All posts in “Custom Motorcycles”

Project Angel Honda Grom By Industrial Moto

Normally, cruising on a motorbike for pleasure and fun is a solo experience unless somebody else is sitting behind you. Unlike the one driving, the passenger usually is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to enjoyment. Hence, a custom project aims to correct that oversight by outfitting the stock bike with an awesome add-on. The Project Angel Honda Grom from Industrial Moto aims to share all of the good stuff with a passenger for a noble cause.

This is a special build courtesy of the good folks from Industrial Moto in addition to a Gofundme crowdfunding drive. This is to help out a kindhearted soul by the name of Chris (a former US Marine), who wanted to do something extraordinary for a member of his family. As it turns out, his brother Nick is suffering from Angelman syndrome, which affects his range of movement. It appears that the motorcycle blogger wants to share his passion with his sibling.

Chris reveals that he really loves the original Project GUS Honda Grom that was unveiled earlier this year. The donor bike is a 2018 MSX125 Grom that comes with a utility sidecar for people to haul stuff around. Moreover, it features an all-terrain configuration that lets you go almost anywhere you want. On the other hand, the Project Angel Honda Grom version is fitted with a unique sidecar setup. This version will allow Nick to safely join Chris for a ride. So far, this seems to be a one-off project only, but those interested can still contact Industrial Moto regarding the original model.

Learn more about it here

Images courtesy of Industrial Moto

Suzuki DR 650 By 72 Cycles Performance

We love it when shops go to town and go all out on customizations. But we’re also equally partial to shops who pay tributes to icons of the beaten path. Such is this Suzuki DR 650, from Spain’s 72 Cycles Performance.

Steve McQueen, as we all know is a badass. A legend of his own accord, this man is one of the most prolific racers of his era. He gravitated toward higher-end rides in his career, like the early-model Husqvarnas that are popular for racing, specifically.

Nearly all McQueen’s bikes contain a certain trademark. It’s hard to ascertain exactly what this trademark is. But you know when you see it. There’s just something about the styling of his rides that really catches one’s eyes. Usually, though, they heavily feature tinges of white, brown, red, and green. A palette Mcqueen favored over anything else.

In paying respects to this iconic racer, 72 Cycles Performance has decided to recreate the Husqvarna. With a twist, of course. The shop chose to forego the original Swedish platform, for starters. Instead, underneath it all is actually a Suzuki DR 650.

But aside from the fame, the bike practically remains unchanged. There’s the awe-striking leatherette seat, knobby off-road tires, and a slick scrambler silhouette to top everything off. That’s not all, though. You also get the classic colors that made the original ride so noteworthy. Sure, it’s a Suzuki DR 650 when everything is stripped away. But that should not take away from how inspired this job is. And how thoughtful a tribute it is to McQueen, more importantly.


Photos courtesy of 72 Cycles Performance

The Sinister 2017 Triumph Scrambler By Ben Giese

Custom shops are usually the ones who do sick bike modifications and revamps. So we were surprised to know this decked-out 2017 Triumph Scrambler was dreamed up by a graphic designer.

Not just any graphic designer, too. Ben Giese is the creative director of META Magazine, which is all about motorcycles. It shows. His custom Triumph Scrambler put others to shame.

No surprise there. After all, it’s clear he knows a thing or two about motorcycle design since he’s firmly environed with all talk of it probably on a daily basis. Still, though, his custom motorcycle deserves all the praise it can get.

Giese customized the whole bike to specifically make it good-looking. Still, the designer didn’t want it to be just about aesthetics. So, he made sure it performs well, too, both on and off the road.

The result is a bike with some pretty measured yet smart adjustments that end up making a pretty huge difference. We’re talking Race Tech G3-S rear shocks, upgraded front forks, and larger wheels with Shinko SR244 dual sport tires.

Giese also added a new “Shotgun” exhaust and removed a number of bits and parts to trim the excess fat. The result is an incredibly sleek-looking and minimalist motorbike that will accompany you in off-road adventures. And, more importantly, make you look good while you’re at it.

Even still, Giese says he’s not a professional bike builder. But suppose he shifts gears and decided to go through a career change down the road, he’ll be an excellent one.


Photos courtesy of Ben Giese

Kawasaki Z1000 Urban Fighter By Droog Moto

You won’t believe it, but there’s a Kawasaki Z1000 somewhere underneath this ultimate decked-out ride. Droog Moto went to town with this one, and it shows.

The post-apocalyptic motorcycle in the latest addition to the custom shop’s already badass collection. The Urban Fighter is its largest bike to date, and perhaps the most formidable, too.

Droog Moto’s DNA is seen here all over, first with the custom fuel cell, front fairing, and then the fenders, sporting an angular configuration made out of raw steel. The shop removed much of, if not all the bodywork from the base Kawasaki Z1000. Tabs, too, are a goner. Wirings are tucked away to clean up the look even more.

Droog Moto also replaced the rear subframe with a custom model that tops a leather skateboard seat and low-profile LED brake light. Down below, you’ll find a fresh array of aluminum wheel inserts that punctuate the heavy-duty look. It’s not called Urban Fighter for nothing.

A tough ride deserves equally gruff stats. Here, you’ll get 953 cc engine topping at a horsepower of 125. Fastest speed is 158mph.

Droog Moto says when you ride the Urban Fighter, you’ll feel in total control. Its mission? To “decimate rivals,” the shop says. It’s an intimidating bike but not to the point of being off-putting. But while this, headturner is big, bad, and furious, it’s got some soft spots. Mainly that it’s still fairly nimble. Not to mention extremely easy to ride. A badass with heart and grace, in short.


Photos courtesy of Droog Moto

De Castelli Samotracia By Mario Trimarchi

You’ve probably noticed that some materials develop a unique finish over time. The patina that forms on the surface is the result of oxidation, which gives some metals a unique weathered look that somehow exudes vintage. Take for example bronze and brass—over time, a greenish stain starts to coat the surface. We consider it as a natural work of art and it seems that Mario Trimarchi also feels the same. The artist hopes to gradually paint a one-of-a-kind picture over the span of a century with the De Castelli Samotracia.

Just like the above-mentioned examples, we can witness the chemical changes of copper on a motorcycle. We believe that it’s a clever expression of how speed and time combine to turn a modern two-wheeler into a canvas of artistic expression. According to the Trimarchi, the metal fairing that covers the machine will progressively oxidize in the next 100 years. Just like brass and bronze, a greenish patina will cover the exterior shell.

Unlike most motorcycles, the De Castelli Samotracia showcases an angular design. With multiple surfaces, each one will eventually stain with different shades of green and black. Mario Trimarchi definitely created a remarkable art installation that can be enjoyed in the present at its purest form, and in the future when the copper is fully covered in patina.

Discover more from Mario Trimarchi

Photos courtesy of Mario Trimarchi

The Ironwood Chain Smoker

There isn’t a shortage of incredible custom motorcycle projects throughout the year. However, the Ironwood Chain Smoker is a strong contender for being one of the best custom jobs we’ve seen so far.

The awesome-looking bike you see above actually began as a Husqvarna Vitpilen 701. That bit is surprising because that’s a relatively new bike. With custom bike jobs, you usually start with tattered old models, ones that barely even work and have to be dredged out of someone’s super dusty garage. But Ironwood still took the challenge of making an already new and perfectly functioning ride into something even better.

The end result is a seriously impressive-looking bike with minimalist undertones. Minimalist in the sense that the overall look is still very understated despite looking so exposed. Which is actually a hard balance to pull off. Ironwood did so by integrating a classic design with high-end components. They delivered a motorcycle that boasts slick innards to match its brutal yet eye-catching exterior. As such, perhaps the most significant change is the chopped-off tail, showing off the frame and engine components under the seat.

The look of the Ironwood Chain Smoker is complemented by a custom leather seat and integrated LED indicators and tail lights. The re-mounted OEM tail light adds a nice touch. It also fits in perfectly with the entire angular geometric camouflage coat job.

We expect to see more custom bike jobs in the coming months. But we’re seriously doubting whether they’re going to be as cool as what Ironwood did with this freshly minted Husqvarna Vitpilen 701.


Photos courtesy of IWC Motorcycles

Ducati 999S Helmade Noir

What do George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilham, and Denis Villeneuve all have in common? They’re all terrific directors, for one. But the most notable common denominator among these men is that each of them has made an excellent science fiction flick at least once in their careers.

Which is why all of them would probably love Vengine’s new Ducati 999S, a straight-up badass custom ride that takes cues from beloved dystopian tales like Blade Runner and Tron. You can throw this slick bike and helmet combo into any of those director’s sci-fi flicks and it’ll fit right in.

Let’s talk about the helmet. It was made on a base Bell Bullitt and boasts two halved eye ports in the visor, which harks back to the first Formula 1 racing elements from Bell. Now, on to the bike. Vengine took a standard Ducati 999S with a 136 horsepower V-twin engine and threw in a slew of performance upgrades. Among them is a new exhaust system, Diavel pipes, an SC-Project can, and an Ohlins 1098S swingarm and shock. The front end was taken from an Aprilia RSV4.

Vengine coated both the bike and helmet with splashes of neon. It’s as if they took inspiration from Tron. Look, we understand that pink is traditionally a feminine color. But there’s just something about how this whole thing is presented. It makes that hot pink paint job not emasculating one bit. On the contrary, it’s slick, fun, and stylish. Kind of like when David Bowie wore something terrible and made it look cool. Vengine took pink and made it appealing even for men.


Ducati Hypermotard 796 “Hyperscrambler” By Kalapea Design

The country of Estonia doesn’t immediately spring to mind when you think about custom motorcycles, that’s for sure. But custom shop Kalapea Design, by virtue of its excellent lineup of bike projects, is surely going to put Estonia on the map of many bike fans.

If you want proof, Kalapea Design’s Ducati Hypermotard 796 Hyperscrambler is all you need to look at — rugged and military-like, this steampunk-industrialist beast features a patina fit for a dark, desolate world; a “used” and “lived in” aesthetic George Lucas would salivate for (well, original trilogy Lucas, that is).

Truth be told, the Hyperscrambler didn’t look as beautiful as it does in the photo above. Kalapea Design had to work with what was then a complete wreck of a bike. You don’t even need before-and-after pictures to realize how remarkable a restoration/custom job the shop has done.

As for the specs, this Ducati bad boy boasts a Moto Guzzi V7 tank. Plus luggage boxes custom-built from fuel tanks along with custom racks (and waterproof, too), GN all-metal fenders, plus a and a standalone programmable ECU and Acewell dash rig to top it all off.

Just in case you were wondering — yes, someone already owns this bike. In fact, it was a request job, and Kalapea Design founder Kaspar Ilves was more than happy to do it. The vision, according to him, was to “build a bike that is bigger and has better performance compared with original Ducati ‘Scrambler’ model. All this was necessary as the owner wants to ride this bike across Europe’s trail roads.”


Custom Honda SS50 By George Woodman

Custom bike artist George Woodman’s (real name Sébastien Valliergues) portfolio isn’t as expansive as others’ out there may be; he doesn’t build that many bikes, but when he does finish something, it’s always super notable. In that regard, he’s like Terrence Malick — makes so few films, but each one is an event.

And what an event that image up there is. It’s called the “Wild Horse,” a heavily modified Honda SS50 that, while tiny, packs so many punches. For one, its original 49cc air-cooled single has been replaced with a 190cc engine care of bike tuner Stomp. That pushes the maximum horsepower to 22. That’s an incredible number considering the ride only has a wheelbase of 46 inches.

The engine comes from Zongshen and was built in the same factory as the Daytona Anima FLX. It’s hooked up to a five-speed gearbox and dones an ID Vintage exhaust, brand-new. The suspension has been completely replaced with new forks from YCF via custom yokes, and the gas shocks are also new, from Kepspeed.

Woodman isn’t really a motorcycle guy. Actually, he’s a master woodworker and only builds two to three bikes a year — for fun, if you can believe that. While it may be just a sideline for him, he’s garnered many fans as a result of his excellent bike projects. What sets him apart is his clever implementation of wood into the rides he customizes. You’d expect a master woodworker to just go berserk at it and add wood in every part of the motorcycle, but he doesn’t do that. He’s more subtle and more understated about incorporating the element, preventing the design from being too on the nose.


Photos courtesy of George Woodman

Honda Grom Reaper Zero Electric

Often cited as one of the great options for beginner bikers out there is the Honda MSX125. But as Cole Mishler, designer for Zero Motorcycles, thought, why not take that a bit further? So he went ahead and took the opportunity to transform this wee bike into a full-fledged beast. Meet the Grom Reaper.

First up, Mishler swapped out the original engine for a custom Zero drivetrain, effectively boosting the horsepower from 10 to a more respectable 27. The battery module is a single ZF 3.6 kWh unit, which fortunately fit in the bike’s “tank” area. The torque was also increased to a whopping 66 ft-lbs, an 800% bump from the original 8. The top speed was also increased to 66mph instead of the initial 56. Mishler also threw in new wiring and custom fiberglass body work, adding enormous flair to what’s already considered as a sexy ride.

Finally, he took out the 31mm stock forks and threw in brand-new Öhlins units. At the back, you’ll find a matching remote reservoir shock, which Mishler says is “for a smoother riding experience.”

The result is Grom Reaper, a tiny Honda for neophytes that’s been turned into its own dignified road monster. It’s an electrifying custom job (pun intended), with an insane amount of torque considering its size. But that’s not what Mishler likes to focus on. According to him, it’s actually the experience that matters.

“My favorite part about this whole project is seeing the look on everyone’s faces once they get back from the ride,” says Mishler. “It’s impossible not to smile.”


Photos courtesy of Cody James Perhamus

Yamaha XT 600 By Bad Winners

Check out this decked-out Yamaha XT 600 care of Bad Winners from Parisian custom shop Bad Winners. Normally, the XT 600 isn’t the supermoto beast you’d expect it to be. However, with some clever and skilled tinkering, anything is possible.

Such is the mantra Walid followed — and as a result, we get this spec’d out air-cooled supermoto that Walid designed as a “old-school supermoto from the 90s.” Walid had the thing in the workshop for three years, sitting unperturbed until it “picked me,” he says.

The model in question was a 1991-model XT 600 E that Walid had previously serviced from a previous client. A good thing since he himself knew it had no nicks, meaning no further fix-ups were needed; he could just go straight to the custom job, and he did.

He added 17-inch Excel hoops and partnered it with the original Yamaha hubs. Those are now wrapped in Dunlop’s Sportmax Mutant supermoto tires. As for the brakes, he thought the OEM Nissin was good enough, so he left it untouched, merely touching it up with stainless steel lines. When it came to the suspension, Walid trimmed 80mm off the front forks and added stiffer springs. Then he upgraded the rear with a new YSS shock plus a harder spring because he didn’t want to make a “smooth trail bike.”

As for the paint job, he settled on a geometric-themed design with specks of black peppered in for sharp contrast. What had been a fairly nondescript bike is now a gorgeous bespoke trailblazer.


Ronin 47 Buell 1125 by Ronin Motorworks

Japanese culture is undeniably popular across the globe. We can see its subtle and sometimes blatant influences in pop culture as people embrace almost everything from the country. However, almost everyone agrees that the Samurai are the most iconic historical figures from the Far East. It’s obvious that their code of honor and warrior spirit influenced the Ronin 47 Buell 1125. It belongs to a collection of custom motorbikes from a Denver, Colorado-based builder.

Ronin Motorworks used the American-made Buell 1125 as the starting platform for its Ronin 47 lineup of custom bikes. According to the company, it got the idea from a well-known Japanese legend that illustrated the exploits of a group of 47 mercenaries. Just as the name implies, only 47 of these one-off designs will be offered. Almost all of them are already in the waiting hands of their owners save for two.

Starting off with a Buell 1125 motorbike, Ronin Motorworks removed all of the plastic to expose as much metal as possible. Another noticeable rework involves the relocation of the water-cooled radiator. It replaces the original area where the headlight should be.

The stock muffler was also swapped out for a unique underslung design that stops just below the engine assembly. This one, in particular, is bike number 45 and bears the name Kimura Sadayuki—a member of the legendary warrior group. Its unique shape and matte titanium and black finish make it a drool-worthy two-wheeler to add to your collection. The custom Ronin 47 Buell 1125 is still available for $38,000.

Become the warrior

Photos courtesy of Ronin Motorworks

Custom 2005 KTM 640 LC4 Supermoto

Krzysztof Szews was born to make custom motorcycles. Much of his time he spends on cars. He’s either designing exterior geometry for a major German automaker, or thinking about his next custom job.

We’re lucky enough to witness his latest handiwork, this 2005 KTM 640 LC4 Supermoto. He stripped it down and turned it into a vintage-inspired scrambler. He approached this project with the same ethos from his day job — “Proportion, surface, detail.”

First order of business was to replace the bodywork, beginning with the fuel tank. He ended up using a Honda XL250R, hammering the tunnel to fit the slightly bigger frame before setting it all up. Most of it was trial and error, like when Szews discovered that the new tank didn’t mesh with the KTM’s radiator, so he had to move it further down.

Then he lopped off the stock subframe’s square tubing and replaced it with a self-designed 1-inch tubular steel frame, integrating it into the original air box. After that, he used fiberglass pan and aged leather to build the KTM’s seat, and he also added an aluminum luggage rack.

Szews didn’t mess with the power too much, but did replace the exhaust system. The LC4 Supermoto now boasts KTM Duke 2 headers, paired neatly with a set of Spark mufflers. Some elements he left alone, like the adjustable suspension, running gear, and brakes.

Szews did a bang-up job on this customization project, and it’s really exciting to see what he comes up with next. We’ll let you know when he gets his hands dirty again!


Photos courtesy of Man & the Machines

Custom Kawasaki W650

Nicolas and Sebastien first met two years ago at a flat track race. Nicolas runs the custom workshop Egerie Motorcycle; Sebastien own the apparel brand Age of Glory — an unlikely pairing, to be sure. Shortly thereafter, however, they found out they had a lot more in common than they initially assumed.

“We shared a love of vintage machines, and a taste for simple and uncluttered aesthetics,” according to Sebastien. “So the W650 project started naturally.”

He’s referring to the 2002 Kawasaki W650, of course, part of the company’s well-received W line, and perhaps the line people are nearly always inclined to customize. Sebastien had a lot of ideas on how to revamp the Kawasaki W650. However, he didn’t have sufficient skills to execute it. That’s where Nicolas came in. The rest, as they say, is history.

The guys opted for the Aprilia SXV 550 as the front end. But such a swap would obviously cost a lot. They had to compromise on a lot of things. But even still, the process went well, with Nicolas adapting the Aprilia’s triples, forks and front brake, and refinishing the forks in gold to match the style of the bike. The boys also added a pair of Hagon Nitro shocks out back. The rims are from the original model, though repainted and swaddled in Firestone flat track rubber.

As for power, the W650’s 676 cc makes for 50 horsepower out of the box, and since these numbers proved decent enough, Sebastian decided to just leave the engine be. So many other things went into this custom job, but one of the most notable is, surprisingly, the seat, which comes in camel-colored leather that Sebastian also uses in his jackets.

This W650 is probably one of the most charming custom jobs we’ve ever come across. It’s simple, it’s not too on-the-nose, and it’s really clear just by looking at it that this was the result of inspired creativity. Sebastian says he’s probably going to sell it to work on a new custom job with Nicolas again.


Suzuki VanVan 200 “Wave” By Officine GP Design

Meet Officine GP Design’s latest handiwork: The Suzuki VanVan 200 “Wave,” with an unusual array of design choices that oddly still work despite being a tad bit outre. Who would’ve thought wood accents could meld beautifully with a badass bike? Officine GP Design did, and they’re absolutely right.

You’ll find these accents all over — from the headlight to behind the seat to the tank. They’re supposed to evince a “surfboard” feel to the motorcycle, or better yet — summer. One look at the bike confirms such sentiments, although we have to give Officine GP Design a huge merit for not making it too on-the-nose. The summer theme is still very subtle and understated, making it interesting to look at and not jarring.

To be sure, even without these surf elements, the bike would probably still look pretty rad. However, adding them all in undeniably added to the scrambler’s overall charm. It still looks like your regular custom job fair, that’s a given. But decked with enough design aberrations that really set it apart from the crowd.

Other notable elements include the mostly gray paint job, the modern LED lighting, the black trombone exhaust, and that jaw-dropping aged leather seat. That seat is a highlight unto itself, on a bike that’s already full of highlights. Thanks to the Suzuki VanVan 200, you can ride around town dripping with flair, and even though winter is in the offing, this bike will remind us that summer is not too far away.


1987 KAWASAKI KZ 250 ‘SHADOW 26’

Valen Zhou is somewhat of a star in the custom motorcycle scene. He’s a man so resourceful and creative he can prove you don’t need tons of cash to build a custom bike you’d be proud to ride and own. His latest handiwork, called Shadow 26, is proof of just how clever Zhou is. He turned a 1987 Kawasaki KZ 250 into a fun little bike with no shortage of brute and grit.

Zhou took visual cues from ‘54 Triumph Thunderbird, cutting the frame in half and customizing the tail section. That was the most difficult part of the build, by the way. Given his lack of proper measurement tools, he had to DIY it up, relying on a fishing line and a level to dial the correct dimensions before cutting and welding.

The result is a motorcycle that surprises you in different ways. For instance, that fuel tank? It’s actually a camping flask that Zhou hid underneath a fabricated shell. And that seat? It was crafted from an old couch that cramped up his studio. He took the seat spring from an old bicycle that he found had the right tension for him — emphasis on “for him,” because the Shadow 26 is “uniquely fit for me only,” says Zhou.

The Shadow 26 is one of those custom jobs that doesn’t look impressive on paper. But when you look at the level of creativity and resourcefulness Zhou put in to create it, not to mention his wild and odd imagination, plus unusual yet fascinating choices, you’ll want one yourself.


Photos courtesy of Valen Zhou