Custom Bikes Of The Week: 2 April, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
This week we bring you an electric motocrosser with dino styling, an aggro Suzuki SV650 from Thailand and a couple of classy cafe racers. And Rough Crafts’ Winston Yeh reveals his daily runner.

Tarform Ducati Scrambler 250
Tarform Ducati Scrambler 250 Taras Kravtchouk is a Swedish product designer living in New York, and the founder of award winning design agency Gravity Hill. Oh, and he’s also pretty handy with a wrench, judging by this gorgeous vintage Ducati Scrambler.

The story goes that Belstaff approached Taras after he’d done some branding work for them, to create a bike for their flagship store on Madison Ave. in New York. Four years later, and Taras had built several bikes, now on display as far afield as Tokyo.

This little cracker’s gracing the floor of Belstaff’s Milano location, so a classic Ducati 250 single was a logical choice. A donor Ducati Scrambler was found in Florida via Ebay, and shipped to Taras’ Brooklyn workshop. The bike was stripped down, the frame cleaned up and the subframe fettled to accommodate a hand-shaped cowl. Longer rear shocks and clip-ons drive the cafe racer styling home. As for the final finishes, Taras stripped the paint off the stock tank, polished it and left it raw—then carried that effect through most of the bike to emphasise the Ducati’s stunning engine.

It’s just a real pity that it’s destined to spend its days in a shop window. With thanks to Ryan Handt.

Mugen E.Rex electric motocross bike
Mugen E.Rex You have to appreciate the irony of a bike that shuns fossil fuels—but is styled like a dinosaur. As tacky as the E.Rex’s styling is (yes, that’s a reference to T-Rex), Mugen have had nothing but success with their Shinden Isle of Man TT racer. So you know they mean business.

The E.Rex was produced in partnership with Honda—so it’s sporting bits from established firms like Showa and Nissin. There’s not much in the way of specs available yet. Right now it’s just a concept bike, a bid from the two companies to “bring the joy of electric motorsports closer to as many people as possible.” Which makes sense; motocross is a much more accessible sport than track racing, and blasting around a MX track on an electric bike must be a hoot. All that remains to be seen is if the E.Rex makes it into production—and if that gnarly styling sticks around. [More]

Suzuki GS550 Rickman Racer
Suzuki GS550 Rickman Racer Based in Sheffield, Complete Cafe Racer—as the name implies—is a one-stop-shop for classic cafe racer parts. But these parts don’t design themselves; they’re usually the byproduct of owner Tony Garnham-Parks grinding away in his workshop. This classy Rickman-styled Suzuki GS550 is one such project.

A friend of Tony’s picked up the Suzuki with a mere 7,000 miles on it. Its first owner had crashed it, spooked himself and stored it away for over thirty years. Tony stripped the bike down and flogged as many parts as he could to build up a little build budget. The engine was seized, so Tony stuck in a 77 motor that he had in the shop, while he sent the original off for a rebuild.

The fairing was pieced together from a couple that were lying around the shop. They were cut, rejoined and filled to make a plug, which was then used to shape the final piece. The frame rails were then shortened and braced to fit one of Complete Cafe Racer’s seat units. Tony eventually threw the budget out the window, and added a set of Suzuki GSX-R750 forks and yokes, 6 pot calipers from a Hyabusa and an alloy swing arm from a GSX1100. And when it came time for that engine rebuild, he found a GS650 engine in good nick—so the 550’s cases were bored out to take the 650’s barrels and pistons.

There’s a lot more going on, but it’s the quintessential racer lines—and deep blue paint—that really seals the deal.

Custom Suzuki SV650 by K-Speed
K-Speed Suzuki SV650 K-Speed’s dark and edgy vibe is always a hit, so it’s no surprise that Suzuki Thailand approached them to build a bike for their booth at the Bangkok International Motor Show. With a brand new Suzuki SV650 in hand—and a mere twenty days to get the job done—K-Speed decided to go for an all-terrain, military look.

They chopped the rear of the frame, then built it back up to be higher and sharper with a new seat. The tank is stock, but the side panels are new, as is the two-into-one exhaust system. K-Speed also swapped out the bars and master cylinders, and added in an LED headlight with a custom-made bracket and guard. The final boxes were checked with olive green paint, and a set of aggressive Mitas dual-sport tires. It’s another home run for K-Speed, and should hopefully provide enough ammo to inspire a wave of SV650 builds. [More]

Rough Crafts Yamaha XSR700
Rough Crafts XSR700 A couple of weeks back, we featured a Yamaha XSR700 that Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts had spun two ways, for Yamaha’s Yard Built program. One configuration was designed for the street, the other for the dirt, but they both featured the same radical, monocoque carbon fiber body kit.

Rough Crafts are busy putting that kit into production—so Winston’s put the first sample onto his personal runabout. He’s gone for a murdered-out, streetfighter vibe—perfect for tearing up Taipei’s streets.

Along with the new body, the XSR’s been treated to some trick chassis upgrades. The upside-downs and front brake are from a Yamaha R1, and the rear shock’s from Gears Racing. There’s also a MS Pro Parts Design titanium ‘silencer,’ Beringer controls, and Motogadget grips, mirrors and turn signals. More importantly, Winston’s installed a set of super-light Rotobox carbon wheels. The Yamaha’s wrapped in black and carbon finishes; just perfect. [More]