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Custom Bikes Of The Week: 26 January, 2020

The best cafe racers, retro and modified motorcycles from around the web
A BMX with a 125cc engine in a replica Mongoose frame, a Harley Sportster converted into a motocross bike, a Ducati Monster from a Spanish race shop, and a Piaggio Ape snow drifter powered by a Triumph Street Triple engine. Let’s have some fun this week!

Harley-Davidson Sportster motocross bike
Shed-built Harley-Davidson ‘crosser This crazy Sportster-based dirt bike could almost be called the result of boredom. Robert Warren conceived it while he was laid up in hospital, facing a life-threatening illness; an alternative, he says, to watching daytime television. Then, once he was discharged, he spent his recovery period building it with his son, Jordan.

Robert and Jordan had a very specific goal in mind—Jordan wanted to race the bike in the Malle Mille off-road event. So all the focus went into making it lighter, faster, and better equipped for dirt bike shenanigans.


The list of mods is extensive, with every last custom part made in Robert’s shed. This H-D has the forks, front hub and rear brake from a Suzuki RMZ450, Öhlins rear shocks with relocated shock mounts, and big Excel hoops laced up with stainless steel spokes.

The fenders are custom fiberglass numbers, and Jordan shaped the tank from aluminum himself, with techniques his pops taught him. This 1200 cc Sportster also features a Honda CRF carb, a unique engine breather setup and brutally short exhausts that pack quite a bark. According to Jordan (who used to race motocross), it’s one wild ride. [More]

Motorized BMX by Sub Kulture Cycles
Motorized BMX by Sub Kulture Cycles BMX bikes with engines seem to be a growing trend, and we couldn’t be happier. Combine the youthful abandon associated with a BMX with a throttle, and how can you not have fun?

This shining example comes from Tony at Sub Kulture Cycles in the UK, and it’s been made to look like a modified 1983 Mongoose Californian. But it’s not a Californian, and doesn’t even share a single part with the iconic BMX. It’s actually built around an 80s Mongoose replica frame, made by Kepspeed and equipped off-the-shelf with motor mounts.

Motorized BMX by Sub Kulture Cycles
The powerplant is a four-speed, 125 cc semi-automatic mill from Lifan. It’s been fitted with a Molkt VM 26 carb, and a custom exhaust from NAW Automotive, that morphs into a viper. (How’s that for a high dose of 80s glam?)

Other parts include period-correct BMX handlebars, a Kashimax BMX seat and an original Mongoose bar pad. The decals are spot on too—so much so, that purists have scoffed at Tony for hacking up a collectable retro BMX. Mission accomplished! [More]

Custom Ducati Monster by Bolt Motor Co
Ducati Monster by Bolt Motor Co. Adrián Campos and the crew at Bolt Motor Co. in Spain are regular fixtures on our pages, and it’s because they always deliver bikes that are both stylish and good performers. Which is probably why the owner of this Ducati Monster S2R booked it in for a makeover.

The brief was to build a Monster-based cafe that balanced aesthetics, performance and comfort—and Bolt delivered in spades. They started under the hood, rebuilding the Monster motor to extract a few more horses, and reworking the fueling. The engine was then cleaned up on the outside with a mix of black enamel and polished finishes, and a custom-built clutch basket.

Custom Ducati Monster by Bolt Motor Co
Lust-worthy upgrades include a pair of JoNich wheels, and upgraded forks from another (unspecified) Ducati. The Monster also has Avon tires, Galfer brake discs and Goodridge brake lines. And Bolt treated it to a total rewire too, with a full complement of Motogadget bits and LED lighting.

The bodywork’s especially outstanding, and unique when compared to typical custom Monsters. The fuel tank’s an Imola-style fiber glass unit, and the tail piece is from JVB-Moto in Germany. Both have been finished in chrome paint.

The overall effect is compact and purposeful. And that two-into-one exhaust that exits under the tail is just sublime. [More]

Honda CBR1000RR by Crazy Garage
Honda CBR1000RR by Crazy Garage Korean outfit Crazy Garage have popped up in our Bikes of the Week before. They caught our eye when they took a BMW S1000RR, and turned it into a retro endurance racer. They’ve now pulled the same trick with a 2008 Honda CBR1000RR, and the results are incredible.

The bike was built in collaboration with Öhlins Korea, and is a hat tip to the legendary Honda VFR750R RC30 race bike. It’s naturally sporting Öhlins components at both ends; FGRT forks, and a TTX GP shock. It also gets a quick-shifter, a power commander and a quick throttle.

Honda CBR1000RR by Crazy Garage
As for the bodywork, the CBR now wears a modified off-the-shelf classic endurance racer fairing, with a custom tail piece to match. Details like the custom exhaust setup, and the offset headlight with perforations on the opposite side, are spot on.

The livery’s a riff on the original RC30 colors, and it works well. Crazy Garage have managed to take a fairly modern sport bike, and make it look old without sacrificing performance. And just to make sure it actually performed on track, they pulled in one of Öhlins Korea’s managers, who’s also an ex-racer and former Korean champion, as test pilot. [More]

Piaggio Ape with Triumph Street Triple engine
Triumph 675-powered Piaggio Ape The custom scene wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for people willing to do things that don’t make sense. And nothing makes less sense than taking a three-wheeled cargo hauler, stuffing a much bigger motor in it, and drifting it on snow.

You’re looking at a Piaggio Ape, upgraded with the motor from a Triumph Street Triple. That’s a 675 cc motor pushing out over 100 horses, and guided by the world’s smallest and sketchiest front wheel. On snow, too (let that sink in). It’s being piloted by Francesco Guerrini, at the Livigno round of the Automobile Club d’Italia’s 2020 Ice Challenge.

Kick back, hit ‘play,’ and smile. [Via]

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