Tag: Japan

  • 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.

  • Spirit Of The Seventies S7

    Spirit Of The Seventies S7

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Somewhere, on the glorious roads of rural Scotland, this beautiful Yamaha XS750 custom is carving corners and blasting down the straights, at the command of its new owner. But it was built hundreds of miles away by Spirit of the Seventies, the English workshop that… Read more »

  • Classified Moto KT600

    Classified Moto KT600

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    John Ryland’s Classified Moto is going from strength to strength. The order book is healthy and the machines coming out of his Richmond, VA workshop are increasingly adventurous. “KT600” is the latest, and named after its donor bike and owner. The starting point was a… Read more »

  • El Solitario’s “Pop Cycles”

    El Solitario’s “Pop Cycles”

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    And now for something completely different. This is a collection of three bikes far removed from anything we’ve shown before. They’re not bikes for measuring lap times or lean angles—they’re based on Honda’s humble CG 125, for starters. Instead, they’re a direct attempt to do… Read more »

  • Honda CB350 Saké Racer

    Honda CB350 Saké Racer

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    When in Paris last month, I was struck by the number of custom motorcycles being ridden around the city. Amidst the hordes of Piaggio MP3 three-wheeled scooters were a surprising number of café racers, trackers and bobbers. I don’t think I saw a bike as… Read more »

  • Lossa Honda CL350 cafe

    Lossa Honda CL350 cafe

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Jay LaRossa runs Lossa Engineering of Long Beach, CA, and he builds super-clean cafe racers. Like this very sharp 1972 Honda CL350. “I wanted to do a high pipe bike,” says LaRossa, “and cross over one of the exhausts, through the spot where the battery… Read more »

  • Wrenchmonkees Kawasaki Z750

    Wrenchmonkees Kawasaki Z750

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    EXCLUSIVE Like all the top custom builders, the Wrenchmonkees have a clear and consistent vision. And this, bike #45 from the Copenhagen workshop, could be their best yet. It’s a little less grungy than some of their earlier work, with glossy paint on the tank.… Read more »

  • Yamaha XS650 by CR351

    Yamaha XS650 by CR351

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Here’s a textbook example of a clean, low budget Yamaha XS650 custom. A 1972 machine, it was rescued from the junkyard and built for Hugo Ramos, publisher of the Portuguese café racer magazine REV. It’s a relatively simple build as far as customs go, but… Read more »

  • Kawasaki KZ1000 by AC Sanctuary

    Kawasaki KZ1000 by AC Sanctuary

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Late 70s Japanese superbikes have character by the bucketload—unlike the plasticized contemporary offerings. There’s ample performance too: a stock Kawasaki KZ1000 puts out around 90 hp, and can run the quarter mile in just over 12 seconds. Unfortunately, the dynamics of such bikes have fallen… Read more »

  • Custom Yamaha XS400

    Custom Yamaha XS400

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    At first glance, I thought this was an OEM bike—perhaps a mid-80s enduro. But it’s actually a heavily modified and beautifully crafted Yamaha XS400, built by Seth Hensler. The distinctive XT350 tank dominates the look of this machine, but that was the easiest part. Seth… Read more »

  • Yamaha SR500 cafe racer

    Yamaha SR500 cafe racer

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    A few weeks ago I was in Brighton, on the south coast of England. It’s a spiritual home for the English cafe racer scene, and I was pleased to see the odd custom zipping about—with many riders sporting open-face helmets and goggles. Most of these… Read more »

  • Yamaha Virago XV750 custom

    Yamaha Virago XV750 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    This Yamaha Virago XV750 was Eric Meglasson’s first attempt at building a custom motorcycle. By the time he’d finished the bike, the Oregon-based architect was running a small custom motorcycle company—his own. The chain of circumstances started when Eric bought a lightly-modded but very classy… Read more »

  • Yamaha YZ250 flat tracker

    Yamaha YZ250 flat tracker

  • Chris Hunter Racing Motorcycles ,,

    Modern race bikes leave me cold, but vintage machinery gets my motor running. It’s mostly because you can actually see the bike with older machines, rather than a garish mish-mash of graphics fighting for your attention. This clean, sharp-looking Yamaha YZ250 flat tracker is a… Read more »

  • Deus Kawasaki W650

    Deus Kawasaki W650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Here’s the latest machine from the Australian headquarters of Deus. Called “Gicleur”, it’s one of the most stylish Kawasaki W650 customs we’ve ever seen. Gicleur is French for “jet”, and it’s a critical part of an espresso machine: the nozzle that governs the water that… Read more »

  • Santiago Chopper Kawasaki H2

    Santiago Chopper Kawasaki H2

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Alain Bernard is a colorful character. Based in Florida, he runs Santiago Chopper and created the Norley Cafe Racer. Here’s his latest bike, and it’s got to be his most extreme yet—in terms of engineering, as well as the fluoro color scheme. This machine has… Read more »

  • Honda Dominator custom

    Honda Dominator custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    If I had to pick the next trend in custom bike building, it’d be a move away from cafe racers on Firestones and towards chunky, purposeful tracker-style bikes. There seems to be increasing interest in this style, from the top custom shops right down to… Read more »

  • Classified Moto XV1100

    Classified Moto XV1100

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Classified Moto are just turning out winner after winner. It’s hard to believe the Richmond, VA-based hotshop has only been operating for two years, but owner John Ryland now has orders for 13 bikes on the go. This is his latest, based on a 1989… Read more »

  • Kawasaki W800 by LSL

    Kawasaki W800 by LSL

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    This Kawasaki W800 custom is the most “British” looking build I’ve seen for a while. So it’s ironic that it was built by a German company. It’s called the “Lindy Bob” and it comes from LSL Motorradtechnik of Krefeld. In stock form, the W800 is… Read more »

  • Black Bridge Honda CB400

    Black Bridge Honda CB400

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    It was only a matter of time before the nascent custom motorcycle industry started to blossom in China. Here’s the most recent start-up, Black Bridge. Black Bridge is the nom de plume of Beijing-based Adrien Macera. Macera has been tinkering with motorcycles for as long… Read more »

  • Kawasaki KZ1000 custom

    Kawasaki KZ1000 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Early Japanese superbikes seem to get more appealing as the years go by. The Honda CB750 is still going strong, and so is Kawasaki’s KZ series. This classy, understated KZ1000 is the work of London’s Untitled Motorcycles, and it’s owned by Anthony van Someren of… Read more »

  • Suzuki DR650 by Deus Bali

    Suzuki DR650 by Deus Bali

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Motorcycles can be capricious creatures. But there are a handful that are essentially bulletproof—simple machines that are simple to fix, and cheap to run. One of those is Suzuki’s venerable DR650, which has been around for at least twenty years. The stock bike is as… Read more »