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Custom Bikes Of The Week: 1 May, 2016

The best custom motorcycles and cafe racers of the week
The winner of Moto Guzzi’s Lord Of The Bikes build-off, a stunning CB400 from PopBang Classics, and the most radical snowmobile we’ve ever seen. These are the machines that revved our engines this week.

Honda CM400 by Matteucci Garage
Honda CM400 by Matteucci Garage You can tell at first glance that this Honda CM400, dubbed Alligator, is ready for anything. It’s small, dark and scrambled—and if you squint, it could easily be confused with Ducati’s new Sixty2. That being said, Marco Matteucci’s skilled hands ensured this build stands out, without appearing as brutish as its name implies.

There’s a plethora of winding dirt roads near the Italian shop, so this is a minimalist, multi-terrain machine to explore and enjoy them. The donor was stripped completely before the tank was scalloped, and a Ducati front end was fitted—complete with USD forks and Brembo brakes.

Most impressive to my eyes though, is the work out the rear. The custom subframe with its thin, integrated fender looks the business. And the solid wood rear hoop running through the taillight, with inset signals, is a work of pure art. [More]

SnoPed motorcycle by Joey Ruiter’
Joey Ruiter’s SnoPed With spring finally in the air, a good chunk of us are waking our steeds from their garage hibernations. Snow is the last thing on our minds. However, I’d be willing to overlook a last blast of powder if it meant I could swing a leg over the SnoPed.

It’s the work of Michigan-born Joey Ruiter—an industrial designer with an obvious hooligan’s heart—and pushes the boundaries of snowmobile design. With a lightweight chassis and a cafe racer stance, there’s a minimalist-meets-Mad Max vibe going on here. Powered by a 90cc engine and using parts pillaged from a 1980s Chrysler Snorunner, the aluminum and composite SnoPed is our kind of crazy.

At present there are no plans to bring this beast to market, but my guess is we may see some alternate home-brew models carving through trails and across frozen lakebeds next winter. [More]

Moto Guzzi V9 by OMT Garage
Moto Guzzi V9 by OMT Garage Moto Guzzi’s Lord of the Bikes competition has produced some stellar builds, showcasing the versatility of Mandello’s newest modern classic—the V9. The competition recently came to a close and the anointed build, The Silver Knight by Origgio’s OMT Garage, is a ruler most deserving.

With 330 hours of wrench time and a modest $3,000 budget, brothers Mario and Marco showed that time (and focus) is more important than money when building a bespoke bike. The highly detailed Moto Guzzi is a stunner from any angle, with a decidedly classic take on a modern bike.

The modified swingarm and inverted monoshock, bespoke chassis work, and outstanding springer front-end are all enough to drop the most discerning petrolhead’s jaw. But to combine them all into a single build, with such a clean finish, makes this one of the most unique Guzzis I’ve ever seen. [More]

Suzuki GS550 by Kerkus Cycle
Suzuki GS550 by Kerkus Cycle Kerkus Cycle started when a couple of friendly neighbors met each other riding around their hood in Keramat, Kuala Lumpur—and discovered they shared a passion for cafe racers. Azree Zo and Rockers Racer prefer simple and straightforward bikes, and that vibe carries through with each bike they create.

This Suzuki GS550 has been de-burred, hooped and stripped of any unnecessary heft. Riding on 19-inch Avons up front, the lowered geometry and steeply angled clip-ons give ‘K4’ an aggressive, forward stance. After a shakedown run around Keramat, the Malaysian team began buttoning her up with bespoke touches like the billet top yoke, scalloped tank, and cushioned saddle-leather seat.

A beefy, 4-into-1 exhaust continues the take no prisoners approach, but it’s the mix of chrome, tan, black and raw metal that brings things together for me. [More]

Honda CB400 by PopBang Classics
Honda CB400 by PopBang Classics Making a small bike bigger can be a tough nut to crack. Proportion dictates design—especially when you’re building a stripped down cafe racer. And it’s far too easy to bugger things up, even unintentionally.

In breathing new life into a $350 swap-meet find, Justin Holmes of Queensland’s PopBang Classics was milli-metrically precise in every modification to this CB400. The swingarm was extended 50mm and a new mount for the monoshock was added. The Honda’s stock subframe was binned and a dead straight unit was grafted on.

At the front end, Justin co-opted a Ducati Monster’s triple-tree, forks and headlight to deliver the requisite width—and from there, a longer, custom fiberglass tank was added. The engine was treated to a big-bore kit, some rebuilt carbs and a fully custom exhaust, to help this beefy CB muscle its new girth around town. [More]