Based on a 1980 Harley Davidson Ironhead and sporting a paint job inspired by the #2 Audi R18 TDI that took home this year's Le Mans, the DP Customs Naked Cafe Motorcycle ($TBA) is a terrific custom bike. Powered by a 1000cc motor, it features a custom seat and upholstery, a DP Quantum-port symmetrical exhaust, Pirelli tires, a clean title, and a unique look that's unlike anything you'll pass on the street.
(Photo: Jed Strahm)
Embrace the night aboard the dark-as-can-be Harley-Davidson Night Rod Special Motorcycle ($15,300 and up). This special edition sport bike features a blacked-out 1250cc V-Twin Revolution engine good for 125 hp, blacked-out cast aluminum wheels, a double-barrel exhaust with brushed-finish dual mufflers, blacked-out end caps and exhaust shields, Brembo brakes, a blacked-out low-rise handlebar, an ultra-fat 240mm rear tire, a slimmed down fastback tail section with LED tail lamp, a — what else — matte black paint finish, and blacked out forks, triple clamps, and swingarm. Great for discrete cruising after dark, not so great for avoiding attention at the beach.
With a name like that, you wouldn't expect the 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine Racing Motorcycle ($750,000-$950,000; Auction) to be very comfortable. And maybe you'd be right — but the Porcupine wasn't built for comfort. It was built for speed. Described as the "Holy Grail of British motorcycles," the Porcupine is the only twin-cylinder motorcycle ever to have won the 500cc World Championship. This particular specimen was one of only four E95s to be built, and features a spectacular exposed clutch, an AC fuel pump that humorously requires the bike to be stood on its rear wheel for priming, a full 54bhp or power, and a streamlined design, and underwent a complete mechanical restoration in the early '00s, meaning that it should run as well as it did more than half a century ago.
Draw the ire and envy of your Harley-riding buddies aboard the Deus Odd Job SR542 Motorcycle ($TBA). With a purposefully pared down look, the Odd Job looks cobbled together from random parts, but is in fact a fully custom ride, featuring a 542 engine from CafeCarl, Brembo brakes, Daytona gauges, a custom GF seat and tank, Yamaha factory Mags, and Dunlop K180 dirt track tires. [Thanks, Evan]
Melding classic cruiser feel with sharp, fighter-jet looks, the 2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero ($16,500) looks like a fine summertime ride. Powered by a liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 1,700cc V-twin engine, it's got plenty of oomph to get you around, and also boasts a six-speed transmission, a fully electronic throttle actuation system, a steel frame, air-adjustable shocks, 9-spoke cast aluminum wheels, a LED taillight, cruise control, and killer custom-style bodywork that will draw just as much attention as its rumbling exhaust note.
Just getting started in the motorcycle scene? As tempting as they might be, you — and your brains, bones, and organs — are better off skipping the superbike scene and hopping aboard something a little more tame, like the Suzuki TU250X Motorcycle ($4,000). Sporting a stylish retro design, the TU250X features a 249cc four-stroke SOHC engine, a five-speed transmission, a diamond-shaped steel tube frame, front disc and rear drum brakes, and a low 30.3-inch seat height that's great for beginners.
Most companies would be happy to take a traditional bike, slap an electric engine and some batteries in it, and call it a day. But not Lito. It took cues from Bobber and Street Fighter bikes to create the Lito Sora Electric Motorcycle ($44,000). Built from the ground-up as an electric superbike, the Sora sports the world's first electric motorcycle seat, letting ride in a low position on the highway, then move the seat higher for more aggressive riding. Other features include an integrated GPS system and touch screen, high-quality suspension components, a regenerative braking system, an on-board charging port and sealed, lockable storage compartment, carbon fiber fairing and an aluminum chassis, a CVT transmission that helps the Sora move from 0-60 in roughly four seconds on its way to a top speed of 120 mph, and a unique notification system that emails you when it's done charging and ready to ride.
Enjoy the summer weather as never before on the back of the Ducati Monster 1100 Evo ($12,000). The latest version of Ducati's naked line, the 1100 Evo sports a 100 hp L-Twin engine — the most powerful 2-valve the company's ever made — as well as Brembo brakes with ABS, traction control, 10-spoke wheels, a weight of just 373 pounds, and absolutely killer looks in either red or black. [Thanks, Bill]
Who said that a bike had to look futuristic to look cool? The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Motorcycle ($TBA) defies this convention while sporting a definite retro look. Powered by a single-cylinder 500cc unit-construction engine with an integrated assembly for the five-speed gearbox and clutch, the Classic 500 features electronic fuel injection to keep the perfect air/fuel balance, a top speed of over 80 mph, a spring-saddled split seat, an oval toolbox, and WWII-era styling in a body completely cast and formed in crafted metal.
Not content to do unspeakable things to cars, Mansory is setting its sights on motorcycles. Instead of starting with an existing model, however, the Mansory Zapico ($TBA) is a custom ride, featuring a crazy design hewn from carbon fiber and aluminum, a S&S T 124 V2 engine good for 160 hp, carbon disc rims, leather upholstery, a weight of under 750 lbs., and the ability to zip from 0 to over 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. Not included? A matching case for your phone, which is essential when rocking this much carbon fiber.
Harley makes a ton of different models in different finishes, but if those options simply aren't enough, you should check into Harley-Davidson H-D1 Customization ($TBA). These factory-built custom 1200s let you pick the wheels, seats, handlebars, foot-peg positions, fit, paint color and graphics, engine finishes, and security, with even more options available via dealer-installed accessories. Less work, more riding.
That's right: a dual-screened motorcycle. Just Kidding. The Zero DS Motocycle ($10,500) is an all-electric two-wheeled ride featuring a maintenance free belt drive system, high-performance disc brakes, a quick-charging Li-Ion intelligent power pack, a top speed of 67 mph, a range of up to 58 miles, and Dual Sport tires — get it now? — that provide great handling on dirt or tarmac.