Looking Back At Recent Custom Motorcycle Style

Part of my job while writing this Blog is to observe all motorcycle events susceptible to shape the future of our custom motorcycle industry. It’s also, from time to time, to look at the distant and recent past to measure how much bike and part designs are evolving and in which direction. I was looking for a new built custom motorcycle, not necessary the best in my opinion, but kind of representative of what was built during these last 5 years. Of course, my choice is subjective, but I think that the design featured here, mixing both traditions of the long chopper and of the board tracker with some zen (or Japanese) attitude  is quite representative of the years 20005-2010 where builders looked at the past for inspiration and abroad for style to create new modern bikes.

Hazel is a 2008 creation of TPJ Customs, whose obvious objective was  to create a futuristic board tracker, something that the guys back then may have built if they had our modern parts. Bryan Schimken created every piece at the shop starting with a chromoly frame and positioning front end and bars to get you into the race position. To keep everything light, the bike weights only 315 pounds, most of the parts are aluminum were possible and Bryan used the hubs from a Honda CRF450 for lightness and durability. Using a BDL clutch and pulleys Bryan created the rest of the primary drive and also handmade the gas tank and oil tank placed front of the engine. A total of 900 hours of labor for a successful design that we may one day qualify of so 2008… TPJ Customs. (Build only what you like, but very soon I will post about what I think is the style of custom bike that many builders are going to embrace in 2011)

Zipper's

16 Responses to “Looking Back At Recent Custom Motorcycle Style”


  1. 1 trent reker Dec 28th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    nicely put, cyril. it’s representative of what’s been happening in the past few years definitely. been a big fan of the tank under or beside the top tube since i fist saw mr. young do that eight-plus years ago.

    i wonder if one needs to wear a “cup” to ride it? frames like that make my nuts hurt just looking at them. actually, it would probably disembowel you if something unfortunate were to occur.

    still, the rear of the frame looks stuck on to the front. the flow is ruined. and does one really need to sit 16 inches off the ground?

  2. 2 Seymour Dec 28th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Yah, we did the board track thing, which is cool, but I wonder what’s next. Personally, I hope it has to do with abandoning the V twin. Tired of it. Let’s try more inline 4 cylinders..? (inline longways)

  3. 3 Ben Dec 28th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    it is an interesting bike but tr is right, it dosent flow…and board trackers never rode with their feet out in front of them. I am all for inovative design but do not like or appreciate bikes that are basically unrideable. Building a bike that can’t or wont be riden uses parts that could be used by people that will ride.

  4. 4 zyon Dec 28th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I love the “it’s unridable” comments. It seems like every blog you go to that features custom bikes has at least one person say it.

    I’d like to ask… have you attempted to ride it? If not, why assume it is unridable! What you might want to say is…”this bike is outside my skill level to ride so I don’t like it.” Just because it is unridable to you doesn’t mean it’s unridable to someone else?

    Personally, I’d like to see forward controls instead of the controls mounted in the middle but I’d still love to ride this bike. To me it looks like a challenge, not an impossible one but a challenge none the less and I love challenges.

  5. 5 Wiz Dec 29th, 2010 at 5:37 am

    A skinny guy on the board track might git it, but me ‘an my belly definately wouldn’t! Wiz

  6. 6 steveb Dec 29th, 2010 at 9:21 am

    why not just appreciate it for what it is – a beautiful, well designed, beautifully fabricated and finished machine – as much fun to look at and appreciate as I am sure it is to ride?

  7. 7 burnout Dec 29th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I’m with you Wiz, I look like a pumpkin on a peanut! peace

  8. 8 aft customs Dec 29th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Zyon – I don’t know who you are but I like ya! Cyril miss spelled Bryans last name (Schimke). Bryan doesn’t build bikes for the masses because they don’t get it. He built the bike to fit his personal style & size & he builds to be recognized by his peers. This bike finished 10th in the world in the freestyle class at AMD. His peers voted. Bikes built for the World Championships are about the future , not the past. It takes guts to build bikes with vision. I can also tell you that he makes almost every part for his bikes himself. He is currently building our frame for our 2011 AMD entry. He has been kind enough to have AFT Girl (Cyndy) doing some of the TIG welding on the frame. It’s been a great experiance for all the girls to see how much work goes into designing & making a frame.

  9. 9 Cobb Dec 30th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Beautiful bike, it’s probably not for everyone but I like it

  10. 10 Sukhee Dec 31st, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    That is a sexy little machine, and Bryan is the sh**! One of the hardest working builders out there and a heck of a nice guy. Oh, and btw, Ben…whoever you are that was one of the dumbest comments, “uses parts that should be used on bikes that can be ridden.” Really?? Did ya ride it? Did you consider that Bryan fabricated almost everything for That bike? Anyway, I say don’t hate just appreciate what Bryan can do!

  11. 11 Eric Maurer Jan 2nd, 2011 at 1:58 am

    love this bike! love this style!
    Just curious…. when did EVO become a four letter word? The only EVOs you see in magazines are Sporties or baggers, and even then, not tat much these days. When did Sportsters and Baggers become cool and anything Evo based became lame? I just don’t get it! I am a loyal reader of several chopper mags and blogs and you are hard pressed to find any bike features other than shovels, pans. and ironhead sporties. I love these motors and have owned, will own and dream of, these motors time and time again, but goddammit… let us not don’t forget that EVOs are amazing motors, softails are still cool (and sorry, but baggers still suck!)

    OK, I’m done!

  12. 12 Wiz Jan 2nd, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Evo’s are the best, most reliable engines Harley ever made. Just my opinion and expierence of course. Wiz

  13. 13 RUB Jan 3rd, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    great bike for riding to the local bike night and then home . just make sure you wear the proper poser outfit . ( check weather before leaving house )

  14. 14 chrism13 Jan 4th, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Steveb has the right idea, look at it for all the one off pieces we can use on a different bike . Hey folks just ride on , don’t waste your time cuttin’ someone’s visions ,create your own or fuck off !

  15. 15 Boomer Jan 4th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Trailer Queen …………………………………………………

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