Custom Bikes Of The Week: 15 January, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Eleven hundred cc of Moto Guzzi muscle from Florida, a cafe’d Ducati Hypermotard from Germany, and proof from Jakarta that the Kawasaki ER6n can be turned into a good looking bike. We’re going global this week.

Honda CB550 by Ripple Rock Racers
Honda CB550 by Ripple Rock Racers My local shop, Town Moto in Toronto, has a tradition of featuring a different motorcycle in their front window every month. Sometimes it’s a new bike, like Triumph’s Thruxton R or a Husky Supermoto, and sometimes it’s a custom—like this very tidy brat/cafe hybrid from Winnipeg’s Ripple Rock Racers.

Working with a Honda CB550, ‘OZ’ is described by RRR’s Kemp Archibald as “Comfortable yet stylish, a simple and clean affair with a performance heart.” To get the old Honda to this state, RRR stripped the donor bike down completely before detabbing the frame and taking the cutting disc to the rear end. A new tray was fab’d up to hide the electrics and deliver a clean triangle beneath the diamond stitched leather seat. A CB650 was robbed of its swingarm and rear wheel for the build, and the tank is a hand-sculpted unit from a later model CB550. On top of the cosmetic changes, RRR also gave the inline-4 a complete rebuild, and built a four-into-two exhaust system capped with snarling reverse-cone megaphones to better enunciate its braaaap. [More]

Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport by Moto-Studio
Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport by Moto-Studio In stock form, the 1100 Sport was a big brute of a motorcycle. With upwards of 90 hp on tap from its iconic transverse V-Twin engine, it was no slouch either. However, it was a touch portly—and muscling one through the twisties is said to have been tricky at times. But that’s nothing that a 40 kilo diet won’t help. Which is exactly what Bruce McQuiston and his team at Miami, Florida based Moto-Studio thought.

When they put this carburetted Moto Guzzi up on the bench the plastics had to go, as well as few other beefy bits. (Rumor has it the OEM loom and wiring weigh in at 6 kilos.) Then Bruce turned his attention to the rear of ‘Stormo 219.’ There are new subframe struts made of machined aluminum, and that exquisitely shaped tail is a carbon fibre unit. Bruce scores huge bonus points for shaping that tail perfectly to match the profile of the tank. From there the carbs were jetted for four extra ponies and most importantly, the gearing was shortened to make this cafe quicker to race. The fit and finish throughout is exemplary and were I to find an 1100 Sport kicking around, I know who I’d call. [More]

Ducati Hypermotard by Garage 667
Ducati Hypermotard by Garage 667 It’s kind of hard to believe that Pierre Terblanche’s Hypermotard is a decade old. The Italian SuMo on steroids continues to set a standard for hooligan machines—while maintaining a characteristic ‘odd-Duc’ vibe.

Terblanche’s styling isn’t for everyone. And if his Motard visuals don’t quite cut it for you, peep this tight cafe conversion from Germany’s Garage 667. Working from an entry level 796 variant, Jochen Diefke has built a cafe racer with a clear focus on performance. The bike’s beak and myriad other plastics had to go, and to nail the modern classic look, the Hyper’s tank was binned as well. In its place sits a unit from a Ducati 1098 that took some extensive modifications to bolt up and flow properly. After adding custom cross-bracing on the subframe, a humped tail and a Harley V-Rod headlight, Jochen hit the bullseye in terms of style.

Kawasaki ER6n by Studio Motor
Kawasaki ER6n by Studio Motor The Jakarta, Indonesia builders are no strangers to this series. They’ve been on our radar since the very beginning. And thanks to some impressive skills and the courage to take on unconventional donors, we’re always pretty chuffed when something new rolls out. This time around they’ve scrambled Kawi’s naked Ninja and man, does it look the business.

Working with a 2013 ER6n the Studio Motor team immediately binned every element of Kawasaki’s polarizing ‘Sugomi’ design ethos. A new seat, tank and set of fenders were hand crafted from steel and shaped to accentuate the bike’s natural stance. A hoop was tacked on out back and then topped with a beautiful, in-house crafted, leather tuck-rolled seat. Rizoma bars put the rider in control and a classic, five-inch headlight replaces the Michael Bay look up front. The entire package shows the versatility of Kawi’s previous generation Ninja chassis and truly earns those Metzeler Enduros it rides on. [More]

James Garner’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross
James Garner’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross When I was a wee lad, my grandfather introduced me to one of my all-time heroes of Hollywood. As Jim Rockford, James Garner was exactly the brand of cool my developing mind needed—and spurred me to seek out works like The Great Escape. Garner was already a four-wheeled racer, but it was during his time filming with Capt. Virgil Hilts that he developed a love for knees in the breeze.

Hitting Bonham’s blocks on January 26, this 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross is the very same bike that Garner used to race against McQueen at Steve’s Brentwood estate. When new, the 396cc two-stroke would put out 40 hp—not bad for an off-roader that tips scales at a mere 231 pounds (105 kilos). Forty-seven years later, it may have lost a pony or two, but this Championship winning Swede remains a wicked machine. Having direct ties to Garner means this beast will command a premium—but not as much as if it were McQueen’s own machine. [More]

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