THE JAPANESE CUSTOM rockstars AC Sanctuary set up shop in California. Plus a bratty Honda CB1100, a $49,500 custom kit for the BMW R nineT, and highlights from the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
AC Sanctuary A16-004 AC Sanctuary sits in the absolute top echelon of custom builders. They’ve got a winning formula and they stick to it: immaculate classic superbike restomods, mostly from the Kawasaki Z series.
The Japanese company has good news for well-heeled thrill seekers in the USA: they’re opening a branch in Gardena, California, and will be showing the first machine for sale stateside at the Long Beach Motorcycle Show on 16 November.
This is the first bike, known as A16-004, and it’s a Z1 rebuilt for the 21st century. The frame is new, 25 mm shorter than the original, modified to suit a 17-inch front wheel, and much, much stiffer.
Everything else is the highest spec possible, with Öhlins suspension, Brembo brakes and forged OZ Racing wheels. The hand-built 1045cc engine is now fuel-injected and pumps out 99 hp, plenty enough to propel this 196 kg (432 lbs.) around the canyons.
Interestingly, the US-spec Sanctuary builds can be endlessly customized to a client’s wishes, apart from the brakes and the intake and exhaust systems—presumably to satisfy local regulations. [More]
Honda CB1100 by K-Speed If there’s a motorcycling equivalent of a hit factory, it’s K-Speed of Thailand. With several dealerships and seemingly endless resources at their disposal, they deliver a firehose of good-looking customs. And it’s an eclectic mix too, spanning all brands and styles.
This Honda CB1100 is one of K-Speed’s more subdued recent releases. There’s nothing radical going on here—it’s your classic ‘Brat Style’ build—but the stance and mods are absolutely spot on.
The slightly ungainly vibe of the stock CB is gone, thanks to a vintage tank swap and slammed suspension. K-speed have also bobbed the fenders, fitted smaller spoked wheels with chunky sawtooth tires, and slotted on shorter mufflers. The ribbed seat accentuates the Japanese custom vibe, and there’s new lighting all round—with a small grille on the headlamp.
It’s not rocket science, but sometimes a hamburger is more satisfying than haute cuisine. [More]
BMW R nineT ‘R7’ kit Any list of the world’s best looking motorcycles needs to include the 1934 BMW R7, with Art Deco-inspired styling that has stood the test of time. But you’re unlikely to find an R7 popping up on Craiglist or even at auction. Only one was ever made, and it’s not for sale.
There’s now an alternative, created by Florida-based NMoto Studio and based on the BMW R nineT. It’s a kit called ‘Nostalgia’ that boasts 74 mostly aluminum items, including pieces from well-known aftermarket specialists like Motogadget.
NMoto Studio have pulled off quite a coup with the design: what could have been an awful mish-mash, akin to a 1980s kit car, actually looks pretty good. NMoto will be building the first few bikes themselves, and despite the starting price of $49,500 (which includes the donor bike), they’ve apparently received 47 pre-orders already. Extraordinary.
The return of Jawa Out of the blue comes an unexpected announcement: the Jawa brand is back. This sort of thing is usually a form of corporate smoke and mirrors, but there might be something in this one, because there’s a new engine: the rather stylish 293cc liquid cooled single shown above.
Since the Jawa brand was split into seperate speedway and consumer entities, a factory in the Czech Republic has been making 350 cc twins (like the rather tasty one shown below) for minor markets, plus an enduro powered by a 650 cc Rotax engine.
But now it appears that the Mahindra group, the huge Indian automotive conglomerate, has muscled in. It owns 60% of the Jawa brand, and plans to relaunch the brand with three new bikes that will be revealed in a month’s time.
These will be competitors to Royal Enfield and word is that the new bikes will be restricted to the Indian market. But given the cost of developing a new engine and the lingering power of the Jawa brand, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the bikes creeping into the European market in the future. [More]
AMD World Championship highlights These days, the ‘AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building’ exists in a kind of parallel universe. There’s very little overlap with the exploding alt.moto scene of café racers and scramblers and trackers—and only a handful of top flight modern custom builders have a finger in the AMD pie.
Fred Krugger and Rough Crafts are probably the most famous crossover artists, but they now have competition in the form of One Way Machine, the German shop run by Julian von Oheimb. He’s just won the Modified Harley-Davidson class with with ‘Silver Storm’, a 1450 cc Harley Softail Deuce (above).
Another winner that caught our eye was ‘Stechmücke,’ a stunning 1981 MZ250 with streamliner styling (above). It was built by Don Cronin and Mick O’Shea of Ireland’s Medaza Cycles, who won the Championship outright in 2013. This time, they took out fifth place in the hotly contested Freestyle class.
The overall AMD winner of the Championship was Dmitry Golubchikov of the Russian shop Zillers Garage. With ‘Insomnia’, a barely recognizable Yamaha SR400 custom (below), Dmitry has become the first AMD Champion from Eastern Europe.
For the full list of winners, head over to the AMD site.