Honda XR650L by Digital Directiv

The Honda XR650L is one of those big, bulletproof dual sport bikes that never seem to change. It’s tough and simple to fix, just like its evergreen competitors—the Suzuki DR650 and the Kawasaki KLR650. With a 21-inch front wheel and a 37-inch seat height, the XR650L is not exactly custom-friendly. So this retro-inspired revamp from

Turning the BMW R100 RS into a tracker

Karles Vives builds motorcycles with a purpose. When he’s not beavering away in his Barcelona workshop, he’s organizing Scram Africa, an exhilarating blast through the desert for owners of classic and custom bikes. Karles’ own BMW builds are designed to handle the rough stuff, but this one is a little different. It’s a tracker rather

BMW R Nine T Custom Project

For six months, four of Japan’s top custom workshops have been tearing down and rebuilding BMW’s R nineT roadster. The names will be familiar to most readers—Shiro Nakajima, Brat Style, Hidemo and Cherry’s Company—but until now, the R nineT Custom Project bikes have been hidden behind closed doors. The results are being revealed this very

Renard Speed Shop's Ducati cafe racer

The custom world is dominated by studiously cool and monochrome bikes, so this bright and breezy little Ducati cafe racer is a welcome splash of color. It’s the work of the Estonian boutique manufacturer Renard—makers of the mighty Grand Tourer sport cruiser. Renard’s Andres Uibomae also operates a custom workshop from a barn in Southern

Buell X1 by Sartorie Meccaniche

I’ve always loved Buell’s streetfighter models for their combative stance and no-nonsense ergonomics. In stock form they’re bare-bones, purpose built machines—devoid of any superfluous add-ons and powered by 1203cc of Milwaukee muscle. They’re an acquired taste though, and some—like the X1 Lightning—are beginning to look a little dated. Trust the Italians to inject a little

Maria's colorful Triumph Bonneville custom

Despite the bevy of modern classics hitting the market lately, the Triumph Bonneville can still hold its own. Maybe a few technical improvements wouldn’t go amiss, but that’s where folks like Maria Motorcycles come in. Luis Correia and his crew have turned wrenches on several Bonnevilles already, and like this one, most have vibrant color

50 Not Out: Cafe Racer Dreams' BMW R69S

Cafe Racer Dreams is one of the most prolific outfits on the custom motorcycle circuit. An incredible fifty builds have already rolled out the Spanish workshop’s doors—each one as stylish as the next. For CRD #50, Pedro García and Efraon Triana pulled out all the stops. It’s a stunning resto-mod based on a 1969 BMW

What if Ducati made a new Hailwood replica?

The hype around the launch of the new Ducati Scrambler has got us thinking about other ways to mine the rich history of the Italian marque. Some 35 years ago, Ducati’s official Mike Hailwood replica was a smash hit—so what would an updated version look like today? We’re betting it’d be close to this sleek

Brougham: A Cadillac-inspired Softail

In the Hollywood of the late 1950s, if your name was Clark or Frank and you wanted to make a splash, you bought a Cadillac Eldorado. And not just any Eldorado: it had to be the exclusive, hand-built Brougham. From the quad headlights to the outrageous tail fins, the Brougham just oozed style—and wealth, since

A KTM we'd ride on any Sunday

Call me old-fashioned, but I reckon dirt bikes have lost the plot in the styling stakes: give me an Elsinore over a CRF any day. And we could devote acres of pixels to the beautiful machines coming out of Spain in the 60s and 70s. So wouldn?? it be great if you could match the

Dirty Geisha: Maria's Yamaha XT600

Turning old dualies into retro customs is all the rage lately. We’re not complaining—done right, the results are sharp looking, easy-going bikes. The process comes with challenges: Most thumpers built in the ’80s and ’90s celebrated function over form. They’re delightfully utilitarian, but that means builders have to contend with clumsy bodywork and awkward lines.

Yamaha SR500 by Bunker of Istanbul

If you’ve been to Istanbul, you’ll know that it’s riot of color. The bazaars and basilicas are an assault on the retinas, in the best possible way. So it’s surprising to discover that this cool and understated Yamaha SR500 comes from the city formerly known as Constantinople. It’s the work of brothers Mert and Can

Yamaha SR500 by ExesoR Motorcycles

Venturing into the left field is risky business for any builder. Go too far, and you could end up with a garish and impractical machine. But ride the line between quirky and classy just right, and you’ll have a hit on your hands. Christian Schwarzenlander’s Yamaha SR500-based “ExesoR MACHINE” strikes that balance beautifully. Operating out

Husqvarna dirt bike by Velomacchi

Kevin Murray is a petrolhead with a very interesting day job: he runs a company designing high performance gear for clients like The North Face, Nike, Mammut and Navy SEAL teams. He’s now set up shop with his own brand, Velomacchi, producing “Everyday Carry for the serious motorcyclist.” In the works are backpacks, tool rolls,