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Video: Riding Europe's finest retro bikes

Published: 11 January 2012

Updated: 20 November 2014

German firm LSL are becoming famous for creating achingly-cool retro custom bikes, but for owner Jochen Schmitz-Linkweiler they’re merely a hobby – his real business is manufacturing accessories.

When MCN visited LSL, we expected to find a small custom shop, but instead were welcomed into a 900 square meter, solar-powered factory turning out everything from handlebars to rearsets.


So how did the Triumph Thruxton and Kawasaki W800 specials you see here come about? Schmitz-Linkweiler explains: “They come from my personal history. I started with a BSA B25 when I was 18 and this bike was the first I changed the handlebars on. I still use the same type of bar now on my own Yamaha TRX850 – it’s very narrow and bent a little bit, like a clip-on. It’s a perfect compromise between comfort and sporty.

“I started with classic motorcycles. I love the minimal and classic nature of a motorcycle. There’s nothing there that’s not necessary, it’s just the fuel tank, seat, bars, wheels and engine. We carry this idea into a lot of the bikes we build now, we just concentrate on only what is necessary.”

Schmitz-Linkweiler has no plans to put any of these retro specials into production, he just enjoys building them for his own pleasure and they’re a handy rolling showcase for what LSL can do. But there again, he’s already built a few copies for German customers, so where’s there’s a will…

You could build any of the bikes here using parts from the LSL catalogue, or UK importer Moto Evolution can put you in touch with a specialist like Triumph dealers Jack Lilley, who have a history in producing tasty specials using the German company’s parts.

Read the full test of the LSL Clubman W800TR, LSL Clubman Thruxton and LSL Clubman Lindybob in this week’s issue of MCN (January 11), on sale now.

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