engine on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The Ninja 1000 has good power down low that continues through the midrange and starts to take on a more aggressive attitude around 7,000 RPM. it has a nice controlled feel to it and in my opinion, the Ninja has an excellent sport touring powerplant.

Riding Position

Handlebars on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

I was quite comfortable on the Ninja 1000 ABS. I found that the higher handlebars were a huge benefit. I did not feel like I was resting on my wrists at all. Once the wind pushed me back a bit, my shoulders and hands were very relaxed.

As much as I like almost everything about the H2SX, I find that for me, the comfort level is better on the Ninja 1000 when it comes to the bars and the seat position.


Front tire on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The Ninja 1000 ABS comes equipped with Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport tires. They work well, I found that I had very good traction at all times on wet and cold pavement.

The Ninja comes with a 120/70-ZR17 tire on the front and a 190/50-ZR17 on the rear.

Rear tire on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS


I rate the Ninja 1000 ABS a 4 out of 5 stars.

I feel that the Ninja 1000 ABS has the styling of a more expensive bike. It is in line with the look of the H2SX and the ZX-10R.

In terms of comfort, I have nothing but good things to say about this motorcycle. The seat position, the handlebars, the suspension are excellent.

It handles like a dream. As far as power is concerned, the Ninja has plenty of power to satisfy most riders. It is very refined and with the traction control set a bit higher, I did not feel at any time that this bike was getting away from me. I would love for it to have a supercharger, but I appreciate all it gives in this price range.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many features this bike actually has for the price it is. Excellent brakes with ABS and Anti-lock, traction control and corner management as well as power mode selection. These features make the bike a contender in its class. Also, the fuel consumption of this bike is very good. The bike averaged 55 Mpg during this review.

I was a bit disappointed in a few things. The display is very dim during the day. I wish it was brighter. It was difficult on a gloomy day to properly see the display. I can just imagine how hard it would be in the blazing sun.

Instrument Display on 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS

The windshield did well when it was not raining. I was hoping that it would have been excellent in the rain; however, it was mediocre.

Finally, it was disappointing that something as basic as heated grips and cruise control is not included in this bike. I would almost like to see the price go up a bit and that these options would be included in the bike. In my opinion, if you are going to position a motorcycle in the sport touring category, these items are a must.

Despite these few things, I feel that the Ninja 1000 ABS is an awesome machine and it is a contender in the sport touring category.

I recommend this bike to anyone that is thinking of getting into sport touring. I would recommend that some of the options mentioned above be installed during the initial purchase of the motorcycle to make your experience that much more enjoyable.

2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Image Gallery

The post 2018 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 ABS Hands-On Review appeared first on Web Bike World.

Cruising Other Motorcycle Blogs

9 Feature-Packed Motorcycle Jackets for The Fall Riding Season

Alpinestars’ Ray Canvas V2

Gear up right for autumn rides with one of these weather-resistant, insulated jackets.

As the season’s weather becomes more unpredictable, your summer jacket might not cut it anymore. Here are 10 jackets to keep you warm and dry this fall.
Bad Winners BikeExif Custom Motorcycles Other Motorcycle Blogs supermoto Yamaha motorcycles Yamaha XT 600

Street Thrasher: The XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
No list of retro enduros is complete without the noble Yamaha XT 600. Manufactured for almost two decades until 2003, it ticks all the important boxes: basic, versatile and reliable.

But what if you’re not looking for a trail weapon per se? The XT 600 makes a pretty rad supermoto too, if executed just right. And Walid, from Parisian shop Bad Winners, sure knows how to design a motorcycle.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
He didn’t set out to customize an XT 600. “The XT picked me,” he tells us. “I had it in the workshop for three years—I got it from a client who had to leave town for a job in Australia.”

“But I didn’t want to ride it as it was. I had this clear idea for an air-cooled supermoto—an old-school supermoto from the 90s.”

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
The Yamaha in question was a 1991-model XT 600 E with a mere 13,000 km on the dial. And since it belonged to a client, Walid had previously serviced it—so he knew it was in good nick. With no fix-ups needed, he could move right on to the fun stuff.

But first, he had to take the XT’s stance from trail bike to street thrasher. On went a set of 17” Excel hoops, laced up to the original Yamaha hubs, and now wrapped in Dunlop’s Sportmax Mutant supermoto tires.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
The Yamaha’s OEM Nissin brakes were deemed good enough, so they were simply upgraded with stainless steel lines.

Moving to the suspension, Walid trimmed 80 mm off the front forks, and equipped them with stiffer springs. The rear was upgraded with a new YSS shock, also with a harder-than-stock spring. “I didn’t want to have a smooth trail bike,” was Walid’s reasoning.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
Even though the motor’s internals were left alone, it was treated to a new coat of black. Two Keihin CR35 carbs were installed, along with open filters to replace the old air box.

The exhaust headers were custom built in stainless steel, and terminate in a TEC muffler. (Yes, they’re wrapped, but Walid says it’s because they generate too much heat.)

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
Cosmetically, the XT 600 shed all of its stock bodywork. Walid retrofitted the fuel tank from a Yamaha RD250, and fabricated a set of ‘shoulders’ to drastically alter its shape.

“The inspiration is from the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto,” he explains. “When you look at it from behind, the lines are like a bodybuilder’s shoulders: massive. I wanted that same shape for the XT.”

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
They’re functional too; each side is covered with a mesh screen in front, with stealthy LED headlights and turn signals hiding inside. The fuel tank’s capped off with a Yamaha XJR1300 gas cap.

The XT’s tail section received an equally radical reworking. Rather than a simple cut-n-loop job, Walid ditched the entire subframe and started from scratch.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
The new arrangement cuts a much more aggressive contour, with side panels and abrupt rear fender that are welded on rather than bolted on. It’s a curious move, but Walid tells us he simply wanted as few bolts visible as possible.

There’s a new leather-covered seat up top, and a neat compartment underneath for electronics. In there, you’ll find a small Lithium-ion battery, and a new loom built around a Motogadget m.unit control box.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
The cockpit features Renthal bars and grips, Motone switches, and a teeny tiny Motogadget speedo mounted up on the bars. The front’s finished off with a custom-made number board and fender combo.

No supermotard is complete without some bright coloring—and no Bad Winners bike is complete without a sharp livery. Walid originally wanted to use a similar design to one of his previous builds, but when he couldn’t make it fit the tank contours, he started playing around with it.

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners
Once he’d settled on the dazzling scheme you see here, he handed the tank over to Aerografik to lay it down. The rest of the XT’s parts were finished in either blue or black.

This former trailie now looks fun, aggressive and ready to eat the streets. But even though Walid built it to his taste, he won’t be enjoying it for long. As is the curse with building custom bikes for a living, it’s already for sale.

Somebody please buy it before we do.

Bad Winners | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Guillaume Petranto

The Yamaha XT 600 gets the supermoto treatment from Bad Winners

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The 2019 Ducati XDiavel Gets A New Color Scheme

2019 Ducati XDiavel

Ducati says gray will better complement the black chassis and engine. More to come, we hope

Ducati has announced a preview of an all-new Matt Liquid Concrete Grey scheme for the 2019 XDiavel model.
Anvil Motociclette BikeExif Flat Track Racing Honda motorcycles Other Motorcycle Blogs Racing Motorcycles Suzuki motorcycles

Body Doubles: Anvil’s twin Suzuki and Honda flat trackers

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers
Two of the custom scene’s most enigmatic personalities are Alessandro Fontanesi and Marco Filios. Known as ‘Phonz’ and ‘San Marco,’ they’re the creative force behind the Italian custom outfit Anvil Motociclette and the annual Wildays festival.

You’d be forgiven for thinking these two longhaired, heavily tattooed custom builders are brothers. Considering they’re the same age, went to high school together, and have been friends for twenty years, they may as well be.

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers
To celebrate the two decades of their friendship, they’ve started racing flat track together. So when Indian Motorcycle commissioned the Scout ‘Shrimp’ tracker from Anvil, the boys built a set of matching race bikes for themselves too.

Phonz’s bike is Little Boy (#11) and San Marco’s is Fat Man (#52). At a glance they look the same—but they’re actually very different. Little Boy has a Suzuki DR600 motor in a DR500 frame, and Fat Man is based on a Honda XR600.

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers
As the Anvil boys put it: “They’re apparently similar, but very different—exactly like the personality of the founders. They look the same but they aren’t. They work for the same objective, but in different ways.”

Fat Man (below) lives up to his name: Anvil started with a 1995 XR600 rolling chassis, and a 1991 XR600 motor. Then they bored the already stonking thumper out to 650 cc, and added a Keihin FCR 41 flatslide carb, with a BMC filter.

Anvil Motociclette's Honda XR600 flat tracker
The XR600 is sporting a new front end too, with a set of modified forks and triples from a Yamaha R6. For the wheels, the guys laced a set of 19” Excel rims to the original XR hubs. As is the norm in flat track racing, there’s no front brake—but the rear brake’s been refreshed with a new disc and pads from Newfren.

Little Boy’s donor bike is a bit of a mash-up too (below). Phonz wanted the compactness of the older Suzuki DR500’s chassis, but with a bigger motor. So the guys wedged a 1990 DR600 mill into a 1981 DR500 frame—which meant fabricating new engine mounts.

Anvil Motociclette's Suzuki flat tracker
Just like the Honda, Little Boy was treated to a Keihin FCR 41 carb and BMC filter. A set of Ducati Scrambler 400 forks and triples were modified to work up front, and a pair of 19” Excel rims matched up to Honda Dominator hubs. (The rear brake’s from the Dommie too, with Newfren once again supplying a new disc and pads.)

With matching number boards and fork guards up front, and all-black paint on the engines, it’s hard to tell the two apart. But it’s the remaining mods that really make them indistinguishable.

Anvil Motociclette's Honda XR600 flat tracker
To achieve uniformity, Anvil built almost identical subframes for both bikes. On the XR600, that meant converting the rear end from Honda’s trusty Pro-Link monoshock to a dual-shock system. Both rears were then fitted with new Bitubo shocks, and capped off with matching number boards, and aluminum rear fenders.

For the seats, Anvil wanted to move away from the more common flat track tail sections, towards a style more reminiscent of the 60s. So they built a pair of matching saddles, upholstered in their signature black and white pattern.

Anvil Motociclette's Suzuki flat tracker
The Honda and Suzuki share the same fuel tank design too. Anvil fabricated matching aluminum shells, then designed each tunnel specific to each bike’s frame.

The rest of the running gear is the same across both trackers: Ariete foot pegs and grips, and Tommaselli flat track bars with minimal controls. Both bikes have also had their wiring stripped right down to the bare essentials.

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers
Then there’s those stunning exhaust systems. Anvil partnered up with Zard to design headers specific to each chassis, with both systems terminating in matching reverse cone mufflers.

And if you’re wondering why Fat Man and Little Boy are wearing modified Indian logos, it’s because they’ve joined the Indian Shrimp on the newly formed Anvil Racing team. (You should see their race van.)

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers
The team’s taking on the European flat track circuit, and Phonz and San Marco are pretty realistic about their chances. “We are not professional racers,” they tell us, “and this is the first year we’ve seriously dedicated ourselves to flat track.”

That said, San Marco’s already bagged two third-place finishes in his class, and Phonz has finished fourth overall for the season in his.

Not bad going for a couple of rookies.

Anvil Motociclette | Facebook | Instagram

Anvil Motociclette's matching Suzuki and Honda flat trackers

Anvil would like to thank their partners: Ariete, Baume & Mercier, Bitubo, BMC Filter, Newfren, Pakelo, Zard and Rizoma.

BikeExif Custom Motorcycles Other Motorcycle Blogs Yamaha cafe racer Yamaha motorcycles Yamaha TR1 Yamaha Virago

981: A dark and luxurious Yamaha TR1 from Budapest

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
Despite having a population of almost ten million people—more that Denmark or Switzerland—Hungary has a pretty low profile on the European custom scene. Maybe it’s because the country is tucked away in Central Europe. Or maybe Hungarians hide their lights under a bushel.

Judging by this very sharp custom Yamaha TR1, however, there’s at least one Hungarian workshop that deserves an international profile. Based in Budapest, it’s called Neuga and it’s run by three BMX fanatics.

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
‘981’ is a dark and luxurious Yamaha from the Virago family, and the vibe reminds us of the high-end creations from Stefano Venier.

The detailing and proportions are spot-on, which is just as well: Neuga’s commission came from one of Hungary’s best-known interior designers, Peter Szendrő.

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
“Peter is pretty precise,” says Neuga’s Benedek Eszteri wryly. “He took part in the whole process, from day one until the end. It was two years of tears and joy until 981 was handed over.”

Two years is a long time for a custom build, but Benedek is sanguine. “After you’ve built a few bikes, you stop running after dreams and become aware of reality. After the fifteenth month, we still had major changes.”

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
At the start of the build, Benedek and his colleagues Dániel and Róbert focused on the 75-degree V-twin. “We needed a fully refurbished and trusty heart. So we measured everything and changed the rings, oil pump, cam chains, camshafts, and all of the gaskets and o-rings.”

They also refurbished the cylinder head, and polished and painted all the cases.

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
The next job on the list was a frontend upgrade, for better handling and performance. A Yamaha R1 setup was chosen, but after the bike was mocked-up, the crew realized they needed an extra 100mm on top—to provide enough clearance for the wheel and the exhaust/engine.

“A former Hungarian motorsport legend handmade a top yoke for us,” says Benedek . “It also has proper support for the headlight and gauges. (Rest in peace, Károly.)”

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
Chunky tires were part of the game plan, but the stock wheels would not play ball. “We had to switch to a wider rims. We found a Suzuki GSX1000 hub and rim that would do the job, so we machined spacers from aluminum, machined the hub itself for a better look, and laced the wheels with stainless spokes.”

The back end of the original frame is now gone, replaced by new tubing that matches the lines of the gas tank. An LED light is now integrated into the hand-drilled back tube. (“That was quite a torture.”)

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
There’s a whole new electric loom, with a Motogadget m.unit at the core and new wiring from nose to tail. The keyless ignition is juiced from a 12-cell Antigravity battery in a laser cut holder.

More visible is the custom 2-to-1 stainless steel exhaust system, with squared-off lines terminating in a flared muffler. “It has enough back pressure, and a pretty wild sound,” Benedek reports. “It’s mellow at low RPMs, but gets brutal as you twist the grip.”

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
After sitting on a shelf for eight months, the gas tank was finally re-sealed from the inside, finished with dark smoke-chrome effect paint, and returned to the TR1.

A stunning ribbed seat with just the right amount of length completes the look without drawing too much attention to itself.

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
The weak rear drum brake was swapped out for a more modern hydraulic disk system, and the monoshock was upgraded to a new unit from Wilbers—preset for the weight of the bike and its owner. “At first it felt stiff, but after a preload adjustment it’s ‘there’.”

In between all the major stylistic work, Neuga machined up multiple little pieces, polished others, and perfected the ergonomics and electronics for their demanding client.

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.
“It was a hell of a learning curve,” says Benedek.

But as Jane Fonda wisely counseled, “No pain, no gain.” And in this case, it was surely worth the pain: ‘981’ is one of the best-looking V-twin Yamaha builds we’ve seen in recent years.

Neuga | Facebook | Instagram

A custom Yamaha TR1 from Neuga of Budapest, Hungary.

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A chocolatier chases his motorcycle dreams across the country to the Sturgis motorcycle rally!
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13 Shades Of Grey: The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
The Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 is one of the most attractive OEM motorcycles of recent times. Despite the three-year gap between concept and production, the final road going version of the 701 is damn close to the stunning prototype we were first teased with.

It’s a helluva good ride too; light, punchy and nimble. (Yes, we’ve tested it.) But how do you customize a bike that looks so fine out the box—and has such a definitive look?

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
The Dutch outfit Ironwood Custom Motorcycles have had a crack at it, and we’re loving the results.

“After seeing the Vitpilen concept at European events, I was intrigued to ride it,” says shop boss Arjan van den Boom. “Or even better, customize it—although it looks so good and balanced already. Luckily for us, a London customer reached out to have his new 701 modded.”

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
Ironwood’s custom Husqvarna isn’t a total re-imagining of the single cylinder neo-café racer. Instead, it’s a stealthy nip and tuck job—a collection of clever tweaks and subtle changes. Which is exactly what their customer asked for.

“Overall it had to be recognizable as a 701,” says Arjan, “but we had to make it mean and edgy. Keep the key features like the tank with the humps, OEM wheels, speedo and lighting. But change the lines, and make it unique.”

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
The biggest change is happening out back. The Vitplien 701 is already compact, but Ironwood have shortened the rear end even more.

Arjan’s buddy, Marcel van der Stelt of The Custom Factory, jumped in here. He fabricated a new subframe, and a tray under the seat to hold the wiring and battery.

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
“It took some effort to get the big wire cluster trimmed down visually,” says Arjan, “because after removing some ugly covers it looked like spaghetti. Most of the wiring loom we kept original, along with the stock battery, which was small and powerful enough already.”

Up top is a custom seat, upholstered in leather by Marcel’s wife Patricia. Just behind it, the crew embedded a pair of LED turn signals into the ends of the frame, and re-mounted the OEM taillight.

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
There’s some cleanup work happening lower down too. The 701’s plastic rear fender and plate holder combo is gone, replaced by a far slimmer custom-built unit. Equal consideration’s gone into the front, with a stubby front fender and a neat set of brackets replacing the originals.

Subtle trims abound. Both the stock headlight and speedo are still in play, but the latter’s been repositioned ever so slightly. The bars and controls are original, but Ironwood have added Motogadget grips, mirrors and bar-end turn signals.

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
Lower down, the team ditched the 701’s belly pan, and rebuilt the entire exhaust header. It now terminates in an Akrapovič muffler, originally made for the smaller Husqvarna Vitpilen 401.

The intake’s been changed too, and is now fed via a chunky DNA air filter. It’s a trick design, with the filter actually mounted to the bottom of—and the intake running via—the electronics tray. (Arjan reports that switching out the can and intake had no negative effect on the 701’s performance.)

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
A final visual hit comes from the 701’s striking new tank graphics. “For the tank design, we collaborated with Lisa from Dutch On Wheels,” Arjan tells us. “We’ve known each other for some years, but never worked together on a project.”

“She has great eye for detail and thinks out of the box on her design, so I was thrilled when my customer asked me to involve a skilled artist for the paint job. It has 13 shades of gray, and resembles a stealth look, like on old war boats.”

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
Capping off the design are a pair of aftermarket ‘701’ tank badges. And in the final reckoning, the already light Vitpilen has shed around 15 kilos of superfluous bits.

Ironwood are calling this one a ‘neo classic jet fighter,’ and have dubbed it ‘The Chain Smoker.’ Arjan tells us it also perfectly represents Ironwood’s ‘ABCD’ ethos: Aggressive, Bold, Clean and Dazzling.

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
“Not every build is, or can be, precision engineering, hardcore different, innovative or expensive,” he explains. “It depends on customer budgets, inspiration, time and availability.”

“But for us a custom bike should always be unique, bold and outspoken. The first time you see it online or in the flesh it must blow you away. Only then should ridability, ergonomics, road legality or comfort kick in.”

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood
Well, we think it looks hot. And we want to see more Vitpilen 701 customs. Pretty please?

Ironwood Custom Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Paul van ML

The first custom Husqvarna Vitpilen, by Ironwood

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The Brooklyn Invitational Custom Bike Show Grows Up

Brooklyn Invitational Custom Bike Show

The celebrated custom motorcycle show eschews the scene, embraces the bikes

A show often more known for the street scene outside than the bikes inside, the Brooklyn Invitation celebrated its 10th birthday by returning to its roots.