The new ICON Motorhead3 motorcycle jacket

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 9 February, 2020

The best cafe racers, retro and modified motorcycles from around the web
The BMW that took home the Best In Show award at Verona’s Motor Bike Expo, plus a Kenny Roberts-inspired XS650 from Japan and a gorgeous Suzuki DR650 from Oilbro Motorcycles of France.

Kenny Roberts-inspired custom Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650 by Rocket Motorcycle This Kenny Roberts-inspired XS650 is pushing all our nostalgia buttons. It comes from Yutaka Hoshi at Rocket Motorcycle in Japan, who built it as a tribute to King Kenny’s illustrious career with Yamaha. It’s a mash up of history; the donor is an XS650, as a nod the bike that Roberts piloted to flat track victory in 1973, but the overall look is a hat tip to his iconic TZ750 track bike.

Hoshi-san built it specifically for the track, to compete in the recently announced ‘Legend of Classic’ series to be held at Fuji Speedway. So it’s been given a power boost, via a 750 cc rebuild, a performance cam, and a pair of bell-mouthed CR carbs. The stunning twin exhaust system is all custom.

Kenny Roberts-inspired custom Yamaha XS650
The XS also got a suspension boost, with new front internals and rear shocks, all from Öhlins. The wheels are Excel rims laced to the stock hubs, and the tires are Dunlop TT 900 GP items.

The look is more of a homage to the TZ750 than a direct replica. Hoshi-san sourced a TZ replica fairing, but removed the lower half. Then he fabricated an aluminum tank, and a fiberglass tail that’s more waspish than the boxy piece on the TZ. Obviously the XS650 now wears a speed block livery, but it’s been done with gold rather than yellow; an inspired choice. [More]

BMW R1100S by Officine Mermaid and Radikal Chopper
BMW R1100S by Officine Mermaid and Radikal Chopper Building a custom motorcycle is difficult enough—but when there’s a major motorcycle show in the bike’s future, the stakes are raised. Officine Mermaid and Andrea ‘Radikal Chopper’ Radaelli are up the task though.

This BMW R1100S was commissioned by a client to go straight to the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, where it promptly snagged the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award.

BMW R1100S by Officine Mermaid and Radikal Chopper
It’s easy to see why—the two Milan-based shops went deep, leaving very little of the original BMW behind. There’s a lot to digest here, from the two-piece chassis with its flowing trellis front part, to the hand-made girder front end. Every last part flows in unison—like the BMW’s new alloy bodywork, and the twin exhausts that terminate under the seat with slash-cut mufflers.

BMW R1100S by Officine Mermaid and Radikal Choppers
The motor’s been treated to custom valve covers and a custom ‘breastplate.’ The front fender and headlight cluster are one-offs too, and the build also features clip-ons, upgraded levers, a ‘clean’ top yoke and Discacciati brakes.

BMW R1100S by Officine Mermaid and Radikal Choppers
This BMW’s detail work is also outstanding. Most of the bike’s finished in polished aluminum, but there are just enough bronze touches to keep things interesting. Look closely, and you’ll even see a pair of roundels up at the front of the fuel tank, poking out from behind the frame. Some might find the overall effect gaudy, but we reckon it works, and extremely well. [More]

Harley-Davidson Sportster by Injustice Customs
Harley-Davidson Sportster by Injustice Customs One of the reasons for the Sportster’s incredible longevity is that it’s so interchangeable. Whether you’re swapping parts between Sportsters, or picking bolt-ons from any number of aftermarket companies, the possibilities are endless.

Swedish shop Injustice Customs have taken full advantage of that on this build. It started out as a Sportster Forty-Eight, but has an entirely different stance now, thanks to the 19F/18R wheels from a Sportster Roadster. They were acid dipped to shed their black coating, and then finished in a glorious matte gold.

Harley-Davidson Sportster by Injustice Customs
Injustice kept the stock forks, but shortened them and coated them with a Ti-Nitrid coating. Adjustable Öhlins shocks were installed to pick up the rear, and the subframe was trimmed down. The original stubby fuel tank’s gone, replaced by a longer item from another Sporty. The tail section’s a RSD part, trimmed down heavily to suit the build.

Other bolt-ons include clip-ons, and a new top yoke and exhaust from RSD. The air filter is from Vance & Hines, and there’s a Screamin’ Eagle tuner to help it run right. Injustice also trimmed down the wiring loom, and fitted new cables and brake lines.

It’s a pretty tidy example of a Sporty cafe, complete with a slick livery from Image Design that includes checkerboards as a nod to the original cafe racer culture. [Injustice Customs]

Suzuki DR650 flat tracker by Oilbro Motorcycles
Suzuki DR650 by Oilbro Motorcycles Suzuki’s venerable DR650 is bulletproof, easy to work on and extremely versatile. But in the looks department, it’s far more utilitarian than it is stylish. So this sharp DR650-based street tracker from Oilbro Motorcycles is a breath of fresh air.

Oilbro is a crew of five friends based in Toulouse, France. For this build, they decided to narrow this 1990 DR650’s focus purely to urban use. So they swapped out its big wheels for a pair of 17” hoops, swapping the tires out for dual-sport rubber that’s good on the road, but can hit the dirt when needed. They upgraded the suspension too—with a set of 2000 Ducati Monster 600 forks, and custom linkages at the back.

Suzuki DR650 flat tracker by Oilbro Motorcycles
The motor was cracked open and refreshed too, and is now fed by a Mikuni BST-40 carb and a BMC air filter. A hydraulic clutch was installed too, and the brakes were upgraded with Brembo bits.

Oilbro’s goal was to build something classic and unfussy, and the bodywork reflects this. The tank’s from a 1971 Suzuki TS 250, complete with original stickers and patina. The seat’s custom, along with the floating rear fender and the number board. The latter’s mounting system is nifty—it’s been 3D printed, and designed that it mounts without any visible bolts.

Suzuki DR650 flat tracker by Oilbro Motorcycles
The Suzuki also features chunkier foot pegs, high and wide bars, and an exhaust fashioned from an old Ariel 1000 Square Four unit. As for the speedo, good luck finding it, because we couldn’t—apparently it’s a tiny Apple Watch sitting in a custom mount. [More]