BIKE GANG

Mo­tor­cy­cles are hav­ing a mo­ment. But not just any mo­tor­cy­cles. We’re talk­ing vin­tage-in­spired (or straight-up vin­tage) bikes that need lots of love — both in the garage and on the streets. It’s a life­style, and it’s time you signed up for it

Sharp - - CONTENTS - By Tim Querengesser

Mo­tor­cy­cles are hav­ing a mo­ment right now. Here’s how to make the most of it.

FIND­ING THE RIGHT bike is a per­sonal jour­ney, one that no doubt will in­volve a bit of tin­ker­ing your­self. We’ll leave you to it — although these are six pretty good places to start.

1. THE CRD99

Want le­git vin­tage cred with­out the work? Spain’s Café Racer Dreams is the shop you’ve been dream­ing of. Their CRD99 is based on a ’70s-era BMW R45, then stripped, blacked out and cus­tom­ized to be­come what you might ex­pect a café racer to look like in 1937 Ber­lin. (That means you’ll need to learn 40-year-old tech to keep it in tune.)

En­gine: 405-cc air-cooled Boxer twin Price: Upon re­quest Coolest mod: The en­tire bike.

2. DEUS 400 YARD BUILT KIT

Aus­tralia’s Deus Ex Machina is to today’s bike move­ment what Seat­tle was to ’90s grunge. Deus was founded by surf bums who saw the mo­tor­cy­cle as just one el­e­ment of a life­style ethos. Its 400 kit al­lows for paint-bynum­bers cus­tomiza­tion. Start­ing with a Yamaha SR400, you tweak un­til you have recre­ated a 1970s-era XT500 — one of the most badass bikes of all time.

En­gine: Yamaha

SR400 Price: From $5,000 Coolest mod:

Proper rear shocks that will al­low you to ride off-road with­out break­ing your back.

3. HAR­LEYDAVID­SON SPORT­STER IRON

If you al­ready dis­til your own ar­ti­sanal whiskey, this is your bike. The Sport­ster has an in­dis­putable road­ster-meets-bob­ber vibe, but from there it’s wide open. Some peo­ple build scram­blers out of theirs; oth­ers build chop­pers or brats. All Sportsters fea­ture the off-kil­ter sound­track cre­ated by a V-twin en­gine whose ba­sic de­sign reaches back to the 1890s. En­gine: 803-cc air­cooled L-twin Price: From $10,200 Coolest mod: Swap­ping out the bars to a pure “dirt” bar.

4. MOTO GUZI V7III

The V7 turns 50 in 2017 and has been a clas­sic plat­form for cus­tomiza­tion its en­tire life. Today’s ver­sion is an homage to the orig­i­nal that still jerks when you twist the throt­tle. You could buy the Racer fac­tory ver­sion straight from Guzzi, but the cool kids are sourc­ing clubman bars, slip-on muf­flers and rear-set foot pegs to build the café racer them­selves. En­gine: 744-cc air­cooled V-twin Price: From $9,400 Coolest mod: Add a leather tank strap from an ob­scure Ital­ian shoe­maker you find on the In­ter­net.

5. DU­CATI SCRAM­BLER

In­spired by the scram­bler rac­ers of the ’60s, this bike is per­fect if your time and wrench abil­i­ties are lim­ited. The Clas­sic has spoked wheels and a tra­di­tional look, while the Full-throt­tle is a mod­ern take on a dirt racer. Any model can be kit­ted out with be­spoke han­dle­bars, pipes, foot pegs, and other add-ons from pro­fes­sional builders. En­gine: 883-cc air­cooled V-twin Price: $10,800 Coolest mod: A flat tracker makeover.

6. TRI­UMPH BOB­BER

The Bob­ber is a mod­ern take on the el­e­gantly me­chan­i­cal 1959 T100 Bon­neville. It uses up-to-date en­gi­neer­ing to recre­ate the hall­marks of a back­yard-built bike with­out some of the ques­tion­able safety as­pects: that rear end is not a hard­tail, but looks it; those “car­bu­re­tors” are fakes; that “drum brake” at the back is ac­tu­ally a mod­ern disc. En­gine: 1,200-cc liq­uid-cooled par­al­lel twin Price: From $13,700

Coolest mod: You can buy per­fectly fit­ting Vance & Hines slip-on muf­flers straight from Tri­umph. So do this.

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