Now, some thirty-five years after production of the mighty XS650 finally ceased, it’s far more difficult to pick salvageable engines or even whole bikes up for the bargain prices that were so common. But it still remains a favourite with builders in many countries. This particular example hails from across the Channel, built by a young man called Sebastien Vernaison from France.
Seb first started customising motorcycles ten years ago with a Honda Shadow. He admits that it took him longer than intended because so many pieces were one-off parts made specifically for the bike and he really didn’t have enough spare time at that point, even with the help of his father. His day job is as a plumber, but he still managed to fit in building a Kawasaki Z1000ST while the Shadow was coming together.
Although he calls himself an amateur builder (he says, “I am not a professional but a simple passionate motorcycle enthusiast”), Seb has ambition. When he acquired a Yamaha XS650 in June 2018, he immediately decided that he would build a motorcycle which would be shown at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy, one of Europe’s top custom shows.
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Over the last couple of years, very few if any motorcycles have inspired such bafflement and scratching of heads as Dan Duggan’s Honda CX500
Every project starts somewhere and this one began at the Bike Shed Show at Tobacco Dock in London or, to be more accurate, when my mate Matt Donaldson turned to me and said, “I bet you can’t build a bike good enough for here.” Well, that set me to work!
Jarno comes from a family with petrol in their blood. His father races classic motorcycles and Jarno was raised on a farm where the barns are full of motorcycles instead of cows! This is his very first project, the Jarno Bastian Special
CUSTOMBIKE Messe Bad Salzuflen, Germany
Sometimes what is missing from a show is more interesting than what’s present. With the German show Custombike celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the event remains a showcase for European customising in all its diversity— with the additional benefit of a focus on parts that are homologated and approved for Europe
It’s not often that I have to sneak in and photograph a motorcycle without the owner knowing anything about it—something that was made tougher in this case by the said motorcycle being kept at said owner’s house
Spike And Bob's Big Swedish Adventure: Part 5
In 1979 Hasse took Caprice to the Norrtälje show for the first time, but he had changes for the bike in mind and, during the winter, he picked up a jammer frame and a set of 20-inch tubes.
There's No Place Like Chrome
When settling down to write a feature for a magazine, it’s necessary to have two things, nay, three things in front of you. A computer is useful, it saves all that messy ink and blotting paper that we used in those long gone school days, a strong hot mug of tea should also be on the desk (goes without saying), and finally, a set of scribbled notes that a couple of months ago resembled a detailed description of a motorcycle, but that by now, are largely illegible…
Over the last few years Death Machines of London has produced a number of pioneering builds, some of which you will have seen in these pages, not least the Air Force One Moto Guzzi from the cover of 100% Biker #231. Just when you think they can’t possibly surpass the last build, designer James Hilton of DMOL and engineer Ray Petty of Ray Petty Meccanica raise the bar just a little bit more. And that’s just what they’ve done again…
Today motorcycle customizing is a phenomenon that spans the entire globe, of that there can be little doubt. However, it’s still all too easy to think that building custom bikes is primarily confined to Europe and the United States and often, even in these days of social media and instant information, we don’t hear about what’s going on in other parts of the world
After the Harley-Davidson Sportster, I would wager that the Yamaha XS650 is the most popular choice for a custom bike across the world
THE TWO FACES OF THE IH TD-6 CRAWLER
The 1950s was the last decade in which the small crawler was a player in the agricultural tillage game. To that time, crawlers (A.K.A. tracklayers) offered farmers a lot of drawbar power in a small and economical package.
Cycling 26 August, 1915
A simple approach to bike-fit, and tithe barns
Toyota RAV4 hybrid Excel AWD £37,245
Toyota’s RAV4 was unveiled in 1994. It’s evolved in shape and style, but the latest incarnation is powered by futuristic witchcraft, says Ed Coles
Tackling the problem
The end of the game season provides the chance to get among the pigeons but you must be ready to adapt to succeed, says Tom Payne
Eco Charger Eliminator 2
The drive to switch to electric vehicles doesn’t stop when the tarmac ends — Liam Bell tests the latest model of the Eco Charger quad bike
The cutting edge
Racecar Engineering’s aerodynamics guru examines the role, function and effects of single-seater front wings and explains why they are about so much more than just generating downforce
Reach For The Sky
A falcon diving on its prey at more than 150mph must be the finest sporting spectacle, says Jamie Blackett
Earthquakes, volcanoes and penguins galore in an Andean adventure on both sides of one of the world's longest land borders