Custom Bikes Of The Week: 22 October, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and restomods of the week
A drop-dead gorgeous dual sport Ducati from Walt Siegl, an unusually attractive CX500 from Australia, and a $66,000 cafe racer from the reborn English manufacturer Ariel. We know what we’d choose—how about you?

Honda CX500 custom by X-Axis
Honda CX500 by X-Axis Based in New South Wales, Australia, X-Axis is a small but talented group of builders that includes former British MX1 champ Billy MacKenzie. With a racer’s pedigree, it shouldn’t surprise that performance is a key focus. What does surprise though, is their predilection towards the plastic maggot.

This is the third Honda CX500 to go up on the bench at X-Axis and it’s the cleanest of the lot. Most of the thanks should go to friend and fabricator Ben Rose—for his smooth work on the subframe. But there are other custom touches that make this an X-Axis original.

The swingarm has been rejigged, and the transverse twin was torn down and rebuilt completely. There’s also a new set of grippier shoes spooned on, and if you aren’t blown away by the exhaust system, there’s just no pleasing you. [More]

Walt Siegl's Ducati ADV, 'L'Avventura.'
Ducati dual sport by Walt Siegl If and when my lotto numbers come in, Walt Siegl is the first man I’m getting in touch with. I’ve actually told him as much, with the hopes he’d start thinking on the Leggero I’d order. Of course, Walt’s just gone and thrown a wrinkle into my plans by creating L’Avventura. Now I need to win even bigger.

L’Avventura is a built-to-order adventure bike of the highest caliber. Powered by a 1,100cc L-Twin Ducati engine, there is power to spare. The suspension is long travel—spec’d to your liking/wallet allowance—and it rides on the requisite 21-inch front/17-inch rear tire wheel combo with the knobbies of your choice, so very little will stop it. Walt has also worked his magic to bring the weight of L’Avventura down well to below that of a Multistrada Enduro or BMW GS.

Walt Siegl's Ducati ADV, 'L'Avventura.'
If you squint, the fuzzy shape of a Cagiva Elefant might register as the rally-ready bodywork certainly draws some inspiration from there. The retro cues continue with the bug eye Hella lamps that have both a clear lens and yellow one. A GPS unit has been fitted into L’Avventura’s dash and the tank holds a healthy 6.5 gallons of premium. Now, where do I sign exactly? [More]

Fantic Caballero Flat Track
Fantic Caballero Flat Track If you caught our picks of last year’s EICMA litter, you’ll remember we were pretty chuffed by the Caballero Scrambler that debuted there. We also learned that there’d be a Tracker version of the Caballero and this is what it looks like, in 500 form.

First things first, for a factory effort—especially one as tiny as Fantic—this thing looks lit. The stance is spot on and given that the powerplant is a half-liter affair (125 and 250cc versions will be available too) it should be relatively light and flickable. I say should because we’re still waiting for full confirmation on all of the specs: the website is supposed to be up and running shortly. EICMA 2017 is right around the corner, after all.

Fantic Caballero Flat Track
What we do know is that the 449cc thumper should be good for around 43 hp and that, in tracker guise, it will ride on matching 19-inch hoops. Now we just need to find a few local dealers willing to arrange shipment… [More]

1993 BMW R100 cafe racer by ER Motorcycles
BMW R100 by ER Motorcycles Few of us would pick out Slovenia as a hotbed of activity in the custom motorcycle scene. But what the country lacks in quantity is clearly being made up for with quality, thanks to the capable hands at ER Motorcycles.

Blaž Šuštaršic and his team have shown us before that they know their way around an airhead. And their newest creation affirms their Bavarian expertise. Starting with a 1993 R100 on the bench, the concept behind ‘Logan’ began life in the digital world. Working from renderings, Blaž was able suss out how much work was needed to fit the XJR1200 tank on the Beemer’s spine. He was also able to get the angles and positioning just right for the Diavel headlight that, in my humble opinion, looks better here than it ever did on a Duc.

1993 BMW R100 cafe racer by ER Motorcycles
Out back, the rear subframe was modified to shrink overhangs and LEDs were integrated into the new hoop. The new saddle is a stubby affair but the aluminum side panels feature some sweet curves that echo the muscular stance up front. We’re told this build was commissioned by another Slovenian known for putting the country on the map; former NHLer Jan Muršak. [More]

Ariel Ace R motorcycle
Ariel Ace R We’ll grant that this next bike isn’t exactly a custom affair. But production numbers are limited to 10, and Ariel Motors has clearly turned the dial up to 11. The Ariel Ace R is the latest face-warper to roll out of their Somerset, England based garage and it may be the angriest naked we’ve ever seen.

Thanks to revised heads and reworked cams, the Honda VFR1200 powering this Ace has been coaxed to crank out 201 ponies (up from 173 hp) and churn through tires with 105 pound-feet of torque. On top of that, lightness was added—via carbon fiber for the bodywork and wheels, a milled-aluminum trellis frame, and extensive array of titanium fasteners.

Suspension and braking have been beefed up as well: Öhlins keeps the Ace R flat and planted in the corners, and 6-piston Nissin brakes scrub speed almost as quick as that V-4 creates it. There’s also a MotoGP-derived quick shifter, to help well-heeled civilians nail a sub-three-second 0-60 time.

Pricing for all this performance starts at £50,000—around $66,000 in American money. Any takers?

Ariel Ace R motorcycle

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