“My upbringing involved a lot of Legos — not the boxed sets but rather tons of pieces from years of collecting,” Analog Motorcycles’ founder Tony Prust explains.“I loved building things with Legos and remember building with other kids and they would mix and match colors, wheels, and whatever. My creations always seemed to have matching colors, and flow, and would look good enough in the end that I wouldn’t want to take them apart. I have always enjoyed creating and taking apart things to see how they work.”
One cannot deny Prust’s mechanical fluidity and consistent palette displayed on the Analog Motorcycles Continental Scout, a 500cc parallel twin café racer built from an unlikely donor — a 1949 Indian Scout.“I went to look at another potential donor bike for a friend of my uncle — a ’67 Kawasaki W1,” Prust says of his unexpected find. “The W1 was at a guy’s shop that stored bikes for people. I happened to see this engine and chassis and boxes of parts on a bench, and asked what it was. The guy that owned the building said it was a ’49 Indian Scout and he had plans to build it into a bobber. All the guys there that knew him laughed and said it has been sitting there for 17 years and hasn’t moved. I told him if he would be interested in selling it to let me know. He said he didn’t, but took my number. He called a couple of weeks later and gave a price and we negotiated a deal. I do like the odd and peculiar bikes to make customs out of, mostly for the challenge of it.”Certainly, the neglected Scout captured Prust’s imagination: “Its stock chassis is a plunger style frame and lends itself to a bobber style build. I decided I wanted to go a different direction. I started out riding fully faired bikes, but hadn’t done a custom with a fairing yet. I had recently seen (Philippine-made reproduction) TZ750 hubs on a custom build, and thought I would love to build a bike around those hubs, and it would need to be vintage race-inspired. I figured that it was a stretch to build a vintage race bike with as much period stuff as possible, so I jumped into the challenge of it.”From the beginning, Prust has been a performance-oriented motorcyclist. After cutting his teeth on such disparate machines as a dual-sport Yamaha Fat Cat and a Honda CR500R motocrosser, as well as any available minibikes and scooters, Prust bought his first motorcycle — a 1990 Suzuki Katana 600 — which he lightly customized with paint, an exhaust, and aftermarket turn signals.The Katana was replaced by a 1999 Suzuki GSX-R600 for track days (the only bike Prust ever bought new), and that eventually led to a 2006 Ducati Monster S2R 1000, which Prust describes as “probably the first bike I really loved.” Along with his adoration, the S2R became a platform for more extensive customizing: “That was the bike that got me really into heavier custom mods.”“Every year I did stuff to the S2R — lowered gauges, headlight, cut beer tray off and tidied up the tail section,” Prust begins. “Then, I got more into it, modifying the belt covers and made windows to see them moving, and actually was asked by other people online to make theirs look the same. Next, the S2R got an open clutch cover and lots of black powdercoating. The guys on the Monster forums really appreciated the work, so I thought maybe I had an eye for this custom stuff.”“From the Monster, I decided to try my hand at a ’78 Honda CB750 café racer bought as a basket case, and went in neck deep,” Prust says. “A mechanic buddy named Chuck helped along the way, and we did some extensive modification on that one. Halfway through the process, it was really coming along and had some features on it that no one else was doing.”“It was then the entrepreneur in me thought, I should come up with a name and a logo and brand this bike just in case this idea of customizing bikes takes off. After all, it would beat doing carpentry for a living,” Prust says smiling. “A graphics buddy of mine helped me come up with a name that I liked and he designed the logo. It was a shot in the dark. I had no idea at the time if it would really be sustainable. It was more of a hobby starting out but turned into what I do full time now.”The Continental Scout has taken Analog Motorcycles to a new level, garnering a global audience. “I am very pleased with how it turned out, and it gets a lot of love everywhere I show it. It started out as a build for a customer friend, but after getting into it, I convinced him to just be the investor, as I wanted to take it to the level it ended up being and that was more than his initial budget,” Prust says. “This was with the intent to eventually sell.”“The parts came from all over the world, and that had its challenges,” the Gurnee, Ill.-based Prust relates, “but all in all that went pretty smooth. The chassis was built by Framecrafters in Union, Ill., and they were actually good friends with Bill Bailey from ZYZX Vintage Motorcycles. He used to race these Indians and was very familiar with the engines and its quirks. He was able to improve the engine from many of its failures.“The most challenging portion of the build has been a left side kickstarter with rear-sets and linkage. I am actually redesigning it to make it easier to start. The kicker set up I had settled on after several tries was workable, but a challenge to start at times, and I’m still sorting out the 12-volt charging system—it works, but needs improvement.”A truly successful custom motorcycle is meant to be ridden, of course, and the Analog Motorcycles Continental Scout is no exception. “It is interesting to ride,” Prust allows. “It feels very comfortable and capable. Good ergonomics, suspension is great, brakes stop on a dime and it has a pretty gnarly exhaust note. Because it is an old engine it is not super-fast, but it is quick for an old 440cc engine punched out to 500cc.“It vibrates a bit at stops, but while riding the vibrations are not that noticeable. I think the only thing that I wish was better is the transmission—it is not very smooth. You definitely have to make sure you are solid on your shifting for it to function properly. I think that is the nature of any old machine of its time, though. The sound is very vintage-race sounding—throaty and loud, but not obnoxious.”After six years in business, Prust has big plans for Analog Motorcycles. He expects the company will be “building incredible custom machines and starting a new side of the business called Analog Motor Goods, which will be parts, accessories and apparel. That side of the business will be the daily sustainable products for the masses. Not everyone can afford a full Analog custom, but want to be a part of what we are doing—offering parts they can put on their bike and apparel they can wear.”“In the next few years we are hoping to open a retail shop, with maybe a café and deli attached to give riders from all over a destination that bikes are welcome to come to and hang out,” Prust anticipates. “I love the motorcycle culture and the cur- rent state that it is in, and want to help provide a solid future for it and Analog. Ten or twenty years down the road, who knows? Maybe an actual Analog manufactured motorcycle with customizable options.”We’d like to put in the first request for a test ride.Photography by Doug McGoldrickStory from Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; for subscription services, click here.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.