Since the beginning of time…
or at least since the first motorbikes where built there has always been enthusiasts altering bikes. But it was not until the late 50’s when the “custom” lable appeared and the time when Arlene Ness and Ben Hardy created the first chopper.
Legends like Von Dutch (Kenny Howard), Dean Jeffries, Big Daddy (Ed Roth) and Gibb (Dennis Gibbish) added the extra touch on the custom bikes when they started pin striping the bikes, this was also the start of the Kustom Kulture lifestyle.
What is Kustom Kulture?
It describes the fashion, hairstyle, artwork, vehicles of these who built and drove custom cars and motobikes. Most people think of the greasers in the 50s with their leather jackets, slick hair and hot roads but it developed into the drag racers in the 60s and lowriders in the 70s. Kustom Kulture will live on forever and evolve. Today Chopper and Bobber bikes would be Kustom Kulture.
There are a great number of custom bike builders around the world and some of these make a living of the customization.
In UK with all the varity of english built motocycles there is baronspeedshop.co.uk where they rebuild vintage British bikes.
Austin Texas and revivalcycles.com is a place that surprise you with every new build, you never know what they come up with next.
If you are looking for a BMW R5 you can go wrong with the Swedish guys at uccycles.com where you can get the BMW R5 Hommage.
Down under aka Australia and smokedgarage.com.au have done some really cool builds and always have a number for sale ranging from cafe racers to more racelike bikes.