Custom Bikes Of The Week: 13 October, 2019

The best cafe racers, minibikes and custom kits from around the web
It’s an eclectic pick this week—from a Honda Monkey chopper to a one-off Triumph prototype from the 80s. We’ve also got a subtly tweaked Yamaha XSR, a hopped-up BMW, and a classy XS650 scrambler.

Honda Monkey chopper by Zeus Custom
Honda Monkey by Zeus Custom There’s a little bike revival happening, and it’s spilling over into the custom scene, spawning all manner of tiny creations for us to gawk over. This one’s as cute as they come; a Honda Monkey 125, that’s been transformed into some sort of miniature bobber-chopper hybrid.

It’s the work of Zeus Custom in Thailand, and despite its size, it’s packing a lot of custom touches. Zeus altered the stance drastically, by slamming the rear so much that the forks look stretched. Then they remounted the fuel tank to sit higher too.

Honda Monkey chopper by Zeus Custom
Everything’s on point—from the Biltwell Inc. handlebars and custom solo seat, to the cheeky lettering on the fuel tank. There’s even a stubby little fender out back, and that single curved header creates a delightfully clean line. An all-black paint scheme drives the point home (Zeus even powder coated the fork legs to match).

It’s all kind of ridiculous, but in the best way possible, and it’s also something we’d love to ride. It might not be practical (or handle well), but it sure is adorable—and guaranteed to pull stares. [More]

Yamaha XSR900 by Bunker Custom Cycles
Yamaha XSR900 by Bunker Custom Cycles Not everyone has the time or money to produce a high-end custom motorcycle. Some riders just want to start out with a rad bike, then make it even radder with simple, easy mods. Istanbul’s Bunker Custom Cycles show us one way how, with this subtly tweaked, but very sweet, XSR900.

The XSR was customized as part of Yamaha’s Yard Built program. The mandate is usually to not modify the frame in any way—but Bunker’s Uzer brothers took it one step further, taking a complete plug-and-play approach.

Yamaha XSR900 by Bunker Custom Cycles
The biggest visual hit comes from the new fuel tank covers. They’ve been painstakingly designed and manufactured using carbon fiber, and bolt on in a matter of minutes to give the XSR a completely fresh look. Naturally, Bunker are offering them as a kit.

The rest of the Yamaha wears subtle changes and upgrades. Up front, the brothers added a stubby high-fender, new headlight brackets, and LED light internals.

Yamaha XSR900 by Bunker Custom Cycles
Out back they ditched the bulky rear fender and light, and installed their own tail tidy, which includes an aluminum blank-off plate and an LED taillight.

An SC Project muffler, EBC floating brake rotors and Capra RD tires from (local Turkish brand) Anlas round out the package. Oh, and as we’ve come to expect from Bunker, the livery is one hundred percent on point. [More]

1974 Yamaha XS650 street scrambler
Yamaha XS650 by Andy Megerle Sometimes, the brief for a custom build can be delightfully simple. Andy Mergle had a couple of Hondas on the bench, when his girlfriend decided she wanted an XS650-based scrambler with old school tires and side-mounted exhausts. Simple.

Andy and his better half scoured the internet and found a 1974 XS650 with an overhauled motor. A few hours later it was on the back of Andy’s Volkswagen T3, and the next day they started stripping it down.

Custom 1974 Yamaha XS650 street scrambler
The subframe was cut and looped, and topped off with a slim seat. Andy tweaked the angle of the rear shocks, then shortened the front forks internally to perfect the stance. The stock fuel tank looked a bit chunky for the look he was after, so he sourced and fitted a smaller aftermarket unit.

Custom 1974 Yamaha XS650 street scrambler
The twin exhaust system looks as if it might have come off another bike from that period—which is exactly the look Andy was after. It is, in fact, a completely hand-made setup, from the headers to the mufflers. Other bits include a Suzuki RV50 headlight that Andy flush-mounted a Motogadget speedo into, and a Hella taillight.

Somewhere during the project, Andy and his girlfriend broke up. He kept the bike though. [More]

The rare Triumph TS8-1 motorcycle
1981 Triumph TS8-1 Prototype Want to own an obscure slice of motorcycle history for not too much money? This one-of-a-kind Triumph prototype’s about to go on the block at Bonhams, and is expected to fetch between £8,000 and £14,000. Pocket change, given its rarity—and the fact that it only has one ‘push’ mile on the clock.

Called the TS8-1, it’s a prototype that debuted in 1981 at the Motorcycle Show in London. The prevailing sentiment is that Triumph designed it to go head-to-head with the popular tourers of the time, like the BMW R100RT.

The rare Triumph TS8-1 motorcycle
The TS8-1 featured Triumph’s parallel-twin motor of the time, upgraded with an eight valve racing head. Ian Dyson designed the ultra-modem fairing, complete with a sharply angled Perspex windscreen, and twin rectangular headlights. The rest of the bodywork appears to be a monocoque design.

Triumph needed 50 orders to justify a limited production run of the TS8-1, but they never hit their target. Thankfully, the prototype wasn’t scrapped. Bill Crosby bought it and stuck it in the London Motorcycle Museum, where it’s been to this day… and now it could be yours. [More]

BMW R nineT Scrambler by SE Concept Bikes
BMW R nineT Scrambler by SE Concept Bikes When Hein Gericke (yes, that Hein Gericke) bought an R nineT Scrambler and didn’t quite gel with it, he eventually handed it to his son, Björn. Björn wasn’t quite into it either—but he knew what he didn’t like, and he knew how to fix it.

It also helped that Björn was friends with Dietmar Franzen of SE Concept Bikes. (Björn’s clothing company, g-lab, had a race team that won the 2008 German Championship, and Dietmar was the team director.) The two had collaborated on custom builds before, so they decided to turn the BMW into a livelier performer.

BMW R nineT Scrambler by SE Concept Bikes
Dietmar reworked the cylinder heads, and installed a set of one-off camshafts to improve responsiveness. The R nineT motor was remapped too, thanks to a RapidBike race module. It now pushes out 125 hp, and it does so with a silky smooth throttle response. And it has a quick-shifter, too.

Handling’s been improved as well, thanks to a new cartridge kit for the front forks, and a modified Öhlins shock at the rear.

BMW R nineT Scrambler by SE Concept Bikes
This Scrambler’s also sporting Sato Racing rear sets, a JvB-Moto headlight, and a pair of K&N filters. There’s a smaller battery too, and the guys ditched the passenger subframe and trimmed the seat.

Final touches include Akrapovič headers, Spark mufflers and Pirelli rubber. And the new paint job (with a touch of Ferrari red) is as sharp as the boxer’s revised stance. [SE Concept]