After watching so many of its customers turn standard Scouts into bobbers, Indian as had a go on its own.
James Alkins wanted a cafe racer, but didn’t have the budget to buy a ready-built bike. Instead, he set out to shed-build his own budget bike. we think you’ll agree there’s nothing budget about the finished machine
Bonneville blasters. Glitter-flake bobbers. Old skool choppers. The Baron is the man when it comes to building hot-rod Triumphs…
Macco Motors design philosophy has always focussed on vintage style using modern techniques, creating a unqiue blend of retro aesthetics and power…
Well-known for his eclectic mix of styles, Anthony Partridge from Goblin Works Garage went at this custom build with the energy that defines his work. He stripped back the Yamaha MT-10 to its core then set about designing and building a one-off custom composite body.
Ironwood Custom Motorcycles went low, fast and mean with their XSR700, adding an MT-10 USD front-end to lower the front. They got the bigger forks to work by using the MT-10’s lower yoke and their own handmade aluminum top clamp.
German custom builder Diamond Atelier decided to go as wild as possible when they built their Yamaha XSR900 in association with TW Steel. The XSR900 was stripped until just the frame and engine were left standing, then DA set to work on the design, taking inspiration from Japanese custom car builders…
Two lifelong friends in Spain are churning out bikes the whole world wants. We find out why 90 percent of Macco's works is exported.
K/K was set up by James, Ben Claasen and Nico Sclater but Ben and Nico have moved on. James' workshop in Hackney is full of bikes and half-built projects but calling it a business might be a stretch as there don't seem to be any customers.
Death Machines of London have brought life to the remains of a 2007 Triumph Thruxton 900i and turned it into something truly exquisite
It started in a garden shed and has evolved into one of the biggest custom bike shops in Britain. This is the extraordinary story of Paul Beamish’s Krazy Horse
Paul's staff practice what they preach. Here are some of their incredible bikes...
f i v e s t a r w a r r s
Warr’s Harleys take Chelsea Design Week by storm
To celebrate Chelsea Design Week, Warr’s Kings Road Customs were invited to the five-star Chelsea Harbour Hotel, displaying a selection of their multi-award winning custom Harleys. The bikes added another level of glamour to a sixday luxury interiors event at the London Design Festival, showcasing over 120 exhibitors and attracting designers and architects from across the globe. Built sneaks in through the back door to have a look…
Founded in 1924, Warr’s is the oldest Harley-Davidson dealership in Europe and is home to King’s Road Customs – an award-winning custom shop known worldwide for building some of the finest, bespoke Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The exclusive display at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel consisted of two bikes in the lobby and more machines in the hotel’s shop.
The display also featured a selection of period Harley-Davidson advertising posters from the 1970s and custom painted fuel tanks. The motorcycles on display – all customer bikes and all ridden – offered a great insight into the diverse styles that Warr’s can achieve from similar base models, while retaining what company MD John Warr calls the holy trinity: “All our bikes retain the standard Harley- Davidson engines, gearbox and main frame. Without those three elements it’s no longer a Harley.” Here are the highlights:
* Rothmans Rascal Racer (right) A 2016 Roadster with upside
down forks, Ohlins shocks, Performance Machine calipers, Warr’s exhaust with Vance & Hines muffler, bespoke bodywork by Warr’s and luscious Rothmans-style race paint by Image Design Custom.
* Burning Man (left) a Softail Blackline designed to capture the scene of the Nevada-based Burning Man Festival and featuring a 1690cc Twin Cam motor and six speed box, Softail shocks with Ohlins springs, Warr’s yokes, Ohlins WSB-spec factory forks, Brembo GP4 calipers, 18in RSD Slam wheels (3.5in front, 9.5in rear).
* Tupolev Fatboy ( right) Has Softail forks, Performance Machine Paramout wheels,
RSD engine covers and Samson exhausts.
* Deuce Charging Bull (below) the epitome of a hand-built custom bike, with an amazing amount of engineering work. It’s based on a 2003 Softail and has Paughco springer forks, Performance Machine calipers and discs and bespoke bodywork by Warr’s.
‘I live in a bubble’ - Max Schaaf
Meet Max Schaaf. Painter. 4Q Conditioning Orator. Ex-pro skater. And chopper dude.
Chances are, if you’re into old skool choppers you’ll have read Max Schaaf’s 4Q Conditioning blog – an entertaining wealth of thought-provoking comment, cool custom bikes and cool music. He builds some amazing old Harley customs and does a wicked paint job.
He was at Art and Wheels so we grabbed a few words:
How come you’re here at Art and Wheels?
I know Mario [one of the three guys behind the event]. Him and his wife are happy people. He invited me last year but I had to build my bike for Born Free and said no, but also said that if he invited me early enough I could plan my trip and still do a bike for Born Free. So he invited me early and here I am. Shame you’ve not got one of your bikes here… I know. These guys are on a tight budget so it wasn’t possible.
How come you don’t do more European shows?
This is a special treat for me but some of these kids do it [attend custom shows in a pro capacity] all the time. But I couldn’t do that. I’m not into commercialism. I’ve got an old truck, old van, old bikes and live in an old house. It’s what I like and I’m happy. But you do Born Free each year which is now massive… When Born Free started it was in a parking lot. Then Vans and Harley got to be a part of it and now it’s sponsored by Red Bull and is this huge thing with hundreds of vendors each paying hundreds of dollars to buy space. The organisers need that money to keep it going [to pay for all the extra security and regulations etc].
Me going there?
It’s a contradiction, I know. I get to meet a lot people. But I’m against corporations taking over. The Brooklyn Show is good. Like this, only a little bit bigger. And the vendors are the patrons of the show. So you were a pro skater at one point? I got into bikes early. As a kid I had a lawnmower-engined bike. It’s not that different to a Harley-Davidson – an engine, a frame and two wheels [laughs]. Skateboarding took over and I did Europe something like 30 times. People don’t know that and mark me down as a rookie in Europe. I’ve done skate contests in Marseille, Lussanne, London etc. I see a lot of bikers desperately trying to follow the road trip lifestyle gig but skaters were really nomadic – and still are. I know San Francisco skaters now who just cruise around, skating, partying, traveling. There’s a lot of parallels with the chopper guys.
What did skating give you?
I enjoy the independence I have now that skating gave me. I learned how to travel. How to be around people. You have to find the right places to drink and the right places to eat and you only do that by interacting with people. When did you make the transition to motorcycles?
In 1998. Sixteen years ago I bought a Shovel frame and started to build a bike. It took me two years to get it done and I bought everything bit by bit from a grizzly old biker who used to do a kind of yard sale each month. I’d just buy bits off him. I got to the point where I couldn’t understand how to assemble the clutch on my generator Shovel motor – so I bought a second bike. This time it was a complete Panhead, which I paid $5000 for. But it was in one piece! I took that apart completely, figured out how it all worked then re-assembled it. Then I went back to my generator Shovel and was able to finish that.
But why did you get into bikes?
Because I’m a man [laughs]. We have to do danger and have fun right? And I loved the noise. The thing that got me into skating was hearing a dude riding the street on a board. It was the sound that attracted me first. I lived in Oakland which has a rich history of outlaws. So I heard the noise of unsilenced Harleys every day and was curious about those bikes.
What is it about custom bikes for you?
Riding a chopper is an expression. It’s yours. It’s your way of saying it’s mine – my noise, my purple paint. You stand out. And if you’re on an old Panhead or Knuckle that you’ve built there’s a real sense of pride in riding. And that you’ve built it.
You seem like an old skool, hands-on kind of guy. What motivated you to sit at the computer and start the 4Q Conditioning blog?
4Q started because I wanted to offer an alternative to the tough guy thing. I’d like to think my generation helped take the custom motorcycle scene back to that artistic side – it’s gone beatnik and bohemian again. We’re back to simplicity. I love the genuine thank yous from guys I might have influenced. For me, riding a chopper is fun. For some it seems to have become an accessory.
You ride bad-ass bikes but don’t seem like a bad-ass…
I ride a chopper and I never have mirrors or brake lights, not because I’m some kind of bad-ass but because you’re invisible anyway. I’m a man. Motorcycles are a danger thing. But they’re also cool. To me, a chopper offers an opportunity to change parts. It’s fun doing that but it’s also fun to scour the swap meets. It’s all part of it. Is everything motorcycles in your life? No, I’m not all about motorcycles. I live in a bubble. Most days it’s just me, my girlfriend and my dog. My girl is my favourite critic. I live in my shop – it’s an old corner store, like an old grocer’s shop from back in the 1930s. I took the market out of it and turned it into my workshop and live in the rest of it. I surf in the mornings now. It’s a new hobby I’ve had for about 14 months. And I still skateboard when my body lets me.
Are you interested in trackers or baggers?
[The question receives a wry grin and then a screwed up face.] I’m not for switching styles. I stay in the same box. I like the same box. I’ve collected lots of parts so why not use them? And why not stay with this 1960s style? It can be the same but with subtle differences. I’m not saying it’s good [compared to other bikes] but it’s a formula I like. I like that creative side of things. Tanks, bars, controls and paint are really the only things I can change. I don’t change frames – I like Harley frames. My Born Free bike for this year is a bit shorter than normal but only three per cent of people will notice anyway.
As boss of one of America’s most revered custom shops Chris Richardson can pick and choose his jobs. He explains why he spiced up his 1947 Harley for Sailor Jerry at Art and Wheels.