Custom Bikes of the Week: 6 December, 2015

The best custom motorcycles of the week
A drop-dead gorgeous BMW from Austria, a KTM from Columbia, and a machine with the worst name ever given to a motorcycle. These are the bikes that got us excited this week.

Custom BMW R100R by Vagabund
BMW R100R by Vagabund Vagabund is a new Austrian workshop. Established only this year, their design philosophy is simple: to enhance the essence and magic of classic motorcycles, and create unique pieces of art. And judging by this BMW R100R, we’d say they’re doing an impeccable job.

From one hundred yards out, you can spot this bike is special. Every line is clean. Every angle is complemented. The two-tone tank is understated, and perfectly juxtaposed to the airhead below. And speaking of that engine… Every silver-trimmed fin, from header mount to block, shows levels of restraint usually reserved for industry veterans. The headlight and tail are otherworldly. The smooth yet raw exhaust and eccentric fork-mounted mirror are playful.

These guys get it. And they’re just getting started. [More]

Custom Bultaco by Gas Department
Gas Department Bultaco Despite its omnipresence in the custom world, the ‘cafe racer’ takes many forms. The rules that govern its definition, although geometrically strict, leave much room for interpretation. This is a very good thing. It allows builders the freedom to create brutish bikes like Maria Motorcycles’ XJR1300, as well as skinny little imps like this 1964 Bultaco Mercurio 155 from Barcelona’s Gas Department.

During the build process the Bultaco’s stock components were stripped, cleaned and restored before painting and plating. Even the headlight is original, although it now boasts a yellow tint. The front forks feature exposed springs, and a pair of shocks from a Yamaha Virago found their way to the rear. The tank and tail are Bultaco units, but originally called a TTS home.

This spartan Spanish build is mechanical simplicity at its finest—and a nod to days gone by. [More]

KTM Duke by Garaje 57
KTM Duke by Garaje 57 The KTM Duke has quickly become the prototype streetfighter. From the maniacal 1290 Super Duke R to the entry level 390, the Austrian bikes are applauded for their ability to tattoo smiles on riders’ faces—even when bone stock. A fact that made this ‘Silver Arrow’ 390 build from Bogota, Colombia’s Garaje 57 more than a little tricky.

Its compact size complicated matters still further: The 390 is a tiny bike. To accommodate a taller rider, Garaje 57’s Esteben and Gustavo targeted the riding position. After ditching the plastics, the rearsets were moved further back and the custom subframe installed. Finished with a raw bare metal look, the peanut-style tank flows smoothly—before tapering abruptly to make room for knees. The changes create a package that exudes a boisterous supermoto vibe.

Custom Voxan scrambler by Motorieep
Motorieep Voxan Voxan motorcycles are a rare breed. Despite some exquisite designs and a sonorous 100 hp, 996 cc, 72-degree V-twin motor, sales were slow. After barely a decade of production, the French firm was liquidated in 2009. And with it, those lovely motors.

Thankfully, shops like Paris’ Motorieep have decided the Voxan is worth celebrating. The touches on their Scrambler are minimal but impactful. The underslung rear suspension, hand-hammered pancake tank and exo-skeletal frame are accentuated by an inconspicuous rear subframe and minimalist seat. It draws the eyes to that exquisite engine, designed with help from racing legends Sodemo Moteurs.

A decidedly French agreement capped the Voxan’s original horsepower at the century mark, but Motorieep has included a high-pressure pump so riders can up the ante. [More]

The good-looking but unfortunately-named Mondial Hipster motorcycle.
Mondial Hipster It’s not a custom build but the Hipster (yes, really) is too stunning a bike to not share. More importantly, this futuristic scrambler/cafe hybrid marks the return of the storied Mondial badge to our two-wheeled landscape.

Available in either 125 or 250cc formats (with 15 hp and 25 hp respectively) neither bike will excite the knee-dragging crowd. But that’s exactly their point. Styled in the aesthetic flavor of today’s trendiest builds, this single cylinder Mondial knows its target audience well. The beauty is deeper than just a high-mounted exhaust, though. You also get inverted front forks, remote reservoir rear shocks and radial mount calipers. And with a 130 kg (dry) weight, this entry level Italian should be both competent and popular.

Regardless of whether its name makes you chuckle or scowl, we’re hoping this Hipster movement means that Mondial is back. [More]