Custom Bikes Of The Week: 27 November, 2016

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Surprise, surprise—Honda has launched a new Rebel with a pair of very cool customs. We’ve also got an immaculate Ducati 900SS restomod, and a Yamaha MT-03 designed by a very talented 12-year-old. Yes, really.

Custom Yamaha SR400 by Bad Winners
Yamaha SR400 by Bad Winners Simple and clean are conceptual ideals in the custom scene, but sometimes get lost on the bench. Walid from Paris-based Bad Winners has quickly become a master of the art, though—and his latest creation sets a benchmark.

Working with a 2014 SR400, Walid wanted to create a classically styled, slightly Brat-ish urban commuter that would stand out in the City of Lights. The Yammi’s tank was quickly swapped for one from Suzuki GN400, the stock fender was scrapped, and a custom subframe and hoop was welded into place.

Next, Power Commander and Motogadget were tapped to handle the electrics. Namely, the PC unit woke up the injectors and made them work with a free-flowing custom exhaust, and the cockpit looks cleaner thanks to a Motoscope Tiny speedo and m-Switches. To flatten the stance, the front forks were chopped and an upgraded pair of shocks fitted—straddling a handrolled, stubby aluminum fender. [More]

Custom 2017 Honda Rebel 500 and Rebel 300
Custom 2017 Honda Rebels Wes and I obviously share a passion for motorcycles. We jib and jab on the book of face—over builds we find, new bikes we want to ride, and the riding gear that catches our eye. We also, apparently, share a nostalgia for that era few admit to missing, the Eighties. So when Honda’s revived Rebel broke cover in Long beach, we knew we had to share it with you.

Available in both 300 and 500cc flavors, the bobber-styled new Rebel looks like an excellent starter bike, and a whole new platform for builders to play with. Honda knows as much, and has wasted no time in creating a couple of one-offs. One is a BMX inspired, slightly bobbed affair called the Rebel-X (top), using the Rebel 300 thumper as a base and with a pair of high-bars fitted.

The other, dubbed the Rebel P-40 (above), was more to my liking. It takes the parallel twin 500 down a more aggressive route, complete with clip-ons, piggyback rear shocks and a WW2 fighter-inspired paint job. [More]

Ducati 900SS restomod by Town Moto
Ducati 900SS restomod by Town Moto Back in late September, I participated in Toronto’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride. The collection of gorgeous machinery was nothing short of spectacular, but there was one bike that clearly stood out, at least in my eyes: this 1980 Ducati 900SS.

A combination of painstaking restoration and mechanical modernization, much of this Duc’s rebuild process involved hunting down proper spec New Old Stock parts. Of course, there are also a few vintage racing gems plucked from Bologna, too. During restoration everything was stripped down, placed on a bench and the parts worth saving were cleaned and prepped for fresh paint.

The tank is now a handmade, all-aluminum unit, with a polished vertical stripe of bare metal paying homage to the viewing windows of the past. The engine has been completely rebuilt, with its cases receiving a full polish and a ‘gear gazer’ installed atop the head—so you can watch the wondrous bevel drive in action. The wiring is all new and the suspension has been upgraded via Works Performance.

Best of all, this Duc won’t just gather dust in a garage display. The owner, Nicholas, rides this beauty often—and with some luck, he and I will cruise together this spring. [More]

Yamaha XT600 by Freeride Motos
Yamaha XT600 by Freeride Motos We are approaching Peak Scrambler. From custom houses to OEMs, the inundation of ‘scrambled’ bikes is getting to be a bit much. Especially since most miss the mark so completely by merely tossing knobbies on fender-less contraptions. But every now and then, one pops up that clearly deserves recognition—like this Yamaha XT600 from France’s Freeride Motos.

The customer told Freeride’s boss Pierre that he was looking for a low and approachable scrambler, built with a unique look and a Bultaco vibe. So Pierre found a Bultaco Lobito 125 online and modelled and molded the monocoque tank/seat/tail unit. Of course, a mock up had to be done first, which prompted subframe modifications to ensure that the fit and finish would be spot on.

To lower the XT’s stance without ruining its rideability, Pierre swapped the forks for a set of Showas from a CBR600 and fitted a KTM WP shock in the rear. Other niceties include a Gas Gas 450 swingarm for added lightness and strength, a custom luggage rack behind the seat, and that achingly beautiful Aston Martin blue paint job—which would look incredible spackled in mud. [More]

Custom Yamaha MT-03 by Moritz Bree, 12 years old
Yamaha MT-03 by Moritz Bree, 12 If you haven’t yet heard the name Moritz Bree, take note. A designer on the rise, both figuratively and literally, he has already penned two designs for Free Spirits and worked with Zaeta to spruce up one of their rides. He’s also only twelve years old.

This time around, Moritz has teamed up with Dirk Oehlerking of Kingston Custom to create this unique Yamaha MT-03. Moritz wanted to take the entry level ride in a completely new direction, and the tracker styled MT-03 ‘Fast Friends’ is an absolute stunner that the inner twelve-year-old in all of us would love to ride.

Of course, design is nothing without execution, and Dirk Oehlerking’s deft hands have created a wee masterpiece. The engine and chassis were left untouched, but the rear subframe needed some work. Dirk let Moritz get his grinder on and a new hoop was grafted. Then a tracker tail was fitted and the humped OE tank was swapped for a modded slimline unit. Wide tracker bars were installed, and a Motogadget Motoscope Mini speedo sits behind the custom number plate with LED lights.

A one-off exhaust and chunky tires finish off this truly inspiring build. Even cooler is hearing that Moritz rode the bike into the show for its debut—and the fact that Dirk’s tow vehicle is a hitched Porsche 356. [More]