Top 5 Harley Panheads

Harley Panhead customs
Is Harley-Davidson’s venerable Panhead the best looking motorcycle engine of all time? It’s certainly up there with the Triumph and Moto Guzzi twins. It’s nearly half a century since the last Panhead rolled off the production line, but its appeal has never waned. It’s a hit with both customizers and restorers, so we’re spoilt for choice with this Top 5.

The ‘Pan’ was the mainstay of Milwaukee’s production from 1948 until the mid 60s. It fixed many of the problems that afflicted its predecessor, the Knuckle, with oil-tight aluminum heads and chrome-plated rocker covers. Read more »

How to build motorcycles for a living

How to build a custom motorcycle business

“Wouldn’t it be great to build motorcycles for a living?” I’m guessing the thought has crossed your mind while working on your own bike.

It’s kind of like saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to climb Mount Everest?” Of course it would, depending on your tolerance for discomfort—and even disaster.

In the few years that Classified Moto has been my livelihood, I’ve experienced highs and lows. I’ve felt pride, joy, fear and camaraderie. Plus the occasional overwhelming urge to punch someone square in the face. Read more »

New Icon 1000 Gear

Icon 1000 Oildale jacket
Wrenchmonkees Triumph Thruxton

Wrenchmonkees Triumph Thruxton

Custom bike building is a long game. It’s easy to make a short-term splash, but difficult to keep the momentum going over several years. In Europe, there are a handful of companies with the requisite grit and vision, and the Wrenchmonkees are one of them.… Read more »

Guzzi V50 Monza by Revival Cycles

Guzzi V50 Monza by Revival Cycles

There will be many, many beautiful machines at this weekend’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Texas. But I’m prepared to bet that one of the stars will be this Moto Guzzi V50 from local heroes Revival Cycles. There’s an elegant, unforced style to the bike, which… Read more »

Kawasaki cafe racer by AC Sanctuary

Kawasaki cafe racer by AC Sanctuary

The economics of the custom business in Japan are very different to what we usually see in the west. Most of the top builders have a loose formula that they’ve constantly refined over the years, using a small number of high-quality parts suppliers. It means… Read more »

Top 5 Honda NX650

Top 5 Honda NX650

Take a look at a stock Honda NX650 Dominator, and it’s hard to believe how popular it’s become with custom builders. Lurking under all that bodywork is a pretty cool motorcycle though—a great all-rounder with legendary Honda reliability and loads of potential. Honda produced the… Read more »

Honda CB550 by Eastern Spirit

Honda CB550 by Eastern Spirit

Charlie Trelogan’s insightful piece on café racer design emphasized the importance of good lines. No one understands this concept more than Poland’s Eastern Spirit Garage: They helped build the Honda CX500 that Charlie used to illustrate his point. Now they’ve turned their keen eye to… Read more »

Herr Funk’s Yamaha TW125

Herr Funk’s Yamaha TW125

Some motorcycles just scream fun. Before the Honda Grom there was the Yamaha TW125: A low-riding dual-sport bike that can’t decide if it belongs on the beach or the farm. With low gearing and big tires, it’s also at home on potholed city streets—as Maximilian… Read more »