Here are some of my favorite posts:
Since 1998, Firestarter Garage has been turning out fine custom motorcycles from its workshop on Italy’s eastern Adriatic Coast. ‘Ottanta’, this delicious Guzzi 1000 SP cafe racer, caught our eye—but Firestarter boss Filippo Barbacane has just sold it for $13,000. The lucky new owner gets a bike with a reworked tank, seat, tail, front fender and exhaust system. If you like the style, check out Filippo’s other creations here.
Canon EOS 30D | 1/10s | f/1.8 | ISO 100 | Focal length 50mm
The coolest Harley of all time was unfortunately a track machine, but what a track machine it was. The XR750 is best known outside the USA as Evel Knievel’s weapon of choice, but this motorcycle is one of the best dirt track race bikes ever made. It won the AMA Grand National Championship in its first year, and it’s still winning races more than thirty years later. Milwaukee, finally, has recognised this priceless part of its heritage and created the overweight XR 1200 in homage. The Storz SP 1200 Sportster is better, though. [Via Chico Moto]
According to Sideblog, Mr Martini “might just be the world’s best modifier of Hinckley Triumphs”. And after checking the motorbikes on his website, we’re inclined to agree. We’re especially taken with the Super Cooper cafe racer, Mr Martini’s creative reinterpretation of the Triumph 900 Adventurer. His real name, by the way, is Nicola. [Via Visual Gratification]
Nikon D1X | f/8.0 | Focal length 120mm
Most fashion photography featuring motorcycles is a clichéd rehash of the whole biker chick thing. But this ad campaign, shot in Bali for Australian clothing label Insight, is genuinely creative. The man behind the camera is star surf photographer Dustin Humphrey: he’s conjured up a set of technically brilliant and strangely compelling images, redolent of the pre-WWII surf counterculture. There’s a video to go with the campaign too, and it’s even weirder. In a good way.
The Romanian website motoflash has posted speculative images of a new Cagiva Elefant. Cagiva is now owned by Harley-Davidson, and Milwaukee has hinted at the return of the cultish dual sport classic. The images are by designer Oberdan Bezzi: in the colorway shown, there’s a nod to the original Elefant 650—which, incidentally, used a Ducati engine. Bezzi has created a super ‘Lucky
Strike Explorer‘ version too.
The German accessory firm LSL has rebuilt the Kawasaki W650 twin into a high-tech cafe racer. Too many parts to list here, but highlights include customized 43mm Öhlins forks and shocks, twin 300mm Galfer brake discs with a Brembo master cylinder, and a tweaked 733cc engine pumping out 65bhp. The cost? Around US$29,000 …
This amazing BMW was reportedly built by a fellow named Rodney Aguiar, who has worked for Roland Sands. It’s a BMW R80 given the bobber treatment, and the detailing is exquisite—from the blacked-out boxer engine and mechanicals to the way the coil of the monoshock matches that signature BMW yellow paintwork on the tank. It’s strange, but it all hangs together somehow: it reminds us of the work of Deus in Sydney. Information about this bike is scant, but if you know more, drop us a line in the comments. [Via Bubble Visor, with thanks to Mitch Alison.]
Richard Pollock of Mule has a knack for building classy, beautifully balanced custom motorcycles. Everything is in proportion, from the looks to the mechanical components chosen. Pollock’s background as a surfer probably has something to do with this: his recent ‘Web Surfer’ creation is a nod to the waves, with a painstakingly crafted balsa wood seat base. The bike is running a modified Sportster frame, Ducati 900SS/SP forks and Kawasaki wheels. If you like the Mule tracker style, check out the ‘Madonna Bike‘ we featured four months ago. And if you love the Mule style, Pollock has a bike for sale right now: the NYC-Special has a Buell motor, Ducati 916 forks, and rare Sundance Magnesium wheels. It’s yours for $26,000.
Big Moon’s Yamaha SR400 wowed us a couple of months ago, but the guys at the Okayama-based shop have just gone one better. This street tracker based on Yamaha’s iconic XS650 is just perfect, from the curve of the bars to the tiny low-set indicators, and the seat sitting just inside the frame at the rear. There’s no sign of full specs, but we suspect that bhp has been raised from the usual mid-50s. If you added disc brakes and a mini-fender to the front, it’d make the ideal commuter bike. [Via Speed Junkies.]
See also: the Yamaha SR500 tracker shot by Randall Cordero.
It’s difficult to improve on the aesthetics of a 1970s Ducati bike. But Australian specialist Tony Hannagan of BevelTech has done it. The engine on his latest creation is from a 900SS: it’s been rebuilt with Cosworth pistons, polished rods, ported heads and magnesium valve covers. It sits in an 860 GT frame that’s also been heavily revised, again using belt-drive SS parts. The bodywork is carbon fiber, the magnesium race wheels are from Marvic, and the exhaust runs inside the frame rails for protection. Doing justice to this extraordinary bike is an image from leading Australian photographer Phil Aynsley. Later this year, Phil’s releasing a book called 30 Years of Ducati Photography—and we’ll be first in the queue to buy it. [Thanks to Adam Zerbib.]
Canon EOS-1D Mk II | 1.0 sec | f/16.0 | ISO 100 | Focal length 90mm
This fine piece of Brit iron is a Triumph Thruxton overhauled by the Arizona custom shop Sucker Punch Sally’s. It’s a collaboration with Fender Custom Guitars, and we love the distressed old school look. Much of its charm comes from the paintjob by leading hot rod artist Sara Ray, who relocated a few weeks ago to become a permanent part of the SPS team. It sounds like Ray will not only be painting the bikes, but also controlling the company’s artistic direction. [Sara Ray noticed on the new blog of Danish artist Cay Brøndum, who is also a Wrenchmonkees collaborator.]
Canon EOS 5D | 1/50s | f/2.8 | ISO 100 | Focal length 51mm
This beautiful machine started life as a stock 2006 Ducati SportClassic, and ended up in the 2008 Rev’It! catalog. But Thunderduc is no show pony: it’s a hardcore racer. Since this picture was taken, top rider Chris Gorel has developed his bike even further, with way too many modifications to list here. Öhlins, Yoyodyne, Brembo and AirTech components feature prominently; Zard twin megaphones provide the aural finishing touch. Fantastico! [Image by Gregor Halenda at Pocono Raceway.]
Hasselblad H1 | Ixpress 132C Digital Back | 1/125s | f/8.0 | ISO 50
Randall Cordero is one of America’s top motorcycle photographers, and his shots of this ‘bumblebee’ Yamaha caught our eye. This 1978 500cc thumper is owned by veteran rider Russ Somers, an art director for Simpson Race Products. It’s packing a White Brothers cam, a flatside carb and a SuperTrapp muffler. Appearances are taken care of via a Drag Specialties Wave headlight, plus an XR500-style tank and tail section from Omar’s Dirt Track Racing. Cordero has captured the look perfectly: see more of his wonderful work here. [Via Speed Junkies.]
Canon EOS 5D | 1/60s | f/19.0 | ISO 100 | Focal length 100mm | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
This stunning café racer is something of a puzzle. It’s just appeared on the Anima Guzzista website, with a wonderful set of photographs by a gentleman called Alberto Sala. We’re told that the bike is called Brigida, took a year to build, and is part of the ‘Minchions Endurance Racing Team’. If you have a good grasp of Italian or know more about this beautiful motorcycle, please clear up the mystery by leaving a comment. [Spotted by DoubleOhTwo on RocketGarage]
In 1979, ‘Mike The Bike‘ Hailwood swung his leg over a Ducati 900 NCR and won the Isle of Man TT. It was a legendary performance, and NCR has honored the 30th anniversary by producing a stunning replica based on the Ducati Sport 1000. This superlight racer weighs just 136kg, with the titanium frame accounting for only 5kg (11lbs) of that. The exhaust system is also titanium, while the bodywork and wheels are carbon fiber. Power comes from a new NCR 1120cc race engine producing 130hp, over 40hp more than Hailwood’s race-winning machine. Just twelve of these replicas will be built, at a cost of €100,000 ($136,000) each, and they’ll be delivered in six weeks time during the 2009 Isle of Man TT festival.