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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW!!!

BikeCraft Magazine is about any and all custom-built motorcycles – cafe-racers, street-trackers, bob-jobs, streetfighters, etc., old and new

–David Edwards

Sneak peek
SHOP SHOWOFF

Nothing boring about Rock Bottom’s prize-winning board-tracker

As calling cards for your new shop, you can’t get much better than two class wins at a big custom-bike show. Builder Ron Baldonado turned heads when his Pan-Shovel Harley won Best Bobber at the 2011 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show. Now doing business as Rock Bottom Motorcycle Co. , he just took home Best Classic American hardware at the 22nd iteration of the LA Calendar Show…

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WAR HORSE

Café with a twist: A Triumph named “Bucephalus”

First things first, for those of us absent from class the day Macedonian history was covered, Bucephalus was Alexander the Great’s  battle horse,  a near-mythical beast, massive and black. For Kevin Dunworth, owner of Loaded Gun Customs in Selbyville, Delaware, the tale of  the legendary horse was both an inspiration and provided a namesake for the Triumph-powered prototype of a café-racer he’s hoping to take to limited-series production…

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RIDES

The editor’s excerpts from The Ride, a new book on the worldwide custom-bike phenomenon

Do yourself a favor and don’t get the Danes started about four-cylinder motorcycles, and especially do not make the mistake of saying 1969’s Honda CB750 was the world’s first inline-four. For the record, the engine type was not invented in Denmark – that honor goes to Belgium’s FN in 1905 – but the Danes weren’t far behind with their 1918 Nimbus. Parent company Fisker & Nielson made electric vacuum cleaners, of all things, before adding motorcycles to the product mix…

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SUPER SCRAMBLER

BMW’s R1200 Boxer gets a dirty French makeover

In France, Ludovic Lazareth is fameux for his extreme car and motorcycle customs. And we reckon this BMW R1200R, the latest vehicle to roll out of the Annecy-le-Vieux workshop, is his best yet. Lazareth was commissioned to create a “neo-retro scrambler,” and he delivered more than a set of high pipes and knobbies. Virtually the only parts carried over from the stock 2007 roadster are the 109-hp air/oil-cooled boxer engine and the Paralever shaft-drive/swingarm setup at the rear…

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WAVE RUNNER

When street-tracker meets surf shop…one more time

True confessions and full disclosure, the builder of this street-tracker, Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles, is a good friend of mine. But that’s not why we’re featuring the bike. Close ties notwithstanding, I don’t think I’ll get much of an argument if I assert that Pollock builds some of the finest specials in the world today. Our good friends at Motorcyclist magazine agree: “Richard Pollock’s artfully rendered street-trackers are sublime mash-ups of classic forms and up-to-the-minute technology, all built with an attention to detail befitting an aerospace technician (Pollock’s past life). No tacky bolt-ons or garish frame paint here, just top-notch components finished in a classic color scheme, to create totally functional dreambikes,” they wrote. All true. And that is why we’re featuring this bike, his latest, called “Web Surfer 2”…

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(NOT YET) THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN

A tribute, an icon, and a clever marketing tool

What we have here is dedication, hard and skilled work, industrial art and expertise, but before we get into all that, the question that must spring into every enthusiast’s mind…“Wottle She Do?” Jeb Scolman, the builder of this tribute to the late and legendary Burt Munro, has a ready answer: “We don’t know yet.”

As all Indian and recent movie fans must know, Munro was a dedicated, talented and eccentric speed demon. Working on his own time and dime in remote New Zealand, he fashioned streamlined motorcycles powered by versions of a 1920 Indian Scout engine. With help from his friends, Munro brought his best bike to the Bonneville speed trials in the 1960s. His quickest two-way average was 183.56 mph, running in the 1000cc class. What we have here is not that machine….

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WHEELS & WAVES

The Southsiders MC turn on the style for a tres magnifique festival of custom motorcycles, surfing and rock-n-roll

It is hard to overestimate the influence of Vincent Prat on the custom motorcycle scene in Western Europe. The founder of the Southsiders MC is an accomplished bike builder and passionate surfer. He’s combined both as lead organizer of the annual Wheels & Waves show in Biarritz, seaside on France’s southwest coast near the Spanish border – easily the most glamorous destination for builders and moto fans in Europe. This year, some 300 custom and classic motorcycles gathered for a ride up into the nearby Pyrénées-Atlantique mountains, across the border and into Spain. Hundreds more bikes gathered in the car park of the iconic Biarritz Lighthouse…

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INSTANT CAFÉ

Moto Guzzi V7 Racer: Stone Axe in Sexy Lingerie

Some things never change. No really, they don't change. At all. One of those items could be your stone-axe-simple, fun-to-ride and reliable old Moto Guzzi V50. Back when I was riding my yellow Raleigh 10-speed to middle school, you bought it new for about $3000 and have been enjoying its 48-ish horsepower, shaft drive and light, forgiving nature ever since. Even in the era of Reagan and Big Hair, you weren't all that impressed with the power, brakes or suspension, but you liked that bike enough to hang on to it for a long time. Maybe it's still in your garage...

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TOOLMAKER’S TOY II

Look what happens when a Harley guy is given a Yamaha engine and a thinly veiled challenge

Push your motorcycle brain back to the late 1990s when the custom Harley world was exploding. There was this little machine shop in Pennsylvania, owned by this guy, Lee Wimmer, who chipped out a name for himself with his air intakes for V-twins, creatively named Big Suckers. And his intakes really sucked – a lot of air, that is, making them an immediate choice for serious performance. Thus Wimmer Custom Cycle was born. With his reputation as a bike builder growing, Wimmer’s friend John Chadwell gave him a 1970 Yamaha XS650 twin and said, “Here, build something cool.” You wouldn’t exactly call it a challenge so much as an invitation to be creative and step out of the expected V-twin formula…

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TON UP! THE SHOW

Café-racers belly up to the bar in Sturgis

The Sturgis Rally. To a café rider, the sports-inclined or even a plain ol’ vintage-bike type, it’s a name with zero resonance. We all know the deal: a quarter-million bagger Harleys plus unrideable-except-at-Sturgis/Daytona/Laconia customs…not to mention (please, no!) the unasked-for exposed flesh and acres of drunken, boorish behavior. I’ve been there as your emissary, and report back that all of your assumptions are correct. But what’s also true are the Black Hills of South Dakota, a magic landscape, sacred to its original inhabitants, a place of gentle beauty, an infinity of soft green grass and rolling hills, with exceptional motorcycle roads cupped between its swelling rises…

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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW!!!

BikeCraft Magazine is about any and all custom-built motorcycles – cafe-racers, street-trackers, bob-jobs, streetfighters, etc., old and new

–David Edwards

Sneak peek
SILVER GOOSE

A Weiss guy builds a Dustbin Moto Guzzi

Not to be a name-dropper but…aw, why not? I’ve been friends with Barry Weiss since before his recent fame and notoriety in reality television – hell, I met Barry way before there was realty TV! Starting in 2010 his smiling mug, whiskey voice and bad jokes have been featured on “Storage Wars,” the hit A&E cable series in which unpaid storage lockers are bid on and their contents pillaged for valuables. More often than not Barry shows up for the auctions in/on some cool car or bike, the majority of which he actually owns…

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XX RATED

Customs by Walt Siegl, the Second Most Interesting Man in the World

Watching television commercials is the most boring thing I can think of, except when that aristocratic bearded spokesman for Dos Equis beer, The Most Interesting Man in the World, comes on screen. Is there anything he hasn’t done and done well? Of course, this brings up the question as to who might be the second most interesting man in the world and I think I’ve got the answer: Walt Siegl…

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CIRCUIT BREAKERS

The four-cylinder Honda CB has moved on from checkered stripes and Ace Café stickers

A new generation of builders has given the scene an electrifying jolt, with fresh ideas about retro style. Here we present three of the most interesting recent Hondas from American workshops. The donor bikes are just five years apart in age, but there’s a world of difference in the results…

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CAFÉ SPORTSTER

RSD delivers café coolosity from a crashed Nightster

The café-racer cult has caught on big time in the USA, and even if Sunset Boulevard isn’t yet the Californian equivalent of London’s old North Circular Road, there’s lots of bikes being concocted here that would not have disgraced the parking lot of the Ace Café or the Busy Bee back in the Swinging Sixties. Roland Sands wanted to play, as well as build a rolling testbed for the line of RSD catalog parts he was developing…

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YAMAHA CAFE RD400

When two-strokes ruled backroads and the Environmental Protection Agency was just getting started

What’s better than a cool little period café-racer? How about a cool little period café-racer that pays for itself? David Martin’s immaculate Yamaha RD400 special looks like it just rode out of a twisty Los Angeles canyon circa 1978 but in fact it’s been together for just a few years. What’s more, the bike helped pay for its own restoration…

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RACING THE WHOOPERS

Of ass-kicker Kawasakis, death-wobbles and an intake howl for the ages

I was already racing a two-stroke Kawasaki A-7 Avenger twin when the H-1 arrived in 1969. The A-7 was a real weapon on the track – fast, steady, reliable and though slightly limited in cornering clearance, it handled well. Before the H-1 and Norton Commando 750s turned up at racetracks, I sometimes led the Production class overall on the 350, especially when it was rainy. But the hot new 500 triple drew me to it…

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RIDE TIME: STAR BOLT 950

Yamaha takes dead-aim at the Harley 883 Sportster

Hipsters of the two-wheeled world, give yourselves a pat on the back, a big thumbs-up and an attaboy (or girl). Did you catch the YouTube videos of the new Star Bolt? Here’s Yamaha, world’s second-largest motorcycle company, holder of umpteen roadracing and motocross titles, responsible for some of the highest-tech innovations in the sport, and what’s the riding attire for their new “urban performance bobber?” Yep, open-face helmets, sunglasses and flannel shirts flappin’ in the breeze...

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NESS CAFÉ II

Zach Ness makes his name known

Journalists never forget a good quote. Case in point, I was visiting the original Arlen Ness shop in San Leandro, California back in 2002, working on a story for Hot Bike magazine. While roaming about the tiny facility, I overheard an animated Arlen on the phone with someone at Victory Motorcycles, saying, “I can’t get people to buy – and customize – these bikes if you don’t give them some power!” If you remember, the original Victory V-twin had a pretty conservative 92 cubic inches, and rarely was it described as fast or powerful. Ness, who can make anything look cool, had spoken…

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BONEYARD BOBBER

A 1957 Triumph goes from junker to glory ride

Everybody loves old Triumphs and Derek McCowan is no exception. “Back in the day they were the bike to have; I’d always wanted one,” says the 43-year-old. McCowan acted on that impulse by acquiring a 1957 T110 Tiger, but it was not as easy get. Derek wanted to build a 1960s-style custom out of a numbers-matching roller, a decision that did not sit well with the bike’s reluctant seller, a restoration expert known for his showroom-perfect work…

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GREAT GUZZI!

In praise of the uncommon custom

What is this, Moto Guzzi Appreciation Month?! First we have Barry Weiss and his Ode to a Dustbin on BikeCraft’s cover, then there’s the GreyDog Guzzi café-racer in this issue’s installment of “Street-Seen,” and now this, a big prize winner that started life as a Moto Guzzi Nuovo Falcone 500, an unlikely choice for customization, better suited to copbike duty than the show circuit…

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Italian Tracker

Zaeta 530: Valentino Rossi’s training wheels

Okay, what do Valentino Rossi and Fast Freddie Spencer have in common, well, besides multiple world roadracing championships? They both have ridden the Zaeta 530, an Italian motorcycle you’ve probably never heard of, let alone seen, powered by a liquid-cooled TM 528cc double-overhead-cam four-valve single...

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STREET-SEEN

A specials sampler: Low riders, street-trackers & café-racers

Full-fendered retro-style customs don’t usually float the boat here at BikeCraft – unless said steel is attached to anything built by Ryan Reed. Then we’re all in. Reed, now 37, has been grabbing gearheads’ attention since he was a teenager...

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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW!!!

BikeCraft Magazine is about any and all custom-built motorcycles – cafe-racers, street-trackers, bob-jobs, streetfighters, etc., old and new

–David Edwards

Sneak peek
ASTERISK AVANZARE

Now, that’s a Sportster

There are custom Sportsters…and then there’s this. It may have started life as an ordinary 2001 XLH883, but by the time Hideki Hoshikawa of Japan’s Asterisk Custom Cycles was done, it was barely recognizable, transformed into maybe the most impressive custom of 2012. Hey, don’t just take my word for it...

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SMOOTH OPERATOR

Rough Crafts goes Guerilla on a Big Twin

I don’t know about you, but I always imagine the typical Harley builder commuting to his shop on a heavily modified Panhead. With perhaps a Ford F-150 in reserve for shifting bikes and reality TV crews around. Winston Yeh, founder of Rough Crafts and one of the current custom Harley designers du jour, rides a tiny PGO 125cc scooter to work. And he’s not ashamed to admit it…

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!VIVA EL V-TWIN!

Sbay’s Spanish Muscle Machine

One of the last things you’d expect in the tough economic climate afflicting the V-twin custom industry is the introduction of a new production bike. Even further down that list of expectations is that it would be from Sotogrande-Cadiz, Spain, of all places. Hey, nothing against Spain, but images of two-stroke Bultacos and OSSAs come to mind before anything like a big pushrod V-twin peppered with carbon-fiber and aluminum like this outrageous muscle bike from the Sbay Motor Company…

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IN BOBA MEMORIAM

A first-time bike builder pays tribute to his best friend with a Jawa bobber

There’s clearly no shortage of creative moto-energy Stateside, with amazing homegrown custom motorcycles seemingly coming out in droves at each event from sea to shiny sea. Europe has also been fertile ground for outstanding bike building, but more recently a lively custom movement has been developing a bit farther to the East. Bike builder Evgeny Bakhmach is part of the movement. He hails from Kiev, Ukraine, formerly part of the USSR…

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BAJA NORTON

La Commando mas fina

Retirement just isn't working out for Doug McCadam. A self-described ski bum, McCadam ended up in Vail, Colorado after a long motorcycle ride in 1973. For the next 24 years he owned and operated D-J's Café, a popular local diner. His real passion was Nortons, though, and when he sold the restaurant in 1997 the goal was to build a few nice bikes in his newfound spare time. Didn't work out that way…

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FASTER FIRE ENGINE

A new/old MV Agusta 750 F4 special

It may have been the bang on the head. Or meeting Italian racing legend Giacomo Agostini. Or the old photo of a Magni MV pinned to the wall of his shop. Or all three. Whatever spurred Canadian Jim Bush to build a replica Magni Agusta with a modern 750cc MV F4 engine doesn’t matter: the result is a spectacular blending of traditional styling and modern functionality...

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THUNDERBIKE

How a 1980s Sportster time-warped to the 1930s to win one of 2012’s top custom-bike awards, no paint required…

Over the past nine years, the AMD World Championships of Custom Bike Building has produced a steady stream of interesting winners – not the dreaded theme-bike chopperfest many of us expected. A perfect example is the jaw-dropping 2012 Freestyle Class winner built by German Harley-Davidson dealer Thunderbike. The 1930s Bonneville racer-inspired result, dubbed “PainTTless” for its almost total lack of paint, should be called “Flawless” for its total lack of imperfections…

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TOP TEN

Surfing the globe with Bike EXIF’s best builds

Twice a year, the website Bike EXIF compiles a list of its Top Ten custom motorcycles. It's a global barometer of public taste, with bikes selected on the basis of web traffic and social media “likes.”  These are the 10 machines that wowed readers in the second half of 2012…

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DEZ SLED

A new Triumph travels back to the Mojave Desert 1966

The past is a wonderful place to visit but most of us don’t want to live there. Same goes for old motorcycles. Scrumptious to look at, lovely sounds, heritage by the boatload, but living with them day-to-day can be...well, let’s face it, there’s a lot to be said for reliability, oil-tightness and a helpful little mod-con like electric starting...

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SALT SHADOW

AFT builds a two-up land-speeder

Who says good help is hard to find? Not Jim Giuffra of AFT Metric Customs in Jackson, California, where the shop is staffed by women – drop-dead stunners aged 18-40 – who can actually build bikes, as well as model seductively at bike shows, conventions, store openings, etc. Yup, they may be “booth candy” but the AFT Girls can out-fabricate that guy on your block who’s been restoring a ’78 Shovelhead in his garage for the last 12 years now…

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THE GREAT DIRTBAG CHALLENGE

You’ve got $1000 and 30 days, now go build a bike, no Harleys allowed…

You and your buddies, hanging out in your garage, have probably come up with some pretty good ideas, but have you had any that turned into a 10-year tradition, an iconic event that's imprinted on your local motorcycling scene? Poll Brown has...

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ROCKET RIDE

Riding Steffano Motors’ re-do of a Ducati 999

Things ain’t what they used to be in the custom bike world – and the state of the economy is only partly to blame. Sure, companies like Big Dog and American Ironhorse, whose post-Discovery Channel business plan was based on selling chromed-out choppers to management types with more moolah than common sense, have indeed gone to the great corporate trashbin in the sky, but the very idea of what a custom bike should be has changed, too. That’s where guys like Robert Steffano come in...

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ROCKER’S DELIGHT

Will Honda’s new CB1100 join the Sportster and Bonneville as a prime cafe candidate?

One of the side effects of the current second coming of the cafe-racer is that good four-cylinder Hondas from the 1970s are getting harder to find. CB400, 550 and especially 750s all are being snapped up, but the newest sohc four is now 32 years old so it was good to see Honda pull the wraps off its CB1100 retro-bike...

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CAFE KITBIKE

Ryca? We lyca...

What is hip? Hard to put into words. But for a growing number of young urban motorcyclists (YUMs?), the Ryca CS-1 Cafe Racer sums it up nicely. The Ryca’s spare lines echo the Triumphs, Nortons and BSAs of the 1960s that were stripped down for illicit racing between English coffee bars...

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ON NEWSSTANDS SEP. 25!!!

BikeCraft Magazine is about any and all custom-built motorcycles – cafe-racers, street-trackers, bob-jobs, streetfighters, etc., old and new

–David Edwards

Sneak peek
A DOG'S LIFE

Implausibly, impossibly, Roland Sands is staring at the big Four-Oh. Yep, the brat bike-builder who looks like he was walking the halls in high school maybe five years ago, actually graduated in 1992 and is 38 years old. He looked even more boyish in 2004 when he burst onto the custom-bike scene...

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BOMBS AWAY!

Baby Boomers are notoriously nostalgic. And not surprisingly, Boomer motorcyclists exhibit the characteristic exceptionally well. The focus of an older motorcyclist’s mania? It’s often his or her very first motorcycle, a seminal life experience for many, an emotional collection of metal, rubber, plastic and paint that doubles as a time machine...

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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MULE

It's hard to be 100% ironclad about these things, but I’m pretty positive Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles builds the best street-trackers in the world. His aim is to make every bike he creates better than the previous one. With 120 machines built so far, that's a lot of improvements...

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REBEL'S RIDE

Hey, Johnny,” says the dancing blonde with bells on her ears. “What are you rebelling against?”
“Whaddaya got?” replies Marlon Brando.
Brando’s cinematic rebellion in The Wild One happened from the seat of a 1950 Thunderbird 6T, early ancestor of a long string of air-cooled Triumph motorcycles that are, if you squint a little, still sold today...

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TOP TRUMPS

It's hard to believe that the "modern" Triumph Bonneville has only been on sale since 2001. In just over a decade, the Hinckley twin has become a best-seller for the resurrected British company and one of the most popular platforms for custom bike builders worldwide...

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KEVLAR CAFE

Trends come and trends go and what’s old is oftentimes new again. The hip motorcycle fashion statement of the moment, café-racers, epitomize trendiness in what seems to me is the umpteenth revival of the original 1960s Rockers’ ride. But for some riders, café-racers have always been the bike of choice...

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MOTO MIX

Color this day cool – both literally and figuratively. Literal, because it's an early January morning out in California's Mojave Desert, biting wind blowing, and the thermometer has yet to poke into the 40s.  Figurative, because we've arrived at Grange Motor Circuit for shakedown runs on one of  the horniest streetbikes in recent memory...

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THE TRIUMPH IN THE ATTIC

Let me tell you about Ed Mabry. On a trip to Texas in 2009, I visited Ed in his one-man fabrication shop on the outskirts of Fort Worth. It was a social call but almost by accident I left with a verbal agreement to buy this very special motorcycle, a one-off Triumph T150...

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ROAD WABI

Shinya Kimura first pinged onto our radar screens in the early 1990s as founder of Zero Engineering, Japan, creator of some of the most wonderful, whimsical retro-styled customs and café bikes the world had ever seen, motorcycles for the pure art and soul of it...

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GUN SHOW

Suppose you came across a 1972 Triumph in so-so shape. Your options are many. Run it as a daily rider, leaving an occasional oil spot when parked too long. Restore it to concours condition and never ride it, eliminating the oil spot concerns. Or you could hand it over to Kevin Dunworth at Loaded Gun Customs...

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THE ODD COUPLE

Mr. Editor Edwards parked the Harley for the next set of photos, except that Michael Bowen stepped up and began tugging urgently on the seat.

"What are you doing?" asked Terry Nails.

"Seat's about to come off," said Bowen.

"No, it's not," said Nails.

"Yes, it is," insisted Bowen, until onlookers couldn't help but be reminded of the amiable squabbles of an old married couple.

Which, of course, they are not...

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ON NEWSSTANDS NOW!!!

BikeCraft Magazine is about any and all custom-built motorcycles – cafe-racers, street-trackers, bob-jobs, streetfighters, etc., old and new

We're looking for the coolest rides in the country to feature in BikeCraft. Sounds like a fun read, don't it?

–David Edwards

Sneak peek
SO-CAL SPEEDSTER

We all the love the story, don't we, of the poor schmo who works overtime all week, maybe skips a few meals, just to afford new parts for the bike he's building. Weekends, holidays, late into the night, he's in an unheated garage, working by the harsh light of a bare 100-watter, busting knuckles, cursing problems, catching cat-naps next to bike, somehow gettin' it done?

This isn't that story...

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SLUGGER

At first glance, it looks like a BMW that has crashed into an oil refinery. Or what happens when you eat a lutefisk-and-lingonberry pizza, slam a few shots of akvavit, and fall into bed for a long Swedish night.

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THE STATE WE'RE IN

In November last year, the New York Times asked, "Is the Era of the Motorcycle Over?" It wondered if motorcycles are being replaced as "love objects" by iPhones and laptops.

The article attracted derision in the motorcycling media, but it’s not hard to see where the NYT was coming from. We know that the past three years haven’t been kind to motorcycle dealerships in the USA. And the traditional custom scene has been hit particularly hard – Big Bear Choppers is the latest of several companies to suffer a financial highside.

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CAFÉ ANGLO-AMERICAN

All you need to know about Nick Roskelley's budget-built café-racer is found hanging below the right side of the fuel tank. That's where you'll see a shiny aluminum bicycle tire pump. Like most of the components on this bike, it was not store-bought. In fact, “It was bent like a banana and thrown in a dumpster,” says the 55-year-old retired commercial diver. But the price was right so home it went to Paignton, a small seaside town on England's south coast. After numerous meetings with a rubber hammer and the polishing wheel, it now looks good as new.

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A CALIFORNIA STORY

Say what you will about California and – good or ill – it's undoubtedly true. But there's no denying that the Golden State, especially the sunnier portions in the south, is about as fine a place for riding motorbikes as can be found in the contiguous 48. If California had a state motorcycle, it might just be the street-tracker – two prime examples seen here, both of which reside in the same garage just a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean near Long Beach...

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CAFÉ TRACKER

Richard Pollock knows a thing or two about street-trackers. Doing business as Mule Motorcycles out of a converted two-car garage in suburban San Diego, he’s built about 100 trackers to date, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, now that his full-time job as an aerospace fabricator has morphed into part-time consultancy, he has more time than ever to devote to two-wheelers, including doing R&D and prototyping for Streetmaster, a small Southern California speed house for new Triumph Bonnevilles.

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AMERICAN GRAFITTI

Unless you were raised by wolves, someone has told you to Listen to your Mother! at one time or another. Not a bad piece of advice, especially for brain-addled teenagers with an unbridled passion for cars and motorcycles like brothers Justin and Jarrod Del Prado.

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TOP ELIMINATOR

He was an unlikely looking pioneer, barely 5 feet tall, maybe 125 pounds all suited up, not even a teenager when he started. Yet before he turned 16, young Bobby Sirkegian would be a dominant force in the fledgling sport of motorcycle drag racing, gunning this fearsome nitromethane-burning Triumph 650 to track records from California to Kansas. He may be the best American motorcycle racer you never heard of...

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FIGHTIN' CB

Were I a mathematician, I could come up with a complex formula to calculate how much faster we used to be, maybe using weight gain and hair loss as constants, multiplied by how many years since our last race, squared by how many suit sizes our leathers have mysteriously shrunk. In my heyday, I could whip around Sears Point International Raceway at an impressive clip on my obnoxiously loud and fragile 1982 Honda Ascot roadracer. It died a noisy, messy death on the starting grid one April, but before it let out its bang-thud-CLANG! death rattle, it taught me that when it comes to 190-proof industrial fun, less mass trumps more power...at least for my needs.

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SPEED-BOBBER

There are two distinct camps when it comes to old Triumphs, purists and fanatics. Purists, no surprise, will accept nothing less than a 100-point, as-delivered-from-the-factory restoration. Anything else is unforgiveable Triumph heresy. Fanatics, on the other hand, live, breath and eat Meriden’s finest, but are a more fun-loving bunch open to interpretation – as long as it's with a pre-John Bloor Triumph. If you’re a purist type, you might as well move along to another article as this 1967 Triumph TR6 hot-rod built by TT Cycles in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, is only going to raise your blood pressure needlessly...

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RADICAL DUCATI

Almost any motorcycle looks good when photographed in a studio with cove background, soft lighting, multiple reflectors and a slavishly underpaid assistant running around attending to details. Well, here's one that looks gobsmackingly stunning while sitting in a gray concrete parking structure with rain pissing down. It's called "9½" and was built by Radical Ducati, a small shop near Madrid rapidly becoming known as one of Europe's best specials builders...

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RIDE TIME: HARLEY-DAVIDSON SPORTSTER 48

Go as you have never gone before. Thrill to the brilliant power and amazing acceleration of the Model K. A dream in motorcycle engineering finally comes true. Nimble handling ease plus Harley-Davidson reliability means a winning combination for the motorcycle sportsman. – 1952 advertisement

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