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Custom of the Week: Wrench Kings Vanguard Moto Guzzi V7




Collaborations are an inevitable part of the custom scene’s rapid growth…

…and permeation of the mainstream, the perfect marketing platform for brands looking to promote their products to an existing audience and suggest to a new customer base that wearing a particular garment will gain approval from the cool tribe.

The collab word might be saturating somewhat at the moment but if the result is decent looking motorcycles we won’t complain just yet.

Vanguard clothing from The Netherlands go to great lengths to build proper bikes for their campaigns rather than just print some fancy stickers. Their V8 Racer based on a 1400cc Moto Guzzi California was a tremendous homage to the ear splitting dustbin fairing racers campaigned by from 1955 to 1957, sketched by Ganet Design and brought to life by Dutch custom shop Numbnuts Motorcycles. To celebrate 50 years of the Guzzi V7, Vanguard produced a riding jean and again commissioned Mr Ganet himself, Ulfert Janssen, to design a bike.

This time Wrench Kings were given the task of bringing the renders to life and built this handsome café racer. The synergy between the blue denim and the bike’s colour scheme is obvious and the guys from Wrench Kings, also Dutch, are fastidious craftsmen preferring to work on new bikes so as to a achieve a better-then-factory level of finish which aligns with Vanguard’s slick range.

The motor is stock but let loose slightly by a single K&N filter and stainless 2-into-1 exhaust, which is now free from the restrictive catalytic converter and overly baffled silencers. The single under tail replacement was made by local outfit WiMoto using sheets of stainless, rolled and TiG welded. Should sound pretty sweet.

The Guzzi designers have done a decent job with the original tank so that was kept, with the addition of a Monza cap, and the shape mimicked with an off-the-shelf tail and seat unit, which of course didn’t fit so had to be modified. A similar story up front, the fairing was chopped and sliced to enable the lowered clipons to fit and turn fully without fouling the rider’s hands. The subframe didn’t escape the angle grinder either, shortened to accept the new exhaust system and tail. A pair of adjustable YSS shocks prop the whole lot up.

There wasn’t any space left for the battery so that’s been banished below the transmission and powers an all-new wiring harness and Motogadget M-unit system.

The Shinko 270 tyres are a welcome break from the now cliched Firestones yet maintain that simple, bulbous sidewall look so synonymous with modern day café racers.

Faithful to Ulfert Janssen’s original render, the Wrench Kings have done themselves proud and built not only a smart marketing tool for Vanguard but a decent bike that should still ride pretty well too.


Original article first appeared on The Bike Shed; It’s republished here with permission.

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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.

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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).



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