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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.