Connect with us


Custom of the Week: ‘Stormo 219’ by Moto-Studio




Those who’ve followed Bike Shed from the early days will be aware of our penchant for Moto Guzzis and in particular those built by Bruce McQuiston of Moto-Studio.

Choosing to shy away from the perhaps simpler task of customising round barrel 850 and 1000s Moto-Studio builds, those that aren’t Ducatis, tend to be based on the later and more powerful 1100 Sport.

This latest build began life as a carburetted 1100 Sport from the mid-nineties. I’m sure even loyal owners of won’t deny that the stock bike looks ungainly, I haven’t ridden one but from what I hear it’s a bike that can hustle, beneath a pilot sporting adequately sized cojones. These aren’t flickable, nimble machines. The owner of this particular example is a graphic designer with clients such as Nike, HBO, Redbull, Fiat, Dodge and Chrysler in their portfolio. Someone who appreciates subtle and considered design then. Which is handy as buying a Moto-Studio bike is a bit like a Phillippe Stark kettle, it boils water just like a pan does, but if you’re an appreciator of good design it’ll make you feel all warm inside at the same time.

This 1100 was immediately put on a diet, shedding over 40 kgs bringing the dry weight down to around 190kgs. No mean feat considering the power plant and transmission is a particularly burly one. Moto-Studio’s tried and tested carbon seat unit goes a long way not only reducing the headline figure but also keeping what girth remains nice and low down. A few builds ago the guys stripped the stock loom out of one of these things and it tipped the scales at over 6kgs! A Motogadget M-unit system and completely new harness put together in-house by Max replaces only a fraction of this weight whilst adding up-to-date reliability and efficiency.

The machined aluminum subframe struts are also Moto-Studio’s design and are again lighter whilst looking sleeker and more refined than the tubular frame and cast bracket setup on the stock bike. To make the most of this new found sprightliness a couple of ponies have been released by way of re-jetted carbs on velocity stacks and free-flowing exhausts by Cone Engineering. Even if you do go crazy on these motors in the hunt for power the gearing will always be tall, especially for hammering around the city, exactly where the owner intended to ride. Zydeco Racing were called in to supply a shorter ratio shaft drive ring gear and pinion which dramatically increases acceleration and the notion of speed, without troubling the law. Too much anyway.

The Stormo monicker references Italian Air Force squadrons flying during the Cold War. This bike, Stormo 219, features surface treatments and a colour palette that hark back to that era, and conform to the rest of the Moto-Studio’s sophisticated portfolio.

Article first published on The Bike Shed; republished here with explicit permission.

Fire it up in the comments below:

The Bike Shed have fashioned themselves over the past few years into the home of 'the new-wave, Cafe Racer & Brat Style, creative custom culture. Visit the: for more!


Custom of the Week: Yamaha SR500 ‘Scrambler’ by Daniel Peter




SCRAMBLERS ARE A HOT TOPIC. Build one, and you’re sure to be judged solely by how well equipped it is for hardcore off-piste use.

But that’s not all that scramblers are about. Daniel Peter compares his latest build to his childhood BMX—and it’s pretty much how we feel about modern-day scramblers too.

“When I was four years old, my BMX bike became my life,” he explains. “It was so simple, yet so fun. Just wheels, pedals and brakes. I’d ride it to the beach, jump a few curbs along the way, race my friends. Those were the good days.”

“30 years later, I set out to build a motorcycle based on the same principles. There’s nothing on this bike that doesn’t need to be there. It has wheels, a punchy engine and great brakes. I didn’t even put a speedo on it, because I never looked at the one on my last bike.”

Daniel works as a photographer in Chicago, but wrenches during the winter to keep his passion for riding alive. He keeps a workshop in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, outfitted with a tool cabinet, a welder, and a 1940s South Bend lathe.

This 1978-model Yamaha SR500 is the fourth Yamaha 500 he’s built to date. “It’s the most simple, yet the most thorough, of the bunch,” he says.

The motor’s been bumped to 540 cc, with a grocery list of go-fast bits that includes a lighter XT500 crank, a new piston from JE and a Megacycle cam for better torque down low.

R&D valve springs with titanium caps, a Powerdynamo ignition and a high-flow oil pump from Kedo round out the package.

Hoos Racing refreshed the crank and cut new valve seats for Daniel, but he tackled the rest of the rebuild himself. Every single bearing and seal was replaced along the way too. As for the carb, it’s been swapped out for a 39 mm Keihin FCR flatslide number, fed by a fat K&N filter.

The exhaust system is a combination of a custom made stainless steel header, and a Cone Engineering muffler.

The SR rolls on 17” supermoto wheels, borrowed from a KTM (front) and a Honda CRF450 (rear). They’re wrapped in Pirelli MT60 Corsa tread; a 120 up front, and a chunky 160 on the 5” rear rim. (“It juuust fits,” says Daniel.)

The brakes have been upgraded with a mix of Brembo and Beringer parts, with an RCS 14 radial master cylinder up front.

On top is an aluminum Yamaha XT500 fuel tank, wrapped in a paint scheme “inspired by an unforgettable riding trip through Baja.” Just behind it is a new saddle from MotoLanna, with a new kicked-up subframe loop.

It’s just about spring in Chicago, so Daniel must be itching to rack up the miles on his SR500. And we’re betting it’s going to be impossible to get him off it.

A version of this article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here with permission.

Fire it up in the comments below:
Continue Reading


Icon claim back the streets in their latest, epic video



Street’s Not Dead.

Regular readers will know that we eagerly await anything released from the US streetwear firm Icon Motorsports. So the moment that a video drops from the Portland firm we’re bound to pay attention.

That’s an interest piqued double when they post it alongside what is essentially a call to arms…

“Street’s not dead. If you think it went away, you’d be wrong. Street’s still here undermining pompous authority, rejecting standards, and bucking the status quo..”

And they’re not kidding either. With the Icon clad rider thrashing their Kawasaki ZX-10R through city streets, car parks and even a public fountain at one point, there’s a lot to take in.

Couple that with their usual loud, Icon style and you’ve certainly got a statement of intent.

(Don’t try this at home kids).



Fire it up in the comments below:
Continue Reading

On Fire...

Copyright © 2018 Motofire Limited