Custom Bikes Of The Week: 16 September, 2018

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A Suzuki VanVan with a surfer vibe, a track-ready Ducati Monster from the Emirates, and a sneaky peek at Moto Guzzi’s cool new V85 TT—an ADV bike with a ‘classic enduro’ vibe.

Ducati Monster 1100 EVO cafe racer by Marc Roissetter
Ducati Monster 1100 EVO cafe racer Moto racing coach and precision driver Marc Roissetter was on the hunt for a Virago as the base bike for his third build. But when a wrecked 2012 Ducati Monster 1100 popped up, his plans quickly changed. And man, are we glad they did. ‘Monstrosity’ is a stunning example of what hard work and dedication can deliver, and she goes even better than she shows.

Bringing the Monster back up to running spec was no easy task. It wasn’t just wrecked: it was wrecked and left to rot. Marc figures it sat for at least a year, being blasted by sand and baking in the heat of the UAE.

Ducati Monster 1100 EVO cafe racer by Marc Roissetter
Thanks to an earlier botched repair, the engine required a complete rebuild. The Monster’s original subframe had to go too, so Marc used the tail from an earlier build to help with a mock up before donning a welding mask.

Up front a new top clamp was fabricated and a set of clip-ons were tightened up. A smaller LED headlight sits between the forks and the signals were moved to those clip-ons, courtesy of Motogadget.

Ducati Monster 1100 EVO cafe racer by Marc Roissetter
If the tank looks familiar, that’s because it once belonged to a Ducati 996. Marc needed to make some modifications to get the Monster’s fuel pump to fit, but the finished product was definitely worth it: it provides just the right amount of SuperSport style to this track-bound Ducati cafe racer.

After its initial shakedown, Marc has suspension upgrades in mind for the rear and the pipe-wrapped exhaust will disappear for good. [Marc Roissetter Instagram]

Custom Suzuki VanVan by Officine GP Design
Suzuki VanVan by Officine GP Design Wood is easily the most polarizing of materials a builder can use on their custom creation. We’ve seen it done incredibly well in the past, but it still raises ire in some quarters. This time, it’s Torino’s Officine GP Design who have had a go—and I’m absolutely smitten with ‘Wave.’

Maybe it’s because Luca Pozatto and Luca Santilli based their project on the lovable Suzuki. With its fat tires and squat proportions, Suzuki’s diminutive enduro is the perfect donor for a custom bike with a surf vibe.

Custom Suzuki VanVan by Officine GP Design
To accentuate that style, the duo treated the VanVan’s tip and tail to one of the tastiest wood treatments I’ve seen. Shaped and styled to resemble a classic wooden longboard, the fenders look as playful as they are functional. And when viewed in profile, they deliver a visual for the entire bike that mimics that of a surfboard.

Getting it all to work properly meant revisions to the Suzi’s subframe, so a hooped tail was welded in place. Sitting atop that new tubing is a gorgeous, distressed leather seat that looks as though sun, sand and saltwater are its best friends. The Rizoma catalog was consulted at length for the LED lighting options as well as levers and a set of ‘Wave’ reservoirs. [More]

Greeves 24MX2 Challenger scrambler
Greeves 24MX2 Challenger scrambler When we think about the origins of off-road riding, Triumph’s desert sled TR6 Trophy is usually the machine that comes to mind. But although it was the weapon of choice for Ekins and McQueen, Bert Greeves was building a lighter, better prepared machine.

The Greeves Challenger was easily 20 years ahead of its time. Powered by a Villiers-sourced 200cc two-stroke, the original Challenger offered the power of the bigger four-strokes without the weight penalty.

Greeves 24MX2 Challenger scrambler
Greeves also sussed out a far better way to deal with suspension. His ‘banana leading link’ fork design was more robust than the standard setup (at the time), and delivered exceptional travel and increased ground clearance. Riders on Greeves machines took wins in competitions such as the International Six Days Trials, the Manx Grand Prix and the Scottish Six Days Trials—to name just a few.

Bonhams will be dropping the hammer on a 1965 24MX2 version of the Greeves Challenger in their upcoming auction. It’s been exquisitely restored and looks to be an incredible bargain. If you’ve got US$6,500 kicking around and want something that will raise eyebrows everywhere you go, the auction runs on September 23rd. [More]

Ural land speed motorcycle by Fine Custom Mechanics
Ural land speed motorcycle Ever since my first time in the saddle, I’ve had an affinity for Urals. Their antiquated, quirky approach to motorcycling can’t help but win over even the most hardened enthusiast. But almost all of the charm resides within the sidecar rig. So, do we care about one running sans sled? Well, if it’s a salt flat bomber from Russia’s Fine Custom Mechanics, we most definitely should.

Based on a 1978 M67-36, ‘Puncher CR’ has been modified to compete for speed record fame and the rigors of running flat out for 3-mile stints. Due to class regulations, FCM wasn’t able to modify the Ural’s frame—but almost everything else has been tweaked.

The 650 cc boxer twin has been treated to an upgraded crank and high performance connecting rods. A bespoke injection system was also devised, because the Ural is equipped with a supercharger that doubles its power output to 70 hp—and near 70 lb. ft of torque.

Ural land speed motorcycle by Fine Custom Mechanics
Because they were competing in both the naked and aero-assisted classes, Sergey Maltsev and his team also had to fabricate a wonderful removable fairing assembly. Bolted onto a custom tank, the bodywork creates a slippery silhouette that continues to a beautifully sculpted tail.

The hard work paid off. ‘Puncher CR’ claimed three records at Bonneville this year and the quickest run, at 122.25 mph, also launched pilot Natalya Lyubimova into the Bonneville book of records as the first (and fastest) Russian women in its pages.

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 ADV bike
Revealed: the Moto Guzzi V85 TT When Moto Guzzi dropped their V85 concept at EICMA last year, word was that the production model wouldn’t stray far from the killer ‘classic enduro’ vibe. Thankfully, those hints were confirmed earlier this week when the V85 TT debuted.

Due to Euro 4 emissions standards, Guzzi’s aged Stelvio ADV tourer has gone the way of the dodo—and the V85 TT will fill its spot. It’s an interesting move by the Mandello del Lario factory, since the middleweight ADV market is really starting to heat up, with new options rolling our way from KTM and Yamaha as well.

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 ADV bike
Regardless, the V85 TT is arguably the best looking bike of the bunch, combining just the right amounts of old school enduro style with characteristic Guzzi quirks, plus modern performance.

The V85 TT is powered by an air-cooled, 850 cc, transverse V-Twin that’s good for 80 hp. It’s hung as a stressed member by that gorgeous red trellis frame, and transmits power to the rear via a shaft drive.

There’s no word on weight but the V85’s website touts ‘lightness and ease of use.’ If the top brass really want this Goose to fly—both literally and out of showrooms—we figure/hope it should tip scales around the 470-pound mark. Hopefully we’ll have more to report when the invites go out for the official launch, so watch this space. [More]

2019 Moto Guzzi V85 ADV bike