False Neutral Episode #3: Custom Bikes

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Eric and Pete are joined by prospective co-host Vince Ma for a discussion of custom bikes, bikes as art, and the tension between form and function on two wheels. We talk about the role of individuality in motorcycle choice, discuss visual design theory just a bit, and name the bikes we think are perfect as they came from the factory. As always, follow along with the photos below the jump, then leave a comment about which of our opinions you agree or disagree with. We want False Neutral to appeal to YOU, the Hooniverse reader, so suggestions about our content and format are always welcome. Also, please rate and review us on iTunes.


False Neutral – Custom Bikes

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Suzuki S40/Savage with Ryca cafe kit
Suzuki S40/Savage with Ryca cafe kit
Yamaha Virago 920
Yamaha Virago 920
Yamaha XV920R
Yamaha XV920R
The Vinago
The Vinago
Ducati 900SS
Ducati 900SS
Ducati Sport Classic
Ducati Sport Classic
Ducati Desmo 450 "Silver Shotgun"
Ducati Desmo 450 “Silver Shotgun”
Meriden & Hinckley Air-Cooled Triumph Bonnevilles
Classic & Modern Air-Cooled Triumph Bonnevilles
Roland Sands KRV5 Tracker
Roland Sands KRV5 Tracker
Toph Bocchiaro's Harley Model K boardtracker
Toph Bocchiaro’s Harley Model K boardtracker
Indian Larry
Indian Larry
Honda CBX
Honda CBX
Honda VFR750R "RC30"
Honda VFR750R “RC30”
BMW R90S
BMW R90S
BMW R65LS
BMW R65LS
BMW HP2 Enduro
BMW HP2 Enduro
BMW K1
BMW K1
Suzuki GS1150ES (on right)
Suzuki GS1150ES (on right)

6 Comments

  1. I’m on the fence about visual modifications – there’s a definite limit to my own riding capability, never mind what I feel comfortable doing on the street. I especially wouldn’t be surprised that basically any new bike is more capable than either of those limitations. Past that point, any further performance mods are kind of pointless, so why not make something look good even if it’s extraneous frills?

    Mind you, at the same time, I’ve ridden a couple bikes that just weren’t comfortable – if I can’t do at least 30-60 minutes on something, it’s maybe a little too compromised.

    Also, I might be wrong here, but didn’t the term Cafe Racer start out as a bit of a pejorative? I thought the idea was that they were merely emulating real race bikes, although at least some aimed for the ton. If that’s in the realm of correct, it’s kind of funny, the idea that someone can do that exceptionally wrong.

  2. When you are talking about bikes as art there should be a bit about Cleveland Cyklewerks. The reliability has been an issue since it was released but you can not fault the looks of their bikes.

    1. This Cleveland reminds me of one of those pocket bike “choppers”. An exponentially better and more artful example of this styling is the mutant Buell kits that Redneck Engineering makes. I’d prefer something more comfortable to ride, however, the mutant Buells look so damn cool.

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