Retro Write Up Top 13 for 2013 – Part 1

When we decided to put our Top 10 for 2013 together, we did not realise how difficult this would actually be to finalise. This blog has existed for nine months and we have featured eighty two different motorcycles; all of which we chose to feature in the first place because we liked them. So, in retrospect, we actually have a Top 82 for 2013. After putting several parameters in place we managed to get the first round of finalists down to thirty. After lengthy debate and more parameters we got it down to a total of thirteen motorcycles and we were unable to create any more sensible parameters to get down to the magic 10. So the Top 13 for 2013 it is. At least next year will be a little easier when we choose the Top 14 for 2014.

Before we introduce our choices, we would like to clarify a few of the main parameters that we used to avoid any unhappiness for those whose motorcycles do not appear in this feature. Firstly the motorcycle had to be representative of what we feel this blog was initially created to display, custom built motorcycles. We have featured and will continue featuring some finely restored classic motorcycles and scooters but they have been excluded for the purposes of this selection. We wanted to reflect a cross section of motorcycles which we found inspiring and that we hope will inspire other prospective customisers. Secondly the motorcycle had to be a motorcycle which was street legal and rideable as an every day ride. This excludes the racers and the show bikes. Thirdly we looked at creativity. The motorcycle should reflect originality and not be an exact replica of something previously built. My favourite motorcycle that we have featured is most certainly the incredibly expensive, beautiful and powerful Triton, yet it does not feature here because it looks the same as every other Triton replica on the internet. Fourthly we looked at budget. Custom motorcycles by definition are not cheap but we tried, as far as possible, to include motorcycles which were affordable to the average income earners such as ourselves. Motorcycles such as the exotic R150 000 KCR built Honda CB750s were therefore also excluded. The final criteria was that Marnitz had to have taken the photos himself. We appreciate those of you who have supplied us with professional quality photos but taking the photos is part of our fun. So in no particular order…

Honda CB750K

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We featured several beautiful CB750 based customs. This beauty was bought in boxes and rebuilt by an absolute novice for under R15 000, including a R4 500 paint job and new tyres. Even the tank fabrication was done by him. This one is inspiration for all of us on a budget.

BMW R100

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Even the top European customisers are battling to make the most disappointing looking BMW R NineT cafe racer look like a retro bike. This is what it should actually look like… end of story.

Sportster Bobber

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Another example of a professional quality bike built from the ground up by a novice on a tight budget. Always a crowd pleaser, this rigid 1200cc Harley easily does 200km/h!

BMW K100

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Still the best example we have ever seen anywhere on the planet!

Honda CB175

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Small capacity cafe racers are big news internationally and the trend will eventually gain favour in South Africa. This little Honda is exquisite.

Kawasaki KZ400

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The desert sled style is a novel yet economical way of transforming a 1970s and 80s commuter into a personalised, rugged custom which is still great daily transport.

Part 2 coming up soon!

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2 Responses to Retro Write Up Top 13 for 2013 – Part 1

  1. Dave Coetzee 12/23/2013 at 7:27 pm #

    Thanks for this enjoyable feature!
    I like the parameters you set for this Top 13 & can see why they’re in no particular order, ’cause they’re all so good!
    If I were pushed for a top 3, I’d have to go with the last 3, but that could change if I had to review more views of all the photos taken for these bikes.

    Looking forward to the remaining 7.

  2. Barry 12/25/2013 at 11:42 am #

    Nice selection of bikes. I particularly think the K100 is well done considering it’s a very hard basis to work with.

    Well done to all the builders with bikes featured on this site, all 82!

    And a special thanks to Marnitz and Colin for their drive and motivation behind this site.

    Let 2014 be drowned in creativity, let’s push the envelope lads!!!

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