Tag Archives: US

Suzuki T500 racer

Suzuki’s T500 was a rare beast: a large-capacity two-stroke road bike that sold in big numbers in the US. And it’s not hard to see why. For a late 60s motorcycle, it was light, fast, and blessed with agile handling. And more reliable than most four-stroke twins. I’ve always thought that the stock T500 was

Harley-Davidson Sprint

It’s almost impossible to quantify the proportions of a motorcycle. Sure, there are relationships between wheel sizes, fuel tank and seat unit, and of course the engine and frame. But some machines have that indefinable ‘something’, a quirk of aesthetics that catches your eye. For me, this is one of them. It’s a bike that

Matchless Rickman Metisse G50

I’ve always had a soft spot for Matchless (and AJS) motorcycles. And if I had a spare US$40,000 kicking around, I’d pop over to New Zealand and bid for this one in the Webb’s Auction of Classic Motorcycles. It’s a G50, a 500cc development of the 350cc AJS 7R, and with less than 200 examples

Ducati Hypermotard custom

Of all the bikes we’ve featured over the past couple of years, I reckon this would be one of the best for flinging down a twisty road. It’s owned by Michel Vis, who bought the Hypermotard in 2008 after its first owner low-sided it with only 300 miles on the clock. “It was declared a

Sims Motorsports Hayabusa

This is not the sort of bike you’d normally find here. But we’ve never featured a Hayabusa before, and this one is projected to do a remarkable 230 mph—or 370 kph, depending on where you live. To put that into perspective, BMW’s all-conquering S1000RR tops out at around 195 mph. This particular GSX1300R was built

Dark and moody: Twinline's Kawasaki S1 cafe racer

The Kawasaki S1 is rarely found in the US. Which is a pity, because this air-cooled two-stroke triple is reportedly a fun ride. Sometimes known as the ‘Mach 1’, it lived up to its name—road testers managed to wring almost 100 mph out of it in the early 70s. This dark and subtle café racer

Zero Engineering Type 9

Zero Engineering has one of the best pedigrees in the custom motorcycle business. So the launch of a new model is a highly anticipated event. But don’t expect a radical restyle, or acres of plastic. Zero is the home of the Samurai Chopper, and the company has built its reputation on old-school aesthetics and impeccable

Radical Ducati 48 Sport

Radical Ducati is best known for its ultra-desirable transformations of contemporary superbikes. But the Spanish company occasionally turns its hand to vintage machinery, like this beautiful little ‘Sportiva’. It’s a 1962 Ducati 48 Sport—which was known as the Falcon in the US. And despite its diminutive capacity, this two-stroke was capable of a healthy 50

1948 Indian 648 Big Base Scout

It’s hard to believe this racebike was built sixty years ago. But it was so far ahead of its time, it was still winning races in the 70s. It’s thought that only seven factory Big Base ‘Daytona’ Scouts still exist; this particular one went under the hammer in 2008. The ‘Big Base’ Indian 648s were

Wrenchmonkees Honda CB750

Here’s an exclusive peak at the latest creation from the Copenhagen-based Wrenchmonkees. They’ve already made a name for themselves with Honda CB750 café racers, causing a stir last year when ‘Gorilla Punch’ appeared. But their latest CB750 is a budget customer project, rather than a full-on custom: the frame, wheels, fork, swingarm and tank have

Nimbus Model C

If Harley is a household name in the US, the Scandinavian equivalent is Nimbus. The Danish brand is familiar to people who have never even thrown a leg over a motorcycle; created by vacuum cleaner manufacturer Fisker & Nielsen, it became the chosen transport for the Danish army, postal service and police. The best-known Nimbus

Ritmo Sereno Rocket-R

Ritmo Sereno has just completed two new café motorcycles for a lucky client. And if there’s any remaining doubt that the Tokyo workshop is the king of the resto-mod, these BMW café racers should dispel it. They’re ‘Rocket-R’ models, which is Ritmo-speak for completely overhauled R-series bikes that have also been upgraded with modern components.

Ducati flat track racer

Every now and then, I get an email from a gentleman called Seth Dorfler, who is well known in US motorcycling circles. Dorfler presides over a seemingly inexhaustible archive of vintage motorcycle photographs, plus Ducati and Moto Guzzi memorabilia. (Much of this material was gathered from his days working for the Berliner Motor Corporation, one

Kawasaki 250TR

The vintage dirtbike influence is growing in the custom scene. Street trackers (like those from Mule Motorcycles) are getting more attention, along with iconic machines from luminaries such as Ron Wood. The vintage motocross scene is booming. And even regular café racers are sporting dirt-track Dunlop K180 rubber to get the vintage look. The mainstream