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LEFT AND FAST – Triumph Bonneville Super Hooligan

Inspiration can come at any time. But when you’re thinking of building a Super Hooligan flat tracker, there’s probably no better place to be than at a Hooligan race. Last October, flat track racing-obsessed rider Paul Hartman was watching the RSD Super Hooligans Moto Beach Classic from the side lines, dreaming up his next build. “I had just wrecked my Harley race bike the weekend before at a hill climb event,” says Paul. “I knew I would be building a new bike over the winter, but wasn’t quite sure what direction yet.” So Paul sat back and soaked himself in the day of racing, looking at all the bikes, and by the end of the day he had planned his whole next project in his head.

The most common motorcycle of choice in Hooligan racing is the Harley-Davidson Sportster. They are easy to come by and easy to give the flat track makeover. “They are the OG of Hooligan racing,” says Paul. “But to me, I thought they are so damn heavy! The rake is bad at 30 degrees and they have a 60″ wheelbase.”

When it comes to building a bike that meets the rules of Super Hooligan racing, it is pretty straightforward. Your bike must be a stock production frame originating with a 750cc or larger engine. “Aside from that, you can do just about anything you want. So with that in mind, I started thinking about different bikes.” Paul began to study the specifications of just about every possible bike that would be eligible for the series and discovered that the Triumph Bonneville had some of the best numbers and dimensions. “It’s got a 27-degree rake, 59″ wheelbase, a parallel 865cc engine that makes good power, and most importantly, its only 451 lbs stock!”

Three days later and Paul h

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The 2019 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show

Words by Justin Benson | Photography by Speedy Donahue

Sometimes we revive old motorcycles, and sometimes they revive us. Every April for the last 6 years, Revival Cycles plays host to a moto gathering that quite literally brings one back to life. Scorn from long winters of blizzards, cars not starting, and frozen nether-regions, it’s the exact type of event to put fuel in our tanks, and melt the icicles off our dipstick. Let me tell you – this year’s show was no exception.

The 747 steel bird touched down in the 28th state mid afternoon Thursday. After a quick check in at the hotel, and a not-so-quick check in at the hotel bar – we were off to the Handbuilt kickstart party. Were we reading this right… it was taking place at a castle?? The Revival crew had locked down a legitimate CASTLE for the night’s festivities. Built in 1860 for the Texas Military academy,  it was purchased and restored by a fellow moto nut/ friend of the Revival crew, and he was gracious enough to have us for the night. With the hot Texas sun beating down on our backs, we walked up the cobblestone driveway and were immediately greeted by our first glimpse of “The Birdcage”. After a few oohs and ahhs and obligatory social media posts, we bee-lined to the open bar, and enjoyed expertly crafted cocktails by a local bar Revival had employed. As the sun went down and we enjoyed a view from the highest point in the city, we chalked up our first night to a tremendous success.

Day 1
Opening day of the show! Two cups of Folgers deep, and off we went in a shuttle speeding towards Revival Cycles HQ.  Alan and the gang were gracious enough to have us by for a truly inspiring shop tour and pep talk about their latest build; “The Birdcage” (read all about it here), and then off to the show! For the second year in a row, Handbuilt was held in the former Austin American Statesman warehouse. The 35,000 square ft Statesman housed more than 140 custom motorcycles this year, from some of the top builders all over the world. As we walked up to grand front entrance, the familiar scent of burnt rubber and food truck tacos danced in the air.

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SPECIAL K – 1985 BMW K100

Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Niall Porter

When you reside within the custom motorcycle world and new people wish to join the fray, they always have one of two questions. What bike should I buy as my first steed or which bike should I choose for my first build. The answer is to both is really the same; cheap, light, basic and reliable. Lucky for all of us David Ewen ignored the advice I would have offered and chose to take up the challenge by building a killer custom for his first ever ride! From the barely breathing remains of a huge 1985 BMW K100 comes his street scrambler, that goes by the name ‘Revive’. 

David passed his test back in February 2017, and now with license in hand he was looking for the fabled first bike. But one movie meant he knew the style long before the make or model, “I was inspired by the scene in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where Benjamin (Brad Pitt) rides the red Indian 101 Scout one handed down the road, helmet-less and wearing aviators, I knew the classic look was for me,” he tells us.

So the search began and with a small 3×3 shed at the bottom of the garden, he wasn’t opposed to picking up a bike that needed a little work. For a first bike and build, a running but junky looking Yamaha SR or Honda CB would be perfect; but willing to go against the grain he found a BMW K. And just to make things even harder this particular barn find hadn’t run for six years, had been through ten previous owners and was showing plenty of mileage on the odometer.

Oh, did I mention it was totally fire damaged? David is a man right after our own heart’s and despite being new to

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SUPERCHARGED SR400 – Oily Rag Customs

Words by Scott Hopkin | Photography by Ian Davidson

The dust has settled for another year on the third Machine Show based in Braidwood, NSW, Australia. The show features a Bike Build competition every year, where dedicated motorcycle builders build unique pre-1989 bikes specifically for the show. This year they had 36 entries of all different styles and marques – from choppers to café racers and everything in between. One of the stand-out builds was this Supercharged SR400 tracker by Keeley Pritchard. As soon as we saw the 1986 SR400, we knew a lot of blood, sweat and tears had gone into the bike, but didn’t realise how young the builder was. Keeley is a 22-year-old motorbike mechanic from Sydney’s Northern Beaches who works for a garage called Surfside Motorcycles. In the lead up to the show, when everyone had gone home and his boss had turned off the lights, he turned them back on and worked well into the night bringing his creation to life.

When Keeley was thinking about entering the 2019 Machine Show Build Comp, he came up with the idea to turn his ratty 1986 SR400 chopper into a dirt tracker. “I wanted it to be a stunning, clean and simplistic hand-built dirt bike,” Keeley says. “I had 10 months to complete the bike to perfection before the show.”

So Keeley got to work. “The first feature that I thought of was customising the motor with big fin heads, so I extended each fin individually by 2 inches,” he says. “I spent hours cutting out pieces of aluminium plate, pre-heating the head to prevent cracking and finally TIG welding the two pieces together.”

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DOUBLE ESPRESSO – Ducati Monster S2R

Written by Martin Hodgson | Photography by Keith Treder

When it comes to motorcycles, it turns out that if you ask for ‘just what the doctor ordered’ then the answer is a tricked out Ducati. To discover this, we didn’t just turn to any old medicine man, but Dr Chris Stout who was named one of the World Economic Forum’s 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow. They’re serious credentials and he’s a busy man, so to build his perfect weekend weapon to deliver that two-wheeled therapy he assembled a talented crew. Together they’ve brewed up a potent café racer from the unique Ducati Monster S2R: they call it the ‘Double Espresso’!

But with a busy schedule and wanting the bike to be built just right, this was no four week turnaround. “This project has taken five years and the talents of many to conceptualise, source parts, fabricate bespoke bits, and create this show bike. The thread stitching everything together was to have a café racer that was a bit different than the rest,” the good doctor tells us. And despite this being his third Ducati this one “honestly, is by far the most fun to ride.”

The choice to begin with the S2R means the base product is already an exceptional piece of kit, so rather than go overboard, the plan was to enhance every area of the motorcycle so it would look as good as it performed. Parts were slowly collected from all over the US, with other pieces coming from Germany, Italy obviously and those that couldn’t be bought were fabricated.

First on the bench was the 803cc L-Twin Desmo engine that was developed to fill the hole between the torque monster 1000 and the under powered 600. To ensure smooth operation the rebuild includes the vital cam belt change, now only partly obscured thanks to clear belt covers with billet surrounds. The clutch on the S2R was an early version of a slipper and now fitted with racing plates from Barnett the operation is perfect for aggressive riding.

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