Speed Read, May 7, 2023

The latest motorcycle news and customs
Variety is the spice of life, so we’ve rounded up four custom motorcycles from four different countries, all built using vastly different donor bikes. We kick off with a tastefully fettled Triumph Bobber, then move onto a classy BMW R80, before wrapping up with a zippy Honda CM200T scrambler and a sharp Ducati 1098 café racer.

Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch
Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch Triumph’s Bobber has turned out to be a popular platform for both riders and customizers. From mild to wild, the low seat height and powerful, torquey engine make it a good choice for riders of all shapes, sizes and experience levels.

Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch
For this 2022 model, Vagabund Moto teamed up with Classicbike Raisch to produce a rather tasty interpretation of the Triumph Bobber. Choosing to focus on plug-and-play components rather than out-and-out levels of fabrication, Vagabund and Classicbike Raisch are targeting riders who would rather do the work themselves, in the comfort of their own homes. Using mostly hand tools (with one exception), customers can turn their factory Bobber into this.

We’ll start with the exception—the wheels. The team swapped out the 16” factory wheels for a pair of 17” Excel rims, wrapped in Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires.

Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch
A Motogadget Tiny speedometer replaces the factory cluster, and a set of black aluminum sleeves covet the fork uppers. This is where the tiny turn signals are mounted, courtesy of Classicbike Raisch.

The headlight housing was 3D printed, with the mounting brackets made from laser-cut steel. Together with the upper fork covers, the headlight setup gives the whole front end just a touch of modernity which we are here for, in a big way. The short front fender was also taken from the Classicbike Raisch catalogue.

Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch
The centerpiece of the Bobber—and its most unique detail—is its cantilevered solo seat. Vagabund and Classicbike Raisch are well aware of this, so they decided to put their own spin on it. They’ve come up with a plug-and-play solution with no cutting or welding required. It’s a subtle change, but it makes a big impact.

A slew of small touches around the bike turn it from good to great. The lowered handlebars, blacked-out engine, new front brakes and custom paint job are just some examples of the Vagabund x Classicbike Raisch genius.

Triumph Bobber by Vagabund Moto and Classicbike Raisch
If any of this piques your interest, then you’re in luck—this particular bike is now for sale. At €35,000 [about $39,237] it’s a pretty penny indeed. If, however, you already have your own Triumph Bobber, fear not—the parts you see on this bike will also be available for sale soon.

So everybody wins. [Vagabund Moto | Classicbike Raisch | Images by Stefan Leitner]

Custom BMW R80 by Ellaspede
BMW R80 by Ellaspede BMW’s boxer twins are the darlings of the custom world. They were built in good numbers over the course of many decades, and, even these days, they still occasionally pop up for sale at good prices.

The owner of this 1985 BMW R80, Kevin, is a big fan of vintage and classic things. So it’s no wonder he felt the allure of the Bavarian engineering.

Custom BMW R80 by Ellaspede
“I just love the way things were designed back in the 70s and 80s,” he says. “I may be a bit of an old-fashioned guy, but I enjoy it when something has heritage. The BMW air-cooled boxer bikes go way back and still exist today—I love that.”

“The way the cylinder protrudes out just makes it seem extra-ordinary. The shape, the way it looks, is odd, but also pretty. The way the bike rocks left to right when the piston fires sideways gives the ride a strange sensation that I just love.”

Custom BMW R80 by Ellaspede
Once Kevin got his R80, he rode it for about six months before he started itching for a custom motorcycle. He was due to head overseas for work—but he couldn’t resist scratching the itch. So he entrusted his steed to the trustworthy team at Ellaspede in Brisbane, Australia.

There, the BMW was stripped down and a new subframe was fabricated from scratch to slim down the rear. Kevin couldn’t bring himself to choose between the fuel tank from a mono-shock R80, or a dual-shock R80, but Ellaspede had an answer. Ingeniously, two different fuel tanks were mounted and two seats were fabricated, giving Kevin the option to change between the two setups.

Custom BMW R80 by Ellaspede
Why two seats? Well, the rear section of each tank has a different profile—and Ellaspede wanted a perfect fit. Leaning into the idea of one bike having two personalities, the tanks and seats were finished in contrasting liveries.

An oft-overlooked aspect of custom BMWs is luggage space. Yes, that’s not quite necessary on a lithe, street-going café racer—but Kevin wanted this custom bike to be perfectly versatile. Liking the look of the stock R80 hard panniers, the Ellaspede team fabricated removable pannier racks, so that the bike can be converted for weekend jaunts.

Custom BMW R80 by Ellaspede
As for the rest of the build, the handlebars were swapped out for wider units and the electronics package was overhauled with the usual Motogadget goodies. The front guard was cut down and reshaped, and the engine got some new crash bars, with a single yellow fog light mounted on the left. An R nineT donated its headlight, while Oberon supplied the mirrors.

It’s not often that a custom BMW is practical and good-looking, but Ellaspede have hit both marks in style. [Ellaspede]

Honda CM200T scrambler by Custommade C.A.
Honda CM200T Custommade C.A. There is no way around it, small bikes are great. They are approachable, flickable and fun, which makes them perfect around the city and suburbs. This is the angle Honda took when they brought out the CM200T TwinStar (seriously, go look up the old ads—they are brilliant).

This is a recent build from Greece’s Custommade C.A. The bike originally came to Christos and the Custommade team in Athens after their client, Giannis, pulled the bike out of storage. It had belonged to Giannis’ father and had been sitting idle for almost 20 years. Not wanting to let the old bike go to waste, Giannis approached Christos after seeing their previous work.

Honda CM200T scrambler by Custommade C.A.
Inspired by Paris-Dakar BMWs, Giannis thought a slick scrambler build would suit the plucky Honda, and by golly gosh he was right. Christos fitted the upside-down front end from a KTM 390 Duke and laced a set of new rims to the hubs. Now sitting on 18” front and 17” rear wheels, they are an inch larger at both ends, again suiting the scrambler aesthetic.

The swingarm was extended by five inches, which made ample room for the adventure bike tires that were spooned onto the rims. The tank was painted in a very Paris-Dakar paint scheme, which we can’t help but get Rothmans Honda vibes from. The Honda logos were airbrushed by hand by Vasilios Flets, a friend of the workshop.

Honda CM200T scrambler by Custommade C.A.
There’s no point in having a wicked custom without being able to ride it. Not wanting to hamper Giannis with the pain of constant mechanical problems, Christos put a lot of effort into the engine and running gear.

The motor was rebuilt from the ground up with fresh pistons and gaskets. The single carb received the same level of treatment, and now breathes easy through a small pod filter, and a beautifully sinuous two-into-one stainless steel exhaust was added.

Honda CM200T scrambler by Custommade C.A.
The under-seat area was liberated of clutter (including the airbox), and now houses all the electronics, neatly hidden behind custom side panels. All the wiring is fresh, replaced with components from Motogadget, Axel Joost and Daytona. The rear shocks and short rear guard are also new, and the subframe was customized to match the longer swingarm, with a custom seat perched up top.

It’s a bike any of us would love to see parked in our own garage. We’re more than certain that Giannis is a happy man. [Via]

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti
Ducati 1098 by Ronaldo Ferreti A 70s-inspired paint scheme, 160+ hp on tap and acres of carbon fiber? Sign us up. This is Ronaldo Ferreti’s Ducati 1098-based cafe racer and it’s not just dripping with quality, it’s downright drenched in it.

Growing up in Cuba, but now residing in New York, Ronaldo’s interests in motorcycling hark back to the memories of his father, who would get around town on a red Jawa. As a self-professed ‘car guy,’ Ronaldo got into motorcycles some years ago when a mate of his needed help with an old Honda. Ronaldo had a ride on it, and memories of his childhood in Cuba came flooding back; it was time to get a bike of his own.

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti
After working his way through a few machines, Ronaldo started this build with a bright yellow, completely stock Ducati 1098. Amazingly, this black and gold beauty is the fruit of two years and over 250 hours of labor. Even more incredibly, Ronaldo did all of this with no shop or tools of his own—just a firm vision, a rented space at a local community garage and a lot of hard work.

Not surprisingly, every single nut and bolt has received some sort of attention. After tearing the bike down, Ronaldo adapted the tank from a Ducati Sport Classic GT1000 to fit. The fairing is from Motoforza, and was mounted using custom brackets.

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti
The subframe and seat are also custom, and can be detached from the main frame with just four bolts. There’s a small storage compartment beneath the seat too.

The paint scheme was inspired by Ducati’s beautiful 900SS from 1979. The black bodywork has been broken up with gold pin-striping, done with 23k gold leaf. The frame and clutch were also treated to a stunning gold finish. The lettering was all done by hand, with the cursive font designed by Ronaldo’s mother—a wonderful personal touch.

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti
We mentioned the generous use of carbon fiber before and we meant it—there is a lot. From the engine belt covers and front guard, to the brake and clutch levers, this 1098 has gone on a serious diet. But the biggest chunks of carbon are the new BST wheels. Finished in bronze carbon, they not only look great, but also reduce unsprung weight, making for a more thrilling ride.

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti
“With weight reduction and increased horsepower, this bike is capable of 190 mph,” says a very happy Ronaldo. “It’s a very powerful Ducati with no ABS or traction control, just raw power.”

From the bodywork to the high-quality parts and overall design, there’s nothing we don’t like about this bike. [Via]

Ducati 1098 café racer by Ronaldo Ferreti

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