MCN Retro: Shop Built

By Gary Pinchin -

General news

 13 September 2011 12:11

Don't miss MCN Retro, a 32-page magazine free with this week's MCN (September 14), featuring retro metal like these stunning bespoke shop-built specials from Falcon Motorcycles and Krazy Horse Custom Cycles, amongst others from Krugger, Spirit of the Seventies and Deus Ex Machina.

The Black Falcon | Falcon Motorcycles, Los Angeles, California, USA

The Black Falcon

Vincent Black Shadow. One of the most iconic British motorcycles ever. But Stevenage never envisaged this. The is 'The Black Falcon,' one of 10 bikes being built using iconic British motorcycle engines by LA-based Falcon Motorcycles.

The company was formed by Ian Barry and Amaryllis Knight in 2007, with the intention of building 10 one-off motorcycles over a 10-year period using British motorcycle engines and Barry, a bike builder since the age of 11 years, embarked on this journey with 'The Bullet Falcon', a boardtracker-inspired 1950 Triumph Thunderbird twin.

The starting point for project number two was a 1970 Bonnie-powered hardtail called 'The Kestrel'. And 'The Black Falcon' is his latest gem, utilising a 1952 Vincent Black Shadow V-twin.

The engine, originally modified for drag racing, was found as a basket case, totally stripped. Every component has since been blueprinted and is now up to 'Black Lightning' race spec. But it's the rolling chassis that really stands out. The only stock part is one small frame lug. Everything else has been totally redesigned and fabricated by Falcon Motorcycles.

Read more about 'The Black Falcon' in MCN Retro.

Harley-Davidson Panhead | Krazy Horse Custom Cycles, Bury St Edmunds, England

Krazy Horse

This '52 Pan was turned into a 70s style bobber by Krazy Horse when the shop first opened 15 years ago and is the firm's Paul Beamish's personal ride. He said: "This bike shows that while custom bike fashions come and go, the bobber stands the test of time."

Beneath the cool paint, ape-hangers and upswept fishtails is a remarkably stock motorcycle. The 74 cubic inch (1200cc) motor and gearbox was rebuilt standard while the original Linkert carb has been replaced with a 1 3/4in Riviera SU. "The Pan is such a soft motor, the SU Carb suits it. It's actually quite a small bike by modern standards, and quite light, so even though it's producing only 65bhp it rides well and is very reliable," said Beamish.

The hard-tail wishbone frame is original (it's still even got the sidecar mounts) while the de-raked front end features stock, wide yokes with forks from a generator Shovel, with shaved legs to give that So Cal, so cool wide-glide look.

What's it like to ride? "After 15 years, I know I can just jump on this bike and still get a grin on my face," said Beamish.

Read more about the Krazy Horse custom Harleys in MCN Retro, a 32-page magazine free with this week's MCN (September 14).