Ducati’s devil falls in the hands of Fred Krugger to work his witchcraft on it.
When Ducati rolled out the Diavel prototype for the first time out of the factory in 2010, one person who saw that chiselled rear exclaimed saying "Ignurànt comm’ al Diavel!" in Bolognese dialect. That means "Evil, like the devil!". The rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward seven years and the Diavel still manages to rumble on the streets with aplomb and break necks, unlike anything. Now, Ducati has commissioned a Belgian custom builder Fred Krugger, one of planet earth’s highly acclaimed custom builder, to work his magic potion on the XDiavel S. The bike was showcased at the Bikers’ Classics at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, that was held on the first weekend of July 2017.
Outlier’s Guild Custom Motorcycle Show
This weekend, Saturday May 6th, Southern California in general — and Los Angeles specifically — will enjoy its very first top-end custom bike event; the Outlier’s Guild Motorcycle Show. A sort-of unholy alliance between Jay LaRossa of Lossa Engineering, Ralph Holquin of RMD Garage, John Pangilinan and Stan Chen makes this whole thing possible. These much-esteemed gentlemen got together and decided to do something about the lack of love shown to the custom-motorcycle culture in sunny Southern California. Who can blame them? Custom bike building is as much art as it is mechanical science, and it has a long and storied history in the U.S. as one of our favorite sub-cultures.
Continue reading for more information on the Outlier’s Guild custom motorcycle show.
There’s a new kid in town, and everybody’s talking. Vanguard joins the ranks of small American manufacturers, such as the Arch Motorcycle Company and Confederate Motors, that make premium-priced works of rolling art. Based out of New York City, Vanguard revealed the first of its proposed lineup to be available for sale at the Progressive IMS in New York this year where it quickly became a crowd favorite.
Behold the “Roadster,” Vanguard’s futuristic, stripped-down ride that combines a somewhat cafe’ racer-ish design with some very next-gen looking features and ambitious structure. A monocoque assembly forms the bike with a seat/tank/front-end section and a drivetrain/swingarm section held together by four stanchions, with no sort of traditional frame structure to speak of. Vanguard passed on the traditional fenders as well and replaced them with...nothing at all. Cool as that looks, I wouldn’t want to get caught out in the weather, just sayin’.
Continue reading for more on the Vanguard Roadster.
The P51 Combat Fighter is the latest creation from Confederate Motorcycles, and as usual it’s as much a work of art as it is a mode of transportation. Far from all show and no go, the designers at the Birmingham, Alabama factory built this striking ride around a massive 2,163 cc (132 cubic-inch) engine that boasts 18 more cubic inches than the next biggest production American mill; the 1,868 cc (114 cubic-inch) Milwaukee-Eight from Harley-Davidson.
As I spoke to Matt Chambers, the man who founded Confederate Motorcycles back in 1991, and designer Jordan Cornille, the enthusiasm was palpable as they discussed this current model that strongly reflects the core principles upon which the company is based; minimalism, primitivism and avant-gardism. Join me while I check out what this Southern-fried manufacturer has going on over there with its latest tribute piece that blends a rebellious attitude with homage for our country’s founders.
Continue reading for my review of the Confederate Motorcycles P51 Combat Fighter.
Built to look like Lucas’ creation, the Speeder Bike from Vintage Works rides on a hubless front wheel (way cool) and a pneumatic suspension system that raises and lowers the chassis to simulate the bike lifting up to a hover. As if that wasn’t enough, the ride makes Star Wars-like noises as it powers up and down for complete nerd immersion. (And I mean that in the best possible way.)
The builders say the parts cost more than a new Ferrari, so don’t expect to see this ride on a showroom floor near you — just enjoy it for the piece of whimsy, work of art and showcase of skill that it is.
Continue reading for more on the Speeder Bike from Vintage Works.
Another Independence Day is upon us, and I found myself contemplating the nature, indeed the culture, of patriotism. It’s no secret that motorcyclists have a tendency to value liberty and freedom, and the bikes themselves become something of rolling shrines. Sometimes this takes the form of a paintjob; other times serious bodywork, but always with the underlying celebration of our core values. I’ve picked a few examples of just what I’m talking about here, so join me while I show you what I’ve got in mind.
Continue reading for my look at the Fourth of July, 2016.
World famous custom bike builder Jesse James, he of West Coast Choppers fame, will be heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to showcase some of his new creations. Most of these items fall under his Jesse James Firearms Unlimited (JJFU) custom gun shop, but make no mistake, James is still a custom bike builder at heart. A handful of his motorcycle masterpieces will also be in attendance so if you ever find yourselves going to the rally this weekend, check out James’ works at 1601 Lazelle Street in Sturgis.
A quick peek at West Coast Choppers’ Facebook page revealed one such custom bike that’s headed to the biggest and most famous motorcycle rally in the world. Details are being kept under wraps except for a few photos here or there, but the way the build is going, it does look like James has quite the custom job in his hands. The bike’s tank, for one, is a piece of custom art finished in shiny copper. The same thing can be said for the matching rose gold accents on the fenders and the polished gold exhaust.
Seems like Jesse James is working on an eye-catching custom motorcycle that fits right in line with what we’ve come to expect from the famous bike builder.
In addition to his custom motorcycles, James will also showcase his new custom gun collection at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That’s a part of his business I’m less comfortable talking about since it deals with firearms, but I will say this: any rationale observer will say that his custom guns are pretty impressive to look at. The details that a lot of these custom firearms have are incredible.
It’s not something that I’m going to buy any time soon, but I will recognize customization talent when I see it. Jesse James is one of the best in the world at it. He’s proven that time and again with his custom bike creations and he’s proving it once more with his custom guns.
Good thing we’ll see all of them at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Continue reading to read more about Jesse James’ new bikes and guns showcase at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
French manufacturer Mash Motors has just unveiled a limited edition version of its Five Hundred retro bike. It’s called the Mash Von Dutch and it’s a fresh approach to a bike known for its neo-retro looks. To those who are unfamiliar with the Mash Five Hundred, it’s a niche model that’s typically found in its home market of France. It won’t blow anybody away with its performance capabilities, but owners of the Five Hundred have long come to grips with that, knowing well enough that its classic styling makes up for its lack of power.
The Mash Von Dutch is a step up to the standard Five Hundred. Mash Motors made sure of that by enlisting the help of design firm SIMA and French artist Daddy Graph to create a design that stands out across different generations.
The customization work was limited to the bike’s design so if you’re expecting a sizeable bump in power, the Mash Von Dutch is going to disappoint you. But if your expectations are clear from the onset, you’re going to be amazed at the incredible work put in by Mash Motors and its partners to justify the limited edition label attached to the Von Dutch.
The bike’s graphics design was a big part of the modification process. With the help of Daddy Graph, the Mash Von Dutch received a two-tone paint scheme that captures the retro-fied appeal of the motorcycle. The use of brown and ivory white colors gives the bike a noticeable glint, a feat made more significant since the two shades aren’t palette screamers. The colors are complemented by a racing number plate on the front bearing the number “500,” a clear and obvious nod to the bike that it’s based from.
Look closely at the ribbed seat and you’ll notice that it’s made from genuine leather. Hardly a surprise using that material since Mash is trying to remain consistent with its design philosophy for this limited edition model. The same leather material was also used on the strap and the trim on the housing of the two gauges, ensuring that the amount of fine leather is evenly spread out throughout the machine.
A pair of Mentzeler - Karoo 2 tires are the last significant pieces of modification given to the Mash Von Dutch, ensuring that any of the prospective 200 owners will take ownership of a bike that really speaks to their sense and sensibilities.
Continue reading to read more about Mash Motors’ limited edition Mash Von Dutch motorcycle.
Italian tattoo artist Marco Manzo is one of the most prominent fashion tattoo artists in the world today. His incredible creations have taken a life of their own, often being described as ink haute couture. Clearly, the man isn’t lacking in artistic talent and recently, that talent was in full display when he turned a BMW Motorrad Roma-supplied R nineT into his own personal work of art.
For the record, Manzo’s work on the R nineT doesn’t count as your typical customization. There are no engine upgrades and there were very little aesthetic improvements that typically counts in the traditional sense of a custom project. Sure, there’s a new round headlight, a resin rear fender, and LED turn indicators. But that’s about it on that end.
What sets Manzo’s work apart from other R nineT projects I’ve seen are the intricate artistic details of his tattoo art, which he used to decorate the surface of the motorcycle. The artist even dug deep into his bag of tricks with the use of gold leaf to complement the blackened areas of the bike. For those who don’t know, gold leaf is a process by which gold is been beaten into a very thin sheet and used primarily for design and artistic purposes. It’s a very meticulous project that often requires a great deal of time since it’s still mostly done by hand. Oh, and it’s also expensive since it makes use of actual gold. But Manzo doesn’t do things half-baked so he went about and used gold leaf on a number of sections on the bike, including the rims, forks, cylinder head covers, instrument cases, and the the sides of the tank. Once that process was done, Manzo used a special film paint from Win Grafix to create his trademark tattoo patterns.
The result is nothing short of incredible. Not only does it speak highly of the customization potential of the R nineT, but more importantly in this case, it’s further proof of Marco Manzo’s incredible talent in ink haute couture.
Note: Photos courtesy of Czerwinski Arthur
Continue reading to read more about Marco Manzo’s work on the BMW R nineT.
For those who are familiar with his status in the automobile and motorcycle collector’s market, a lot of us know that It takes a lot to get the attention of Jay Leno. The man who arguably has one of the most fascinating car and bike collections in the world isn’t a guy that can be easily impressed by anything.
That said, industrial designer and all-around motorcycle savant Aniket Vardham managed to do it. All it took was for him to hand build his own ‘50s inspired Royal Enfield Bullet, which he proudly calls the Musket V-Twin. Needless to say, Leno was more than impressed with Vardham’s handiwork; he was downright enamored with it.
To be fair, Vardham’s creation truly is a masterpiece in craftsmanship. He builds the bike himself using only his hands and whatever available resources are presented to him. But despite his obvious limitations compared to actual motorcycle companies that routinely build these kinds of bike, Vardham was still able to create bikes that not only looked the part that would make their forefathers proud, but also performs like a modern-day warrior on two wheels.
It’s hard to point out which part of Vardham’s work is more impressive. On one hand, you have the remarkable design of the bike that perfectly captures the spirit of Royal Enfield back in the ‘50s. On the other hand, Vardham was also responsible for the new engines found on this bike. Basically, he put these engines together all by himself, assembling them piece by piece until he had a 700cc and a 1,000cc engine at his disposal.
In other words, and as Leno pointed out, Vardham is creating these bikes by himself without the aid of technology that actual motorcycle companies can tap into whenever they need it.
That’s beyond incredible, and it’s a testament to the talent, skill, and dedication the self-professed Royal Enfield enthusiast has in creating his own version of art.
Continue reading to read more about Aniket Vardham’s impressive Musket V-Twin motorcycle.
Angelica Ganea may not be a household name in the music industry yet, but after her collaboration with Indian Motorcycles, I’m willing to bet that her name will be remembered in the motorcycle industry. The up-and-coming singer recently embarked on a project that involved covering the entire body of an Indian Motorcycle Chief Classic in Swarovski crystals.
We’ve seen this kind of project before, some on even bigger canvases, but Ganea’s work is special because she did it by hand and more importantly, all by herself.
The idea of actually covering a Chief Classic with Swarovski crystals sounds difficult, and in reality, it is. But once all that work is done, the final product looks absolutely amazing, provided whoever ends up owning takes really good care of those crystals. The bike, which has been christened the “Crystallized Indian Motorcycle”, now has almost 200,000 Swarovski crystals glued on to it and is actually available for display or as an event attraction. At some point, Ganea hopes to sell the bike to raise money for charity and also help fund Ganea’s music career.
It’s an unconventional way to secure the necessary funding for your album, but it’s not that weird to someone who is used to covering anything she can get her hands on with Swarovski crystals. Ganea’s fascination for these crystals has extended into making crystallized microphones, musical instruments, and if you can believe it, an actual company caled "Emporium A" that customizes, among other things, monogram cake toppers.
I’m not sure how much the Crystallized Indian Motorcycle will sell for in this market, but there’s enough room for this kind of quirky attraction for a buyer to take a stab at buying it. I hope that it sells well enough for Ganea to have enough to give to charity and cover the costs of her music career.
After spending close to 1,500 hours to complete this project, I’d say Angelica Ganea has earned whatever good fortune she gets out of it.
Continue reading to read more about Angelica Ganea’s Crystallized Indian Motorcycle.
The Yamaha Tricity is a weird enough scooter on its own, but once you give a (sort of) Mad Max-type customization, it really turns into a real piece of work. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is probably up to the eye of the beholder.
Japan’s RocketNews24 did just that and as expected, the Mad Max-ified Tricity is a sight to behold. Before I dive into the details of the customization program, I want to emphasize that the Tricity isn’t really a scooter in a traditional sense. Rather, it’s a three-wheeled scooter that employs two front wheels, working in harmony thanks to a parallelogram-link mechanism that allows riders to lean into corners the way they would in a traditional scooter.
To be fair, RocketNews24 didn’t even bother messing with the Tricity’s mechanicals. It left it alone and instead concentrated on giving the scooter a more aggressive appearance that would fit right in on any Mad Max setting. For instance, the standard metallic red color was discarded in favor of a Mad Black matte paint because it sets the tone towards adding all the spiky hubris to follow. A metal grille is always a requirement for any Mad Max vehicle and the Tricity has that too, taking up the real estate previously occupied by the windscreen. Don’t ask me why the latter was taken out, but if I were to guess, it just might too “safe” for Mad Max’s style. Both front wheels were also given added protection in the form of larger plastic fenders that actually have a series of holes in them to simulate a weaponized feature on an actual Mad Max bike.
It might also help in the whole transformation for the rider to take up a similar custom that involves a leather suit with the obligatory studs and spikes, a gnarly and spiked helmet that opens up at the top to make space for a bright orange mohawk and a sawn-off faux shotgun that’s actually a selfie stick in its previous incarnation.
There’s absolutely nothing about this Yamaha Tricity that can be classified as “normal”. But was there anything about Mad Max that falls under the same description?
All told, it was a successful build if only because the normal parameters of what our expectations would have been doesn’t exist in this bike. Really, that’s a good thing, right?
I was 10 years old when I watched Return Of The Jedi for the first time, and I recall the conversation that I had with my father. I asked him if the machines in the movie were possible. He told me that if man can dream it, man can build it. That simple statement fueled endless hours of daydreaming about the speeder bikes in the movie, imagining how it would feel to ride one and what the controls would do. So, imagine my delight when I discovered that we are one step closer to this particular science-fiction machine becoming science-fact!
Continue reading for the full info
The Gettysburg Bike Week may not get the same amount of publicity as its counterpart in Sturgis, South Dakota. But rest assured, anybody who has been to the motorcycle rally in Pennsylvania will swear by its awesomeness.
Like most rallies, the Gettysburg Bike Week comes with no shortage of events. A look at its website shows a schedule of what you can expect from the July 9 to 12, 2015 rally. There’s going to be a swap meet, a motorcycle tour, concerts, and yes, even a wet t-shirt contest. Good times all around.
But the real highlight of the festival remains the bike build off, an annual tradition of the rally that calls on some of the best aftermarket builders in the country to build and design their own custom bikes. This year, the Gettysburg Bike Build Off will prominently feature three top-flight bike builders some of you may be familiar with: Vicious Cycles, Franklin Church Choppers, and Hellion Custom Cycles.
Unlike past years, all three custom bike shops will build their respective bikes ahead of time at their respective shops and then bring them to the festival where rallygoers can check them out in person.
There’s still no word on what kind of prize the winner is going to get, but if their past creations are any indication, these three custom bike shops will bring the pain at the Gettysburg Bike Week, making all those who see these three bikes up close the real winners of the festival.
Continue reading to read more about the three competing bike builders of the Gettysburg Bike Build Off.
Nobody said riding up the Pikes Peak course was going to be easy. Victory Motorcycles found that out the hard way when its much ballyhooed Project 156 suffered a crash during one of the practice sessions in preparation for the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 28, 2015.
Part 4 of Victory’s ongoing web series documenting the story of Project 156 revolved entirely on the crash, which occurred when rider Don Canet lost control of the bike at the 12.42-mile course. Canet walked away from the crash unhurt, but unfortunately, the bike wasn’t as lucky.
As soon as it was sent back to the garage, the bike’s designer, Roland Sands Design, discovered a significant amount of damage on its prized creation. According to RSD’s Aaron Boss, the guardrail the bike crashed into hit the shocks at the exact spot where it would’ve dealt significant damages. The team eventually determined that the bike’s frame needed major straightening, which would require a complete rebuild of the entire design.
It’s not the kind of news you would expect to hear this close to the Race to the Clouds, especially with a bike that’s been as hyped as Project 156. But if there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that it happened early enough for Roland Sands Design to regroup and piece everything back together in time for the the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Hopefully, there’s still enough time to do it because the event is less than a week away.
Continue reading to read more about Project 156’s unfortunate crash while practicing in Pikes Peak.
Not a lot of people may know this, but Indonesia is home to some of the best motorcycle builders in the world. That’s especially true for Studio Motor, which has given us past masterpieces like the Harley-Davidson Softail Rebellion, the Harley-Davidson Sportster Warrior, and most recently, the Kawasaki Versys 650 Scrambler Temper.
The Versys 650 Scrambler Temper really is something else. I must say, a big chunk of the credit goes to Danny Aryianto who spearheaded this beautiful creation, turning what is already an impressive-looking Versys 650 into a bonafide scrambler that can rock any road it travels on. And if you’ve ever been to Indonesia, that particular skill from a motorcycle will come in very handy.
Aryianto and his crew at Studio Motor actually kept most of the Versys 650’s mechanicals intact. The rolling chassis remains the same and it’s quite obvious by the road stance of the bike. It’s in the bike’s aesthetics where we see the difference, particularly the offset rear shock absorber - a signature design by the Versys - which has been hidden to underscore the swooping changes in the aesthetics of the bike. This kind of aftermarket bravado is typical of Studio Motor so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the custom bike shop made the change at the expense of reconfiguring one of the most noticeable elements of the Versys 650.
Studio Motor didn’t just stop there, either. Most of the body panels were also removed, revealing the bike’s inner guts for all to see. That’s a hat tip to the classic Scrambler look and it works perfectly on the Versys 650. Likewise, the two OEM fenders were removed and replaced with custom-crafted ones that are less aggressive-looking and more in tune with the whole design language of the Tremor. The rear fender, in particular, is smaller than the original, extending with subtlety from the ribbed custom seat.
The front end of the bike offers yet another sign of Studio Motor’s comprehensive style customization of the Versys 650. The unmistakable front end of the original Versys 650 was taken apart in favor of a more classic Scrambler look, complete with round headlights and simpler off-road bars that rids itself of the OEM mirrors that extending outward like a sore thumb. In fact, the Tremor doesn’t have any mirrors at all, which might not be the best idea.
Overall, Studio Motor hit all the right notes with this custom project. It kind of makes you wonder why Kawasaki doesn’t just build its own scrambler, especially if it can come up with something that looks as spiffy as the Versys 650 Tremor.
Continue reading to read more about Studio Motor’s Kawasaki Versys 650 Tremor.