Monday
Jan272014

1974 Honda CB550K 'Lucy' by Hot Sake Cycles

This pretty little thing is named 'Lucy' and she is the 15th café racer built by Hot Sake Cycles in Orlando, Florida. We were surprised we hadn't heard of them before, but that's probably because ‘they’ are actually a single guy named Shannon Hulcher who builds these professional-looking bikes in his spare time. By day he works as a biology teacher who dissects frogs to show kids how the body works. By night, he dissects motorcycles to show the rest of us how to build a café racer. "I don't have a professional shop" says Shannon. "Lucy is a culmination of skills I've been developing over the years". I wanted to build an ultra light weight bike that would be fun to ride. The whole goal was to make it as light as possible" he says. He started the build with no deadline, but then Cafemoto Orlando asked him if he could finish it for the AIM Expo. With the show only one month away, Shannon got to work.

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Friday
Jan242014

1976 MV 750 Side Car Racer

Words by Ian Lee.

There are unique bikes. And there are 'unique' bikes. A unique bike will catch your eye in the street. The latter you won't come across at any show, they are generally relegated to the confines of the computer screen or magazine cover. Today's feature bike falls into the latter category. Definitely unique, this is a one off aerodynamic-as-hell racer with an Italian heart. Looking as good as it did when it rolled out of the workshop 34 years, this MV Agusta special is the first time a sidecar racer has graced the pages of Pipeburn.

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Wednesday
Jan222014

Kawasaki KZ750 'La-Loma 750' by Valtoron 

Words by Ian Lee.

Passion. The Spanish are known for their passion; in life, in love and most importantly for us, in their custom motorcycle builds. The lines of a vintage MX bike, massaged into existence with a Mediterranean flavour make for one hell of a beautiful ride. This unique custom rolled out of the Spanish workshop Valtoron, named 'La Loma 750' it's a reworked Kawasaki KZ750 stripped of the majority of it's factory componentry. In it's place you'll find a stripped back dirt chewing machine, with go to match the show. And what a show it is. 

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Sunday
Jan192014

1984 BMW R100 'Bootleg' by Anvil Motociclette

If you are a BMW purist, then you should probably stop reading this now. You see, most of the time we start these stories with "the donor bike was a complete wreck when they found it, you could hardly tell what make of motorcycle it was, it looked like it had been sitting on the bottom of the ocean for the last 30 years", or something to that effect. Not this time. When the guys at Anvil Motociclette went searching for an airhead donor they eventually found the perfect BMW R100. Maybe a bit too perfect. So perfect that the customer who commisioned the build was hesitant to use it for the project – thinking it might be better to preserve it for history's sake. After a little bit of persuasion and a detailed sketch of the proposed build, he quickly changed his mind and gave them the green light to get started.

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Friday
Jan172014

Blitz Motorcycles

Hugo and Fred from Blitz Motorcycles have been sending us their bikes for years now. The funny thing is, we didn't really know much about them. We obviously knew they were French. We knew they were building some unconventional looking bikes out of a small garage in Paris. We also knew they loved leaving the rust, dents and original paint on the vintage tanks they use. But we didn't know much else. It's great to hear their story and the sacrifices they have been through to fullfil their dream of building motorcycles for a living. It's also great to see Hugo rocking a Sydney Café Racers trucker cap – the French being know for their impeccable taste in fashion.

Wednesday
Jan152014

1949 Indian Arrow 149

When Clayton Schaefer from Street Spirit Cycles received a phone call from a customer asking whether he would "café my Indian?" his first thought was "there's no way, it would be a sacrilege!". He just couldn't imagine taking the sawzall to a piece of motorcycle history. "But as we went back and forth I learned that we weren't just talking about any Indian", says Clayton. "We were talking about the Indian that bankrupted the company: the slow, awkward, 213cc cousin of the beloved big twins". You see, the Arrow 149 was one of the last bikes to roll out of the original Indian factory floor before they went out of business. It seems the development costs and teething problems of this little motorcycle may have actually been the final nail in the coffin. So with that in mind Clayton took on the job – but decided to leave the sawzall alone.

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Monday
Jan132014

Bixente Moto 

This short film is about the intriguing Frenchman named Bixente. He is the man behind Bixente Moto in Biarritz, France. Bixente Moto isn't your typical custom bike shop. You see, Bixente collects and sells all sorts of moto memorabilia, vintage furniture, skateboards, BMX bikes and anything else that takes his fancy. Of course, they also build bikes, preferring to work with old english metal – Bixente has a particular passion for BSA's.

The film was directed and edited by the talented Douglas Guillot who also shot the Southsiders 2013 Wheels & Waves official videos. Just like those, this one will make you want to go for a ride along the French coast.

Friday
Jan102014

Yamaha SR400 - Gasoline Custom Motorcycles

The most recent of Gasoline's two-wheel custom work, taking the title "Tomahawk", manages to transform one of the world's most popular motorcycles into a custom dream machine worthy of any garage. The Yamaha SR400 has been toyed and tampered many times before. It's an old favorite to work with, being one of Japan's biggest selling motorcycles for over three decades. So you'd think that the platform might just have been exhausted. If so, it looks like no-one has told these Aussies; they have pushed the boundaries to create a classic thumper with a streamlined, modern edge. At first sight the transformation looks deceptively simple, but peer deeper and you can see the beautiful details that has been included by the team in their East Sydney workshop, Gasoline Custom Motorcycles, run by Jason Gasoline.

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Wednesday
Jan082014

‘83 BMW R80 - Down & Out Café Racers

It's the worst possible scenario for any bike builder. A project for someone ‘in the industry’. What chance have you got to satisfy a customer who's seen it all? Someone who knows exactly what they want and isn't afraid to micro-manage you to make sure they get it; someone who is about a likely to say ‘it's up to you’ as Miley Cyrus is likely to keep her tongue in her mouth. Yet that's just what Shaun and Carl from Down & Out Café Racers were up against when they took on their latest build. And who was this client, we hear you ask?

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