The year has flown by with the world back in full swing and around the globe the custom motorcycle community was back together, with events like the Bike Shed Show in London and the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show absolutely packed with big crowds and endless incredible creations. It was a year where no single style stood out, instead, the artist inside us all came out to play and builders turned up the creativity to ten and we’ve never seen so many truly unique machines make our pages. We’ve been blessed with brilliant bikes from every continent on the planet, but the key component has been quality, you simply have to be at the top of your game to make the cut. So, with that in mind, a great thanks to you all for joining us again on this wonderful and wild ride, Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re Pipeburn Bikes of the Year…
10. Triumph TR5 by Black Cycles and Pop Bang Classics.
Built right, an old Triumph TR5 can be turned into one of the most simply stunning customs you’re ever likely to see. So when one Sydneysider knew that was exactly what he was after, the big question was who he would turn to in the bid for a beautiful bobber. He thought outside the box and selected two of Australia’s best in the form of Noel from Black Cycles and Justin from Pop Bang Classics, and together they didn’t let him down. The results simply speak for themselves and everyone in the comments section wanted this gorgeous girl in their own garage.
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9. Royal Enfield GT650 by Skunk Machine.
It was a huge year for both Royal Enfield and collaborations across the scene and bringing those two things to one crazy carbon crescendo, was Skunk Machine and their RE GT650. An automotive design studio headed up by Carl Cerra, he worked with the Australian Enfield importer and a host of the best suppliers in the industry to create ‘Cerra 865’. From clay moulding and CAD to CNC and carbon fibre, the end result is a visually beautiful sports bike, with the performance to match the looks and workmanship that is simply out of this world.
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8. Honda CBX1000 by Bolt Motor Company.
Resto-mods are all the rage at the moment, and for good reason too, you get all of the character and style of a classic bike with the performance of a modern machine. It seems that MotoGP Hall of Famer Jorge ‘Aspar’ Martínez loves them too and had Spain’s Bolt Motor Company build him one incredible Honda CBX1000 with all of the fruit. Obviously, the bike had to look incredible and the team knocked that metric out of the park, but with such a client the bike also had to perform flawlessly as well. And with Jorge grinning from ear to ear and the internet applauding loudly, it was an easy choice to place Bolt’s ‘Bellucci’ into the bikes of the year.
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7. Royal Enfield Bullet by TNT Motorcycles.
The Indian custom motorcycle scene has been booming in recent years, and one of the workshops leading from the front is New Delhi’s TNT Motorcycles. With a dream client who wanted his old school Bullet turned into a literal work of art, Naveen and his team set about crafting a metal masterpiece. Without access to many of the tools we take for granted, TNT used a mix of stainless steel and aluminium to build everything from a custom frame to an ultra trick girder front end, and one of the best bits of bodywork we’ve seen all year.
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6. Indian Chief by LC Fabrications.
He’s a hell of a nice guy who works his backside off and he also happens to be one of the most talented craftsmen in the game. Jeremy Cupp of LC Fabrications is an old-school blue-collar guy with skills that are simply world class. So much so that a quiet old man gifted him his beloved 1925 Indian Chief and knew that from its old bones, Cupp could craft an authentic vintage custom creation. With the Chief’s powertrain for propulsion, Jeremy has built the rest of this fantastic bike with his own bare hands. Board tracker in style, an engine of endless character and flawless workmanship, it’s why we love Virginia’s finest.
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5. Triumph 6T by Heiwa Motorcycles.
At his always brilliant best, it’s no surprise to see legendary Japanese builder, Kengo Kimura, of Heiwa Motorcycles once again deep inside the top ten. “Seven Star 7” was built for this year’s Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show and the long and low Triumph had a crowd buzzing around it all weekend. Based on a pre-unit Triumph 6T, it is a master class in design, metal shaping and an absolute commitment to perfection. Kimura-san has been in the game for decades, but once again, 2022 saw him deliver one incredible build after another, with this beauty being the pick of the bunch.
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4. Ducati ‘Fuse’ by Revival Cycles.
Seven years in the making and a budget that ended up hitting half a million dollars, delivered this Ducati with every detail perfected, by Revival Cycles. Commissioned by internationally renowned designer Ed Boyd, ‘Fuse’ has been worked on by many hands over the years and the results are impossible to argue with. From the one-off stainless steel frame to the machined aluminium swingarm and that gorgeous monocoque body, nothing went on this bike until it was absolutely perfect. The single-piece triple clamp and handlebar combination, with internal controls, switches and master cylinders is a work of art on its own, and it earned the bike an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
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3. ‘Killa Bee’ by Alp Racing and Design.
Climbing onto the podium in 2022 is the world’s coolest husband and wife team, Alp and Jalika from Alp Racing and Design with their incredible nitro-snorting Triumph known as the ‘Killa Bee’. A mainstay of the land speed record community, the pair have smashed endless world records over the years, but this racer takes things to a whole new level. The entire thing is built in the home shop and the chassis is a work of art, made from 6061 flat aluminium sheets, which are clamped together. The engine package is their own build and design from years of development, and slurping 95% nitro, this beast looks incredible while firing across the salt flats in its Porsche Signal Yellow.
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2. Honda CR836K by Ziggy Moto.
It’s hard to think of a motorcycle whose arrival has been so eagerly awaited as the final unveil of Ziggy Moto’s Honda CR836K. From the brilliant mind of Paul Drake, we’ve seen the digital renderings on his super popular Instagram page slowly come to life and form the final design. But few could imagine that the CGI genius was as good on the tools as he is at the computer and his rendered retro reimagining of the famed Honda CR750, is a masterclass in proving how his digital skills translate into an analogue world. Simply brilliant in every single way, it earned its spot as the poster bike for this year’s Bike Shed Show and now salutes with a silver medal.
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1. Harley-Davidson Shovelhead by Satomari Motorcycles.
But there can only be one winner, and with decades of experience, an unrivalled commitment to perfection and the ability to build every aspect of a bike from the ground up into a show-stopping machine, the top spot is taken out by master Yusaku Sato and his Shovelhead built under the Satomari Motorcycles banner. For 35 years his company was known as Sato Marine, but with his wife by his side, the name is all that has changed, as Sato-san delivers one incredible bike after another. He epitomises all that we love about the Japanese custom scene, a humble artisan, whose skills, like his bikes take your breath away. The engine is so good you could eat off it and raw v-twin power matches brilliantly in blue with stunning fabrication work and an endless array of delicious details.
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Lastly, we’d like to thank all our readers, friends across social media, and those who keep the comments section a fun place to hang out. Stay safe and have a great Xmas and New Year!