For whatever reasons you choose to believe, the Japanese cannot (or will not) compete with Harley-Davidson when it comes to building a cruiser. If you demand the raw experience of an air-cooled Harley, you will forever be disappointed in metric cruisers.
I had decided to ride the middleweight Suzuki Gixxer once again on the street to prove to myself that my first impression was correct: This machine is as close to the perfect sport bike as it is possible to get. Well, for now, anyway.
One of the world's fastest men on a motorcycle, eight-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi is tough to catch; nevertheless, luxury watch manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre caught him long enough to collaborate with Rossi on a series of "46"-themed watches.
Google "Hayabusa custom", and 12,000 hits will be your reward. Given the well-tilled condition of that particular soil, how would you craft a revolutionary take on the Suzuki racer that would blow the mind and scorch the eyeballs of even the most jaded Custom Sportbike fiend? If you were McCoy Motorsports of Pikeville, Ky., you'd take six months, spend a quarter-of-a-million dollars and hand-build this mandible melting Suzuki Hayabusa Twin-Turbo Phoenix. (Click image to enlarge)
The venerable P-51 Mustang fighter plane represents one of the most strikingly recognizable physiques in aviation. The single-seat warbird that played a crucial role in WWII has been honored in countless films and written histories. When Tom Hicks of Southern California Motorcycles decided to commemorate the Air Force's winged horse with a tribute bike, he didn't have far to look for inspiration.
Motorcycle racing is a brutal affair, in both the physical dangers and the elusiveness of success for its competitors. Victory and fame are dependent on the merging of raw talent, discipline, opportunity, will, and desire–not to mention capable machinery and ample luck. Among the myriad names inked into the annals of this most ephemeral of professions there are but a relative handful that have earned the status of legend. When a racer continues to garner respect and reverence years after their reign is over it is a testament of true greatness.
There is definitely something wrong with this picture. I'm bombing along a back road in Santa Paula, Calif. (aka the Citrus Capital of the World) aboard a mercilessly underpowered, somewhat skittish motorcycle that, despite being the latest offering from the company, hasn't witnessed any major design changes since Eisenhower was president. Yet, I'm having an absolute ball.
Those familiar with On Any Sunday will remember Cal Rayborn breaking the motorcycle land speed record and topping 265 mph in 1970. BUB Enterprises CEO and Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Denis Manning designed Rayborn's Harley-Davidson, and then returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2006 to recapture the record he lost in 1975.
“Accomplishment is about believing in a concept and your ability to follow it through,” says Jim Giuffra, founding partner of world champion metric bike builders AFT Customs. “Credere”—its name purposely chosen from the Italian verb “to believe”—affirms that philosophy. AFT's rendition of Honda's respected VTX1300 cruiser embodies Giuffra's sculptural vision and celebration of the female form.
It has been said that 20 percent of all the art ever created is in Italy. The country overflows with legendary beauty. From the spellbinding Sistine Chapel to da Vinci's The Last Supper; from Michelangelo's David to the Leaning Tower of Pisa; Italy stirs the imagination with its timeless creations.