The first official custom Triumph Street Twin breaks cover. Plus a sneak peek at the next build from El Solitario, and a cafe racer kit that anyone with a set of sockets and spanners can build. It’s the proverbial mixed bag this week.
Ducati Scrambler by Beautiful Machines The last time Malaysia’s Beautiful Machines caught our eye, they’d turned a Harley Davidson Sportster into a steampunk cafe racer. This time, they’ve repaired a botched custom job on a Ducati Scrambler—and it’s equally compelling.
‘Dirty Fellow’ has been stripped of excess baggage, and given a hybridized tracker/scrambler stance to exploit the Duc’s built-in fun factor. The rear subframe is a one-off unit that trims about six inches of heft from the back end, and allows an intricate re-routing of the custom exhaust. A hand-stitched seat with just enough room to justify a pair of grab handles tops things off. (Although my wife would probably say ‘No thanks.’)
The tank is a completely custom unit—scalloped and sculpted to provide notches for knees and create angles of visual interest not normally seen. Word from Beautiful Machines is that it’s even more fun to ride than to look at. [More]
Triumph Street Twin by Down & Out Café Racers Much like the polarizing creations rolling out of El Solitario, the wide-tired bikes from Down & Cafe Racers are often met with mixed regard. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of their signature style: It adds brutish appeal to Triumph’s typically delicate motif.
Commissioned by Triumph itself, this new Street Twin debuted at the Bike Shed’s Paris show. It isn’t as wild as we’ve seen Shaun and Carl go, but it’s an impressive take on Hinckley’s entry-level modern classic.
The TKC80s this Twin rides on are ‘only’ 150 series hoops, but they complement the Street Twin’s dimensions and are made possible by D&O’s wider yokes. The subframe has been chopped, and a custom seat and snubbed set of fenders installed. YSS shocks replace the stock units, while new bars and risers from LSL put the rider in control. Other aesthetic touches include a re-worked headlight bracket, smaller switchgear and a custom exhaust unit from GP Exhausts. It’s more mild than wild, but beautifully judged—and we’re sure the next Bonnie to be reborn in D&O’s garage will take things to the next level. [More]
Moto8ight cafe racer kit If you’re enamored with customs but devoid of the talent to fabricate your own, the bolt-on world is traditionally your salvation. The aftermarket industry is quick to cater to whims, and a set of sockets and spanners will usually see you through. But those simple skills and tools could now craft a custom from the ground up.
After putting together a few bike builds, Jack Chin decided it was high time that the two-wheeled world had a kit-bike option as well. Working under the Moto8ight banner and still in the R&D phase, Jack’s frame kits give amateur builders the right geometry to maximize gains from updated suspension and braking.
Moto8ight’s current frames work with Suzuki donor parts, such as suspension from GSX-Rs, Bandits and Katanas—as well as powerplant options from the same machines. Plans are in the works to expand those choices, and Jack figures a full kit can go from bucket of parts to hunting corners in around two hours. [More]
Coming soon: Zaeta by El Solitario Any time David Borras and co. start work on a new build, you can feel the electricity spark throughout the custom world. Both celebrated and chided for their design directions, builds from the Galician cannibals are always unique and never boring.
Of course, when you start with a 255-lb. supermoto-style weapon like the Zaeta 530SE, ‘boring’ would be impossible anyways. The brief for this commission is to create a street legal flat track racebike with enhanced performance. Right now, all we know is that ‘Pluto’ will be quick and nimble, and will debut at the Wheels and Waves festival in June.
David has revealed that Pluto will be torture-tested right off the hop: It’s also been entered into the El Rollo Flat Track in Spain at the San Sebastian Lasarte hippodrome. We have no idea what the finished product will look like, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled to see what emerges from the clouds of tire smoke and flinging dirt. [More]
Custom Yamaha RX-K The power of the internet to connect people in niches is a staggering thing. Teguh Setiawan, a 23-year-old Indonesian engineering student with a passion for motos, cobbled this custom two-stroke Yamaha RX-K together with the help of friends and a YouTube education.
Legislation banned oil-burners in Indonesia back in 2009, so Teguh has called his cafe racer ‘Long Live the King’—and it’s a build worth hailing. Working with a student’s budget, the RX-King took 10 months to complete and began with a hand-drawn sketch on a piece of cardboard. A new subframe was welded on to the donor bike using ¾-inch tube steel, and the tank was swapped out for a sleeker Suzuki A100 unit.
Most impressive of all, Teguh hand-formed the fairings from 0.8mm galvanized steel plate using only a hammer. With skills like this, we can only imagine how much better his builds will get once he finishes his engineering degree. [More]