Building a custom motorcycle is easy. Very easy. There are two prerequisites: Imagination and Inspiration. Imagination is most productive when based on the conviction that everything is possible. The image above provides ample proof of that. It is a photograph of a real, living caterpillar; the larva of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. Extraordinary, isn’t it? Makes you wonder how many of us would draw something like that if asked to draw a caterpillar using our wildest imagination. Not that many, I’d like to think. So, this cute little creature is, to me, a reminder that anything is possible, which, of course, is inspirational in itself.
Knowledge, skills, talent, creativity, tools and, of course, financial resources are, surely, all needed when building a custom motorcycle. But what kick-starts such projects is inspiration. And inspiration frequently comes from studying the works of others.
If a truly unique custom motorcycle is on your Christmas wishlist and you find yourself in need of inspiration, here is a list of websites that specialize in featuring cafe racers, bobbers, British, German, Italian and Japanese classics, trackers, brats and other motorcycles so unique that they defy classification.
I have divided them in two categories: 1) those that do not sell stuff and 2) those that do. For those who have the inspiration, imagination and talent, but lack the time and space needed to actually build the motorcycle of their dreams and so must use the services of a craftsman, I have also provided a list of some very talented custom motorcycle builders.
Custom Motorcycles Websites that do not sell stuff:
WIND-BLOWN is a collection of the coolest builds shown elsewhere first.
INAZUMA CAFE is an Italian independent website about custom/cafe racer motorcycles.
MOTO RIVISTA: Cafe Racers, Vintage motorcycles, British Classics, Bobbers and Choppers.
HELL KUSTOM: a big collection of custom motorcycles; pictures only.
ROCKET GARAGE: Gasoline Engines & Passions; nothing more nothing less.
WE LOVE CAFE RACERS: another big collection of bikes shown elsewhere first.
CAFÉ RACER DESIGN showcasing the design of Cafe Racer Motorcycles.
OTTONERO Italian blog about anything motorcycle related.
BIKEBREWERS: custom motorcycles, cafe racers, scramblers, bratstyle & classics
GOOD SPARK GARAGE Rummaging thru moto-culture
Custom Motorcycles Websites that sell stuff:
PIPEBURN posts café racers, bobbers, trackers, brats or classics on a daily basis*.
BIKEEFIX showcases the coolest custom motorcycles, several days a week**.
SILODROME: motorcycles, cars, boats, related films and art, gear and clothing.
Pipeburn and Bike EFIX are considered the most reputable and offer the best and largest web-based “collections” of custom motorcycles, cafe racers, scramblers, etc. The content is truly exceptional.
*Pipeburn recently added a “shop” to their website.
**Bike EFIX does not sell directly. The featured merchandise is linked to and sold by other web-based retailers.
Custom Motorcycle Builders:
The above is certainly not a complete list of either websites or custom bike builders. I’ll be updating it frequently. Let me know who and what I missed.
And if browsing the websites above has not fully convinced you that anything is possible, here is another shot of that cute caterpillar: