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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  • A custom Kawasaki W650 with a dash of Gallic style, courtesy of the French moto apparel brand Gentlemen's Factory.

    A Cheeky W650 from Gentlemen’s Factory

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Motorcycling and fashion have been holding hands for quite some time now. Fashion houses are commissioning builds and using motorcycles in their marketing. And conversely, custom shops are turning to merchandise to help grow their brands. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find Gentlemen’s Factory. Based… Read more »

  • 50 Not Out: Cafe Racer Dreams’ BMW R69S

    50 Not Out: Cafe Racer Dreams’ BMW R69S

  • Wesley Reyneke Classic Motorcycles ,,

    Cafe Racer Dreams is one of the most prolific outfits on the custom motorcycle circuit. An incredible fifty builds have already rolled out the Spanish workshop’s doors—each one as stylish as the next. For CRD #50, Pedro García and Efraon Triana pulled out all the… Read more »

  • South African BMW experts Cytech, and pairs a 1964 BMW R69S with a 50s-model Steib sidecar.

    A BMW R69S with a bit on the side

  • triumph-bonneville-custom

    Maria’s colorful Bonneville

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Despite the bevy of modern classics hitting the market lately, the Triumph Bonneville can still hold its own. Maybe a few technical improvements wouldn’t go amiss, but that’s where folks like Maria Motorcycles come in. Luis Correia and his crew have turned wrenches on several… Read more »

  • 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 »