Custom Bikes Of The Week: 19 February, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Remember the notorious Honda ATC250R three-wheeler? Now you can get that funky 1980s style without the dodgy third wheel. And if you can’t wait for the Husqvarna Vitpilen to launch, there’s a kit for you…

Husqvarna FE 501 tracker by LOON
Husqvarna FE 501 tracker by LOON Husqvarna is one of the hottest motorcycle brands coming into 2017. Sales rose 43% last year and most of the moto world is salivating at the pending release of the Vitpilen models.

To tide us all over, David and Dominick from Germany’s LOON Cycleworks decided to toss a Husky FE 501 on their bench and give it the street tracker treatment. A bike, we think, will bridge the gap quite nicely.

Performance on this build was key. Of course, when you start with a 60 horsepower thumper in a 250-pound package, it’s hard to screw that part up. Thankfully, this Husky now has the looks dialed in too. The fuel tank is a newly minted unit and the factory enduro tail has been replaced with some expertly tailored aluminum and leather. The subframe is also all-new, and powder coated to match the main frame. Up front, the WP forks were shortened by 50mm to flatten its stance on tubeless Alpina supermoto spoked rims. (If SuMo isn’t your style, you can also opt for matching 18-inchers shod in Heidenau rubber.) And yes, we did say opt. Because LOON didn’t need to alter the frame or wiring, they’ve made this build available as a kit—in both tracker and supermoto styles—for any 501 owners out there to own. [More]

Honda CX500 by Brick House Builds
Honda CX500 by Brick House Builds Regardless of whether you remember them fondly or with disdain, the eighties were a wild time. Mullets, suit jackets with a Presidential-sized cut and teenage stars named Corey were everywhere. And so was Honda’s notorious ATV, the ATC250R—until they were crashed, or the Health and Safety folks pulled the plug.

BJ English, of Missouri’s Brick House Builds, is obviously a fan of the decade. How else would you explain this CX500, inspired by the infamous ATC?

To emulate the 3-wheeler’s silhouette, BJ chopped off the CX’s tail and re-sprung the rear using a mono-shock set-up from a Kawasaki Ninja 650R. From there, the layout of the rest of the build began to take shape. With the airbox long gone, this plastic maggot inhales through a set of UNI pod filters and exhales through a MAC header that BJ cut and welded in place. Up front, the squared headlight, gaiters and fender may look like they were stolen from an actual ATC but that would be criminal, so a Honda XR650 was sourced. BJ claims the bike weighs in at 50-pounds lighter than stock and loves to be ridden hard—which is a fitting tribute in our eyes. [More]

Honda CB550 by Cafe Cycles
Honda CB550 by Cafe Cycles Last week many of you were smitten with the beautiful blue Benelli that had already sold at auction—for an absolute steal. To make amends for my tardiness, I’ve scrounged around and found a damned fine CB550 on eBay that can still be had—at time of writing.

Melding performance and style with a vintage CB may be becoming old hat, but there’s just something about this one from Cafe Cycles of Rhode Island. Maybe it’s the carbon fiber wrapped belly pan. It could even be the hand-formed tail with integrated LEDs. Or maybe it’s just the laundry list of performance upgrades—like the inverted CBR600RR forks, the Yoshi GP-style exhaust, or the massive radial mount Tokico brakes. On second thought, I think it may be that exquisite Grigio Scuro paint, which dances between the greens, greys and blues that typically call a Ferrari home. Regardless, bidding starts at $9k. [More]

Royal Enfield Beach Tracker
Royal Enfield Beach Tracker Ridermania is an annual celebration put on by Royal Enfield that takes place on the sandy shores of Goa. A fitting place to find this clean and austere Beach Tracker build that wowed the audience last November.

It’s the creation of New Delhi tinkerers Aseem Singh Pawar and Gursourabh Singh, who turned the project around in a mere 45 days. Working with a set budget and strict instructions to not alter the frame or fuel tank, Aseem and Gursourabh decided to rely on subtlety and class to enhance their Bullet.

The subtlety comes from the milled wooden headlight bowl that, admittedly, I didn’t pick up at first glance. That was because my eyes were drawn to the Bullet’s butt-end—and the bobber style seat. A closer inspection reveals that the pan is a hand hammered copper unit that’s already started to patinate nicely. The antique tones are echoed on the exhaust heat shields and the whitewalls it rides on. [More]

Yamaha TRX850 by Seb Hipperson
Yamaha TRX850 by Seb Hipperson Mention the words ‘trellis frame’ and minds generally wander to Bologna. So intertwined are Ducati and this skeletal style that many forget that other OEs experimented with it too. Although rarely seen on North American shores, the Yamaha TRX 850 was one of those hidden gems—and Seb Hipperson has built us a lovely reminder.

Since this bike was for Seb himself, he had free reign to build whatever he wanted. And what he wanted was an endurance-inspired bike that would fit within a budget but wouldn’t sacrifice looks or performance. Four years and a couple different directions later, this is what Seb rides.

The fiberglass bodywork was reverse molded using an old Imola fairing, which Seb cut to accommodate the asymmetric headlight and small lower vents. The rear subframe was crafted using hand bent tubing to best marry the Yami’s main lines and it supports a custom tail that houses all of the bike’s electrics. The seat pan was hand-formed as well, before being sent out to Stan Leather for upholstering. The finished product is a stunner—and it wouldn’t surprise me if it inspires more TRXs to come out of the woodwork. [More]

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