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Custom of the Week: Norton Dominator Naked by Goblin Works Garage

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REALITY TV SHOWS about custom bike building have a really bad rep. But when we heard that Anthony Partridge would soon be gracing screens, our interest was piqued in a big way.

The ebullient Mr. Partridge knows a thing or two about swinging spanners. He co-founded Matt Black Custom Designs—a Spanish-based custom shop known for producing head turners—and has now branched out on his own, as Partridge Design.

He’s also one third of the team at Goblin Works Garage—the titular shop of a new Discovery series airing next month. (It’ll be in the UK at first, then spreading to other countries). His partners are mechanical engineering whizz Jimmy de Ville, and the designer and custom car builder Helen Stanley.

Filming the first season meant building six cars and four bikes in just six months. The trio worked on the cars together, with Anthony handling the bikes solo. This alluring Norton Dominator Naked cafe racer is one of them.

The commission for the build couldn’t have come from a higher source. When Anthony popped into Norton’s HQ to pick up a Dominator as his daily rider, CEO Stuart Garner pulled him aside and pitched the idea.

“The build was a café racer concept bike for Stuart and Norton,” Anthony explains. “My task was simple: ‘build me the best Brit cafe, bar none, based on the 2017 Dominator Naked edition platform’.”

With a mandate not to cut the frame, so that the bike could serve as inspiration for further development, Anthony decided to nip and tuck rather than start from scratch.

“I just went back to what a cafe racer is,” he explains, “and what they would do back in the days of the ton up lads—strip off as much weight as possible, and throw way anything not needed to ride! The idea was to keep it as simple as possible.”

“This was just a styling exercise, so I focused on the aesthetics and lines of the bike. I made some very subtle changes, but at the same time some very dramatic ones too.”

Every tiny part is beautifully considered, and even borderline artful—like the hand-made brackets that attach the fairing to the triple clamp. Anthony fitted Rizoma turn signals and grips too, but had the grips (and the seat) upholstered by Eastcoast Customs for extra effect.

There’s also a hand-made stainless steel twin exhaust system—complete with internal baffles—routed high up for a radically different silhouette. And if you look closely, you’ll notice that the stock wheels have been ditched for a set of über-desirable carbon numbers from BST.

“The padded seat and carbon wheels make the Dominator even more ‘flickable,’ and an ass-friendly ride,” says Anthony. “This Domi is one that you could easily eat miles on!”

Goblin Works Garage airs on January 11th at 9 pm on Quest in the UK.

Photos by Chris Frosin

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

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Custom of the Week: BMW R100RS by Bolt Motor Company

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MOST CUSTOM BUILDERS are juggling careers, building bikes as a side gig. Adrián Campos falls into that category: he’s the sporting director for Campos Racing, the team founded by his father Adrián Campos Sr, the former Minardi F1 driver.

Adrián Jr. is surrounded by high-tech missiles capable of 208 mph (335 kph), but he’s also nuts about motorcycles. So he started customizing classic bikes, as an antídoto to the ultra-modern race machinery that absorbs his working day.

His first build garnered enough interest to turn his side gig into a fully-fledged second business. Bolt Motor Company is now on its seventeenth build, and employs seven team members.

Bolt shares a workshop in Valencia with Campos Racing. But while the race team preps cars for the Formula 2, Formula 3 and GP3 race series, Adrián is swinging spanners on bikes like this stunning 1982 BMW R100RS.

We’ll admit it’s not the wildest custom boxer we’ve seen. But even though the style is well established, the perfect proportions and level of finish are something else. And the client wasn’t even looking for anything fancy; “He wanted a comfortable cafe racer for two people,” says Adrián, “so that’s what we did.”

The donor arrived in a pretty good condition, but it left in an even better state. There’s fresh paint and powder everywhere, from the motor right through to the forks, frame and tank.

Bolt tweaked the airhead’s stance by lowering the front forks internally just over two inches, then installing a pair of Hagon shocks at the rear. The fuel tank is stock, but the subframe and seat are custom made. The subframe’s a bolt-on affair, and the main frame’s been detabbed and cleaned up.

The taillight’s a particularly nice touch. Bolt built it into the seat rather than the rear loop, along with integrated rear turn signals. The whole setup’s barely visible—until it lights up.

They’ve also added some room for the customer to ‘customize’ his BMW at home. There’s a second tank and seat in a different paint scheme, which can be swapped out via four fasteners for the seat, and one for the tank. The second seat has it’s own plug-and-play taillight too.

Bolt have kept things practical too. The BMW’s airbox is still in play, and it’s also equipped with a BMW oil cooler and crash bars. Plus there’s a discreet inner fender at the rear. The exhaust headers have been shortened and run into a pair of generic cone mufflers, with the side stand relocated to work around them.

The cockpit’s sporting new handlebars, grips, bar-end mirrors and Motogadget bar-end turn signals. There’s a new master brake cylinder too, with some really neat plumbing. Up front is an LED headlight, tucked into a custom-made bucket.

Bolt rewired the bike from top to bottom and tucked away as much as they could. A set of Motone switches have their wires running inside the bars, while a Motogadget speedo has its cable routed through the BMW’s hollow steering stem nut.

This sort of consideration is rife, with every last nook and cranny cleaned up. We’ve spotted stainless steel fasteners throughout the build, nifty choke pulls on the carbs and a OEM-looking Bolt Motor Co. plaque on the side of the motor.

The classic white BMW motorsports livery is on point too. And Bolt have shunned the ubiquitous Firestone Deluxe Champion tires, going for the saw tooth tread of Shinko Classics instead.

We doubt that Bolt #17 could lap a track anywhere near as fast as a Campos race car.

But it’s just the sort of simple, classic ride we’d pick for getting to the track in the first place—via some leisurely Spanish back roads.


This article first appeared on Bike Exif. It’s republished here by permission.

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Video: Watch Sarah Lezito show you how to drift a motorcycle

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Yes, drifting on two wheels is possible. Especially if you’re an insanely talented stunt rider from France.

There are a few stunt riders worth following across social media and YouTube but few get the numbers of French stunter Sarah Lezito.

Shot in a cold, wet and snowy location, it’s hardly the easiest of environments for riding a motorcycle – although possibly better for skids! – but the control from Lezito, and her instruction, is captivating.

Why learn how to drift? Well, Lezito says that it might help in learning how to save from slipping, keeping the balance on your bike or just improving your stunting skills.

And her top tips?

  • First find a small bike – a 50cc or 125cc machine that’s easy to handle.
  • Find a slippery spot, like a wet floor after some light rain.
  • Put hard tyres on the rear and more air in the front tyre.
  • Protect everything… On you and your bike.
  • Prepare to crash. A lot.

We’re hoping she’ll be adding to her channel over the coming months and that this is the start of a series of ‘How To…’ videos from the young stunt rider.

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