What is it about motorcycles that we love so much? They're definitely very cool. You might even say that riding motorbikes is exceptionally cool. In fact, we would even go as far as to say that in some cases, motorcycling will make you cooler than anybody else in the world. Deep in their hearts, people know this to be true. You automatically notice people riding motorcycles. You may ask yourself where they are going, and you may wonder what kind of person exists under the blackened helmet and visor.
When you see someone in a car, you don't think anything of it, except perhaps for how long it will take until you pass them and finally reach your end destination. Sure, cars give you freedom, but motorcycles allow you that little bit extra. Everything becomes that much faster, you end up at point b much quicker, and it just feels better.
On the road, life becomes peaceful and less stressful when riding a bike, and compared to car costs, riding motorcycles can be a whole lot cheaper. They can be fuel efficient and less prone to damage. They can also be cheaper at toll booths and parking spaces. All in all, biking just blows other methods of transport out the window.
To prove just how amazing motorcycles can be, here are 8 of the sickest modified motorcycles and, just to balance it out, 10 others that won't make it out of the driveway.
18 Fiat Abarth Engine (Worst)
This North Coast Custom Fiat Abarth Motorcycle might look fancy with its glossy red and shiny metal paintwork, but it's really not. Built by Francesco Bella on the North Coast of Sicily, the bike sources a 499cc twin with an engine from a 1960s Fiat 500. Yes, it might sound cool, but this unlikely power plant only seems to render the engine useless rather than allowing it reach the magnitude you would expect.
Overall, the North Coast Custom is more about appearance than performance, which generally signals the death of a motorcycle. All you have to do is look at this thing to realize that it's all about aesthetics, with the engine on full display surrounded by custom exhausts and tanks. Come back to us when you can go faster.
17 Speedy (Best)
Custom motorbikes continue to create debate among the motorcycle community. Many people feel that bikes should be peacefully left alone, while others believe that bikes are there to be modified.
The Speedy is the epitome of modification and is one of a select few that holds a Jawa engine. Add that to a Triumph gearbox and the Speedy becomes a one-off street racer ready to blow your socks off.
In fact, the bike was so good that it finished as runner-up at the AMD World Championship in 2014 and it’s most definitely not hard to see why.
Happy with his design, engineer Eddie Gustafsson stated, "My goal was to design and construct a motorcycle with aesthetically appealing, simple and elegant details that have never been seen before on a motorcycle."
16 Rough Crafts ‘Urban Cavalry’ (Harley-Davidson Dyna) (Worst)
Usually, when you think of Harley-Davidson, you think of top quality engineering and even better motorbikes. However, custom builders Rough Crafts, who also have a good reputation, seemingly missed the mark on this one.
Focusing more on performance rather than style, the bike was based on a 2014-spec Dyna Street Bob. Complete with a new front end, an aluminum swing arm and a BDL open belt drive to reduce the weight, the bike might sound the part, but it misses the boat on quality riding. That's right, said to be a performance-driven bike, the 103 ci (1689 cc) motor just doesn't quite cut the mustard. However, it's not all bad, with the bike looking as if it came straight off the streets from Blade Runner. Now that's cool.
15 Thunderbike Unbreakable (Best)
Looking like it has just come straight out of the year 3000, the Thunderbike Unbreakable is an exceptionally amazing piece of German engineering. Built around a Harley-Davidson CVO engine & transmission, the Unbreakable is everything you'd expect something called the Unbreakable to be.
Built by Andreas Bergerforth, The Unbreakable won the Best Custom & Best in Show at Arneitz and the 1st Place at the European Bike Week in Faak, both held in Austria.
As well as looking the part, the Unbreakable is also powered by a 110cui 100 HP Screamin’ Eagle EFI H-D engine mated to a 6-speed H-D transmission and an NH-power clutch. Taking just a measly six months to manually design and build, the Unbreakable is without a doubt one of the coolest modified motorcycles we have ever have seen.
14 Vernier’s Moto Guzzi V65 (Worst)
All in all, motorcycles are just cool. They look cool, they sound cool and they get you places faster than a car. However, sometimes, just like everything else in this world, motorbikes can you let down. Just ask the Vernier Moto Guzzi V65.
Yes, it may look like a vintage dream, but deep down it's just your average motorbike with no special features. Vernier customs are a Brooklyn based custom motorcycle shop with five "Diabola" bikes to their name. Yet the Vernier’s Moto Guzzi V65 is just too reliable and simple for our liking. Restored to "mint" condition, the bike was nearly stripped of everything, which sadly took the vintage essence away as well. Everything apart from the tank and the headlight brackets have been replaced or modified, leaving the bike to look more like a shadow of its former self.
13 Nut Cracker (Best)
The hilariously named and exceptionally designed Nutcracker won best in show at Bulldog Bash in 2014 and is often referred to as the most beautiful motorcycle on the market. Built by engineer Paul Milbourn, Nutcracker is a fine example of British engineering at its very best.
It's not just Bentley's and Jaguars in good old Blighty after all. Custom built using a heavily modified Honda Vigor XL600R, (which is kind of strange) the Nutcracker looks more like a work of art than a mode of transport. It certainly rides like one too, all while looking extremely handsome. Can motorbikes be handsome? This one can. Astonishingly long for a motorcycle, the front wheel is 21 inches in diameter and the rear is 16 inches. This bike is seriously one of a kind.
12 'Senna Tribute' (Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk1) (Worst)
Motorbikes and Formula One drivers go hand in hand with the likes of Louis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher all professing their love for the metal machines, so what would be better than to dedicate a custom-made bike to the Formula One hero that is Aryton Senna?
One of the best drivers to have ever graced the tracks of Formula One, Senna was sadly taken from us while leading the Italian Grand Prix in 1994.
Built by German Marcus Walz to honor the great man himself, the Senna Tribute just doesn't live up to the hype, never mind the legend that inspired it. The limited edition was completely rebuilt from the ground up, but somehow fails at the final hurdle. However, the custom bodywork inspired by Senna's famous helmet design certainly adds a few points.
11 The Henne Inspired BMW Landspeeder (Best)
More a piece of art than a motorbike, the Landspeeder is a beauty to behold. Inspired by the motorcycling legend that is Ernst Jakob Henne, the bike is one of the best-modified motorcycles on the market. Not only was Henne one of the most successful racers ever, but he also notched up a magnificent 76 land speed records between 1929 and 1937.
To honor just how amazing he was, Revival Cycles have used the supercharged 500cc BMW bike that Henne broke records on, and turned it into something magical. However, though the old school motor has been dropped, the Landspeeder now holds a BMW R100/7 engine that is sure to blow your socks off.
10 Hazan Motorworks BSA A50 (Worst)
It might look the part, but the BSA A50 isn't all that it's cracked up to be. The first custom-made model to come out of the new Los Angeles workshop of Max Hazan, this BAS A50 was designed and built in as little as five weeks. The bike was commissioned, and such a short deadline resulted in shoddy engineering and a rushed finish.
Though it was built in a very short time, the craftsmanship that went into the bike is seriously something to behold. Built entirely from scratch, the bike's design is the simplest of motorcycle creations, but it still manages to look good. It's just such a shame that it had to be completed so quickly, otherwise this bike would definitely have made it onto the best list.
9 1930 KJ Henderson Custom (Best)
Have you ever seen anything quite like this? Probably not. Most likely one of the first ever art deco inspired motorcycles out there, the 1930 KJ Henderson looks like something you might find in a museum. The proud owner of an inline-4 air-cooled engine, this beast is as thirsty as thirsty gets.
It may admittedly be a little hot to handle at times, but that doesn't stop it being one of the coolest motorbikes out there. I mean, just look at it! It's a beauty.
Built by Frank Westfall of Henderson Custom, the bike also received a new paint job, updated bodywork and a complete engineering reboot. However, shape wise it's still pretty much the same as the original. Sometimes, modifications are best when you can't see them at all.
8 Royal Enfield Classic 500 (Worst)
Bland, boring and blue, the Royal Enfield Classic 500 was strangely inspired by a bunch of fat-tired beach cruisers. Hardly the most astonishing piece of equipment, the bike was made by Canadian engineer Brent Giesbrecht of Royal Enfields.
Noted for using hand stitched saddlebags instead of an air box, the bike just doesn't cut the mustard when it comes to blowing audiences away.
Discussing his love for beach cruisers, Brent stated, "I wanted to try and capture that beach bike look and feel on a Royal Enfield, so I started with an ‘11 Royal Enfield 500 EFI. It was stock except for an off-road pipe and an ECU. Once I stripped everything off the bike and was left with the frame and swing arm, it became pretty clear that it was leaning towards the bobber end of the spectrum. So somehow, a beach-bobber idea started to brew".
7 ‘NURBS’ (BMW K1600) (Best)
This bike seriously belongs in the future, or at least in a science fiction movie. Stunning, to say the least, the BMW K1600 is certainly up there with the best. Killing it with six cylinders, seven computers, multiple drive modes and adaptive headlights, this bike blows all other bikes out of the water, even if it is a little on the heavy side.
Built by Fred "Krugger" Bertrand, the bike was inspired by the iconic pre-War BMW R7. Krugger is obviously a fan of 1930s Art Deco, and the bike is most definitely on the right side of beautiful. In fact, the whole thing is a piece of art, with Bertrand going all out to get the design right, focussing on shadows and contrast between light and dark. Who says engineers aren't artists?
6 Widowmaker 7 (Worst)
Who are we kidding? This is hardly one of the worst, but it's called Widowmaker and is one of the fastest motorcycles in the world, so surely it is sensible not to endorse such a thing?
One day in 1957, inspired by the CHEVY V-8, 16-year-old Elon Jack Potter decided to build his own version. Now famed (and confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records) for being the fastest motorcycle in the world, Widowmaker is purely the result of a young man's dream.
Running around town with a Chevrolet small-block 350cid V8 with Crane gear-driven roller cam and rockers, the bike can really break some speeds. However, though it might have a nice story, the end result is something of a mishmash of parts. Plus, it's kind of a death trap, and no one wants a death trap.
5 La Bestia 1372 (Best)
Built by brothers Pablo and Carlos Delgado of Valtoron, La Bestia really is on of the best when it comes to custom bikes. Retaining much of the original build, such as the engine and most of the frame, La Bestia was also cheap.
That's right, using parts that didn't break the bank like most modified motorcycles, the brothers Delgado somehow managed to create something amazing without having to sell their house. Now that's good craftsmanship.
More about the skills of a good builder rather than high-end materials, Valtoron know where it's at when it comes to effective design. In fact, the brothers are known for their intricate skills and have often been credited for their unique craftsmanship on custom motorcycles.
4 1957 Bike Chevrolet (Worst)
Have you ever seen a motorcycle less attractive than this one? Probably not. Disguised as a classic 1957 Chevy, the 1957 bike Chevrolet is a poor replica of a car that was actually kind of cool. Built by French motorbike builder Lupo, this 11-foot long motorcycle is a monstrous sight to behold and even bigger pain to park.
Apparently it took a whopping 3,000 hours to build, and we can't help but wonder what possessed poor Lupo to make the thing in the first place. Seriously, why?
Honoring the famed Chevy throughout its lengthy frame, the bike includes a humongous tail fin and the classic red and white design, however, the engine is straight from the good old warehouses of Harley-Davidson. Ugly, long and totally impracticable, the 1957 bike Chevrolet is nothing but a waste of decent materials.
3 Hello Kitty Themed Honda NSR (Best)
Who doesn't love Hello Kitty, am I right? On a first look, the Hello Kitty modified Honda NSR125 to make you want to rip your eyeballs out. However, take a second look and it's actually kind of cute. Seriously, it is! You may ask why anyone would ever do something like this to such a beautiful piece of engineering, but why not? Hello Kitty is one of the most successful brands on the planet, so why not plaster it all over another successful brand and make a fortune?
Plus, the Honda NSR125 (without the Hello Kitty modifications) is a great and simple bike. That's right. Powered by a two-stroke, RC-valve equipped, single-cylinder engine, this little sports bike will get you from A to be B in seconds. It really is a win-win situation.
2 Le Caffage Ducati 848 by Apogee Motorworks (Worst)
Ever see the movie Alien? Resembling that of a creature from outer space that wants to kill you, rather than that of a motorcycle, the Le Caffage Ducati 848 is everything a bike shouldn't be. OK, maybe not that far, but it's not the best bike in the world for sure.
Built by Gustavo Pena of Apogee Motorworks, the bike seriously pushes the limits when it comes to design. In fact, Pena intentionally set out to design a motorbike that had elements of a futuristic style along with a neo-classic vibe. It worked, but not in the way we had hoped. Dominated by an overzealous gas tank and an exceptionally large headlight, the whole thing looks ludicrous when compared to the tiny saddle placed on top.
1 Three Wheeler Suzuki Hayabusa (Worst)
Talk about bike modifications gone crazy, here is something you won't see every day. Not the most professional of custom-made bikes, this three-wheeler Suzuki Hayabusa was spotted lying on a curb somewhere in the Middle East. Kitted out with an extra tire (for no particular reason) the bike is also seen with extra suspension and an extended swing arm.
Why, you might ask? We have no idea. The modifications seemingly add nothing to the motorcycle whatsoever. You shouldn't ride this unless you want a broken leg, because that's exactly what you will be getting as soon as you step onto this death trap. Everybody thinking they can custom their motorbikes only leads to dangerous and terrifying accidents. It's still kind of funny though...