Custom Bikes Of The Week: 22 January, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A classy Moto Guzzi Centauro from the USA, a racy BMW K100 from Japan, and a brawny Honda CB750 from Vietnam. Let’s end the weekend right…

Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro by Craig Rodsmith
Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro by Craig Rodsmith The 90s isn’t a decade we typically look to for donors. But hand a late-90s Moto Guzzi V10 Centauro over to Craig Rodsmith, and magic happens.

Craig’s an Australian who’s lived in Illinois for twenty years—and although he considers himself more of a mechanic and machinist, he’s become renowned for his metal shaping. So when the owner of the Moto Guzzi wanted something with a more traditional café racer flavor, Craig got busy.

He hand-shaped a new tank, tail, front fender and headlight from aluminum, and fabricated a new subframe to match. He also reworked the original, stainless steel exhaust headers—terminating them in Cone Engineering mufflers—and built a pair of velocity stacks. Craig usually paints his own bikes, but decided to call in reinforcements this time around. He handled the frame and wheels himself, but Kiel Sawusch shot the bodywork, with Brando tackling the hand lettering and striping. Dane Utech laid down some tan leather on the seat—perfectly complementing the Guzzi’s classy new lines.

BMW K100 by An-Bu
BMW K100 by An-Bu The Japanese custom scene loves to keep us on our toes. Just look at Koichi Fujita of An-Bu—the Nagoya-based builder’s created some pretty out-there machines, but a sharp, blacked-out BMW K100 racer? That’s new.

In addition to building some pretty sweet bikes, An-Bu manufacture parts. This K’s sporting a seat from the catalogue, and the front fairing is a prototype. The latter’s kitted with an offset light in a custom-made aluminum surround. Peak behind the fairing, and the cockpit is delightfully busy; it features a tacho, speedo, water temperature and fuel gauges, and a smartphone mount with a USB connection. There’s plenty hand-made goodness to take in—like the custom battery mount, and the four-into-one exhaust system. The glossy black paint job (and tasteful silver striping) was the client’s idea—a nod to BMW’s classic color schemes. [More]

Yamaha RD350 by Moto Essence
Yamaha RD350 by Moto Essence Nothing sounds, smells—and pulls—quite like a two-stroke. And nothing we’ve seen looks quite as wicked as this little Yamaha RD350 from Munich’s Moto Essence. Built with the sole purpose of competing in the Essenza sprint race series, ‘Faucon’ has a lithe, race-ready look that we can’t tear our eyes from.

It’s based on a pretty special chassis: a Parenti GP frame straight out of the 70s. Bodywork is minimal, with a hand-made tank, slim seat, and a nose cowl made from the old front fender. The motor’s been rebuilt to 420cc with high-performance Wiseco parts, and now runs off 38mm Keihin Air Striker carbs. There’s a reinforced clutch and a quick-shifter in play too, just for good measure. Keeping it glued to the asphalt are a set of Avon tires, wrapped around a pair of mags of unknown origin.

Reports are that Faucon didn’t finish Essenza in first place—but it did perform admirably, losing out narrowly to far more modern, high-powered factory machines.

MV Agusta Dragster Blackout by Valter Moto Components
MV Agusta Brutale Dragster by Valter Moto Components If you were at the Verona Motor Bike Expo this weekend, you might have noticed something menacing lurking in the MV Agusta stand. Say hello to ‘Blackout’—an MV Agusta Brutale Dragster, that’s somehow even more ferocious than the original.

The project was birthed when MV Agusta’s head of branding and communication, Matteo Maresi, sent his personal bike over to official MV Agusta supplier, Valter Moto Components, for a few basic upgrades. Three weeks later, he got a call from founder, Valter Esposito: “Matteo, I want to do something crazy with your bike, something that you cannot even imagine!”

Bam! Matteo got his bike back with a whole whack of VMC parts, an aluminum LED-equipped headlight, and a rear view camera instead of mirrors (paired with an LCD monitor up front). The exhaust is an SC-Project SC1—as used by MV Augusta SBK rider, Leon Camier. Then there’s the brooding new livery—expertly executed by William Melzi.

Honda CB750 by Zife Moto
Honda CB750 by Zife Moto Vietnam is a place we’re more likely to associate with scooters, or little scramblers, than big old Honda Fours. Yet, here we are—staring into the quirky twin headlights of this brutal Honda CB750 street tracker, from Hanoi’s Zife Moto.

Zife have kitted the CB with upside-down Harley-Davidson forks, Rizoma handlebars and Biltwell grips. The original tank is still there (because range), but the tail’s custom-made, complete with embedded LED tail light. The exhaust system’s custom, and the guys have even included tiny fenders. As for that headlight, it’s a one-off, kitted with two LEDs. Behind it is a neat little Endurance II speedo from Trail Tech. And the tires are—you guessed it—Continental TKC80s. Zife have just given us one more reason to visit Vietnam (as if we needed it). [More]