The new ICON 1000 MH1000 jacket

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 9 September, 2018

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A lesson in laying (exhaust) pipe from Taiwan, a BMW K100 called ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, and a GSX-R750 hiding a little secret under its bodywork. We’re bringin’ sexy back this week.

BMW K100 cafe racer by Deep Creek Cycleworks
BMW K100 cafe racer by Deep Creek Cycleworks What if you really dig the lines and shapes created by the R nine T Racer, but find its protruding pistons to be a bit of an eyesore? Well, you call up the experts at Belgium’s Deep Creek Cycleworks and commission something like this: a K100-powered Racer, dubbed ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’

‘Bikes Are Made to Ride’ is the mantra of Kris Reniers and his DCC crew. So when a Bavarian brick found its way onto their bench, they decided to make it really fly. The original bodywork was axed and a new, hooped subframe was tacked into place.

BMW K100 cafe racer by Deep Creek Cycleworks
Then it was surmised that the stock tank would line up extremely well with the fairing Ola Stenegärd penned for the R nineT Racer, so modifications were made and mounts were crafted. Sure enough, things look spot on.

In the rear, a new humped tail was created to perfectly match the lines on the subframe and although it sits a touch low for aesthetic perfection, it was crafted this way to enhance ergonomics for an easier tuck. Which the DCC boys decided to evaluate at this year’s Glemseck races, decreeing that Fifty Shades of Grey was an absolute blast. [More]

Triumph Bonneville T100 by Persist
Triumph Bonneville T100 by Persist There’s something about the creative vision coming out of East Asian workshops that the West can’t quite replicate. Peep this lean and mean take on a Bonnie T100 for example. Hinckley’s previous-gen modern classic has been revamped hundreds of times, but few builds have nailed the look and vibe of ‘Kane’ from Persist Motorcycles of Taiwan.

Working in collaboration with Taipei-based Cowboy’s Chopper, Lin Dong and his crew hand-formed sheets of aluminum to create the T100’s compact tank. The new side panels, which sit inboard the revamped subframe, and the tail have also been hand beaten and rolled from the same slices of alloy. The forks have been shortened to deliver a squat stance and the headlight that sits between them was specifically chosen for its resemblance to the Kanji character for ‘eyes.’

Triumph Bonneville T100 by Persist
All of this is contrasted beautifully by the brass-capped swooping, exhaust—with each tube hand bent, no mandrels here. It’s a build style that dips toes in a couple of different waters, but we’re digging it in a big way.

All these changes can be swapped back to stock in no time at all. The Taiwanese government is a bit of a stickler for stock motorcycles, and to ensure Kane gets the nod during mandatory inspections, everything has to be bolt-on. So, when can we put in our order for one of these kits? [More]

Gilles Francru’s Paris Dakar Suzuki DR650
Gilles Francru’s Paris-Dakar Suzuki DR650 For ADV and dual-sport enthusiasts, few events separate the men from the boys (and the bikes from the busted) more effectively than the Paris-Dakar Rally. In 1994, ninety-six motorcycles entered the famed race but only forty-seven would finish—and one Suzuki was in that collection. It was this 1993 DR650, piloted by Gilles Francru.

Sotheby’s had this bike in their ‘Weird and Wonderful Collection’ in London that ran on September 5th. Selling for a bargain £10,800, this period-correct racer wasn’t restored or re-touched in any way.

Gilles Francru’s Paris Dakar Suzuki DR650
In fact, judging by the entry stickers and the odometer, it appears this bike has spent all of its life being tortured on the sand of the Euro-African race. As always, we hope the lucky new owner decides to continue the abuse: even by today’s standards, this would make one hell of an enduro. [More]

Honda CB175 AHRMA racer by Tannermatic
Honda CB175 AHRMA racer by Tannermatic With roots in motorcycle racing, surfing, architecture and boat building, Massachusetts-based Matt Tanner is a modern day renaissance man. And his latest creation, this CB175 powered AHRMA racer, is a breath of classically styled fresh air.

It may surprise you, but this build is basically a bitsa—pieced together from boxes of parts and a rolling chassis. That frame is from a 1964 CB160 and it now runs an extended swingarm and a pair of Hagon shocks to keep the Heidenau race rubber dialed in at the back.

Honda CB175 AHRMA racer by Tannermatic
Up front, a pair of NOS Marzocchi forks were fitted up, after Matt machined the Honda’s triples to suit. The CB175 engine has been tweaked for racing performance and reliability by Frank Gianni, and includes a set of Keihin CR26 carbs and a custom 2-into-1 exhaust system courtesy of John Branson.

Of course, since we’re not seeing it in motion at the track, it’s the tank and bodywork that are stealing the show. Matt wanted to combine styling elements from a multitude of former European racers so he combined fiberglass, aluminum and leather to nail his vision. The seat and fairing were inspired by a Benelli 250 GT Racer, both of which were scaled down to meet the Honda’s smaller proportions. [More]

Suzuki GSX-R750 racing motorcycle by Super8cycles
Suzuki GSX-R750 racer by Super8cycles For street riders, Suzuki and its late 80s ‘Slingshot’ Gixxers pushed the boundaries of GP-style bike performance and design. And those very bikes are now fueling the design trend that may be the Next Big Thing in the custom world.

Michael Vienne is the man behind Super8cycles, a California based shop specializing in this discipline—and this Michael’s own GSX-R750 racer. Built for classic track days, the 2009-era mechanicals are hidden by what seems to be the iconic, slab-sided bodywork of a 1990 Gixxer.

Suzuki GSX-R750 racing motorcycle by Super8cycles
Except that it isn’t. Proportions have changed over 20 years, and classic Gixxers are starting to command a premium. So the fairings you see here are actually from the masters of glass at Airtech Streamlining. Painted in period correct Suzi colors, it looks like the bike I had pinned to my wall many years ago.

To help Vienne outpace other riders on those classic track days, the suspension of his Gixxer has been upgraded at both ends. A rebuilt Öhlins shock handles things out back while Vienne poached an entire front end from his R6 racer. (After some mild machining at the steering stem and a fresh set of bearings, everything slid into place nicely.)

If you find yourself near Willow Springs, chances are good you’ll find Vienne running hot laps, dialing in changes to his setup. Let’s hope he keeps those classic looks. [More]

Suzuki GSX-R750 racing motorcycle by Super8cycles

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