1979 Honda CB400
The CB400 is not a bike most think about customizing. I own one and the biggest problem with the bike is that frame is kind of ugly. There’s a curve where the air box is that makes cleaning up that section of clutter difficult. Rather than removing that funky curve, Ed Turner Motorcycles worked it into the custom bike’s design and it works.
I’m consistently impressed with all of the bikes Ed Turner builds. They’re making more than just cool bikes, this is art.
Tarmac Custom Motorcycles is located in Vigo, Spain.
The crew at Tarmac isn’t lighting the world on fire with their insane creativity, but they are cranking out some really nice looking custom bikes.
MotoGeo make videos, shoot photos and write about motorcycles.
If you’ve got some cash laying around and you aren’t a DIYer like myself, you need to check out Ed Turner Motorcycles in France.
Ed Turner Motorcycles is owned and operated by Karl Renoult and his work is second to none.
Just look at what he did with this 1979 Honda CBN400.
Ed Turner 1979 Honda CBN400
When I’m looking at a builder and I’m looking at how much artistry they put into their projects. As a DIYer, I know how easy it can be to switch some lights, chop up the fenders and paint or powder coat some stuff. But to create art with a bike, that’s a entirely different thing and Ed Turner Motorcycles is doing that — making art.
Clearly I love their work and want to see more of it. It’s inspirational.
The actual Ed Turner was a motorcycle designer. Turner died in 1973 and spent his career as a designer and general manager for Triumph. He eventually became the chief executive for the BSA Group (BSA, Ariel, Triumph, Daimler and Carbodies).
Located in Barcelona is Fuel Motorcycles.
They seem to focus exclusively on building custom BMWs – R100s and R80s. Their work is very clean. They aren’t creating motorcycles that look like sharks, but they are building some really impressive trials, trackers and scramblers.
BMW 69S Voltron
Located in Slovenia is ER Motorcycles.
From what I’ve seen, their custom BMWs are filthy.
They don’t have a website. Well, they have this WordPress, but there’s just one “Hello World!” post from July 2013. You can keep up-to-date with ER Motorcycles on their Facebook page.
Located in France, Comete-Motocycles are turning out some slick Harley bobbers.
That seems like their niche – Harley bobbers.
They also sell custom kits for Sportsters.
Dime City Cycles is definitely my go-to place for parts, but they also have a good-sized collection of riding gear too.
They have helmets, gloves, goggles, jackets, boots, and if you like riding with a backpack, they have those too. I prefer a tail bag over a back pack for long trips, and Dime City Cycles does have one in their inventory.
If you’re in the market for $250 jeans that will save you from road rash when you go into that controlled skid and slide, Deth Killers makes that.
It’s not uncommon to spend $250 on regular jeans, so getting a pair of jeans that can prevent leaving flesh on the road, sounds like a good deal to me.
Check out their asphalt-resistant denim.
You can shop online, or check out their store in New York.
Headquartered in San Francisco is Chrome Industries. While not really a motorcycle gear business — they’re focused mostly on cyclists — the products definitely fit with the motorcycle vibe.
Here’s what they say about themselves, “Chrome is not about fashion. Chrome is utility and mobility. We make simple, functional gear built with military grade materials and bike specific fit and features that work on the bike and in the bar.”
For motorcyclists, Chrome does have a new product line called Chrome Motor.
West America is a blog detailing motorcycle travels, adventures, builds and busts from two guys in Portland, Oregon.
One of the dudes – I wasn’t able to find his actual name, but I didn’t try that hard either – owns Crow Metal Co. The other guy, Jordan Hufnagel, runs Hufnagel Cycles.
Here’s how they describe the West America web experience they’re trying to create.
It's about a belief that it will always work out. It's popping wheelies and getting rad, breaking that back tire loose and jumping off cliffs. It's about working your ass off for something, or to do something right. Family, where ever you find it. Overcoming fears and discovering new ones. It's about being nice, stoking out other people, and high fives. It's about letting yourself constantly evolve cause you know that you'd have to be an asshole not to. It's about being rad, and having that full chested feeling of a swollen heart everyday.
Located in the UK, John Eldridge’s CMBL
builds custom bikes and surfboards.
At least according to CMBL’s website, Eldridge sounds pretty intense.
John strips, modifies and builds the motorcycles, undertaking nearly all stages of the build and outsourcing elements of the build more suited to specialists (bodywork fabrication, stainless exhaust systems, engine rebuilds, milling, cnc machining, paintwork etc). You’ll also find John shaping a variety of the mid-length surfboards, choosing to specialise in one area of shaping and refine his shaping skills. It doesn’t stop there. You’ll find John behind the helm of everything else (packing tee’s, shooting video, editing films, shooting photographs, building this website, sweeping the floor, making coffee) and all of this aside his successful roadside cafe Strong Adolfos which he operates with his wife Mathilda. www.strongadolfos.com
CMBL’s builds look great. The Zedcat catches my eye. It’s a really clean build and I love the paint.
I also have to say that when it comes to a website, CMBL’s website, which is also built by Eldridge, is far and away better than more than 90 percent of all other builder websites. Maybe most builders don’t care, but Eldridge clearly does and it shows.
1966 Triumph TT Special
Held each year in Portland, Oregon is The One Moto Show. It’s for the builders.
Moto Cambodge Cambodia
Located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is Moto Cambodge building sick custom bikes.
This shop looks likes it’s owned by non-Cambodians with the work done by Cambodians? I’m not sure, but the work looks clean and professional.
Moto Cambodge Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Located in Los Angeles is Hazan Motorworks. They’re turning out some really beautiful, and undoubtedly expensive, custom bikes.
I really like their take on what’s possible with the Yamaha XS650.
Located in Amsterdam is Numbnut Motorcycles. They build custom cafes, brats and other motorcycle goodness.
They do need a real website. It’s hard to see their work mixed in with all of the photos in their Facebook photo gallery.
Need a website? Contact me.
Blitz Motorcycles Paris
Located in Paris is Blitz Motorcycles
Yamaha TW 125
Tin Can Customs “Special Alloy”
Located in my favorite city, Amsterdam, is Tin Can Customs
. I don’t know anything about this shop other than that I like their style.
Looking at Tin Can Customs Instagram feed, it looks like they do more than just send Benjie’s Custom Racers a check for $4,000. Bolt on the parts. And call it a day.
Whoever is running this shop is a scrapper. They’re digging for old parts, modifying them and making them new and relevant again. I love it.
Located some where in Italy is Sartorie Meccaniche
. I really dig the bikes this crew is turning out.
Their style isn’t flashy. For instance, they might take a CX500, tweak on it for awhile until it’s relevant again. That’s my kind of custom bike builder. Take an old bike and mold into a fresh look.
Keanu Reeves KRGT-1
Keanu Reeves has gone from starring in the 1989 smash hit “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” to building motorcycles.
In “The Matrix” his blank stare and expressionless “style” worked out for his character Neo, but other than that, Reeves has had a career of mediocre roles.
But now he’s building motorcycles. And it’s not just any motorcycle. This one costs about $78,000.
The KRGT-1 is a Gard Hollinger creation. I doubt Reeves had much say in the bike’s design or creation, other than perhaps the name. Hollinger didn’t go with anything like Il Pazzo, Poco Grasso or Tatsio this time, but this also certainly isn’t a chopper.
I suppose KRGT stands for Keanu Reeves Gard Hollinger … um wait, is it just Keanu Reeves GT?
Either way, Hollinger’s bike is very futuristic, so maybe Reeves had more influence than I realize. It looks like it goes fast? I don’t know, it looks very different than other bikes on the road and it costs less than $80,000.
I guess I’m often not very impressed with millionaires building really “nice” bikes. Yep, Keanu built a cool looking bike with that huge pile of cash. And other people with huge piles of cash will get one too.
Check out the KRGT-1 at Arch Motorcycle Company
Roland Sands Design
Located in Los Alamitos, California, Roland Sands Design
is one of the top custom bike builders in the business. Since 2005, Roland Sands Design have been melding sport bikes with choppers and have been instrumental in popularizing high performance custom bikes to the masses.
If you’re into badass Ducati’s and you live in Australia, check out Shed-X
I don’t know if Tom has a website, I doubt it, but check out this video for a glimpse into a true custom bike artist.
Yamaha XS650 Street Tracker
Located in Flower Mound, Texas, MW Performance
builds custom street trackers and cafe racers.
Pictured here is Yamaha XS650 street tracker.
Jamesville Motorcycles is located in Copenhagen and specializes in building and restoring vintage Harley’s from the ’30s to the ’80s.
Return of the Cafe Racers does a really good job of highlighting some of the most badass cafe racers being built. The writing is solid and their selection of bikes is right on the mark.
Return of the Cafe Racers
1974 Honda CB550
Located in Vienna, Virginia, MotoHangar
is building some impressive bikes.
The most recent custom motorcycles posted on the website is a 1974 Honda CB550. I love it. It’s a beautiful bike.
Like many motorcycle publications, they spend a lot of time writing about cruisers.
Quick Throttle covers California, Northwest, Midwest and Southwest and focuses mostly on Harleys and doesn’t cover the Northeast for some reason.
Since 1974, Rider Magazine has been writing about motorcycles.
Dime City Cycles is a company that gets a pretty big chunk of my motorcycle budget when I need parts. They often have exactly what I need for the right price. Plus, the folks that work there are cool and super helpful when trying to figure out what I need for my bike.
They build dope bikes too.
Dime City Cycles
Located in Brooklyn, Keino Sasaki, the owner of Keino Cycles, puts out some really beautiful bikes.
When looking at builders, there are some that just chop up the fenders or remove them, throw on some new handlebars, remove the air box and toss in some new gauges and boom it’s a custom bike.
Not Keino, this guy is truly an artist. Check out some of his work here.
And he’s no bike snob either, he works on Harley’s, Triumphs, Hondas, Yamaha, and whatever. What he designs is truly unique and coherent.
Keino Cycles New York
Twinline is a custom bike builder located in Seattle, Washington. You can check out their builds here.
Honda CB400T Custom
Los Angeles is home to Kott Motorcycles. Kott Motorcycles specializes in 1970s Honda CBs.
Judging by their builds page, they’re cranking out some choice rides.
Kott Build Red Pearl
Located in Harrisville, New Hampshire is Walt Siegl Motorcycles.
If you have a ton of money laying around doing nothing but collecting dust, you should check out what Walt Siegl Motorcycles is up to. They are building some beautiful bikes that are way out of my price range.
Walt Siegl Motorcycles
Located in Essex Junction, Vermont, Classic Bike Experience specializes in vintage European bikes.
According to their website, 75 percent of their business is in Nortons and the rest largely Triumphs and BSAs.
Classic Bike Experience
the Bike Shed: They write about motorcycles. A site I frequent.
the Bike Shed Screenshot
Bike EXIF: I go here almost daily to see which bike they are writing about.
Bike EXIF Screenshot
http://www.pipeburn.com: Good site to checkout custom bikes. It is not updated as frequently as Bike EXIF.