Build Your Own Motorcycle With a Kit from Moto8ight

It’s probably the logical next step given how popular custom bikes have become and that is to build a motorcycle of your own entirely from scratch. We have kit homes and kit cars, now new startup Moto8ight is offering people that are handy with tools the opportunity to build their own motorcycle – and specifically one based on the Suzuki GSX series.

Jack Chin is the founder of Moto8ight and wanted to start the project so that people who just weren’t confident enough to build their own bike without at least some guidance could do so. Once for sale, the kit will provide a frame, fuel tank, rear sub-frame, seat, engine mounts and other bits and pieces of hardware. That means you’ll still have to provide your own engine, brakes, wheels and suspension.

Engines that the frame will support out without modification will be the 988-1992 GSX-R 750cc/1100cc, 1995-2004 Bandit GSF 600cc/1200cc and1988-2004 Katana GSX 600cc/750cc – all oil-cooled motors.

That will still leave a lot of room for customising the bike – and still a very steep learning curve for someone that has never pulled apart a bike – let alone put one back together. But’s a start, and the ability to buy a brand new frame that doesn’t feature and cracks or bends that are sometimes difficult to spot is a big plus. The company intends to provide a vast array of video and written tutorials to help anyone with the build and Chin believes a fairly competent person could finish their build in the space of a few weekends.

For the US market the frames will have VINs so they can be road registered – it will be interesting to see what options might become available for international buyers. No wording on a final price or release just yet, but expect everything to be finalised by the end of the year.

moto8ight kit 003 moto8ight kit 001 moto8ight kit 002

Build Your Own Exhaust With Two Brothers Racing

You may have noticed there’s a lot of new motorcycles coming out lately (half of which seem to be from Yamaha). That means if you’re a person who likes to get an aftermarket exhaust bolted on straight away, you might need to wait a while until one is designed by the big brands – or perhaps they won’t bother at all if your bike is regarded as ‘niche’. Two Brothers Racing has come to the market with a new solution – design your own aftermarket exhaust.

“There is just plain and simply not enough time in the day to keep up with all of the bikes coming out” says Joel Albrecht Two Bros R&D supervisor. Joel worked countless hours with Two Bros engineers to develop all the right pieces for the job. “We wanted to find a way for people to buy each tube they need to make quality headers themselves” adds Joel never a man of too many words.

Each piece has been designed around common sizes and bends so that customers can pick the right fit for them to build whatever they can imagine. Using only high quality steel mandrel bent to precise tolerances the “Build-Your-Own” product line will work on everything from budget builds to over the top customs. The Two Brothers website www.twobros.com has also been updated to have images and detailed measurements of the available options.

“Build-Your-Own is perfect for someone looking to build headers without spending thousands on tools first” concludes Joel. Weather you build custom bikes for a living or you are just the do it yourself type Two Brothers Racing has you covered. Be sure to check out “Build-Your-Own” before your next build.

tbr build your own 003 tbr build your own 002 tbr build your own 001

Victory Octane vs Indian Scout vs Harley-Davidson Sportster Comparison

Just announced a few weeks ago, the Victory Octane looks set to capture a new generation of cruiser riders in America. It will be Victory’s most powerful, fastest and lightest bike yet – all the while being the cheapest, too. And while the Victory Octane does have many similarities to the Indian Scout, its real target is Harley Davidson and their Sportster 1200.

Harley-Davidson has come under increasing pressure from Polaris and their two brands, the resurrected Indian Motorcycles and their home grown brand, Victory. The reborn Indian has been a huge success for Polaris with the Indian Scout receiving glowing reviews and selling well, too. It’s for this reason we thought we’d take a look at the just released Victory Octane to see how it compares to its stablemate, as well as the highly popular and long established Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200.

16-hd-1200-custom-ngp-1-large

Choosing what bike to compare the Scout and Octane to was in itself a challenge. HD’s range is so wide with so much choice within each line that it’s hard to really narrow it down. And while the Sportster approaches the game quite differently with its air-cooled twin valve donk as opposed to the liquid cooled engine found in the Victory and Indian, all three bikes are designed to be gateway motorcycles to their respective brands.

But even then, the Sportser range offers six different choices of model to choose from and it is definitely one of the biggest advantages that Harley-Davidson offers – choice. Yes, Both Indian Motorcycles and Victory offer a large range of factory equipment and accessories to customize your bike, but no one does range and choice in the motorcycle world like Harley-Davidson. And even once you’ve decided on which of the six Sportster models to go with, the accessories (both factory and aftermarket) available to buy are unmatched. For the purposes of this comparison, we’ve chosen the Sporster 1200 Custom which from an ergonomics and general feel perspective seems to best match the two other bikes we’re looking at here best.

Engine

Both the Victory Octane and the Indian Scout use the same basic engine – and it’s a good one. There’s no sluggishness here which you can sometimes find in HD motors as the engine in both the Octane and Scout provides strong pulling power while remaining flexible across pretty much the entire rev range.

octane-1

The Octane’s engine is a 1,179cc V-twin, slightly larger than the Scout. Other differences include its own camshafts, a 2mm larger bore as well as redesigned cylinder head and engine cover castings. Those translate into subtle rather than earth-shattering differences between the two although you would have to consider the Octane as feeling more sporty. The Octane produces 104 horsepower, the Scout slightly less at 100. The Sporster has a rather sad by comparison 62 horses..

The Indian Scout is no slouch compared to the Octane and will hit the metric ton in a shade under 5 seconds. Not sportsbike quick by a long shot but it’s over half a second faster than the Sporster. But that’s not the only negative when it comes to the Sporter’s performance when compared to the other two machines here. The Sportster just feels sluggish down low and to really get things moving you need to keep the engine spinning in the top to mid-range. That then provides it’s own problems as the already noticeable vibrations become even more worse.

There’s just no getting around the fact that despite having a slight displacement advantage, the Sporster has a rather anemic motor and is completely outclassed by both the Octane and Scout and out of the two choices between the Octane and Scout, the newer Octane just edges out its brother.

winner victory

 

Handling

The front end feel of the Sportster is just too soft and squishy. Front end dive even under moderate braking is more than should be acceptable on a modern bike. The rear too leaves much to be desired and bounces and moves around enough that it doesn’t provide a great deal of confidence, especially when the road gets a few more corners. Most of these issues would be solved by the use of better quality springs – something you’d expect from a not inexpensive bike.

photo-15

In comparison, the Scout feels far more capable and it doesn’t sacrifice any comfort to do so. Both the front and rear suspension work very well together and provide a near perfect compromise between handling and a plush ride. There’s also far more options when it comes to suspension adjustment and despite sitting lower to the ground than the HD, actually has better corner clearance.

The Octane takes it up another notch again, although it’s still far from a sportsbike. That’s probably more to do with the ergonomics rather than the componentry of the bike though as both the peg and bar positions are slightly more aggressive than either the Sportser or Scout. As far as cruisers go in fact, the Octane is right up there among the most sporty we’ve come across and in fact many traditional cruiser riders would probably struggle to scrape the pegs or exhaust cans on it unless they really tried. It does feel a little harsher than the Scout though which in our opinion is a perfect blend of comfort and handling for a cruiser.

winner indian

Brakes

All three bikes provide fairly mediocre performance in terms of braking. All run with single discs both front and rear and it’s especially poor of the Octane not to run a twin disc setup at the front given it’s the fastest of all three bikes here – in fact it gets to the 60mph mark nearly a second quicker than the Sportser and a few tenths than the Scout. American cruiser riders have become accustomed to just single discs up front, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go about it.

Worst of all, the Octane doesn’t even provide ABS as an option – a ridiculous proposition for a brand new bike in the year 2016. The Scout’s brakes feel slightly better than offered by the Sportster and that’s probably due to the fact that the Harley weighs a tremendous 587 lb – nearly 30 pounds more than the Scout and nearly 40 more than the Octane.

winner indian

Customizing

It goes without saying that a big part of the cruiser scene is based around customizing and it is where Harley-Davidson rules supreme. Given their time at the top of the market, HD not only has huge amounts of official customizing options, but the third party market is also massive. That’s not to say that you can’t customize your Scout or Octane, it’s just that your options may be more limited than what is available on the Sportster.

Model Year 2016 New Model Photography

That is especially true for the Octane – at least at this stage. Your only customizing kit for now will be what Victory has available. Aftermarket options will no doubt eventuate should the Octane prove a popular model – just like they have for the Scout – but for now it’s comparatively slim pickings if compared to HD.

winner hd

Value

Both on paper and in the real world, the Sportster 1200 Custom just doesn’t offer the same value as either bike from Polaris. Starting at $10,899 in the US (but that’s before any options that commonly apply to Harley’s), it is $400 more than the Victory Octane. It is cheaper than the Indian Scout by $400 itself, but for that saving you are getting a bike with an engine, suspension, brakes and potentially reliability that is inferior to both the Octane and the Scout – sometimes by a large margin.

For us, the Victory Octane is the winner here. At $800 cheaper than the Scout but sharing many of the same components, it’s clear that Polaris is positioning this bike to capture new and young riders who otherwise might be consider the Street 500.

winner victory

Overall

In the end, it will probably come down to personal preference whether you fork out the extra money for the Scout which is a more traditional cruiser (both in looks and style) or the Octane which is designed for cruiser riders wanting to release their inner hooligan just a bit more.

The Scout probably comes out as the better bike than the Octane – but only just. It feels just slightly more refined than its new sibling which is perhaps trying to be a bit too raw in some respects – most notably in the handling department. That and the lack of ABS as even an option sees us tilt our head ever so slightly towards the Scout.

winner indian

photo-4

 

“The Brooklyn Project” S1000R is for Those That Think Their S1000 too Underpowered

Calling BMW’s brilliant S1000R sluggish isn’t the way many people would describe it. Nevertheless for some, you can never have enough horsepower. The guys at Purebreed Cycles have given the BMW S1000R a bit of a makeover and will be producing 40 of these bespoke machines for a cool $US 39,500 each and they’ll be known by the rather awkward name of  “The Brooklyn Project”

Owner of Purebreed Cycles, Guillaume Brochu states that thanks to modifications, the bike now puts down 175 horsepower at the rear wheel – up from 160 as standard. But more impressively, the bike’s weight is now only 380 pounds – a saving of around 70 pounds thanks to replacing standard items such as the seat frame, fenders, wheels and the tank with carbon fibre units.

Visually, there’s big changes to the front end and the bars, as well as the exhaust system, seat and rear lights. It all comes together to be one steroid infused cafe racer inspired motorcycle.

“We believe that The Brooklyn Project offers riders the best of both worlds,” says Brochu, “Owners benefit from the advanced performance technology and reliable modern engineering of the S1000R, which is far and away the best motorcycle on the road, but we also saw its potential as the basis of the ultimate café racer by incorporating classic café racer styling elements.”

Picture00127el Picture00099el Picture00109el Picture00102el+1 Picture00082el Picture00134el+1 Picture00087el

Ducati Announces Finalists for “Custom Rumble” Contest

Ducati has announced the five finalists of its ‘Custom Rumble’ competition which saw official Ducati dealers from across the world design customer looking Scramblers. There is a Scrambler for each continent (Antarctica as usual is ignored) and were selected via the very democratic method of ‘likes’ on Instagram.

The five finalists are ‘Iron lungs’, produced by Warsaw Liberty Moto (Poland) in collaboration with two “customisers”; ‘Ice Track Pro’, coming from Canadian creative workshop Bow Cycle North; ‘Scrambobber’ Made in Thailand by Ducati Vibhavadi; ‘ScramblArabia’ built by Wheels of Arabia from Bahrain, and ‘Scramblegale’ created by the Canberra Motorcycles Centre, dealer in the Australian capital.

 All dealers taking part in the “Custom Rumble” contest started work on their specials last September, with online voting getting underway in late October and continuing until January. From 1 to 3 July, during “World Ducati Week”, the world’s largest gathering for motorcyclists and Ducatisti taking place at Misano Adriatico, the best-looking custom Scrambler will be selected from among the five finalists. A special jury of experts, composed of designers, motorcyclists and customisers, will decide on the winner.
The dealer finalists will attend WDW 2016 together with their magnificent “Custom Rumble” entries.
2-Ice Track Pro 1-Iron lungs 4-ScramblArabia 3-Scrambobber 5-Scramblegale

Ducati Shows off Three Scrambler New Scrambler Concepts

In addition to showcasing their draXter concept, Ducati displayed three new Scrambler proposals at the Verona Bike Show – the Peace Sixty2, Revolution and Artika. Each bike has been crafted by Italian custom builders and is Ducati’s attempt to show the customization possibilities for their smash hit Scrambler.

The Peace Sixty2 is the second major Scrambler from Verona-based builder, Mr Martini (the first being his Cafe Racer Scrambler). It’s probably the most distinct of the three on display thanks to its 1960’s inspired fairing with plexiglass nose and handcrafted leather seat.

 

2-Peace Sixty2_02 1-Peace Sixty2_01 3-Peace Sixty2_03

 

The Artika (because it’s pictured in the cold, get it?) is supposedly a throwback to the Ducati Pantah Ice project of the late 70’s. That bike was involved in a race, the Ice Trophy, that only the Pantah could enter. Ironically, the Peace Sixty2 actually resembles the Pantah more closely than the Artika which if we’re being frank, looks like a standard Scrambler with chunkier tires.
7-Artika back_02 8-Artika_01
Lastly is the Revolution – a Scrambler based on the upcoming smaller capacity Sixty2 and has been modified to look (and ride) more like a bobber. The Revolution gets a leather rider-only seat as well as new fork yokes and a new plate holder. As the style requires, the front fender is eliminated and the rear seat gets chopped down to size – it’s a style that really suits the compact Scrambler.
4-Revolution_01 5-Revolution_03

Have Your Say in the First Global Custom Indian Scout Dealer Contest

Last November, Indian Motorcycles launched their Project Scout competition to give dealers around the world a chance to showcase not only the Indian Scout, but their design and creative flair. As an open ended contest, the only rules were the use of an Indian Scout (or new Scout Sixty) as well as three genuine accessories.

It’s now January and the entrants are in – an eclectic collection of 35 bikes entered by dealers in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and other countries. As one would expect when a competition like this is open to people from all over the world the themes and ideas are very broad and the dealers have come up with some truly wonderful custom bikes.

From now through Friday 19th February, Indian Motorcycle fans can vote for their favorite Project Scout by visiting http://www.indianmotorcycle.com/en-us/project-scout. On Saturday 20th February, the top three Project Scout finalists as voted by Indian Motorcycle fans will be announced. The dealers behind these three machines will then receive an all-expenses-paid weekend trip to the 75th annual Daytona Bike Week.

Indian Motorcycle will host a special award ceremony in Daytona Beach on Friday 11th March, during which a panel of celebrity judges will select the ultimate winner of the ‘Project Scout: Build a Legend’ program, with party goers voting for the winner of the Fan Favorite award.

Reid Wilson, Marketing Manager for Indian Motorcycle commented: “The response from our dealers to the Scout Custom Series and now this Project Scout program has been incredible. Watching these builds come together from around the world has been amazing. It’s clear that the passion and talent for customizing Indian Motorcycle models is built into our dealer base, and we know that people will be fired up when they see the final Project Scout builds.”

Below is just a sample of some of the bikes you can vote for.

The XV950 Ultra is a Superhero Masquerading as a Motorcycle

This is a Yamaha XV950, although you’d be hard pressed to recognise it. Dubbed the XV950 Ultra, it’s the first Yamaha Yard Built creation of 2016 and if this is a sign of things to come, we’re in for another great year of amazing custom built bikes. Made by Swiss customer builders GS Mashin with Tom Mosimann taking the lead, the XV950 Ultra is unlike anything we’ve seen recently and we love it.

Sure, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t say the XV950 Ultra is playing it safe. Reminding us of a Marvel superhero more than a traditional machine,  the bike is inspired by Gothic architecture. Tom worked to create a low, racy looking machine with big narrow wheels and clip-ons in a stand out colour scheme.

The Yard Built XV950 ‘ULTRA’ fairing is handmade from 1.5mm steel sheet with the mounts cut from a stainless steel pipe. A small Bates floodlight sits inside the fairing with the two Highsider turn signals. The custom fuel tank is also hand crafted from 1.5mm steel with the upper edge made with a trimming press. The lower section is cut from the original XV950 fuel tank. One of the standout elements of the build has to be the super clean prototype rear suspension units built by K-Tech, based on their signature style Bullit units.

The hand crafted steel tail unit wraps around a Shin Yo rear light unit and the seat is again a hand made affair with leatherwork by Jose Rey Saddlery. The beautiful aluminium upper fork crown is machined by Asic Robotics and is super clean without the holes for the risers. The wheels are a work of art, the original hubs were used then 18inch back and 21inch front rims were added with new spokes, with ABS!

I love what Tom has created with the XV as his base,” stated Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa. “I’m really happy that despite going for a really radical look, he shares our principles that a custom machine needs to retain the most important function; rideability. He’s kept the soul of the XV950 and wrapped it in a really original look without any cutting or welding to the frame. What is perhaps also very impressive is that 95% of the work he does is completed with just a few tools, an angle grinder, a bag of sand and a hammer!”