Steampunkish art deco is the new custom

Dailies -


bikes-2010world-013-a-l.jpgPhotos: Horst Roesler and Frank Sander

If these three islands of creativity in the sea of chromed-out Harley-customs that is the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building are representative of a new trend, then steampunkish art deco is the new custom. 

Speed Shop Design: Beezerker

SpeedShopDesign.jpgThe BSA-based Beezerker is a hand made beauty looking like something from another time on another planet. Chris Flechtner’s hand made, wacky beauty probably isn’t good at anything else than being pointless, beautiful and putting a smile on your face. Who could ask for more?

Yuri Shif Custom: The Machine

YuriShifCustoms.jpgA hub-steering, four-cylinder, supercharged, vintage BMW boxer-engined, 30′s German race car inspired monster from Belarus is exactly what you would never expect to find at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building in Sturgis, which in itself makes it brilliant.

Mücechoppers: Simson

bikes-2010world-046-e-l.jpgThis Hungarian builder is a man of few words. Here’s the description he has entered for his bike: “Pipes made of titanium, everything is hand fabricated by Müce”. The bike is based on the East-German 1960 Simson AWO 425 S, but more importantly: Are these trousers more or less gay than Freddie Krugger’s capri pants?

  • Deltablues

    I know it is impractical…but where I live, “The Machine” would be an awesome ride. I live in the Delta of Arkansas our long long long flat stretches of road would be a lovely place for “The Machine” as we blast past cotton, corn, and rice fields.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    These look like they belong in the next Pixar movie. And I mean that in a tremendously positive way. Much love, respect, and good beer to the free thinkers.

  • Jackie

    Wonderful. Love each one. Look where the brake disc is on the BSA, and check out the exhaust.

    • Matt

      Rotor sprocket?


  • Pete

    It is really nice to see these guys try something different than the same old same old. btw, that guy who built the third bike must have studied photos of a 19teens Militaire motorcycle. Check the front suspension/steering, isolated seat, hand shifter location and the wooden spoke wheels. Good stuff.

  • Isaac

    I like it a lot, clean simple lines, retro modern.

  • Isaac

    I like the last bike especially!

  • kidchampion

    More gay. Definitely.

  • HammSammich

    I became completely fed up with the whole “custom” bike craze years ago, as the choices were largely limited to either a stretched and raked-out chrome dripping slowmobile, with custom fabricated doo-dads tacked on, or a stretched and chrome-dipped “Sport-bike” with speakers and stereo equipment that outweigh the engine itself.

    That having been said, I’m intrigued and excited by some of the burgeoning trends on this scene. Guys like these are getting recognized, not only because of the quality of their work or their creative designs, but because they are pushing the limits of customization, with nearly none of the parts, save for the powerplants, being off the shelf.

    Now, I just need to become wealthy and/or skilled enough to commission, or build myself my dream custom. A modern Triumph Thruxton frame with a Speed Triple motor some how shoved in – Bonus points if I can get it to look oil/air cooled.

    • 2ndderivative

      Hey! No stealing my idea for a Bonneville with a longitudinal mount 675 triple motor.

      • HammSammich

        I’d settle for the 675 Triple, but with all the weight you’re hauling around, I’d prefer the grunt of the 1050. I’d also prefer transverse mount, with stacked triple exhaust on one side…kind of a modern interpretation of the Triumph X75. But I’m willing to bet that either one would be a hoot to ride!

  • robotribe

    Is this an indication that the pendulum of taste in custom bikes will finally swing back from “ASS” to “CLASS”?

    I sure as hell hope so.

    • Cajun

      Nicely put Roto I hope the pendulum has swung as well.

  • Dorian


    That brake rotor / sprocket is genius. Actually could be practical weight savings if some engineering , material science put into it.

    The exhaust is good but the pipe could be taken to follow the frame up in the same colour as the frame.

    The front suspension , I was just thinking of the same idea on my thruxton/ telelever. Difference is , I spent 17 minutes on it, he actually did it.

    • Sean Smith

      Actually, the sproter is nothing new. Exile choppers has been making a kit for years, and I’ve seen them on all sorts of things.

      You really don’t saave any weight with this setup, it just looks neat because you have a nice clean look on the non-business side of the wheel. A seperate brake rotor and sprocket weigh less than a single sproter. Rear brake rotors are tiny, and sprockets dont really need much between the teeth and the mounting holes, so filling it all in to make an extra thick brake rotor is kinda a bad move.

  • monkeyfumi

    Brake rotor sprockets are nothing new.
    I agree that it is good that we are moving away from overblown candy and chrome bikes. Practicality is still questionable though.
    I would also not be game enough to call the angry looking hugarian mans’ pants gay to his face.

  • Pete

    Using the same part to be a sprocket and a rotor looks really cool. But there are some mechanical issues. The first is chain grease. You don’t want that on your brake! Another issue is that brake rotors stop best if they are made from cast iron. CI has a good coefficient of friction on brake pads. But sprockets want to be made from hardened steel so they last for a while.

    I think that bike will be fine for short rides. And it does look pretty cool with all the hand made stuff he designed and built. great effort.

  • ephophex

    Another interestingly trick braking solution would be a front-wheel hydraulic unit that could both drive the wheel and reverse its action to provide braking force.

    Keeping seals in it during braking could be an interesting proposition, though…