BMW Motorrad Spezial

The 2010 Bike EXIF Top 10, Part II

1930 Henderson art deco motorcycle
It’s that time of year again when we look at Bike EXIF’s greatest hits. These are the motorcycles that caused our servers to melt down over the past six months, drove commenters to apoplexy, or spread like wildfire across the web.

1. Henderson art deco motorcycle (above). This one was undisputedly the hit of the year, and it came completely out of the blue. I spotted some images that Benjie Flipprboi of BCR posted on a forum, and Benjie gave me the source: Grail Mortillaro of Knucklebuster. Grail discovered this amazing machine at the Rhinebeck Grand National Meet, and sent us the shots. After this post went up, just about every motorcycle site on the web linked to it.

BMW R60/2
2. Blitz BMW R60/2 (above). Frenchman Fred Jourden got in touch in September with news about his new custom shop Blitz. He attached a photo of this BMW, and I instantly knew we had a winner. It’s not a pretty bike, and it’s not a museum-quality piece, but it has presence and attitude in spades. Readers loved it, and despite the ire of many regular Bike EXIF commenters, it’s proved to be one of the most popular bikes we’ve ever featured.

Ducati Diavel
3. Ducati Diavel (above). It’s not surprising this one was a winner: Ducati gave us the web exclusive on it, so we were able to go ‘live’ at the exact moment the wraps came off the bike at the EICMA show in Milan. Reader response was divided—to put it mildly—but with over 150 comments and more than 600 Facebook ‘likes’, the controversial new power cruiser from Bologna was one of our biggest hits of 2010.

Honda CB550 cafe racer
4. Honda CB550 café racer (above). I have to say I’m kinda over custom Honda CBs. I used to love them, and stock CBs will always bring a smile to my face, but I’ve seen too many bad custom examples of late. Then this bike from Godffery’s Garage start floating around the forums. And when regular Bike EXIF tipster Brad Bartkus emailed me about it, I knew I had to run it: it’s what you call ‘best of breed’. There wasn’t a colossal spike of web traffic when we posted the CB550, but traffic has been heavy and steady ever since. It’s the bike that just keeps giving.

Hypermotard Ducati
5. Steve Jones’ Ducati Hypermotard (above). Way back in May, photographer Scott Nathan dropped me a line about a Hypermotard being built for his buddy, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. Come September, the bike was finished and Scott had the shots in the bag. The Hypermotard is one of the few modern bikes that I secretly covet, and when I saw how west coast Ducati specialist David Bingham had modified Jones’ ride, I knew it was a dead cert for Bike EXIF.

Vintage Moto Guzzi
6. Moto Guzzi Corsa 2V (above). Just two weeks ago, this barn find became one of the biggest hits of the past six months. The story came from Italian Motor Magazine, and it was a classic: an early racing Moto Guzzi discovered by a vacationer in a rural scrap yard in southern Italy, and since restored to showroom condition.

Ducati 750SS custom by Wrenchmonkees
7. Wrenchmonkees Ducati 750SS (above). Along with Deus Ex Machine in Australia, the Wrenchmonkees of Denmark have redefined the twenty-first century custom scene. Their low-key 750SS was a hit back in July, trading Ducati’s signature red for darker, subtler hues. The commenters were surprisingly quiet—maybe they were stunned into silence—but the silent majority loved this bike, and hits went through the roof.

Triumph Bonneville custom
8. Triumph Bonneville custom (above). Greasy Kulture is unusual amongst chopper magazines—devoid of attitude but packed with traditionally styled, “low and loud” motorcycles. This was one of the morsels editor Guy Bolton sent our way, a lovely Bonneville built from 60s and 70s parts but with a definite post-War retro vibe. Simply beautiful.

Triumph Bonneville custom motorcycle by Drags & Racing
9. Triumph Bonneville custom (above). At first glance, this looks like a vintage bike. The seat is from a 1939 Harley-Davidson item, and the military green paint is sixty years old. But it’s a contemporary Bonneville built by Drags & Racing, one of Italy’s top custom shops—and like the Blitz BMW R60/2, highlights the current trend for stealthy, blacked-out customs.

Harley-Davidson ironhead
10. DP Customs Harley café racer (above). When I first saw this bike, I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. But it stuck in my mind, and eventually I got the builder’s details from photographer Jed Strahm. The guilty party was Justin Del Prado of Arizona-based DP Customs, whose motto is “Built for the workin’ man, by the workin’ man.” He’s also created one of the most eye-catching exhaust systems I’ve seen in a long while.

This Top 10 is strictly limited to bikes that first appeared over the past six months. But there are other, older bikes that are still attracting a remarkable amount of attention. Honorable mentions go to “Dave’s Bonny”, a custom Triumph Bonneville from Deus, Dylan Robb’s Harley Sportster custom, and a CB750 from the Wrenchmonkees. These bikes were featured before July 2010, but are hammering our servers even more than some of the bikes in this Top 10.

If our web stats are anything to go by, chances are your own personal favorites are in this list. If not, let us know in the comments.

  • Excellent overview, I especially enjoyed the Greasy Kulture Triumph bobber. Merry Christmas!

  • choo-chee

    3 ducatis in the top 10…. yeah that’s why I ride one too (custom 88 indiana)
    great list btw.

    • Razorprod

      is da indiana a ”real” Duc ?… lol

  • Mopar2222

    No DIY builds? no-one can deny all these bikes are more than worthy, but just one bike from your average joe’s garage as opposed to the commercial builders with all their well equipped workhops and big budgets would have been nice?

    • These are the bikes that got the most hits on the site, and only the Wrenchmonkees and Drags & Racing bikes are from what you might call ‘commercial builders’. The rest are small operations just starting out—I think the BMW was Blitz’s first bike. The Diavel, however, is from a fairly large Italian company …

      • DP CUSTOMS

        Speaking on behalf of DPC, we’re definitely not a big budget commercial builder. Just two brothers doing what we love in a small shop. By the way, thanks bikeexif for including our cafe in your list.
        It’s a real honor for us, we’ll be celebrating today! Happy New Year to all. – DP CUSTOMS

    • RogerTutt

      Godfferys Garage is not a ‘big commercial builder’ this CB550 was a custom build by Jeff Stephens, with the kind of detail to attention that you wouldn’t find in a commercial shop. If you get the chance, take a close look at things like the rear brake plate cut aways, the hydraulic clutch conversion, the twin shock ‘monoshock’ conversion (I know, I know, that’s a contradiction, but Vincentesque) and all the hand made stuff…… Jeff has dubbed it ‘Project Overkill’ I wonder why?? :)

  • joe momma

    …number nine….number nine….number nine…….satanic verses played in reverse……top ten?????

  • macfly

    They are all great bikes, great reads, and like everything about the site, a real joy in my day – thank you and keep you the great work!!

    Picking just one, not based on ride, value, history or anything else except a style I like, I’d take #4

  • Keithjamesmoody

    The first photo gives me the impression that the designer had been eating too many hash brownies and attemted to combine a NER-A-CAR with a TRIUMPH BATHTUB. Seat looks very comfy though lol :-)

  • Telekom

    It’s gotta be the CB550… But I also really loved the Yamaha 650 red-frame low-slung piece with the Guzzi tank from the spring… I still think about that bike, gorgeous. Well done Bike Exif for bringing us lovely bikes to dribble over :-)

  • Mark

    I have to agree with your number 1. It’s completely exceptional…I’ve seen nothing else like it.

    Congratulations on a great site, BTW, and best wishes for 2011!

    – Mark

  • Francis_o_g

    Check out the yamaha Gen Ryu 3. There are some definite similarities to the henderson bike.

  • picture #2, is that a tire pump under the seat?

    • Air filter housing.

    • Motog

      Yes, running on top of the frame rail just under the single seat (the air filter is the big round canister at the top/back of the motor). BMW continued to supply tyre pumps and points for attaching them until mid-70s-ish