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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  • 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 »

  • So you want to build custom bikes?

    So you want to build custom bikes?

  • Wesley Reyneke Interviews

    For the second edition of The Bike EXIF Panel, we’re picking the brains of seven of the world’s top custom builders. The topic: what’s it like building custom motorcycles for a living? From the USA we have Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, Alan Stulberg of… Read more »

  • CRD’s new boxer twins

    CRD’s new boxer twins

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    A few years ago you couldn’t sneeze without hitting a custom Honda CB. But the baton has now been passed to the BMW R-series. And with good reason too—old ‘airheads’ are easy to come by and bulletproof. With a simple layout and a removable subframe,… Read more »

  • BMW Paris Dakar replica by Svako

    BMW Paris Dakar replica by Svako

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    With a barrage of classic BMW boxer customs gracing our screens of late, it’s easy to overlook the legendary R80 G/S. Being such an iconic motorcycle, few builders dare customize it. Especially when dealing with the über-cool Paris Dakar model with its large capacity fuel… Read more »

  • Ducati 650 Pantah by Revival Cycles

    Ducati 650 Pantah by Revival Cycles

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    By Alan Stulberg’s own admission, Revival Cycles is “the kind of shop that puts subtlety high on the list of design priorities.” It shows—Revival’s builds are typically laced with well-considered details that are easily missed at first glance. Case in point: this ’83 Ducati 650… Read more »

  • Helrich Customs Triumph Tiger

    Helrich Customs Triumph Tiger

  • Wesley Reyneke Classic Motorcycles ,,

    In a sea of customized Triumph neo-classics, it’s refreshing to see a neat, vintage example emerge now and then. Especially when it’s been rebuilt by a shop whose signature look we’ve previously referred to as “retro streetfighter.” This Triumph Tiger is the work of the… Read more »

  • Motorcycle Design: The State We’re In

    Motorcycle Design: The State We’re In

  • Shed-built 1973 BMW R75/5

    Shed-built 1973 BMW R75/5

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    The notion of building one’s own custom motorcycle is romantic—but not without its pitfalls. Some shed-builders run out of budget. Others struggle to create something truly unique, or lack the obsessiveness required for the tiny details. But some home-brewed bikes stand head and shoulders above… Read more »

  • Honda GL1000 by ER Motorcycles

    Honda GL1000 by ER Motorcycles

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    When I hear that a shop has torn into a Honda Gold Wing, my curiosity is immediately piqued. As clichéd as it is, “less is more” is a maxim for many builders—and Honda’s legendary tourer is the exact opposite. Thankfully the bike in question is… Read more »

  • Yamaha Virago XV750 by Greg Hageman

    Yamaha Virago XV750 by Greg Hageman

  • Wesley Reyneke Custom Motorcycles ,,

    When it comes to old motorcycles in need of resurrection, owners often face a dilemma: restore to original spec, or rebuild as a custom? The temptation to perform a nuts-and-bolts resto is massive when there’s a ’60s model BSA or Triumph in the garage, but… Read more »