The current trend of considering every make, model, capacity and style of standard motorcycle as a potential candidate for an extreme makeover is a source of amusement for the older generation of motorcyclists. Back in the day there were unwritten rules about which motorcycles were worthy of customisation and what style was appropriate for these motorcycles. Harleys were the undisputed kings of custom and formed the basis of most choppers and bobbers but never café racers. British made twins were a less popular yet still appealing choice of engine for powering a chopper. The British motorcycles were however the heart and soul of early café racers. BMWs were ridden in standard form, as were most other European made models. Generally the Japanese motorcycles of the 1970s and 1980s with engine capacities of less than 750cc remained largely unmodified. This situation has completely changed. Everything from a two candlepower 125cc delivery motorcycle to a Honda Goldwing is being considered for every type of custom from a flat tracker to rigid bobber.
The custom creations of the past were all fundamentally built by modifying a standard motorcycle. Even professional builders stretched, raked and chopped standard motorcycle frames and components. The first decade of this century saw the rise of the completely custom motorcycle, where every component of the motorcycle could be unique. Rideability came second to individuality. Those massively wide-tyred two-wheeled temples of excess may have had their day for now, but their legacy lives on in a new generation of slightly more practical, old school inspired motorcycle.
Retro Write Up prides itself in showcasing local custom creations. However, occasionally we bend the rules slightly and feature something which is not homegrown but that we feel is worth sharing. Our featured motorcycle was built in California in the USA by Chassis Design Co. The owner, Anthony Keeling, specialises in building some really unusual custom frames. Louwrens Miller of LJ Miller Engineering uses them to build the frames for many of his show winning custom creations. Louwrens imported this motorcycle and it is for sale.
The purists may feel that although a motorcycle like this has girder forks, a rigid frame and the lines of a bobber, it is merely a caricature of what a bobber is actually meant to be. They are probably correct but we hope that they can clear their minds for a minute and enjoy this motorcycle for the beautiful creation that it is.