Custom Bikes Of The Week: 3 December, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
The best-looking Suzuki Bandit we’ve seen in years, a Honda Grom with a 500% horsepower increase, a delicious Bonneville T120 finished in British Racing Green, and an ancient BMW R68 hiding some very sneaky modern upgrades. The custom builders have been smoking some strong stuff this week.

Custom Honda Grom with Yamaha YZ250 engine
Honda ‘Gromaha’ by Jesse Davis Honda’s Grom may have redefined the fun of motorcycling. Riding one, you can’t help but smile incessantly as its miniscule proportions make you feel (and look) like a giant child.

Its tiny motor demands a full twist of the grip, at all times. Unless you’re Jesse Davis, and you’ve shoehorned a Yamaha YZ250 engine into the gap left by the stock Honda 125 mill. Without modifications, the 2-stroke swap takes horsepower from a comical nine to a maniacal 49. Fit up a Tyga Performance exhaust kit, like Jesse has, and the powerband gets even crazier. Thankfully Jesse also upgraded the suspension on his ‘Gromaha’ to include a JRi rear shock and the forks from an Aprilia RS125 GP bike.

Custom Honda Grom with Yamaha YZ250 engine
What’s most impressive is that this pocket rocket still looks mostly like a stock Grom. Sure, there’s the tuning fork badging, bigger radiators and beefy expansion chamber, but Jesse’s modifications haven’t strayed from the Grom’s infinitely appealing monkey bike aesthetic. Which is a triumph of both engineering and lunacy. [More]

Suzuki Bandit 1200 by Italian Dream Motorcycles
Suzuki Bandit 1200 by Italian Dream Motorcycles Sergio Giordano, the man behind Italian Dream Motorcycles, is obsessed with creating gorgeous motorcycles that perform brilliantly. Instead of sacrificing function for form, Sergio and his IDM crew focus efforts on the R&D necessary to find optimal balance. He also has a thing for racers of the past.

Lucky X was designed to pay honor to racer Marco Lucchinelli and the Gamma 500 he piloted to a championship in 1982. But instead of blowing the dust off of an old half-liter two-stroke, Sergio elected to transform a Suzuki Bandit 1200 into the repli-racer you see here.

The biggest change, visually, is the exquisite bodywork. From the winglets up front to the cheeky 4-into-1-into-4 exhaust that flows through the tail, IDM have absolutely nailed the look and proportions.

Suzuki Bandit 1200 by Italian Dream Motorcycles
It may surprise you to know that the 20L tank remains stock, but Sergio insists on his bikes being as usable as they are pretty. Which is also one of the reasons for choosing a modern Bandit in the first place, as it delivers reliable horsepower. But many of the other stock components have been swapped for high-end performers from Brembo, WP and Motogadget—so Lucky X’s abilities won’t sully its number plates. [More]

Triumph Bonneville T120 by Baak Motocyclettes
Triumph Bonneville T120 by Baak Motocyclettes The French workshop has a knack for tasteful Triumph transformations. Their changes are often subtle, but thanks to their expertise and a catalog of proprietary bolt-ons, they’ve sussed how to make even the simplest of upgrades stand out.

The latest build from Lyon is a British Racing Green Bonneville T120 with a bobber’s stance and a detailed finish that would make Hinckley’s engineers blush. Following the lead of a previous build, Rémi Reguin and his crew swapped the Bonnies hoops for a set of matching 16-inchers.

Triumph Bonneville T120 by Baak Motocyclettes
It now rides on Avon MKII rubber but it took some suspension work to deliver that dead-nuts, level stance. Up front, a new set of machined triple trees holds the factory forks, but in the rear the shocks sit nearly an inch lower.

Other changes include a new set of Baak’s N°1 wide bars, a Monza style gas cap, and matching stainless steel fenders, both fore and aft. The brakes have been upgraded to clamp down on Beringer discs and a Motogadget ChronoClassic has been neatly integrated into the Bonnie’s headlight bucket. Simple, tasteful, magnifique! [More]

Yamaha SR250 by Retro Bikes Croatia
Yamaha SR250 by Retro Bikes Croatia Croatia isn’t the first nation that comes to mind when studying custom bike culture. And according to Zeljko, the man behind this Zagreb-based shop, it’s also not a spot where smaller displacement rides do well. Those are two things he’s aiming to change, by transforming a rusting but lightly used Yamaha SR250 that popped up on his radar.

The goal was to capture a retro enduro vibe and make this scrambler appear as visually ‘light’ as possible. The Yammie’s subframe was the first to go and a new, flatter, hooped unit was welded up. Beneath the new tubing, the old airbox was binned and the battery moved under the swingarm to create a triangle clean enough for a white glove test.

Yamaha SR250 by Retro Bikes Croatia
The rusted out fuel tank was given new life, and chrome mudguards were fitted up with enough clearance to tackle near anything. To give ‘Kokon’ some true off-road ability, the suspension was completely re-worked up front, with new Progressive springs and a set of longer YSS legs were bolted on out back. The final package looks like it’d be fun to run through the Dinaric Alps—and hopefully should ignite a Croatian passion for big things in small packages. [More]

Custom BMW R68 by Kacerwagen
BMW Bitsa by Kacerwagen The last time we saw something roll out of Kacerwagen’s Spanish garage, we were drooling over their carbon-clad Aprilia. But we reckon Chus and his crew have outdone themselves with their latest project, this BMW ‘R168’ dubbed The Basque.

Yes, you are correct. There’s no such thing as a BMW R168. What this is, though, is a re-interpretation of the iconic R68 that’s been underpinned by an R100RS. That meant the Kacerwagen crew had a literal ton of work ahead of them, and the only remaining part of the original frame is the engine cradle itself. Everything else had to be heavily modified to send this Beemer back in time to work with the vertical, custom-housed Hagons and that vintage perch. The front and rear fenders are true R68 units, but were modified to work with the custom frame—and hover above a set of new spokes.

Custom BMW R68 by Kacerwagen
On the performance end of things, modern parts prevail. The front end was swiped from a Honda CBR900, so this Beemer not only has dual floating discs, but also benefits from modern forks. The boxer powering this beauty has been resealed and vapor blasted to keep it tight and clean, and Chus had a custom K&N air filter fitted up to keep the airflow equally healthy. The rest of the details are incredible and believe me, they’re worth the click. [More | Gallery]

Custom BMW R68 by Kacerwagen