Written by Marlon Slack

Christmas has been easy for you. You lot have been stuffing your faces and lying comatose on the couch. But meanwhile, we at Pipeburn HQ have been tearing our hair out. Coming up with a list of finalists from the bikes we’ve featured over the last twelve months is no easy task. But there can only be ten contenders. And there can be only one Pipeburn Bike Of The Year.

So we’ve looked at personal favourites, the rides that garnered the most comments, the sharing on social media and that certain je ne sais quoi that gets our hearts racing. Every bike on the website has a special place in our hearts, but these are the ones that’ll live on through the ages. So read on and feast your eyes ten of the most incredible custom bikes of 2018…

10. Craig Rodsmith’s Moto Guzzi V9 Turbo

Way, way back in February everyone’s favourite aluminum whisperer knocked another Guzzi build out of the park. Craig Rodsmith’s turbocharged V9 proves yet again that he’s the master of carefully massaged metalwork as well as youtube videos and obscene language.


9. LC Fabrication’s ‘SX1250’ Harley Sportster Enduro

If anyone ever says they don’t like Harleys just flash them a photo of LC Fabrication’s 1250 Dirtster. While it’s perfectly proportioned and functional, it’s also one of those builds that rewards a careful look. A hell of a lot of work goes into making a Sportster look sporty. And even more work in making it look this ‘right’.


8. Diamond Atelier’s ‘Mark II Evo’ BMW R100R

Diamond Atelier have spent more time coaxing boxers into shape than Don King. And each one is a masterclass in fit and finish. But they don’t rest on their laurels – their most recent BMW cafe racer is a refinement of an earlier design. That was near perfect. This one might be absolutely perfect. Find me something wrong with this bike. Go on. I dares ya.


7. Nozem Amsterdam’s BMW R80

In recent years we’ve been hit over the head by so many boxers we felt like we felt punch drunk. But then Nozem Amsterdam turned us into gibbering idiots in a whole different way. After disappearing off the radar for a while due to a death in the family Nozem reappeared with this ride in January to remind us exactly how far a boxer-engined cafe racer could be taken. The answer? Damn far.


6. Hazan Motorworks’ 1938 JAP Bobber

Max Hazan’s won our BOTY on three previous occasions and is practically a guaranteed shoe-in for our top ten. And once again LA’s greatest bike builder has managed to blur the line between motorcycle and art by producing this incredible 1938 JAP, the oldest motorcycle on our top ten list.


5. Young Gun’s 1971 Triumph Trackmaster

The Swiss upstarts at the Young Guns Speed Shop blew us away in April when their latest creation smashed into our inbox. Based on a 1971 Triumph Trackmaster, it’s a jaw-dropper produced as a period-correct custom that’s had us all drooling.


4. Hazan Motoworks’ Royal Enfield V-Twin

Yep, Max Hazan has two bikes in our top ten. That’s unusual. But it’s Max Hazan. His jaw-dropping double-barrel Royal Enfield bullet engine takes centre stage in another one of his gorgeous low-flying bobbers.


3. Bernard Mont’s ‘Nowhere Faster’ Ducati Sprint Racer

We love the Sultans of Sprint race series. Partly because of the racing. Partly because of the parties. But the main reason we love the European race series is for the bombastic bike builds it inspires. They’re built with two goals in mind. To belt down a 400 meter drag strip. And to look damn good. Bernard Mont’s Multistrada manages both with his nearly-scratch-built low slung dragster.


2. MotoRelic’s Yamaha XT500 Restomod

And just when our selections were getting little mental, we’re toning things down with this gloriously understated restomod by MotoRelic. While we love bikes that are balls-to-the-wall insane, nothing beats an old classic given a short back and sides and a few tasty modifications. This is the most gloriously understated and thoughtful bike we’ve seen all year.


1. Rusty Factory’s ‘White Angel’ BMW R75

And now for our number one selection. Malaysia’s Rusty Factory blew us away when we saw it unveiled at the Art of Speed show just outside of Kuala Lumpur. It’s clean and stripped back, immaculately finished and runs miles and miles of polished alloy. Equal parts retro and futuristic, it’s everything we’re loving in the bike scene at the moment. And that’s why we’ve decided to name Rusty Factory’s BMW R75/5 ‘White Angel’ as our official 9th annual Pipeburn Bike of The Year.


And now a time for all of the team here – Andrew, Martin, Scott and myself – to thank you, our dear readers, for your support over the last twelve months. Without your clicks, comments, shares and support we wouldn’t be able to bring you Pipeburn. Also, thanks to our new mates we’ve made overseas in Malaysia, India, Colombia and everyone else in the scene who we’ve shot the shit and had a drink with. And of course, thanks to all the builders all over the world who keep sending such incredible eye candy to our inbox. 2018 was a stellar year for custom motorcycles. Just wait and see what 2019 has in store…