Tag: Japan

  • Mid Life Cycles Honda CB77

    Mid Life Cycles Honda CB77

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Australia has a relatively small population—around 23 million, a little less than Texas. Despite this, the custom scene is thriving, with a remarkable number of skilled builders and a nationwide taste for cafe racers and classics. Deus is probably the best-known builder, but there are… Read more »

  • Cafe Racer Dreams NX650

    Cafe Racer Dreams NX650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’m starting to wonder if the NX650 is set to replace the CB750 as the favorite Honda platform for custom builders. In Europe, a Dominator is easy to find: it was the ubiquitous inner-city dispatch bike. Tough, reliable and comfortable on the dirt as well… Read more »

  • Motohangar Yamaha SR500

    Motohangar Yamaha SR500

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Every now and then, a bike comes along that captures the state of the neo-custom scene right at this moment in time. This is one of those bikes, from the Virginia-based workshop Motohangar. It’s not a big-budget build and it’s not a fire-breathing monster, but… Read more »

  • M&M Customs Honda CB550

    M&M Customs Honda CB550

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    It’s getting harder and harder to impress with a Honda CB custom these days. But this very sharp 1974 CB550, from the Kentucky shop M&M Customs, proves there’s still life in the old dog. M&M (not to be confused with the Japanese shop with a… Read more »

  • Extemporae Suzuki DR650

    Extemporae Suzuki DR650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    One of the fastest-growing custom workshops in Italy is Extemporae, based in the Varese region that’s also home to MV Agusta and Husqvarna. The company’s first two builds, a Yamaha TT600 and a XT550, were published in the influential Italian magazine Riders in 2011—and from… Read more »

  • Kawasaki Z1 by AC Sanctuary

    Kawasaki Z1 by AC Sanctuary

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Many of the most successful motorcycle builders—the ones running a solid, profitable business—hit on a formula. It’s usually a combination of looks, components and fabrication that works well, and can be endlessly tweaked. That’s the approach taken by AC Sanctuary, one of Japan’s most renowned… Read more »

  • Reborn Yamaha SR250

    Reborn Yamaha SR250

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    This slim and agile Yamaha SR250 street tracker is the first product from a new Barcelona workshop called Reborn Motors. Light and maneuverable, it’s perfect for tight city streets and gravel tracks further afield. Reborn Motors has an impeccable pedigree. The workshop is run by… Read more »

  • Steel Bent Customs CB750

    Steel Bent Customs CB750

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Michael Mundy’s Steel Bent Customs is now well established as one of the leading custom shops in Florida, if not the whole south east of the USA. Fifteen bikes rolled out of the Tampa workshop last year, and production is now booked out to April… Read more »

  • Honda CB550 cafe racer

    Honda CB550 cafe racer

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    There’s a great story behind this Honda, owned by 33-year-old Chris Booth of Vancouver BC. Until he was 28, Chris swore that he’d never ride a motorcycle: “They’re far too dangerous.” Then he went on a road trip to Speed Week at Bonneville with three… Read more »

  • Analog Honda CB350

    Analog Honda CB350

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’ve always imagined that the frontman of a metal band would ride something like a V-Rod with open pipes. But Mike Hranica of Devil Wears Prada has a taste for classic machinery. Like this elegant and deceptively simple Honda CB350. He chose Tony Prust of… Read more »

  • CRD# 23 “Coyote”

    CRD# 23 “Coyote”

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Sometimes it’s the unlikeliest motorcycles that become popular with custom builders. The Yamaha Virago is one, and the Honda Dominator another. This is CRD’s take on Honda’s venerable NX650 dual-sport thumper: they’ve stripped off the clunky plastics and added a strong dash of Spanish style.

  • Analog ‘The Messenger’ XS400

    Analog ‘The Messenger’ XS400

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    If you detect a feminine influence on this elegant Yamaha XS400, well spotted. It’s the latest from Analog’s Tony Prust, built for a customer’s wife, and he’s taken his signature clean finish to a new level. The customer was Mike Tomasian, who contacted Prust after… Read more »

  • Ed Haazer Kawasaki Z1

    Ed Haazer Kawasaki Z1

  • Chris Hunter Racing Motorcycles ,,

    The American Federation of Motorcyclists is the USA’s oldest motorcycle road racing organization. One of the fastest riders in its race series is Edwin Haazer, who’s famous for wrestling this 1975 Kawasaki Z1 to improbable speeds.

  • Mule Yamaha XS Street Tracker

    Mule Yamaha XS Street Tracker

  • David Edwards Custom Motorcycles ,,

    By David Edwards—So this is what happens when two old surf dudes get together. Richard Pollock, our favorite street-tracker builder, was a semi-pro surfer in his youth. Motocross was a way to pass time when the waves were flat, which led to a gig as… Read more »

  • Custom Yamaha SR500

    Custom Yamaha SR500

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Amongst all the slick pro builds, the edgy new-wave customs and the oddball art-moto machines, it’s good to show a clean home build now and then—the kind of bike built over several weekends in a backstreet garage. This neat Yamaha SR500 is one such build,… Read more »

  • El Solitario ‘Winning Loser’

    El Solitario ‘Winning Loser’

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    It’s stating the obvious, but some bikes are easier to customize than others. If you’ve got a Ducati SportClassic or Harley Sportster sitting in your garage, you’ve got a head start. But what about the real bread-and-butter bikes, the unloved small-capacity Japanese machines with gawky… Read more »

  • Suzuki GN: The Cariblanco

    Suzuki GN: The Cariblanco

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Every now and then, I’ll be catching up with a friend who’s just returned from a vacation in a developing country. And there’s a recurring theme to the conversation: they hired a bike, “nothing special” and had a blast on it. The bike is invariably… Read more »

  • Spirit of The Seventies W800

    Spirit of The Seventies W800

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    It’s always good to see the major manufacturers commissioning bikes from new-wave custom builders. Ural got into the game early, hooking up with Hammarhead, and we’ve recently seen Yamaha get into bed with the Wrenchmonkees. Now Kawasaki has aligned itself with the English workshop Spirit… Read more »

  • Honda XR600 by Cafe Racer Dreams

    Honda XR600 by Cafe Racer Dreams

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Here’s the latest custom to roll out of the Madrid workshop of Cafe Racer Dreams. Once again, there’s an off-road influence—but this time, the Spanish workshop has taken a dirt bike and realigned it for road use, rather than the other way round. CRD #19… Read more »

  • Wrenchmonkees Yamaha XJR1300

    Wrenchmonkees Yamaha XJR1300

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I’ve always liked the Yamaha XJR1300. It’s an uncomplicated bruiser of a bike, an unassuming retro-style naked powered by a air-cooled motor with a lineage over a quarter of a century long. Yamaha knows that if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. But the… Read more »

  • Custom Honda CB450

    Custom Honda CB450

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    BlueCat Motors of St. Paul, MN is the kind of motorcycle shop that every town should have. It’s run by enthusiasts who are comfortable working on both vintage and modern machinery. BlueCat often resurrects older bikes, and this beautiful 1974 Honda CB450 K7 is a… Read more »

  • Custom Kawasaki Z1000J

    Custom Kawasaki Z1000J

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    The scale of the Japanese custom scene is absolutely staggering, as anyone who has pored over magazines such as Moto Navi and Cycle Headz will know. And within that scene are different philosophies of bike building. In one corner we have builders such as Shinya… Read more »

  • Shinya Kimura’s Cafe Sportster

    Shinya Kimura’s Cafe Sportster

  • David Edwards Custom Motorcycles ,,

    There’s a certain blacksmith shop feel to Shinya Kimura’s motorcycles, and I mean that in a good way. Looking at the bare aluminum bodywork of his latest creation, this cafe Harley Sportster, you get a sense of the heat and noise and sweat—the sheer effort… Read more »

  • ‘Buzz Saw’: custom Yamaha Virago

    ‘Buzz Saw’: custom Yamaha Virago

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Erick Runyon of Choppershotz is one of the hardest-working photographers on the custom motorcycle scene, so he gets to see a lot of bikes. And after working on the Cafe Racer TV show, he’s got to know many of the builders too. Erick’s now built… Read more »

  • Honda Super Cub

    Honda Super Cub

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Think of Bonneville salt flat racers, and images of snarling Vincents or twin-engined Triumphs probably spring to mind. You probably don’t picture the anemic Honda Super Cub, the world’s most popular motorcycle. Which makes this little racer from Holland’s Super Motor Company all the more… Read more »

  • LSL Kawasaki W800

    LSL Kawasaki W800

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Some workshops customize motorcycles so well, it’s hard to tell whether or not they are ‘factory’ customs. Most of these outfits are in Japan, but one of the top European builders in this style is LSL-Motorradtechnik. LSL usually focuses on the ‘modern classic’ Triumphs. But… Read more »

  • Ton Up Garage W650

    Ton Up Garage W650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    It’s not a good time to be a bike builder in Portugal at the moment: The country is finding it much harder than most to recover from the depression. So it’s reassuring to see a quality custom build coming from the westernmost country of Europe.… Read more »

  • Bull Dock Kawasaki Z1

    Bull Dock Kawasaki Z1

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Back in 1974, the Kawasaki Z1 was the most exotic thing on two wheels. And nearly four decades later, it’s lost none of its lustre. This high-performance custom is a collaboration between the Japanese workshop Bull Dock and the British suspension manufacturer Nitron—hence the paintjob… Read more »

  • Suzuki Katana by AC Sanctuary

    Suzuki Katana by AC Sanctuary

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,

    I remember being dumbstruck when the Suzuki Katana was launched back in 1980. And after a period of distaste, I now find those angular looks growing on me again. They say that retro fashion moves in 40-year cycles, so maybe the second coming of the… Read more »

  • Honda CB350 by Untitled Motorcycles

    Honda CB350 by Untitled Motorcycles

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I have a soft spot for the smaller displacement Honda CBs. They belong to that exclusive breed of motorcycle that looks ‘just right’ in showroom spec. And with a light custom job, in the hands of the right builder, they can look magnificent. This lithe… Read more »

  • Icon Thunder Chunky ZX7

    Icon Thunder Chunky ZX7

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Every industry has an outlier, and in the world of motorcycle apparel it’s Icon. The company is unconventional and unpredictable, and I’m sure that part of its success is down to the unusual customs built by creative director Kurt Walter and his crew. The Slabtown,… Read more »

  • Kawasaki 250TR by Heiwa

    Kawasaki 250TR by Heiwa

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    In the Western world, we don’t get access to many of the more interesting bikes produced by the Japanese “Big Four”. A lot of the niche models are sold only in Eastern markets. A couple of years ago, we lamented this situation in a profile… Read more »

  • Icon Low Down & Shifty XS650

    Icon Low Down & Shifty XS650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Most moto clothing brands take themselves very seriously. But there’s a thick seam of irreverence running through the DNA of Icon. They don’t play games with their motorcycle apparel, but the bikes they build are eclectic, original and often downright crazy. “Low Down & Shifty”… Read more »

  • Motor Rock W650 custom

    Motor Rock W650 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    It’s possible to categorize most of the top Japanese custom motorcycle builders. In one corner there’s the Brat Style coterie, which includes Gravel Crew, Heiwa, and Big Moon. In the other corner are the resto-mod specialists such as AC Sanctuary and Ritmo Sereno. And then… Read more »

  • Steel Bent Customs: “The Brushed”

    Steel Bent Customs: “The Brushed”

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Good design removes the unnecessary. It’s a principle understood well by Michael Mundy of Steel Bent Customs in Tampa, Florida—as his latest build shows. Called “The Brushed”, it’s a minimalist take on the classic Honda CB750 cafe racer.