Custom Bikes Of The Week: 2 July, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
A dark and moody Moto Guzzi Griso from Officine Rossopuro, a nimble Sportster tracker from Breizh Coast Kustoms, and a vandalized Ducati 1000SS brought back from the dead by Redmax Speed Shop. It’s all about performance this week.

Harley-Davidson Sportster tracker by Breizh Coast Kustoms
Harley-Davidson Sportster tracker by Breizh Coast Kustoms Motorcycle racing and custom bike building are two of the quickest ways to burn through cash. Unfortunately Yann Le Douche of Breizh Coast Kustoms has a passion for both. So he came up with some clever tricks to keep costs down and fund this sweet Hooligan Harley Sportster.

Adorning the top of the tank are 50 names—the names of proud t-shirt owners who picked up some BC Kustoms merch, to help make Yann’s season of slideways come together. It’s a great way to raise funds and start an army of fans.

Thanks to Yann’s years of experience wrenching for race teams, he could skip out on the store-bought go-fast bits. The bike is powered by an 883 engine that once served as motivation for a bobber project, and now breathes through a handmade air cleaner unit. It also creates proper thunder, via a one-off exhaust kit built to resemble the one found on H-D’s XGR 750.

To save some more scratch, Yann also created the rear disc brake and sprocket, and designed the bodywork in-house, including the front ‘69’ number plate. Well, in his journalist days and later in the pits, Yann got to know the Kentucky Kid quite well—and knew he had to pay tribute somehow. [More]

Moto Guzzi Griso cafe racer by Officine Rossopuro
Moto Guzzi Griso by Officine Rossopuro Custom bike building often comes down to the balance between form and function. Much like riding a bike, if a builder leans too heavily to one side or the other, the results can be messy. You end up with art bikes, or speed demons with no style. But when you find harmonious balance—the sweet spot—the results can be staggering.

Anima Nera (‘Dark Soul’) is the latest Moto Guzzi to roll out of the Officine Rossopuro garage. Builder Filippo Barbacane wanted to create a Yin to the Yang of his previous extreme Guzzi, Anima, so the hues get the dark and sinister treatment. Working with a new Griso, Anima Nera is light, aggressive and nimble. Carbon fiber has been laid and formed to create almost every piece of bodywork. The wheels are a set of aluminum Marchesini units that are now bound by Brembo’s lightweight, race-ready T-Drive brakes. Up front, Filippo went to work on a custom set of billet triple trees to make sure the 50mm Marzocchi forks would mate up.

No doubt those serpentine pipes caught your attention, too. They’re the product of a collaboration with Mass Moto that, and to my eyes, bring together the elements of form and function beautifully. I’m truly envious of the Monaco based owner. [More]

Ducati 1000SS by Redmax Speed Shop
Ducati 1000SS by Redmax Speed Shop Every time I come across a Ducati 1000SS, whether in person or on the web, I question why Bologna pulled the plug on such a pretty motorcycle. And I cringed when I read how the owner of this bike, Dan, discovered his vandalized. Mind you, that mindless destruction ultimately meant that the lads from Redmax Speed Shop were going to have a crack at a custom rebuild, so it wasn’t all bad news.

Redmax has developed a laundry list of retro parts designed with late model Ducs in mind. The tank, tail, fairing and exhaust system are all readily available for online ordering. Of course, making everything work in the harmony we see here took more than some nuts, bolts and spanners. The Duc’s frame had to be reworked in places and a new subframe needed fitting as well.

Another added benefit of Redmax’s engineering work is that Dan’s revised SS is considerably lighter: the tank alone weighs half that of an OE unit. And those pipes deliver some added grunt. The finished product is just impeccable to my eyes, so I hope Dan’s no longer parking his bike in the shadows of the night—or he’s got some hired guns keeping a close eye.

Custom Yamaha XT600 by Lions Den Motorcycles
Yamaha XT600 by Lions Den Motorcycles For builders, time can either work for you or against you. For some, a long-term project can turn into a nightmare of neglect, as lethargy railroads momentum. But Dan Thomas of Lions Den Motorcycles seems to excel when the clock has little importance.

It took Dan over two years to finish transforming a Yamaha XT600 into this elegantly crafted cafe racer, and we figure it was worth the wait. Working at it between commissioned builds, Dan has modified almost every aspect of this bike. The frame has been de-tabbed and reworked for a racer’s stance, and the suspension has been swapped for tighter handling bits—with Fireblade forks up front and a custom Hagon shock out back.

Custom Yamaha XT600 by Lions Den Motorcycles
The engine has been completely rebuilt and over-bored to accommodate the new Wiseco thumper. It also breathes through new Keihin CR carbs, and exhales via an elegantly routed exhaust. But wait… This is a single? What’s with the other pipe? To solve two problems, needing an oil tank for the dry sump system and aesthetic balance, Dan sealed the tubing on one side to act as the reservoir for the engine’s vitals. And while that’s absolutely genius, the work on the pivoting Zebrawood seat—with nine days of varnish application alone—commands our utmost respect. Here’s hoping we see some more from Dan before 2020. [More]

Yamaha XSR700 by WalzWerk Racing
Yamaha XSR700 by WalzWerk Racing If you were lucky enough to rub elbows with Mr. d’Orléans at Wheels and Waves in Biarritz you may have picked up on the latest work from Marcus Walz. Working out of his WalzWerk Racing garage this XSR700, dubbed ‘Apex Ruler,’ is the latest Yard Built project in conjunction with Yamaha Europe.

While it may irk some to see the Yami’s bulbous tank still perched high above the framework, I think it works well with the minimalist, aluminum bodywork that now tapers the tail and keeps the rider locked in position. The paintwork is also top notch here, paying homage to the two-stroke RDs of yore and features a hand painted speed block pattern.

Of course, when you ‘Apex Ruler’ pinstriped on your tank, you need to make sure the bike can juke and jive. To that end, Marcus has shed the weight of the XSR down to around 150kg (330 pounds), thanks in part to some new carbon hoops from Rotobox and an SC Project exhaust. [More]

Yamaha XSR700 by WalzWerk Racing