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All good things come in pairs. Take for instance Rad Yamamoto’s (aka Ask Motorcycles) latest project. This is the second custom build that Rad displayed at the Mooneyes Show in Yokohama and, like the first, its clad custom made aluminium bodywork that was created entirely by his own hands.
In time for the Northern Hemisphere’s spring comes the Icon 1000 Varial motorcycle jacket (which will do quite nicely for the Southern Hemisphere’s fall as well). Starting with a coated nylon base, Icon added leather panels and a water-repellent zipper, resulting in defense against light rain and snow. When the day heats up, the zippered chest and back ventilation brings on maximum airflow to keep you cool.
If you stayed glued to the television during the 2018 Superbowl ads you would have seen a rather amusing Squarespace advert featuring Keanu Reeves. In the ad, Keanu talks about his own motorcycle company and while you shouldn't believe everything you hear on TV this is actually the truth. Keanu is an avid fan of motorcycles and over the past few years has been developing his own bike brand that goes by the name Arch Motorcycle.
Towards the end of 2017 when the Tokyo Motor and EICMA shows took place I got more than a little excited about the year that lay ahead. This is because during said shows several manufacturers unveiled new motorcycles that appealed to my retro-obsessed aesthetic. Amongst them was a new contender in the ‘Modern Classic’ market from the folks at Kawasaki. It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Kawasaki’s thanks to my long-term ownership of a cafe’d W650 so this new bike really appealed to me. The bike in question was, of course, the new Z900RS, Kawasaki’s homage to the Z1 and last week I finally got the chance to ride one.
The Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod & Custom Show is a playground for large capacity custom motorcycles. American manufactured machines dominated the 2017 show with a glut of Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, Panhead, and Knucklehead choppers on display. However, despite this trend, every year without fail there are a handful of Japanese builders who defy the chopper and bobber trends. Rad Yamamoto of Tokyo’s Ask Motorcycles is one such builder and what his bikes lack in capacity they make up for with outlandish styling and skillful craftsmanship.
Italian manufacturer AGV has been protecting riders’ heads for seventy years now. To celebrate, they’ve released their Legends Collection, a line of vintage-inspired motorcycle helmets. The full-face X3000 has all the style and class of the 1960s helmet worn by World Champion Giacomo Agostini, yet still satisfies AGV’s high standards of modern helmet safety.
I’ve had many conversations with custom enthusiasts about dying crafts. Skills that have been replaced due to advancements in technology or simply because people are happier to look for easier solutions. Though, in the pages of Tank Moto Magazine, you’ll find motorcycles that have been modified using techniques that were first developed centuries ago. Not because the builder didn’t have any other option, but because they recognize the importance of the skills and admire the dedication it takes to master them.
Brothers Pablo and Carlos Delgado, the driving force behind Spanish workshop Valtorón, are the perfect example of this. Where others would opt to use CNC mills or fiber composites the brothers painstakingly sculpt their creations by hand before casting them using age-old sand casting techniques. By mastering these skills the Delgados have built some truly unique motorcycles and they captured the imagination of the marketing team at Ducati's head office.
As a motorcyclist, finding the right backpack can be challenging. For years I've struggled to find a solution that fulfills all of my day to day needs so my only option has been to own several of them. I have a small bag for carrying my work gear (laptop, books, etc) and a larger bag with enough storage space for a weekend away on the bike. I could, of course, go out and buy panniers and a tank bag but let's face it they're not the most aesthetically appealing addition to a café racer. Thankfully there is a solution.
The Roads We Ride series continues this year with more insights into some of Sydney’s best-known riding roads and how to safely navigate them. This time around rather than heading out into the countryside we tag along with Jimi Swan on his Royal Enfield 500 during his ride to and from work.
"Make it simple”. With those few words, the owner described to me what he was after. I insisted we sat together a while longer so I could coerce a few more fragments of information out of him. As I dug deeper I deducted that what he really wanted was a bike built using an authentic cafe racer approach. A motorcycle that followed in the footsteps and upheld the values of the motorcycles built and ridden by the ‘50s ton up boys. We already had the donor bike at the workshop, a Suzuki GS850G so we I waste any time getting started.
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