Custom Bikes of the Week

The best custom motorcycles of the week
A Triumph Bonneville that sold for over $100,000, a slick Honda CB750 tracker from Argentina, and a return to form from former Radical Ducati boss Pepo Rosell. Meet the custom bikes that have got our pulses racing over the past few days.

The Steve McQueen Von Dutch Triumph Bonneville
The $100,00 Triumph Bonneville desert sled Utter the names Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen and you’ll immediately have a captive audience. The stuntman-and-star duo created the most iconic motorcycle stunt in Hollywood history and regularly competed for glory on two wheels.

Three days ago, this 1963 Triumph Bonneville desert sled, built by Ekins and piloted by the King of Cool himself, sold at Bonhams in Vegas for a staggering $103,500. (That’s nearly $20,000 more than a previous sale price of $84,240 in 2009.) Painted by Von Dutch, this machine captures the ethos of the King of Cool—and is something of a blueprint for what continues today. Ekins chopped the rear fender and hoop, grafted on a high-mount, zig-zag exhaust, and added a proper set of bars to keep those knobbies from getting too squirrely.

Most of us couldn’t imagine parting with that kind of cash for a vintage Bonnie. But the provenance and pedigree of this hard-ridden example speaks for itself. It’s just a shame that it won’t get dirty ever again. [More]

Honda CB750 by Herencia Custom Garage
Honda CB750 by Herencia Custom Garage The street tracker movement is on fire right now. Spurred by pioneers like Richard Pollock, builders are attempting to raise the bars of ingenuity with each new creation. This CB750 from Argentina’s Herencia Custom Garage is one of the finest examples to date.

If Herencia sounds familiar to you, it may be because they’re showcased weekly on the Latin American Discovery Channel. Don’t let that tidbit dissuade you, though. These guys are the furthest thing from OCC abominations.

Fully decked out in HRC livery, this CB750 is a work of art. The remote, pro-link style rear suspension is refreshing and unique—and so is the minimalist, tubular rear brake reservoir. Every component of the four-into-one exhaust system is exquisite, right down to the HCG rearset hanger. [More]

Custom Triumph Speed Triple by XTR Pepo.
Triumph Speed Triple by XTR Pepo Since Pepo Rosell returned to the garage after closing Radical Ducati, he’s been cranking out hit after hit. This latest build went under Pepo’s torch as a 2005 Speed Triple and emerged as the appropriately named ‘Extreme Speed.’

In typical Rosell fashion, many of the new parts on this weapons-grade build are XTR originals—including the fairing, subframe, seat and license plate bracket. The carbon fiber rear hugger and front fender are both homebuilt units as well. The clip-ons are Tommaselli and the blinkers, footrests and sprocket cover are sourced from Rizoma.

The only thing I’d change would be the gold mags, for a set of blacked out Alpina spokes. But who am I to chide a master? [More]

Honda XLR250 by Ask Motorcycles
Honda XLR250 by Ask Motorcycles Very little about this machine appeals to the rider in me. It’s not that I wouldn’t swing a leg over and give it a try—I just don’t know that I could without hurting myself. Or worse, without damaging a work of art.

Such is the genius of Ask Motorcycles’ Rad Yamamoto. This latest build, ‘Mother Machine,’ was prepared for the 2015 Mooneyes Motorcycle Show in Yokohama and features some of the most intricate metal work we’ve seen for a long time. Every turned piece of brass was fashioned on Rad’s lathe. The tank was shaped using hammers, dollies, and even sandbags. The result is one of the thinnest (and lowest rides) to grace these pages.

The Mooneyes show requires that all bikes entered are functional, rideable machines. Thanks to Honda XLR250 power and some ingenious linkage work by Rad, this thing runs, shifts and brakes just as it should. [More]

Stanley Tang’s Honda XR650L
Stanley Tang’s Honda XR650L Five years ago, when Stanley Tang was entrenched in the finance business, he decided to turn his hand to bike building. Five completed bikes later, the quality of his work speaks for itself. This XR650L is Stanley’s latest creation and recently grabbed the attention of master builder Roland Sands.

To streamline things, Stanley swapped the XR’s tank with a slimmer unit from a Honda CG125. The seatpan and fenders were fabricated to match, as well as to accentuate his custom work on that rear subframe. The engine was completely torn down and rebuilt to factory spec, then repainted, slotted back in, and hooked up to a gorgeous reverse-cone exhaust system. A pair of Excel rims went on, with a slightly larger rear hoop optimized for street use. And all superfluous switchgear was binned, to deliver an incredibly minimalist cockpit.

The financial world obviously lost an asset when Stanley jumped ship. But I’d say the rest of us are better off. [More]