Archive for August, 2009

Modern Day Cafe Racer Triumph Daytona

Butze's Modern day Triumph cafe racerDuring the golden age of motorcycling, the Brits made a stand with a breed of motorcycle that would become an icon of speed and beauty: the Cafe Racer. Young men with a desire for speed, and the willingness to exploit every possible drop of power, started stripping and tuning their English road bikes, racing at very high speeds from coffee shop to coffee shop across the English countryside. They were fueled by pop music and leaded petrol, spawning a culture that would pass the test of time and influence the future of motorcycle design.

The racer lives on.

Today, the cafe racer maintains a deep-rooted, passionate following, encompassing, in style and attitude, the soul of those early British Marquees and the leather-clad hooligans who earned the name “Rocker.” (A term rooted in Britain’s 1960s’ counter-culturists, the Rockers.)


3 Musketeers – Ducati / Cagiva Motards

3 Musketeers - Custom MotardsOne for all and all for one!

Who doesn’t know this motto from Alexandre Dumas’ famous The Three Musketeers? Each of them is cut from the same cloth: unorthodox and quarrelsome, but nevertheless unique – with the shared goal of fighting crime.

What? A literary history lesson in a fighter mag? No way!

But the three “musketeers” in this article bear more than a passing resemblance to Dumas’ trio. They ride design-linked bikes, ride together most often, think together as they work – partners, in this case, with the shared goal of fightering – on their “Hyperfants.”

I found the Hyperfants close to my home in the Netherlands. They were created by an old acquaintance, who lives just a couple of miles away. So it’s true what they say: you don’t have to look far to find something beautiful; you only have to look past the tip of your nose.


Jaybuilt’s Lightweight Kawasaki

JaybuiltJay Abington had never heard of a fighter before he built this bike and subsequently found Customfighters. com. We’re very glad he did, as he’s shown us something very different. Jay is a down-to-earth, unpretentious guy. In speaking with him, it became clear that this build was done for his own pure enjoyment, and nothing else.   He wasn’t out to impress anyone or prove anything, he simply wanted to build something he could be proud of — something he had made with his own two hands. Building and creating is Jay’s life. To say that he is a gearhead would be an understatement. Putting things together is something he says has been part of him since he was a kid, and he expects it always will be. Jay just cannot stop; he has to constantly be working on something — to the extent that he literally built the wooden bed he sleeps on, AND the hand tools to carve it with! “Idle hands do evil things, so we’ve got no time for that,” he said.

When he was 10, Jay began to work on tractors and equipment, learning from his father-figure neighbor. By the time he was in high school, he was working for an auto parts store, building engines and doing machine work.  Back when working auto parts meant really knowing the stuff, not just reading the parts fiche. His love for tuning led him to work at a high-performance BMW motorcycle shop in the Bay area of California, making parts and building winning race bikes.  The eight years spent there, he says, taught him more than he’d ever learned in terms of performance tuning.  Years later, he moved on to hot rod engines and sprint cars.  He’s spent time alongside people like New Zealand’s John Britten, but he has no “holier-than-thou” aura about him. More recently, Jay has done heavy equipment repair (ask him about his customized work-truck), which he is stepping away from a bit while working for a local business owner — building race cars in one of the nicest home facilities I’ve ever seen, including a personal dyno! Suffice to say, just about everything Jay does revolves around motors and/or having fun.


German Chocolate – Bad Bikes’ 97 Suzuki Bandit

German Chocolate - Bad Bikes Custom StreetfighterWe recently spoke with Gonzo of in Germany about his recent build, called Hot Chocolate. Because of his dislike for flash Gonzo went with an industrial color of brown with no shine to it. This single bike will disprove many people’s opnions that there could never be a good looking brown bike! He wanted to build something nobody else would. Props to you Gonzo for accomplishing such a feat! He normally builds the newer bikes, k2+ GSXRs are his favorite, but decided to go with something a tad older but still popular – this ’97 Bandit. This 43 year old bike builder and company owner from Germany has been doing this for years now and has built over 300 custom bikes in his day. He turns out at least one new fighter body work set per year.

The custom bug bit Gonzo back when he was still riding pedal bikes. He moved onto cars, and eventually motorcycles, working on his own and friends bikes. He eventually decided to turn it from a hobby into a business building custom bikes and creating awesome body work! Gonzo loves the streetfighter scene, he says the fighters represent freedom and fun on the streets.


Crank It Cycles – Custom Streetfighters

Crank It Cycles Custom StreetfightersCrank It Cycles opened its doors in Woodside, N.Y., in 2004. Shop owner Waxy Scanlon, formerly of Ireland, moved to the U.S. to build fighters professionally, after years of building them in his garage. With nothing but a toolbox and a computer, he found a space to rent. Then, splitting time between his construction company and the new shop, he devoted himself to his first Crank It Cycles build, a 900RR. He sold it to someone in Ireland, who spotted the bike online and arranged to have it shipped over.

After about six months trying to be in two places at once, frustrated that things weren’t moving more quickly, Waxy decided it was time to enlist qualified help. Fellow biker Sandy Frayman, who lived nearby, joined the Crank It team after meeting Waxy through a friend. Sandy, involved with bikes all his life, had been following the fighter scene for several years, but had never actually built a fighter — until he began working for Crank It Cycles. His background as a mechanic, welder, fabricator and all-around “MacGyver” was a great asset; even when he didn’t know how to do something, he could damn well figure out how! “We don’t call Sandy ‘the bracket man’ for nothing,” Waxy says.


Aussie Streetfighters’ April Fools Run Celebration

Aussie Streetfighters April Fools RunCASINO, NSW, AUSTRALIA – Ever wanted to know what it takes to make a die-hard biker? You could have found out at AFR09 – the annual Australian streetfighters’ run.

Even the weather was die-hard…. appallingly so. The campsite was a virtual flood plain, and everyone got wet to the bone at least once. But did that stop them from coming? Hell it did! Riders from as far afield as Gladstone and Melbourne, who had ridden in pouring rain for the entire journey, were smiling like Cheshire cats.

The place was abuzz with non-stop stunt riding by Australia’s best riders, who use the event as their own personal playground.


July 2009 Fighter of the Month Winner – BigBellyRacing

FOTM WinnerFOTM Winner