The Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider S

I have a confession: cruisers are a guilty pleasure of mine. Sure, many of them are expensive, low on tech and wrapped in chrome. But hand me the keys to one and I’ll ride it—and probably enjoy it. I just won’t admit it.

Unless it’s Harley-Davidson’s Dyna Low Rider S—in which case I’ll ride it, love it and shout its praises from the rooftops (or, at the very least, from my Instagram feed).

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David Ellis Shreds Namaqualand

We all know how to make a good bike film: mix some grinder spark close-ups with slow-mo shots of the rider gearing up, and you have a winner.

But when regional off-road champion David Ellis grabs his bike—and his filmmaker brother, Michael, grabs his camera—none of that happens. Instead, you get three minutes of pure adrenaline and incredible cinematography, set against the mystical backdrop of Namaqualand, South Africa.

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Riding Ducati motorcycles with Tribe and WMC.

Even though the Ducati Scrambler’s no longer the freshest face on the scene, it’s still Bologna’s hottest ticket—logging impressive sales and creating new Ducatistas monthly.

It’s easy to get so fixated on the Scrambler that you forget about the rest of Ducati’s equally desirable range. To ensure that we didn’t make that mistake, we gathered up our usual crew and pinged Ducati South Africa for some loaners.

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Riding new BMW Motorcycles with Tribe Coffee.

The motorcycling landscape is changing, particularly in Cape Town. Here, the blossoming custom scene has piqued the interest of a new wave of motorcyclists: guys and girls that are more obsessed with riding than they are concerned with what they’re riding.

Motorcycling is becoming less pretentious and more inclusive—and I’m digging it.

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LMMC at Kalahari Speedweek

Every year, petrol heads from all over South Africa gravitate towards Hakskeenpan—a desert pan in the north-western corner of the country. Kalahari Desert Speedweek has become a pilgrimage of sorts for many, with a simple formula: bring a vehicle, camp out, ride the pan and record a speed.

I’ve yet to attend Speedweek—but Cape Town locals Los Muertos Motorcycles are regular faces on the pan. I caught up with LMMC’s Steve Pitt to get a feel for what I’ve been missing.

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Rather be Riding reviews the BMW R nineT

If there’s any proof that the new wave custom scene has reached critical mass, it’s the fact that leading motorcycle marques have started dipping their fingers in the pie. Case in point: BMW Motorrad and the R nineT.

BMW’s dream team of Ola Stenegärd and Edgar Heinrich were clearly enamoured with custom motorcycles when they conceived the R nineT. Before the bike was even launched, the world was teased with the über-desirable, Roland Sands-built Concept 90 (which was based on a pre-production unit).

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Lucky Cat Garage Sprintbeemer

The Lucky Cat Garage‘s Séb Lorentz made waves last year with his dustbin-faired Sprintbeemer. Designed as a “noisy, fast-looking sprint-bike to frighten competitors,” it won its maiden race—the StarrWars sprint at the Glemseck 101 festival in Germany.

Séb didn’t pilot it to victory himself though. Having broken his leg and ankle in a BMX accident shortly before the event, he handed over the reigns to his good friend Sylvain Berneron (better known as Holographic Hammer).

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wes-kawa-36

My personal motorcycle—a 1999-model Kawasaki W650—recently came out of retirement and went under the knife. Since I’m better at taking things apart than putting them back together, I stuck to the design and creative direction of the project and enlisted the help of professionals to roll it out.

Stoos Customs handled all the fabrication, while Bert Upton laid down the lush paint scheme. Donald Walklett at Motorworx sorted the electrical side of things and overhauled the carbs. When all was said and done, my good friend Ewald Sadie dragged the W650—now dubbed the SC Rambler—out into the Cape winelands and shot the most incredible photos, six of which I’ve converted into wallpapers.

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RBR-Spirit5

From the archives: I first published this interview with Spirit of the Seventies’ Tim Rogers in February 2013. If you’d like to read some of his more recent opinions, check out this panel discussion over on Bike EXIF.

Whether you’re into flat trackers, café racers, scramblers or bobbers, one thing is certain – the retro custom scene is growing. Rapidly. The internet is flooded almost daily with custom built motorcycles from both established workshops and up-and-coming garage builders alike. In amongst the slew of builders are a few notable ones, that inspire with their unique and fresh take on the motorcycles they’re building.

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2010-06_Blitz_Boys-@-Work_06_2

From the archives: This interview with Blitz Motorcycles’ Fred Jourden ran in April 2011. Some of the details have changed since—and Blitz have built a lot more bikes—but I reckon it’s still a good read.

The internet is abuzz with the bikes of Parisian custom garage Blitz Motorcycles. These include (amongst others) the all-black BMW R60/2 “Great Escape”, the 4 bikes featured in “Riding September” and more recently the eclectic BMW R100/7 street tracker. Through the miracle of modern technology, I had the opportunity to “chat” a little with Blitz founder Fred. This is what he had to say.

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