Custom Bikes Of The Week: 8 January, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Roaring into 2017: a reborn Suzuki T500 Titan cafe racer, a naked Ducati Panigale, and Christini’s new snow bike—complete with tracks front and back. We’d happily put all of them in our garage.

Custom Ducati Panigale by Benjies Cafe Racer
Ducati 899 Panigale by Benjie’s Café Racer It’s a slightly less dangerous weapon than its bigger brother, but in capable hands the Ducati 899 Panigale is still as sharp as a scalpel. Hitting the track can be a tricky proposition, so the lads at BCR decided to go with a more upright route for this former weekend warrior.

Beaten but not broken, the middleweight Duc was quickly parted from its scarred plastics. That meant designing and fabricating multiple enclosures to reroute spaghetti, and conceal what was previously hidden by the stock bodywork. To go with the new naked aesthetic, the low-slung clip-ons were swapped for a set of MX bars clamped by a custom triple tree. Up front the newly fab’d fork gaiters give the bike some serious shoulders, and a single ‘daymaker’ style headlight finishes things nicely. The look is arguably on-point and had Bologna gone closer to this route with their Streetfighter, it’d undoubtedly still be around. [More]

Suzuki T500 Titan cafe racer
Suzuki T500 by Steve Baugrud With an ability to run the ton (somewhat under the radar), the Suzuki T500 Titan remains a high water mark for big-bore, two-stroke engineering. Its excellent road manners and low-end grunt helped the oil burner snag victories in the 500cc class on the Isle of Man. Twice.

With a relatively cheap supply, it’s a wonder we don’t see more T500s being breathed on. Especially when you consider the potential. Over the course of eight months, hobbyist builder Steve Baugrud transformed a $600 lump of nostalgia into this gorgeous cafe racer. After a complete teardown, the frame was de-tabbed and the subframe was strengthened. A new tank was sourced from a Yamaha XS750 and that stunning tailpiece was fitted. Despite being in running condition, the parallel twin was completely rebuilt and over-bored for some extra oomph. To complete this minimalist artwork, a new ignition and charging system was sourced so the battery could be ditched.

Triumph Bonneville cafe racer by Stuntex
Triumph Bonneville T100 by Stuntex Club Subtlety is a lost art. A product of our times, builders often try to make the sizzle speak for their steak. Performance takes a back seat to style. Handling is compromised for stance. And niceties (or necessities) like fenders, fill scrap heaps because the insta-crowd aren’t fans. Bucking that tradition, this T100 from Podolsk, Russia’s Stuntex Club is simply sublime.

From a distance, most would figure this cafe’d Bonnie was simply a Thrux. And that it was damn near stock. Sure, they’d pick up on the new LSL Clubman Seat but nobody would spot the shortened 43mm KYB forks up front. They aren’t a USD set-up like most custom jobs, but they shed weight and add performance. As do the twin floating discs clamping down on the rebuilt, spoked wheel that was mounted on an SR500 hub to make the system work. Out back the hub is stock, but the alloy is again all new.

Nick Kazakov and his team consulted the LSL catalog at great length and its offerings put to good use for the clip-ons, rear-sets, triple tree and headlight to name a few. The result is a modern performer with a better than factory finish. [More]

Aprilia RSV4 by Kacerwagen
Aprilia RSV4 by Kacerwagen Just before Christmas, Aprilia pulled the wraps off its civilian-duty MotoGP racer, the RSV4 R FW-GP. It may be the finest 250-horsepower expression of Italian excess we’ve ever seen, and even comes with an on-call race engineer. But if you’d rather save a few bucks and land an even more unique Aprilia, we think we’ve found your best option.

Created by Chus and his team of builders from Kacerwagen, this Aprilia RSV 1000 is a modern beast with a vintage vibe. The obvious standout is the exquisite carbon fiber bodywork: Working from clay models, the team carved and honed until they’d found the right shape and flow. The result is a mesmerizing, high-lacquered weave that rivals the finest we’ve seen.

Progress in the Huelva, Spain workshop didn’t end there. While the bike was stripped, the frame and swingarm were hand sanded before a fresh coat of paint was applied. Motogadget m-Blaze discs help clean up the front end—as does the mirror delete—but we imagine the integrated LED in the humped tail is all anyone will ever see when this thing is in motion. And yes, the custom GTPro exhaust sounds as good as it looks. [Kacerwagen]

Christini II-Track snow utility bike
Christini II-Track snow utility bike I’m sure it helps that I live in The Great White North and can only stare longingly at my winterized rides—but there’s something about a snow bike that makes me feel like a ten-year-old mainlining Pixie Stix. And while it isn’t exactly custom, this latest release from Christini All Wheel Drive Motorcycles is truly something sweet.

Built around their 300 two-stroke or 450 four-stroke offerings, this snowmageddon-sled uses Christini’s new in-house II-Track system. This allows riders to mount a conventional snow-track system to a modified rear swingarm for year round roosting. And the boffins didn’t simply mount a ski up front: Instead, it’s a split-ski setup with a proprietary track that mates up to the standard AWD system. Depending on which base bike you start with, it’ll cost around $15,000 to hunt bigfoot and the abominable snowman from the saddle. [More]