When the designers of the 2012 Victory High-Ball went to work, they had one main idea in mind: create a bad-ass machine.
This is evident with the no-nonsense styling of the 2012 High-Ball, from the shorty-front fender to high-rise bars to the spoke wheels to the whitewall tires.
90-degree Longitudinal 32-valve Engine
By any estimation, Giancarlo Morbidelli dreamed in epic proportions. A self-made businessman with a passion for motorcycles, he used his entrepreneurial spoils to finance a race team and achieved impressive results: His race bikes won three consecutive 125cc world titles in the mid-1970s, a coveted 250cc title in 1977, and another 125cc championship the following year.
Custom Cafe Replica Bike
Roger Goldammer is as sensitive to the stigma of simulacra as the next connoisseur. "Whether it’s an auto manufacturer re-doing the Mustang or a screenwriter re-writing a movie," he admits, "borrowing from the past is a risky thing." And yet his latest creation, a stylized re-interpretation of the mid-century Manx Norton, embodies a certain purists-be-damned exuberance.
"Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long," declares Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane in his unapologetic, and timeless, anthem to windblown individualism. That spirit emanates from Windsor, Ontario’s Tough Customs, and its current contender, the succinctly christened "Tough Gun". Looking like Detroit muscle car morphed into motorbike, this one-off pro-street custom is equally unapologetic, as is the company’s founder, Rick Tomicic.
As a manufacturer of motorcycles, Bimota brings to mind a quaint, privately owned coffee house among a sea of innocuous, conglomerate-run establishments crowding the landscape. As is usually the case with any exclusive, artistic hang-out, you may have to go a little farther out of your way, pay a little more, and the service may not be especially attentive. But for the connoisseur who appreciates the ambience as much as the coffee, it is unquestionably worth it.
Hot Rod Coupe
The custom motorcycle builder might reshape John Stuart Mill’s declaration of personal freedom “Over one’s mind and over one’s motorcycle the individual is sovereign.” The creative team at Redneck Engineering Liberty, S.C., takes that freedom to heart. Iconoclasts wry slogan is “We don’t care how they do it on the Coast,” this custom crew is winning awards and converts notable interpretations, such as their recent re-look at a Vincent Black Shadow.
Tucked in behind the windscreen of the NCR Millona One Shot, rapidly reeling in blurring pavement on the steep banking of Fontana’s California Speedway, my peripheral vision caught the flashing red shift indicator light. Having not counted the shifts and traveling at this speed, I assumed all the available gears had been exhausted. Out of curiosity, I chopped the throttle for a millisecond and tapped the shifter. My inquisitiveness revealed that sixth gear was still virgin territory.
The traditional orange livery of KTM says it all. It isn’t a posh Hermès orange or a trendy mid-century citrus. Rather, it is a shade that recalls highway workers clad in DOT-approved reflective garb. The color is all function with a dismissive nod to form, which is fitting, as the Austrian manufacturer has spent the last 73 years building durable off-road bikes better suited to pavement-free adventures than aggressive urban jaunts.
AFT Custom Bike
“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.
Claudio Castiglioni’s 100
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.
From an early age, Gregg DesJardins was inadvertently spoon-fed a unique customization and chrome awareness. He grew up around the creative environs of the family’s garage, in close proximity to his father’s passion for building hot rods. A wonderful metallurgical playground of rolling cut-and-chopped Detroit iron fueled young DesJardins’ fertile imagination and set the developmental gears in motion.
In the late 1990s, Lance Smail was a lone wolf competing in the vaunted AMA Supercross championship series on this Tom Moen-prepared, four-stroke powered KTM. By virtue of being the sole four-stroke in a series populated exclusively by two-stroke machines, Smail and the KTM were instant outsiders. However, at every stadium the bike appeared, the fans went crazy for it. In a field of buzzing, shrieking two-strokes that sounded like agitated bees, the distinctly aggressive thumping of the KTM, with its signature backfire, made it a crowd favorite. (Click image to enlarge)