Knuckles are turning white on this one. But in life, it's all about choices. Some new ones have been made and I'm deciding to part with my 1968 Triumph Bonneville. But only for the right price. That said, if you're looking for a very clean, riding classic, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get you the details.
Three years ago today, we huddled around Adam’s computer, so wide-eyed, having just put together our very first issue. None of us were born from publishing and we’d just built an entire magazine issue. Issue One.
And then it was time. You know the time. It chases you around your apartment and stares you down like the phone call to the girl.
Will anyone buy a copy?
Will they like it?
Are we nuts?
Can we support our futures doing this?
Can we write worth a lick?
We reminded each other that it seemed good things come about when you’re trying to fill a need in your own life. We wanted this magazine.
So it’s our birthday today.
We’ve made it this far. A big thanks for sticking with us as we figured out what the hell we were doing. For actually buying the magazine, subscribing, and reading. For following us every day here.
Help us keep going if you believe in more years to come. We’d be so gracious if you decided to support us and grabbed a print subscription today. Our digital subscriber base still outpaces print, but in my opinion, print is where it’s at. It’s that slow cup of coffee first thing that tastes like nothing else.
Thank you to all for your support!
Head to shop.ironandair.com and enter code BIRTHDAY to get a years worth of Iron & Air Magazine delivered to your door (includes digital!) and we’ll whack $30 off during the next 24 hours. We want you to experience it! (subscription will start with upcoming Issue Twenty)
Having left Dime City Cycles and now running his own garage, Jason Paul Michaels is continuing to pursue his passion: building motorcycles. Jason and right-hand-man William Benedict recently completed this Triumph Thruxton for a local Florida collector. Sure, it’s a café racer. Sure it’s a Triumph. Sure we’ve seen them before. But Jason’s attention to detail is one of the things we’ve grown to love, so there is more to this bike than what you see at first glance.
Jason will be the first to admit, there’s nothing really “custom” on this bike with the exception of the hand-made 2-into-1 stainless steel exhaust they built from Cone Engineering stainless stock and a slick muffler Jason managed to wrestle from Roland Sands.
The bike, however, does include a handful of items from the “CR Line” developed at Dime City Cycles including headlight ears, instrument cluster kit, and rearsets. In addition, there’s a smattering of products from Britsh Customs which Jason says he's "quite fond of." Their stuff just “works” and when building a bike on a budget for a customer, time is money.
Other upgrades include Continental Attack tires, all the electrical goods were wrapped and treated with the best in connections from DEI, and Harley EFI tops from the boys at Biltwell, which match the Speed Merchant retro finned covers perfectly.
As for the paint, the customer only had one request, that it be retro in style and include red, black and silver - his three favorite colors. After a quick visit to Jason’s usual painter, Kevin Bates, they settled on a classic scheme with solid colors as opposed to more modern metallics. The custom badges are super thin aluminum die transferred with black ink and then clear coated to become one with the side cover yet still be “metal” to match the rest of the engine.
“There’s some things that just work on a bike," Jason mentions in regards to some of the stock bits left on the bike, "and in this instance the the customer wanted the timeless British look that the Napolean style mirrors achieve so we fitted some custom inserts in the bars and made them work." The customer wanted to keep a stock two-up ability, so Jason worked with his local upholstery guru and came up with a different foam pad that’s much more comfortable and breathable (awesome for Florida swampass!) and covered it with authentic suede.
As for performance and handling, in addition to the tire upgrade, the Thruxton was fitted with Progressive front springs and lowered 2” overall with a match size set of 412 Series dampers at the rear. The engine is completely stock with the exception of airbox, air-injection and 02 sensor removal all complimented by a custom made tune from Twin Power UK. Jason assured us “Yes, it does a wheelie.” And we’re sure it does….
The customer requested upgraded EBC rotors which aren’t cheap, so Jason explained that while he could certainly do it, a set of nicer pads would do with the stock rotors. He often says, “people get too crazy with what they put on a motorcycle. To me, one of the most important things is that it should be timeless. Which is often why you’ll see me cut and re-use factory components as a mix with hand-made or other products."
The latest from Anthony Mackenzie of Makarne Custom Built Motorbikes, is a 1980 Yamaha XS650 S. Before being parked for the better part of two-decades, this Australian barn find had its motor completely rebuilt, allowing Anthony to get the bike up and running easily. Aside from an electrical overhaul and update, the XS650 S was a perfect specimen to build this mild street tracker - unloved but unsullied.
Anthony de-tabbed the frame, put on custom front and rear fenders, added smaller Daytona indicators, and installed a Triumph rear tail light. The seat pan was re-shaped to hide the battery and electronics underneath the seat, including the PAMCO ignition system, new alternator, regulator/rectifier, and a new anit-gravity lithium battery. The tank was restored and painted to match the untouched engine and the front forks have been over-hauled with new seals, and fork gators, and each exhaust header with new cocktail shaker tips.
We wager that this bike is a blast to ride. Clean and simple.
We have a soft spot in our hearts for the arthropod inspired BMW S1000R. It took us a while to warm up to its jagged lines but once we did we were coverts. But deep in the back of our minds we always pondered what could be done in the transformative hands of a talented builder. Well, we can stop wondering.
Introducing “4cyl”, a custom S1000R built by Michael “Woolie” Woolaway o f Deus Ex Machina for the actor Orlando Bloom.
Be on the lookout for the full story coming in Issue Twenty.