Saturday, June 2, 2012

BikeCraft on the New Generation of Custom Motorcycle Builders

Cafe Racer Dreams Ossa
If you are wondering what is happening in the world of custom bike building now, I highly recommend an informative and thoughtful article in the new, first edition BikeCraft magazine, titled "The State We're In." This lengthy piece features interviews with outstanding members of the new generation of bike builders from shops around the world. Of course the article is also embellished with a dozen great shots of their bikes. I'd recommend hustling down to your local newstand to pick up a copy for just this one article alone.

The folks at BikeCraft see that we are at the end of the era of "billet and bling," which is being replaced by a new aesthetic that favors a simple, clean look for low-cost, daily riders. What I find very cool is all the creative work that is in many cases being done with the most unlikely bikes, such as the Kawasaki WS650 or the Yamaha XS750... we're going way outside the old parameters of the world of Harley-Davidson V-twin based customs:

Wrenchmonkees Honda CB750 Cafe Racer
"Over the past five years, a new wave of custom builders has come through, swapping glitz and glamor for matte powdercoat, dark paint and slick retro graphics. Custom frames and raked-out forks are notable by their absence. These guys are rebuilding Japanese and European bikes from the '80s and '90s, and turning them into stripped-back fun machines."

We've blogged here already about some of the featured builders, such as Shaw Speed & Custom and Spirit of the Seventies, both of the UK, and Classified Moto and Falcon Motorcycles, both in the US.   

At the end of the article, author Chris Hunter conveniently gives a list of websites for all of the builders interviewed, plus a few more, under the heading, "Leaders of the Pack: New-Gen Bike Shops." For your convenience, I've included all of those links below.

Deus Kawi WS650 Streettracker
Cafe Racer Dreams, Spain
Hammarhead Industries, Philadelphia
Blitz Motorcycles, France
Classified Moto, Richmond, VA
Deus Customs, Australia, Bali, & Venice Beach, CA
Wrench Monkees, Copenhagen
Officine Rossopuro, Italy
Roland Sands Design, SoCal
Spirit of the Seventies, UK
Shaw Speed & Custom, UK
Falcon Motorcycles, SoCal

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