Custom Bikes of the Week: 31 January, 2016

The best custom motorcycles of the week
A pair of ‘official’ Ducati customs, a stunning Indian Scout from France, and a Honda Dominator from a Finnish automotive engineer. Meet the motorcycles that got our motors running this week.

Ducati draXter concept
Ducati draXter concept The Diavel has always been a bit of a mystery to me. Riding one, I found it extremely comfortable, delivering copious amounts of grunt and just nimble enough to find its way off the boulevard cruise. But I dare say it’s never been a looker. At least not in my eyes.

The Ducati draXter, on the other hand, fully embraces its steroidal persona. It’s a dragster concept based on the new XDiavel cruiser, and instead of trying to blend in amongst the screaming eagles, it wears its Affliction T-shirt with pride. Raiding the parts bin, Ducati’s Advanced Design unit picked out the Panigale’s suspension and braking components—and then the stylists took the bodywork to the extremes.

The swooping line from front fender to tail is exquisite, and I can’t think of a more entertaining way to melt 240-series rubber. [More]

Honda VRX 400 by La Busca Motorcycles
Honda VRX 400 by La Busca Motorcycles Racing’s past is rich with machines of inspiration. This 1998 Honda VRX400 was built in tribute to the Harley KRTT that Roger Reiman rode to victory at the first Daytona 200 race held at the speedway in 1961.

Crafted by Jez and the lads at La Busca Motorcycles of Lancaster, England, Riff Raff looks like it’d be right at home tackling Daytona’s old beach course. Thanks in part to the Full Bore AT tires and its tracker stance this completely re-built VRX400 can probably handle any terrain you wish. The engine was brought back to within spec, and the carbs re-jetted—to maximize the gains from the slash-cut exhaust. (An admittedly cleaner design than Reiman’s originals.)

The front number board has integrated project beam headlights to deliver a modern, roadworthy touch, but that sprung seat is period correct—so you’ll want to stand on the pegs when heading off-piste. [More]

Mr Martini Peace Sixty2
Mr Martini Peace Sixty2 As everyone knows, the Scrambler has been a huge success for Ducati. It occupies a rarified space: it’s excellent in stock form, and it’s also a stellar base for customization. The dust has now settled after the launch of the 400cc Sixty2 variant, so Ducati has enlisted a handful of builders to show what the smaller Scrambler is capable of.

‘Peace Sixty2’ comes to us from the talented Mr Martini and the retro vibe is strong with this one—check the sixties-era fiberglass fairing, the rainbow racing-stripe, and the John Lennon lyrics surrounding its racing number. In profile, it looks a stunner. But I can’t decide whether I love the simplicity of the headlight treatment, or wonder why the lamp isn’t fully integrated.

Regardless, the work to the subframe and tail looks the business. And if that fairing became a factory option, I’m sure it’d sell like hotcakes. [More]

Custom Indian Scout by V-Twin Garage

Indian Scout by V-Twin Garage The Indian Scout is another excellent new platform for riders and builders alike. We’ve already seen a few stunning Scouts on these pages, but this one is ‘official.’ Called Tomahawk, it’s from Bordeaux’s V-Twin Garage and was created for Project Scout, Indian’s global dealer contest.

Thirty-five different dealers are transforming the entry-level Indian, with only one caveat: each dealer must use a minimum of three official Indian accessories. It took four of V-Twin Garage’s builders four weeks to turn Tomahawk into a rolling reality. All the metalwork has been done by hand, including the narrowed tank and the one-piece seat and tail.

Top shelf components from Motogadget, Roland Sands Design, Joker Machine and others are fitted, plus four pieces from the Scout catalogue. Voting for the winner closes February 19th. [More]

Honda NX650 by Janne Hietakangas
Honda NX650 by Janne Hietakangas Proportions on a custom build can be tough to get right—especially your first time around. But Finland’s Janne Hietakangas may have had a slight advantage: he’s an automotive design engineer, which explains why this Honda NX650 Scrambler sits so perfectly.

Being able to manipulate ideas in photoshop and CAD, Janne took his time to dial everything in digitally before breaking out the grinder. Working with his stock Dominator, Janne stripped what wasn’t desired or needed and sold the parts to fund his build. With $550 in his pocket, he set to work using scrapped parts whenever he could, and tackling everything else himself.

The finished product may fall outside of the realm of Bike EXIF calendar grade customs, but it’s bloody impressive and incredibly inspiring. Hyvä työ, Janne! [More]

Honda NX650 by Janne Hietakangas

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