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Most Yamaha SR-based customs hark back to the golden age of cafe racers. But the Australian specialist Deus has taken a jump into the future with its tough-looking SR542, nicknamed “The Mono.” This particular machine started life as a 1978 SR500, but you’d never know: it’s been upgraded beyond recognition. It’s packing custom Öhlins suspension front and back, a heavily breathed-upon 542cc motor, a modified frame and a two piece-reverse cone silencer. According to Deus, the muffler “provides great back pressure on the engine, and enough bark to satisfy the next door neighbours’ solicitors.” [Thanks Wes .]
Randall Cordero is one of America’s top motorcycle photographers, and his shots of this ‘bumblebee’ Yamaha caught our eye. This 1978 500cc thumper is owned by veteran rider Russ Somers, an art director for Simpson Race Products . It’s packing a White Brothers cam, a flatside carb and a SuperTrapp muffler. Appearances are taken care of via a Drag Specialties Wave headlight, plus an XR500-style tank and tail section from Omar’s Dirt Track Racing .
The boys from Kuwana City have an eye for elegant understatement, as their latest SR500 custom shows. Gravel Crew built #60 for a Mr. Tutiko, but unfortunately there are no specs on the website. But we can see the foot controls have moved forward, the exhaust is an exercise in minimalism, and it’s nice to see a relatively functional front tire after the recent trend for oversized balloons. The overall effect is sleek, discreet and timeless, and is unlikely to date any time soon.
Issue #3 of BMW Motorcycle Magazine showcases the amazing R7 concept, describing it as “one of the most important, innovative and visually stunning motorcycles ever produced.” We agree. Although this BMW is over 70 years old, it could almost be a contemporary concept. It was shelved as WWII approached, and put in a box.
Canadian Hector Catre sent us these pictures of his gorgeous BMW R75/5. He spent 700 hours restoring this classy café racer, which actually started life as a 1972 BMW R60/5 short wheelbase ‘Toaster’. The R75/5 was one of the lightest 750cc motorbikes of the early 70s, and extremely reliable. Many are still on the road with over 100,000 miles on the clock, even without overhaul. Hector will get a lot of mileage out of this beauty.
Karl Schwanzer’s iconic BMW Museum in Munich has been revamped by architects Atelier Brückner of Stuttgart. Floor space has increased five-fold, and there are now seven stunning exhibition houses covering 5,000m². The Haus des Motorrads is our favorite, of course. The official website is here but the best overview comes from architecture and design blog Dezeen , helped by a delicious portfolio of photographs from Markus Buck. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
Our favorite upmarket Japanese custom house Ritmo Sereno has worked its customary magic on this lovely BMW R75/5 from 1970. The discreet modifications fall within classic racing regulations: they include ported and polished heads for the air-cooled boxer motor, a modified flywheel and clutch, AP Lockheed front forks, uprated brakes and new electrics. As usual, the quality of Ritmo Sereno’s work is beyond compare: just check these stunning images .
One of the most controversial European custom shops is Sweden’s SE Service , run by Stellan Egeland. The latest SE motorcycle is the Harrier, a radical BMW-powered machine that Egeland is promoting as the first in a new line of ‘modern customs’. The Harrier reminds us a little of Bimota’s Tesi series, and took second prize last month at the 2009 European Championship Of Custom Bike Building —as much for its advanced engineering as its looks. Apart from the obvious steering hub, the front brakes are six-piston monoblocs and the bike is also packing switchable ABS.
You don’t see many of these around. It’s a vintage BMW motorbike given the classic bobber treatment by Mark van der Kwaak of DBBP-Design in the Netherlands, with help from his friend Aad Heemskerk. The engine is from a 1976 BMW R90/S, with Stromberg carbs feeding through custom-made manifolds. The frame is mostly new, with some oval tapered pieces rescued from a 1951 BMW. And yes, the front end looks more familiar: it’s a 45″ H-D Springer.
The machine that transformed the 350cc GP class in the early 70s takes center stage at a new exhibition in Copenhagen. Vrrooom Motor Bike Design is at Kunst Industri Museet , the Danish Museum of Art & Design, and promises to be a mouth-watering show. More than 40 classic motorcycles are on display, and several have been expertly photographed by Michael Grabowski. Canon EOS-1D Mark II | 1.0s | f/11.0 | ISO 50 | Focal length 60mm <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
In the shadow of Mount Fuji lives Yamaha SR cafe racer specialist Custom House Stinky. For 25 years Stinky has taken a modular approach to bike building: seats, tanks, headlights and aluminum fenders are made in-house, by hand. To recreate the look of bike #21, you’ll need a Type 1 single seat with a zipper compartment at the back for storing small items ($650), an uprated swingarm ($1,300) and a headlight mounting kit ($210). And a good painter.
Edited for size from Motorcycle usa.com "It might be a bit hard to find a class to race Honda's Dream 50 . Or is it an old 50? No matter, as Honda expects most Dream 50 owners will use the $5499 bikes for nostalgic or display purchases, not for race duty. Too bad, as the Dream is is fun to ride even if its limits are a bit lower. Imagine taking a mountain bike with a narrow handlebar and shrinking it down one-third in size and you're pretty close to what a Dream ride feels like.
Kinetic obtained the rights to pick up 7 Italjet designs--they're gonna manufacture and sell the Millennium, Formula, Velocifero, Euro, Dragster, Torpedo, and Jupiter. But I think they're limited to India right now, though I've seen some Dragsters in the US market. Hopefully we'll see more come our way, especially the Dragster 180 and Formula 180...I think that'll depend on the EPA, though.