Speed Read, April 9, 2023

The latest motorcycle news and customs
This week’s Speed Read selection might just cover the biggest age gap we’ve ever featured in one round-up. It kicks off with a 2007-model Yamaha MT-07, and ends with a 1953 Triumph 6T Thunderbird. Wedged in between are a custom BMW R45 from Bolt Motor Co., and a Kawasaki W650 hooligan flat tracker from Down Under.

Yamaha MT-07 street scrambler by LM Creations
Yamaha MT-07 by LM Creations Luuc Muis of LM Creations has built a plethora of incredible bikes over the years. It’s not often we see his bikes for sale—but if you are in the market for a new bike, we have some great news for you. This custom Yamaha MT-07 street scrambler from Luuc is currently up for grabs.

Yamaha MT-07 street scrambler by LM Creations
Nicknamed ‘The Rooster,’ Luuc originally built the bike for himself, relying mostly on 3D scanning and printing processes. He first scanned the entire bike (sans factory bodywork), and from there was able to design the new, far more LMC-appropriate bodywork.

The tank is actually a cover, which sits over a custom 2 mm aluminum fuel cell that Luuc made by hand. The tank cover, headlight cover and flat track-style seat were originally 3D printed, and then served as a mold which fiberglass was laid over. The rider dashboard was taken back to basics, with a single gauge behind the headlight cover.

Yamaha MT-07 street scrambler by LM Creations
The custom exhaust was also designed in 3D, before being crafted in stainless steel in real life. Capped with an aftermarket muffler, we bet this thing sounds incredible. Before hitting the road for the first time, the engine was treated to a new clutch and new Pirelli MT60RS tires.

The front end was lifted from a Ducati Multistrada for a big upgrade in suspension and braking. Along with the performance benefits, the USD forks also look better.

Yamaha MT-07 street scrambler by LM Creations
Motorcycle apparel and helmet company Roeg liked the build so much, that they wanted to use it for some marketing duties last year. So Luuc painted the panels in black, ready for the Roeg-supplied decal set, which looks fantastic.

For potential buyers, we have even more good news. Luuc is more than happy to make slight modifications to the bike or graphics. Hit him up if you’ve got a spot in your garage. [Luuc Muis Creations]

Custom BMW R45 by Bolt Motor Co.
BMW R45 by Bolt Motor Co. The BMW R45 was created to fill a gap in the market. They wanted to offer potential younger customers the same BMW reliability and quality, but in a more approachable package that cost less than an R65. A stepping stone into the full-power BMW boxers, if you will.

Unfortunately, because it was basically the same size and weight as the R65 but with less power, the R45 was a bit slow. It’s found new life in today’s custom scene, though—with bikes like this custom BMW R45 from Bolt Motor Co. in Valencia, Spain, making a strong case for the smaller boxer.

Custom BMW R45 by Bolt Motor Co.
Bolt’s idea was to take the portly R45, put it on a diet, and load it with modern amenities that would appeal to younger riders. The team started by dragging a long-forgotten R45 out of a garage and checking for vital signs. Once it was alive, they got to work on the transformation.

A pair of knobbly tires were spooned onto freshly powder-coated wheels, and the suspension at the front and rear was overhauled. An LED headlight replaced the factory candle holder, bolted to the front end by way of custom brackets. A single Koso multi-function gauge sits front and center.

Custom BMW R45 by Bolt Motor Co.
The spindly rear factory subframe is gone, replaced by a stout custom unit. The handmade seat looks the part with its water-resistant leather and contrast stitching. A taillight sits in the back of the frame loop, with the turn signals barely visible on the custom license plate bracket.

Even though the R45 has been put on a serious diet, it’s got a bit of go to match the show. The engine was upgraded with modified pistons, cylinders and heads. The Bing carbs were ditched in favor of Del’Ortos, and the mufflers are from GPR. Lastly, the battery was relocated to down low, under the engine.

Custom BMW R45 by Bolt Motor Co.
Finished in stunning grey paint by Airbrush Customs, it’s certainly a handsome build. And being an old BMW, it should last another lifetime at least. We bet the new owner is stoked. [Bolt Motor Co.]

Kawasaki W650 hooligan flat track racer
Kawasaki W650 by John Bancroft-Arnott Auctions can be quite dangerous. Not physically, of course, but financially speaking they can pose a serious hazard. Other times, they’re a damn good idea—like in the case of this custom Kawasaki W650.

“I picked this bike up cheap as a written-off bike, not much more than an engine in a frame, intending to keep it as spares for my daily,” says John Bancroft-Arnott of Brisbane, Australia. “But then I got into flat track and decided instead to build it up as a hooligan racer.”

Kawasaki W650 hooligan flat track racer
To get the W650 race ready, the frame was de-tabbed, looped at the rear and generally lightened where possible. A custom aluminum electrics box was bent up and fitted under the seat, and now houses a very simplified wiring setup, along with a small Antigravity battery.

The starter motor was removed (it’s a race bike, after all), shaving even more weight. Twin Mikuni carbs were fitted with huge K&N air filters, and the stock W650 headers were relieved of their mufflers altogether.

Kawasaki W650 hooligan flat track racer
The swingarm that came with the bike was bent, so it was replaced with a shorter Yamaha SR400 unit. This got the bike closer to a flat track-style geometry, as did the rebuilt forks with stiffer springs, and the longer shocks at the back. The seat uses the factory base, but it’s been reshaped and trimmed in marine-grade synthetic leather.

A factory W650 front wheel rim was laced to the rear hub, so it now wears twin 19” wheels. Shod in Dunlop DT3 tires, it certainly looks ready for the dirt oval. A small aluminum fender with a rubber guard was fitted to the rear, to at least give the appearance of trying to limit the amount of dirt flying around.

Kawasaki W650 hooligan flat track racer
Triumph Western handlebars were fitted, along with new grips and controls. The tank is from an old Honda CB100, and has been ingeniously repurposed to fit the W.

In a real rags-to-riches kind of tale, John has built an absolute belter of a bike. And if you’re wondering if this one really is a runner, don’t fret—John’s already had a few race outings on it. [John Bancroft-Arnott Instagram]

1953 Triumph Thunderbird by The Tiger Shack
Triumph Thunderbird by Tiger Shack We’re suckers for well-customized vintage Triumphs. Bonus points if they’ve been bobbed and chopped—and extra bonus points if they feature eye-popping paint. So this shocking pink 1953 Triumph 6T Thunderbird from Ryan Mullion has us fired up on every level.

1953 Triumph Thunderbird by The Tiger Shack
Based in Southern California, Ryan runs the workshop The Tiger Shack—where we’re assuming he specializes in vintage Triumph builds. If you’re familiar with the 1953 6T, you’ll be well-acquainted with its pre-unit motor and rigid frame. And Ryan has made both of those shine—literally and figuratively.

The engine’s been polished to a better-than-factory sheen, and treated to stunning ribbed covers. The frame’s mostly original, but Ryan’s taken the time to smooth out any inconsistencies that may have come from the factory.

1953 Triumph Thunderbird by The Tiger Shack
Up front, Ryan rebuilt the forks, added aftermarket covers and fitted a 21” front wheel. There’s no front brake and very little to make this bobber street legal, so the cockpit is super sano. Sneak a peek at the back end too, if only to appreciate Ryan’s integrated chain guard and taillight housing.

But it’s the combination of the custom tank, seat and tail that really hits the mark for us. Perfectly proportioned, with subtle creases and scallops that take multiple passes to fully appreciate, the whole thing feels almost liquid.

1953 Triumph Thunderbird by The Tiger Shack
Matt Ross’ paint job, using a custom-mixed hot pink from House of Kolor, unapologetically adds to the vibe. And then there’s the exhaust—a flawless two-into-one system, resplendent in chrome.

If there are any nits to pick on this pared-back Triumph bobber, we can’t think of them. [Via]

1953 Triumph Thunderbird by The Tiger Shack

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