Custom XR1200 Dirt Tracker
Before Harley-Davidson introduced its own XR1200, Steve Storz, a factory tuner for Harley-Davidson’s Grand National dirt track team in the 1970s, was turning out customized Sportster 1200s that were inspired by the XR750 racebike.
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.
Discriminating enthusiasts have long known the value of suspension upgrades. Simply look beneath the surface and you will find stock “iron pyrites” replaced with aftermarket “gold”. Clearly, lap times, ride comfort and most of all rider confidence join to form the value proposition for investing in your suspension.
Kawasaki’s Lites class motocross weapon, the KX250F, is a stellar example of just how far racing technology has evolved. The production machine is extremely light with an explosive four-stroke engine and superlative handling. Kawasaki’s Trade/Enthusiast Media Supervisor Russ Brenan saw the potential of adapting the track-specific machine to handle single-track trails and off-road riding, resulting in this impressive in-house project.
Gregg DesJardins’ life-long passion for the welder’s art was initially sparked out of frustration. As a 15-year-old boy building a hot rod with his father in the family’s garage, DesJardins’ vision for the project was thwarted by the duo’s lack of welding ability. That hindrance catalyzed within the teenager a profound determination to master the discipline. DesJardins received a wire-feed arc welder as his high school graduation present and embarked upon an autodidactic apprenticeship.
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.
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)
When one has the resources of Lockhart Phillips USA at his disposal, he can be certain of getting precisely the motorcycle he desires. Such is the case with Wendell Phillips’ Ducati ST4R, a tour de force of supersport touring customization.
Anti-Chopper Custom Bike
In the concrete cocoon of Ecosse Moto Works’ Denver warehouse, Donald Atchison forges his industrial art, spurred by his deal with the demons that drive him and stoked by the inspiration of his heroes and icons. One is met at the entrance by neat rows of classic bikes, from Nortons to Velocettes. Upon a diamond-plate dais, the Heretic Ti holds court.
Small Block Motorcycle
My first impression of the Boss Hoss hit me on a Sunday morning when Jay Leno, in typically larger-than-life fashion, pulled up on the massive bike at the Rock Store. The strange conveyance brought to mind the Hooters corporate slogan: “Delightfully tacky yet unrefined.” In the Venn diagram of my mind, the hot wings and cleavage section doesn’t typically overlap with the motorcycle category, but “typical” bikes aren’t powered by small block Chevy V-8s, either.