Wesley Reyneke

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Wesley Reyneke is the guy behind Rather Be Riding—a blog celebrating alternative motorcycle culture.

Despite the fact that his father raced amateur off-road in the early 80s, Wes only started riding motorcycles in earnest in his late 20s (not counting the Honda Express he used to ride to class when he was 19)—and has been making up for lost time ever since. Starting out with a Vespa ET4 he quickly moved over to a BMW F650GS Dakar, clocking miles all over his native South Africa. A couple of dual-sport bikes later, and his love for classics and new wave customs developed. His current daily runners are a custom Kawasaki W650 street scrambler, and a slightly modified ’84 BMW R100RT that doesn’t actually belong to him.

When he’s not busy trying to avoid his day job, he spends his time writing for various publications, riding his motorcycles and mountain bike, playing with his kids or beating his drum kit. He also has an epic beard, wears flannel shirts and enjoys craft beer—just don’t call him a hipster.

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  • triumph-bonneville-custom

    Maria Motorcycles’ colorful Bonneville

  • Chris Chappell's meticulously restored Royal Enfield Bullet 350.

    Enfield 350: the bike that time forgot

  • Wesley Reyneke Classic Motorcycles ,,

    For most pro builders, personal projects usually draw the short straw—relegated to the back of the shop by a steady stream of client work. Just like the “rusted out junk pile” that Californian Chris Chappell picked up a few years ago. It’s a Royal Enfield… Read more »

  • Buell X1 by Sartorie Meccaniche

    Buell X1 by Sartorie Meccaniche

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’ve always loved Buell’s streetfighter models for their combative stance and no-nonsense ergonomics. In stock form they’re bare-bones, purpose built machines—devoid of any superfluous add-ons and powered by 1203cc of Milwaukee muscle. They’re an acquired taste though, and some—like the X1 Lightning—are beginning to look… Read more »

  • Yamaha SR500 by ExesoR Motorcycles

    Yamaha SR500 by ExesoR Motorcycles

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Venturing into the left field is risky business for any builder. Go too far, and you could end up with a garish and impractical machine. But ride the line between quirky and classy just right, and you’ll have a hit on your hands. Christian Schwarzenlander’s… Read more »

  • BMW R65 by Ed Turner

    BMW R65 by Ed Turner

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Ed Turner is the nom de guerre of French custom builder Karl Renoult. It’s meant to echo “head turner”—a theme that’s central to Karl’s design philosophy. His latest creation is certainly loaded with character and attitude. It’s built on a 1979 BMW R65—but the only… Read more »

  • Wes’ Kawasaki W650 “SC Rambler”

    Wes’ Kawasaki W650 “SC Rambler”

  • Indian Scout by Analog Motorcycles

    Indian Scout by Analog Motorcycles

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles

    With all eyes on Indian Motorcycle’s relaunch of the iconic Scout, it’s refreshing to see vintage examples vying for attention too. And this eye-catching 1949 Scout from Analog Motorcycles should have no trouble stealing a little limelight. Analog’s Tony Prust stumbled upon the bike while… Read more »

  • Triumph Bonneville T100 by Clutch

    Triumph Bonneville T100 by Clutch

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    As long as Triumph keep churning out modern classics, builders will be lining up to chop them. This latest example is a 2007 Bonneville T100—tastefully reworked by the crew at Clutch Custom Motorcycles. Clutch Custom operates out of Paris’ 12th arrondissement, and if I had… Read more »

  • Moto Guzzi Ambassador by BCR

    Moto Guzzi Ambassador by BCR

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Anyone who’s considered building a traditional café-racer has probably stumbled upon Benjie Flipprboi’s site at some point. As Benjie’s Café Racers, he produces a wide array of good looking bolt-on parts from his Corona, California base—and he builds pretty desirable bespoke motorcycles to boot. This… Read more »

  • CMBL Yamaha SR500 ‘ZedCat’

    CMBL Yamaha SR500 ‘ZedCat’

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Surfing and custom motorcycles are two cultures that, when combined, often produce radical results. For example, the ZedCat: a delightful Yamaha SR500 with a slightly juvenile slant, from relative newcomers CMBL. CMBL (pronounce “symbol”) is the motorcycle-building side project of surfer John Eldridge. Based in… Read more »

  • Honda CB360 by Federal Moto

    Honda CB360 by Federal Moto

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I must confess, I get excited every time a “budget build” from a professional outfit lands in my inbox. The true masters are those that can do the most with the least—finding innovative ways to build bikes that are humble in price without sacrificing an… Read more »

  • BMW R50 by Analog Motorcycles

    BMW R50 by Analog Motorcycles

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Earlier this week, we asked the builders in the Bike EXIF panel if there were any motorcycles that they wouldn’t dare customize. Answers were variations of ‘yes,’ with one panelist in particular opining that “rare vintage survivors should be left as such.” Many petrol-heads share… Read more »