Speed Read: The biggest hits (and misses) from EICMA 2022

If you’d like a snapshot of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the motorcycle industry, this year’s EICMA trade show is it. It’s clear that budgets have shrunk over the past two years, and it’s even clearer that major OEMs have found more cost-effective ways to release motorcycles to the public, than to splash out on floor space at a trade show.

Notable players like BMW and Triumph opted to reveal their 2023 updates in the weeks leading up to EICMA, rather than waiting for the show itself. And many of the brands that did pitch up, did so with mildly updated versions of current bikes.

Major revelations were few and far between, but we did manage to pick out a handful of highlights (and lowlights) for your reading pleasure. If we missed anything, feel free to holler at us in the comments.

Royal Enfield Super Meteor Royal Enfield’s modern 650 twins are lauded for how easy they are to ride, how delightfully minimalistic they are, and how their classic design lends itself to customization. But despite the platform’s versatility, it only comes in two flavors: the Interceptor roadster, and the Continental GT café racer. Until now, that is.

The new Royal Enfield Super Meteor cruiser adds a third style to the mix. It’s powered by the same 648 cc engine as its siblings, but it’s closer to the smaller Royal Enfield Meteor, design-wise (hence the name).

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Speed Read: The biggest hits (and misses) from EICMA 2022
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/motorcycle-news-eicma-2022
Published Date: Sun, 13 Nov 2022 17:01:14 +0000

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Neon ADV: North East Custom’s Honda NX650 Dominator

If you’re looking for an adventure bike to customize, the Honda NX650 Dominator makes for a compelling argument. It will go anywhere, do anything and last forever, without breaking the bank. Its only downside is its looks—which is why you won’t feel guilty tearing into it.

Brothers Diego and Riki Coppiello are out to make the world a more beautiful place, one custom Dominator at a time. They run North East Custom in northern Italy and are nuts about classic enduro and rally racing. So although they build a wide variety of custom styles, they especially relish working on adventure bikes.

The brothers were approached by a couple of friends that wanted to commission a custom build together. Taking inspiration from retro rally raid machines, North East Custom hauled the Dominator into the shop and got going.

“The base was a 1994 Honda NX650 Dominator—the ugly one,” Diego tells us. “So we changed the tank with a 1989 model, and built a new fairing.”

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Neon ADV: North East Custom’s Honda NX650 Dominator
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/honda-dominator-adventure-bike
Published Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2022 17:01:56 +0000

Twinshock Twins: Two Yamaha flat trackers built to run

Alex Winkler wears many hats. By day he’s an industrial mechanic—but by night, he puts those skills to work in his home garage, restoring and rebuilding vintage bikes. When the weekend rolls around, Alex wheels his creations out of the garage and goes racing.

While we can all appreciate a no-expense-spared showroom build, there’s something special about home-made customs that are built to be ridden. Alex lives and breathes this philosophy. Both of the bikes you see here—a 1978 Yamaha SR500 and a 1980 Yamaha XS650—also happen to be his personal flat track racers.

Based in Stuttgart, Germany, Alex has been building his own bikes for the last 10 years as Twinshock Motorcycles. The SR500 was actually one of the first motorcycles he ever put a wrench to. He originally picked the bike up for around $900 on eBay, with a view to building a café racer out of it.

It was in rough shape and barely running, so Alex started by rebuilding the engine, bumping the displacement up to 620 cc in the process.

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By: Kurt Spurlock
Title: Twinshock Twins: Two Yamaha flat trackers built to run
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/vintage-yamaha-flat-trackers
Published Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2022 17:01:45 +0000

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Roughchild’s BMW R75/5 is a love letter to the airhead

Calling Robert Sabel a purist would be missing the point. His Los Angeles-based shop, Roughchild Motorcycles, works exclusively on BMWs, without ever straying too far from their original looks. But their builds are more than just restoration jobs; they might look vintage on the surface, but they’re loaded with stealthy modern upgrades.

“We sympathetically combine the latest technology with classic aesthetics,” explains Robert. Now Roughchild has pushed that philosophy to the limit, by taking their signature RSWB (Reisesport Short Wheel Base) design and kitting it with every upgrade in their arsenal. The build combines a 1970 BMW R75/5 chassis with a 1993 BMW R100R engine, and it’s an absolute stunner.

“This bike is a love letter to the airhead,” says Robert. “Yes, it’s custom, but done in such a way that it honors the original design in a refined manner. We’re not looking for extreme, we’re aiming for extremely refined, with a focus on safety, compliance and reliability.”

“In this instance, we’ve taken the earliest frame and put the latest engine in it, a cool 23 years apart. Then incorporated top of the line suspension and brake components to make the extra power usable all of the time. Modern electronics on an entirely rebuilt and upgraded drivetrain optimize the experience.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Roughchild’s BMW R75/5 is a love letter to the airhead
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-bmw-r75-roughchild
Published Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2022 17:10:13 +0000

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Hot Pursuit: A replica of the Mad Max Kawasaki KZ1000

The thought of a Mad Max-inspired motorcycle typically conjures up a very distinct image. But not every vehicle in George Miller’s dystopian film series was a scraggy death trap, covered in scavenged materials and rust. Cast your mind back to the very first Mad Max flick, and MFP officer Jim ‘Goose’ Rains’ 1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 highway patrol bike.

Goose’s bike was originally custom-built by La Parisienne in Melbourne specifically for the movie, with inspiration taken from the Bol D’Or-style endurance racers of the time. Highlights included a high front fairing, a boxy tail section, alloy wheels, and a slick silver and blue paint scheme that was a far cry from the gritty aesthetic of later Mad Max sequels.

This faithful replica is the work of Tiago Gonçalves and Luis Costa at Unik Edition in Lisbon, Portugal. And the idea to build it actually started as a joke.

“We had a 1981 Kawasaki KZ1000 in the shop,” says Tiago, “and a passing friend asked if we knew that this bike was the same model from the 1979 movie, Mad Max. Of course we knew, and that was one of the reasons why we liked the bike so much. He jokingly suggested that it would be interesting to build a replica of the bike.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Hot Pursuit: A replica of the Mad Max Kawasaki KZ1000
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/kawasaki-kz1000-mad-max
Published Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2022 17:01:00 +0000

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Speed Read, November 20, 2022

An adorable little Honda ST90 holds its ground against four liter-plus bikes this week. We’re looking at an Indian Scout Rogue from HardNine Choppers, a 1,190 cc Buell dirt bike, the limited edition Ariel Ace Black, and a stunning Kawasaki from Japan.

Indian Scout Rogue by HardNine Choppers The King of the Baggers race series is an absolute blast to watch. With full-fat factory baggers hopped-up and hurled around a race track, MotoGP style, it’s easy to see why.

Indian Motorcycles are into the series—and even though this custom Indian Scout Rogue isn’t actually a bagger, it is inspired by their race entry. The Rogue is the cut-down, bobbed version of Indian’s popular Scout model, and the last bike you’d associate with racing… but here we are.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Speed Read, November 20, 2022
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/motorcycle-news-november-20-2022
Published Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2022 17:01:46 +0000

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Lean and Green: A slick Suzuki GS500 from Slovakia

Earth Motorcycles only popped up on our radar within the last two years, but the Slovakian shop has already made their presence known. With just a handful of builds to their name so far, they’ve managed to establish a strong signature style. Their vibe is low-key chic, with bikes that are restrained, slick and perfectly proportioned.

It’s a style that this vintage Suzuki GS500E wears extremely well. First released in 1979, the GS500E was the younger sibling of the more commonly known GS550. Built specifically for countries where regulations favored sub-500 cc motorcycles, it used a re-sleeved version of the GS550’s four-cylinder power plant.

This particular GS500E is a 1979 model, and was well and truly showing its age when its owner rolled it into Earth Motorcycles’ workshop. “The bike was a wreck, unused for a years,” says Aleš Tomis, who runs the shop alongside Vladimir Dinga. (Aleš is the resident wrench, while Vlad takes care of the company’s design and marketing.)

The customer originally wanted something flat tracker-esque, but was ultimately happy for Aleš and Vlad to take the project in any direction they wanted to. With an open brief, they envisioned a stripped-down daily runner with the compact proportions of a street tracker, but a more traditional aesthetic.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Lean and Green: A slick Suzuki GS500 from Slovakia
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-suzuki-gs500
Published Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2022 17:01:17 +0000

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Precious gem: A shimmering Triumph Bonneville by Tamarit

The value of a precious stone is rarely negotiable. Diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are priced based on cut, clarity, color, and carat weight. But this Triumph, dubbed ‘Emerald,’ is something different altogether, with a value waiting to be defined at the Bonhams auction house in Paris.

Tamarit Motorcycles is a custom-bike-making powerhouse in Alacante, Spain, focusing exclusively on Triumph’s air- and oil-cooled Bonneville platform. Emerald is the 129th build to roll out of the shop since it was founded in 2019, and the 13th to bless the pages of Bike EXIF.

Many of Tamarit’s builds are approachable bikes—comparatively affordable machines with tasteful and practical mods. Many of the parts used on them are available to customers, and the general shapes are attainable. Emerald, however, joins previous Tamarit builds ‘Jade’ and ‘Circe’ in an elite group, referred to as the ‘Jewel Collection.’

These motorcycles are built to the highest standards. They are rolling and functional sculptures with more creativity, talent, and time invested than any spec sheet or quick wrap-up could encompass.

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By: Morgan Gales
Title: Precious gem: A shimmering Triumph Bonneville by Tamarit
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/triumph-bonneville-bobber-tamarit
Published Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2023 17:01:14 +0000

Stealthy style: Vagabund’s custom KTM Freeride EX-C

Modern dirt bikes are the epitome of form following function. Narrow fuel tanks are easier to grip with your knees, flat seats enable you to shift your weight around, and plastic bodywork can be replaced after a crash. It’s why they’re so formulaic in their design.

Vagabund Moto are here to inject some style into the genre. Founded by Paul Brauchart and Philipp Rabl, the Austrian outfit is part of a growing breed of custom shops that blur the lines between motorcycles, design and fashion. Their builds are modern and edgy, and are built using the latest manufacturing techniques.

If this svelte KTM leaves you with a sense of déjà vu, it’s because it closely resembles another KTM that Vagabund built earlier this year. But there’s one major difference—this one’s based on the electric-powered KTM Freeride E-XC.

“We started this project with the general idea of creating a super agile urban commuter,” says Paul, “while still keeping the option to go for some after-work fun in the woods. We were really happy with the outcome of our previous KTM ‘Safari 350’ build, and the general quality of KTM. Plus it’s an Austrian brand, and we like the idea of reinterpreting a ‘Ready to Race’ bike to our idea of using it.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Stealthy style: Vagabund’s custom KTM Freeride EX-C
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/ktm-freeride-ex-c-vagabund
Published Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2022 17:12:47 +0000

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City surfer: A Honda CB250 covered in street art

The results are always special when a professional custom builder sets out to create a bike for themselves. With no client brief on the table, it’s all about their own personality and proclivities. But it’s hard to pin Christian Reier’s tastes down—his latest build is a huge departure from his last, despite the fact that they were both personal projects.

Nicknamed the ‘City Surfer,’ this particular project started out as a 1969 Honda CB250K. Working from the Reier Motors workshop in the picturesque outskirts of Lamprechtshausen, Austria, Christian transformed the humble twin into a daily runner that’s part baby bagger, and part rolling art canvas.

Christian started by fine-tuning the CB250K’s stance, by way of lowering the suspension at both ends. There are still a few inches of travel, but not much more, which speaks volumes about Austria’s road maintenance regime.

Next, the subframe was cut down to make it as short as possible. Christian hammered out a seat unit from 0.75 mm thick sheet metal, and had the saddle trimmed in brown leather. Held in place by three press studs on the back, the saddle hinges forward to reveal a stash spot under the rear hump.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: City surfer: A Honda CB250 covered in street art
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/honda-cb250-reier-motors
Published Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2022 17:01:12 +0000

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Lo-fi boxer: A carbureted BMW R18 from Kingston Custom

We live in a world where you can stream entire discographies of music straight to your phone, yet vinyl sales are booming. Technology might be advancing at a relentless pace, but we’re still drawn to analog things—either for their charm, or for the sake of our own nostalgia.

In this context, neo-retro motorcycles are something of an anomaly. They look vintage, but they’re loaded with features that weren’t around back then—like catalytic convertors and electronic rider aids. This BMW R18 from Kingston Custom shatters that mold.

On the surface, it looks like a gentle, albeit tasteful, visual reworking of BMW’s monster cruiser. But the real genius here, is what you can’t see—or, more accurately, what isn’t there. This R18 runs without fuel injection, traction control, electronic rider modes or ABS.

Removing all of that from a modern motorcycle is arguably far harder than changing its looks. So why did the man behind Kingston Custom, Dirk Oehlerking, even bother? Simple: he was asked to.

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Lo-fi boxer: A carbureted BMW R18 from Kingston Custom
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/bmw-r18-bobber
Published Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2022 17:01:20 +0000

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Speed Read, November 27, 2022

We continue in our quest to bring you the most diverse Speed Read selections we can. This week includes a Honda Monkey inspired by a train, a Suzuki Freewind scrambler and a rocket-powered Harley. Staying with the Motor Co., we finish things off with sad news about the Evo Sportster.

Honda Monkey 125 by MonQey King We love seeing how creative custom builders can get with the Honda Monkey. The modern-day version of the diminutive city bike is based on the Honda Grom, and is cheap, good looking and approachable. It’s no wonder it’s so popular.

Asia is a big market for the Honda Monkey, and the workshops over there do a cracking job at customizing them. This Monkey was built by Chayakrit Kaewwongwan, A.K.A. Winny Boy, from Thailand. He runs Advance Automotive Accessories, MonQey King and a few other aftermarket motorcycle parts stores.

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Speed Read, November 27, 2022
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/motorcycle-news-november-27-2022
Published Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2022 17:01:40 +0000

K is for Kit: A BMW K100 café racer from Munich’s finest

From the minute it hit the custom scene, the BMW K100 has been an underdog. With a brick-like motor, overly angled bodywork and a kinked subframe, it’s a far less appealing option than the more handsome R-series boxer. But that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a surprisingly popular choice.

The key lies in how you customize the K100. If your strategy is to shoehorn it into a traditional build style, you’re destined for heartbreak. But if you find a way to harness the K100’s quirkiness rather than fight it, the results can be pretty damn spectacular.

That’s the approach that Motoism and Impuls have taken with this ultra-sharp 1983-model BMW K100 café racer. The two Munich-based outfits share a love for good design, and are well-versed in modern manufacturing techniques. With support from VOR Shoes, Kruno Trim Studio, Öhlins, ABM and Pirelli, they set out to reinterpret classic café racer concepts in a retro-futuristic style.

“This sporty fresh K100 pays tribute to the 80s to the furthest extreme,” says Motoism founder, Ben Ott. “A throwback that combines iconic features with futuristic artifacts. Illuminated wings, a pair of custom sneakers and rear light flares get you ready to put neon into overdrive.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: K is for Kit: A BMW K100 café racer from Munich’s finest
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-bmw-k100-kit
Published Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 17:01:58 +0000

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Game On: Rough Crafts builds a gaming-inspired Street Bob

The Harley-Davidson Street Bob is one of the most stripped-down big cruisers that The Motor Co. sells. With trimmed bodywork, little to no passenger accommodations and the tiniest speedo we’ve ever seen on a factory bike, there’s very little to remove if you’re customizing one. Which is exactly why Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts in Taiwan loves working with it.

For his latest project, Winston took a stock 2020-model Street Bob, and turned it into a sci-fi-infused custom that looks like it rolled straight out of a video game. This bold aesthetic has a lot to do with his client; the bike was built for Cooler Master, a major manufacturer of computer cases and peripherals.

They’ve been in business for 30 years, and are huge in the gaming community. Wanting a rolling showpiece to commemorate this milestone, they turned to Rough Crafts.

“For their 30th anniversary, Cooler Master asked me to build a bike and matching computer case to celebrate,” Winston tells us. “I set out to combine signature elements of both worlds—the brand’s signature purple lighting, and the sharp edges and boxy shapes that are found on most Cooler Master cases. Plus Rough Crafts’ signature fin details, with lots of forged carbon fiber.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Game On: Rough Crafts builds a gaming-inspired Street Bob
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/harley-street-bob-rough-crafts
Published Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2022 17:02:18 +0000

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Cool as ice: A GSX-R750 Slingshot from the Netherlands

A boxed aluminum frame, round headlights, three-spoke wheels and and bold graphics; nothing epitomizes the dawn of the 90s like the 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750. The 115 hp Slingshot was the first GSX-R with upside down forks, and the last one to put its twin lights on full display. It demands attention, even today—so if you’re going to customize one, you’d better make it unmissable.

That’s Michel Szozda’s theory, at least. He customizes motorcycles as Cool Kid Customs, working out of a space that he shares with other creative friends in Haarlem, near Amsterdam. His style is anything but conventional, and his bikes are typically wrapped in eye-popping liveries.

This project ended up in the Cool Kid workshop almost by accident. Michel’s client had booked in his Yamaha Ténéré for a makeover, and had picked up the GSX-R to act as a daily runner while the Yamaha was being worked on. But once Michel saw the Suzuki, he suggested that it’d be a better option for a custom build.

The client agreed, and the ‘Rad Racer’ project was underway. But Michel had more work ahead of him than he’d expected. “The Suzuki looked clean when he came to drop the bike off,” he tells us, “but on further inspection, it had damage on almost every part.”

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By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Cool as ice: A GSX-R750 Slingshot from the Netherlands
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/custom-gsx-r750-slingshot
Published Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2023 17:01:58 +0000

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