The ICON Airmada Scrawl helmet

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 5 March, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Sleek new metal from Rough Crafts, a museum-worthy Honda race replica from Down Under, and BMW turns its youngest engineers loose on a hover bike concept. The motorcycling world is indeed a broad church.

Honda CB550 race replica by Justin Steyn
Justin Steyn’s Honda CB550 race replica Roughly three years ago, Justin Steyn commanded our attention with his Ferrari Blue 1969 Triumph Bobber build, which got over 14,000 shares on Pinterest alone. But since then, all’s been quiet on his South African front—so far as we knew.

Man, were we wrong. Even though his Trumpet was a beaut, he’s a Honda man at his core—and he’s been honing his talents on reproduction racers. This is his latest project, a CB550 based Honda CR750 replica, and it’s truly next level stuff. That’s because trying to transfer perfect proportions from CB to CR, without the use of a debigulator, is no easy feat. Using a Honda RSC frame as a guide, Justin added an extra top-tube and tweaked the subframe for a near perfect match. He spent roughly 350 hours tweaking metal and fittings so that the whittled-down CR750 fairing would sit just right.

When it came to the motor, Justin sought out Kevin Bidgood from TR400. Kevin over-bored the mill by 3mm and balanced all of the internals before sealing things back up. Keihin CR carbs help exploit those efforts on the inhale, with a completely custom 4-into-4 exhaust kit fabbed up for the bellows. You can see some of the build process on his Instagram feed, but I’d recommend covering your eyes when you scroll to around 12 weeks ago. [More]

Yamaha XSR700 by Rough Crafts
Yamaha XSR700 by Rough Crafts Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts has become a household name around these parts. I would dare to say that nothing that’s rolled out of his Taiwan shop has ever failed to drop jaws or raise eyebrows. And it seems he’s nowhere near finished.

The latest Rough Crafts build to break cover is ‘Double Style,’ an XSR700 with a split personality created for Yamaha’s Yard Built program. Working with a brand new XSR, limitations were imposed by forbidding any welds or cuts to the frame. Which isn’t a big deal with the XSR700 as it’s a versatile piece of kit right out of the box. But after some mock-ups, Winston had a choice to make. Double Style has a split personality because Yeh couldn’t decide: He’s essentially created two distinct builds out of a single bike. ‘Corsa Scorcher’ is the canyon carver and ‘Soil Scorpion’ (below) is the dirt monger.

Yamaha XSR700 by Rough Crafts
Each unit features a unibody tank, seat and tail system that can be swapped with the rear key latch and some lefty-loosey action on a single fastener. Up front, both styles have bolstered suspension in the form of R1 forks, fitted to a Yeh-designed custom triple-tree. The Scorcher rides on new carbon hoops from Rotobox and control comes via clip-ons from Germany’s Gilles Tooling. In Scorpion guise, those bits swap (in mere minutes, no less) to forged Wukawa wheels and a set of of finned risers and bars from the Rough Crafts store. So, when is the XSR700 coming to North America, exactly? [More]

Yamaha XSR700 by WalzWerk Racing
Yamaha XSR700 by WalzWerk Racing If the Rough Crafts XSR700 isn’t what you’re pining for, but the middleweight Yammi is the only blip on your radar, the Atacama 700S from WalzWerk Racing might capture your heart.

Built with a focus on maximizing performance, Marcus Walz and his crew have managed to massage an extra seven ponies out of the parallel twin—and shed almost 30 kilos too. Almost every OE component has been upgraded to a higher spec, there’s new bodywork by JvB-Moto, and most of the tactile bits have been sourced from ABM and Rizoma. The €2000 premium for the S model also nets you a suspension set-up from Wilbers, which should ensure the TKC80 rubber is put to proper use without fear of crunching the SC-Project exhaust. As it sits, I reckon Marcus’ Atacama S would eat the Ducati Desert Sled’s lunch. And it’s almost as pretty, too.

Walz figures they can hand-assemble about a dozen of these beasts over the course of a year. At €16,990 (US$18,000) and €18,990 (US$20,200), we imagine they’ll all be spoken for pretty quickly. [More]

Yamaha XV1000 by Ortolani Peinture
Yamaha XV1000 by Ortolani Peinture Ortolani is a bespoke speed shop located just outside of Nice in the south of France. It specializes primarily in bodywork and paint of the four-wheeled variety, but Olivier and his crew have been known to ply their craft to the odd motorcycle as well.

Which is exactly why the owner of this XV1000 Virago paid them a visit—to put some fresh sparkle and shine on his beloved bike. Then Olivier had different ideas, and an entire build was the result. To straighten its spine and clean up its back end, the XV’s subframe was looped with integrated lighting, and a well-padded saddle was affixed. Behind the hand-rolled aluminum panels, Olivier has upgraded the electronics and hidden a new battery and harness. The Virago’s tank was swapped for an aluminum unit lifted from a Benelli Mojave that, surprisingly enough, was only lacquered to preserve its raw look.

With a Gixxer front end and a Fournales air-ride unit out back, this XV now has a menacing stance. I’d wager those in-house fabricated pipes give it a boomer of a voice as well. [More]

Hover Bike concept by BMW and Lego Technic
Hover Bike concept by BMW and Lego Technic Back in January, Lego unveiled a Technic kit based on BMW’s R1200GS. I instantly added it to my want list, even though the lumpy Lego bike isn’t exactly drop dead gorgeous.

Which may be why designers from both camps recently put their heads together to see what else that 603-piece kit could create. Convention was thrown out the window, and a futuristic flying version of the long-way-rounder was created. Then BMW Junior, a Munich-based design training unit, ended up with the model in hand—and challenged themselves to build the real thing.

The Hover Ride Design Concept blends many of the characteristic GS styling cues—the beak, the water-boxer heads and plasti-guarded handgrips—with an extra sprinkling of ‘imagineering’ to deliver our brand of insane inspiration. The future seems a brighter place, all thanks to Lego. [More]