A sleek Honda Ascot tracker, a murdered-out BMW R100, and a sneak peek at the latest Yamaha Yard Built machine. These are the bikes that revved our engines this week.
BMW R100 by K-Speed Garage Bangkok-based K-Speed Garage isn’t going about business in a typical Thai fashion. We’re used to seeing rolling art from SE Asia—but usually based on domestic market bikes, for obvious reasons. K-Speed does cater to the locals, but obviously has a thing for working with rare German boxers too.
This latest build is a cafe racer take on a 1981 BMW R100 and it ticks a lot of boxes. The subframe has been chopped in favor of the requisite racer’s tail, hoop, and humped leather seat. Suspension upgrades at the rear and a revised front geometry deliver stance, and the front cowl and matte black finish portray a sinister intent. While I’d rather see some more reliable rubber, K-Speed’s predilection for Firestones certainly complements the classic cafe racer aesthetic.
Honda Ascot by MotoRelic There’s an undeniable appeal to the red, white and blue of Honda’s iconic race livery. It’s eye-catching and clean, and makes everything (shy of a Rune) appear to be in fighting shape. This is especially true when it finds itself on something as lithe and lively as this custom 1982 Honda Ascot.
Hailing from MotoRelic in Hamilton, Virginia, this featherweight street tracker has been through a major reconditioning stint. Sean Skinner, the man behind MotoRelic, has stripped the original FT500 bare—removing the rear frame rails and deburring before constructing a racer’s hoop. A tank from a Suzuki TS250 was then modded to perch atop the Honda’s spine. While much of the metalwork on the tank goes unnoticed, the hand formed aluminum tail, side plates and front number plate clearly show a master’s touch. [More]
BMW R80/7 by Meister Engineering With over thirty custom builds already under his belt, Antoine Meister has developed an extensive client base and impressive resumé of builds, primarily BMWs. The achievement becomes even more astonishing when you learn that Antoine cranked out a couple of these stunners while pursuing a law degree. Your jaw hits the floor when you find out he’s only twenty-five and has no mechanical training to speak of.
Based Geneva, Switzerland, Meister Engineering’s latest creation is a BMW R80/7 scrambler called ‘Geneva-Dakar,’ built in collaboration with Mathieu Dimier. Long travel suspension, Heidenau K60 Scouts and that elevated beak give this airhead a take-no-prisoners stance the original Dakar probably wished it had.
The slender tank, humped and hooped rear and naked cockpit create a lean and aggressive presence. Check out the Domino throttle and Accossato risers and levers, and the minimalist switchgear and color matched plug wires and plumbing. Antoine’s attention to detail borders on perfection. [More]
Triumph Bonneville by Tamarit Given the skyrocketing popularity of the scrambler style, the most surprising thing to come of Triumph’s reborn Bonneville lineup was its complete lack of a scrambler. Ducati is adding inhabitants to its land of joy by the hundreds, and BMW’s scrambled R nineT is hot off the press—but Hinckley is currently absent in the category it once owned.
No matter I suppose, as there’s no shortage of scrambled trumpets in the custom world. The latest to hit our radar is ‘Ronin,’ from Tamarit of Alicante in Spain. Typified by their function forward designs, Tamarit’s newest scrambler was actually built as a daily rider for team member Enrique Berna. Working with a 2004 Bonneville—preferring the 360-degree crank over the Scrambler’s 270-degree unit—the build took roughly forty-five days to complete.
It features a bevy of Tamarit’s in-house developed parts, including their Scrambler Seat and Great Bastard front fender. What that means for you is, aside from Ronin’s gorgeous in-house paintwork, Tamarit can sort out your own scrambler in a similar fashion. [More]
Yamaha XV950 by Moto di Ferro Yamaha’s Yard Built program may prove to be the tuning fork brand’s most successful marketing venture in its 129-year history. More than that, it’s directed a spotlight onto some seriously talented fabricators and motorcycle visionaries from all over the world.
The latest Yard Built project is setting our spidey-senses tingling. It’s called Speed Iron and it’s a XV950 Tracker from Moto di Ferro of Venice, Italy. Builder Marco Lugato and his team have roots in off-road riding, track racing, blacksmithing and industrial design, and describe their goal in a very Italian way: “Making motorcycles designed to do what they want them to do, and say what they feel like saying.” One look at this XV and we’re pretty sure it shouts “Uscire dalla mia strada!” (Get out of my way!)
Transforming Yamaha’s factory bobber into a street tracker style is no easy feat, and the Moto di Ferro team has done an absolute bang up job. We’d love to share more with you at this point, but consider this an appetizer—the main course will follow in a couple of weeks.