Custom Bikes Of The Week: 20 November, 2016

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A tire-smokin’ Triumph Bobber with nitrous injection, a custom BMW R75/5 beautiful enough to live in a museum, and a stunning Ducati 900SS from Revival Cycles. It’s a top drawer collection this week.

Triumph Bonneville Bobber by Down & Out Cafe Racers
Triumph Bonneville Bobber by Down & Out Cafe Racers When the lads from Hinckley pulled the wraps off their new Bobber, you knew it was only a matter of time before one was tweaked and massaged. Admittedly, the Bobber is an impressive package on the showroom floor but ‘Hold On Go Fast’ will kick you in the guts with every twist of the throttle.

That’s because Carl and Shaun have strapped twin canisters of NOS to the rear subframe. That’s right, this baby is bottle fed—hence the healthy supply of 160-series Pirelli slicks for the rear. But this build is more than just laughing gas and tire smoke. You’ve no doubt noticed that the emblazoned side covers are toast as well as the airbox, cleaning up the Bobber’s triangle.

Gone too are the wide bars, replaced with clip-ons to keep the rider tucked and low for quarter-mile passes. And the new diamond stitched leather seat has more of a lip, to keep the rider from being bucked off at the start line. The wiring has been cleaned up, and a Motogadget ECU helps meter out the nitrous oxide. But what might be most impressive is what Down & Out didn’t need to do with to Bobber to create this awesome bike—truly a testament to Triumph’s engineers. [More]

Custom BMW R75/5 by South Garage
BMW R75/5 by South Garage The Italian term Nerboruta is used to describe something brawny, muscular and sinewy. It also happens to be the name given to this absolutely stunning 1979 airhead from Italy’s South Garage, and it fits the bike to a T.

Transforming the late 70s BMW from tourer to bobbed beauty was no easy task. After stripping things down to their barest essentials, the Milan-based crew went to work on handcrafting the parts and pieces to give Nerboruta a stance that earns its name. The geometry received a massive change when the springer front end was fitted: It’s a move that always puts a smile on my face for its mechanically simplicity, and I dare say this one may be the smartest looking I’ve seen in awhile. From there, the OEM tank was tossed in favor of a hand-formed, scalloped unit with a profile fitting the bike’s bobbed rear end.

Wood grain accents are becoming a more prevalent theme in the custom world and South Garage is quickly becoming a master of the art. That seat alone would garner some exclusive wall space at most art galleries. [More]

The Buell-powered Bott XC1 Carbon cafe racer.
Bottpower XC1 Carbon When we pulled the wraps off the Bottpower XC1 a year ago, most of you were impressed. Commenter Chris Carter wrote, “Of every modern interpretation of the cafe racer archetype, this one may be the finest I’ve seen.” And we couldn’t have agreed more.

But David Sánchez didn’t get that memo. So another Buell went up on the bench and the Bott XC1 Carbon was born—a project for one of David’s dealers, Paradise Motorcycles in France. If the livery looks familiar, it should. It matches the equally stunning, rolling lab XR1R, as do the heavy doses of lightness, thanks to extensive carbon fibre.

A central spine steel frame holds everything together, with fuel storage in three separate tanks and the Buell Thunder Storm powerplant acting as a stressed member. This adds extra flickability and quickness to the lightened, short wheelbase XB. Of course, none of that would matter if the packaging weren’t oh-so-sweet. This time Bottpower worked with the Dutch industrial designer Hugo van Waaijen to nail down the aesthetic, without straying from the XC1’s original silhouette. Aside from the tank and tail, other carbon fiber touches are the heel guards and the front fender, which is now held in place by an impeccably machined, height adjustable bracket. [More]

Kawasaki KLR650 by Droog Concepts
Kawasaki KLR650 by Droog Concepts The KLR has achieved cult status in the ADV world. With low-tech mechanicals and unbreakable parts, it will get riders into and out of almost any patch of land on this Earth. It’s also never been much of a looker though.

At least, not until Max and Erica, the husband and wife team from Droog Concepts, got their hands on one. Working with a customer’s 1987 Kawasaki, the ‘Trackster’ is a mash-up of sorts, drawing inspiration from Droog’s two previous scrambler builds. After the industrial-strength plastics were binned, Max and Erica went to work on a new subframe to clean up the back end and provide a mount for the new exhaust system. The next thing to go was the Kawi’s OE tank, replaced with a more eye-pleasing unit from a Yamaha DT175. Other changes include a swap to Warp9 rims, both back and front; they’re shod with Shinko 705s, to deliver friendlier street manners.

With hundreds of thousands of KLRs floating around for next to nothing, we’re shocked we don’t see more go up on the bench. Droog has proven it can be done, with style. [More]

Ducati 900SS by Revival Cycles
Ducati 900SS by Revival Cycles Whenever Alan Stulberg and his Austin-based crew at Revival Cycles apply their craft to a new build, I get a touch excited. Their workshop has given life to some of the most exquisite bikes to grace this site, and the entire crew is dedicated to helping shade tree wrenchers get better at their craft.

This time the challenge was to build a high performance cafe racer on a budget, via a client in Michigan. Knowing their cash constraints, Revival used a Ducati 900SS as a donor—due to its top shelf components, grunty L-Twin motor and that iconic trellis frame. To nail the stance and straighten the Duc’s spine, a new subframe was fabricated to improve on Bologna’s original efforts. A new set of Ducati GT1000 wheels deliver a classic spoked look. The tank is the original 944 platform unit, but that tail is hand-formed from alloy to create a seamless blend from front to back. Other handmade touches can be found at the front fender and the snaking exhaust.

Usually, when we read ‘built to a budget’ in a bike’s description, we expect visible compromise to jump out everywhere. Revival has proven this does not need to be the case. Bravo boys. [More]