An adorable little Honda ST90 holds its ground against four liter-plus bikes this week. We’re looking at an Indian Scout Rogue from HardNine Choppers, a 1,190 cc Buell dirt bike, the limited edition Ariel Ace Black, and a stunning Kawasaki from Japan.
Indian Scout Rogue by HardNine Choppers The King of the Baggers race series is an absolute blast to watch. With full-fat factory baggers hopped-up and hurled around a race track, MotoGP style, it’s easy to see why.
Indian Motorcycles are into the series—and even though this custom Indian Scout Rogue isn’t actually a bagger, it is inspired by their race entry. The Rogue is the cut-down, bobbed version of Indian’s popular Scout model, and the last bike you’d associate with racing… but here we are.
To pull this off, Indian turned to Danny Schnieder from HardNine Choppers. Danny has a background in freestyle motocross, and is an award-winning custom motorcycle builder. He’s also blisteringly quick on two wheels, so he wanted to bring that performance mindset to the Indian cruiser.
The most obvious upgrade is the new Öhlins suspension. Danny modified the yokes to fit the larger-diameter Öhlins forks, and replaced the factory shocks with longer, plusher units.
A set of Roland Sands Design performance tracker wheels were bolted on too, with a slew of braking upgrades supplied by Beringer. The new wheels allowed for a second disc to be mounted up front, providing more than enough stopping power. Danny also added a Dynojet quick-shifter, and a two-into-one Jekill and Hyde exhaust.
A new set of ProTaper bars was installed, along with a Beringer clutch lever and soft ProTaper grips. The Scout Rogue’s original bubble fairing was adapted to the handlebar setup. Danny cut down the primary cover in pursuit of weight saving, and bolted on wider foot pegs.
The stunning livery (by Vince Customs) was inspired by the Indian Challenger King of the Baggers race bike, and the Scout wears it well. The gold leaf details, and gold stitching on the new seat, are particularly nice touches. [Indian Motorcycle | HardNine Choppers]
Buell tests the Baja 1190 From baggers on a race track to a large capacity American-engined dirt bike… pigs truly are flying!
This is the Buell Baja 1190—and to be honest, we don’t really know how to feel about it. What we do know, is that if this bike goes into production, it will be the maddest thing on the trails.
You’re looking at a trellis-framed, liquid-cooled, V-twin-powered dirt bike, designed and built in the USA. Other than the engine, it has a somewhat conventional steering geometry; the seat height is 37.5 inches, the rake angle is 26.75 degrees, and the swingarm is generously adjustable for length. Oh, and it puts out 185 hp with 138 Nm of torque.
Bill Melvin, Buell Motorcycles’ CEO, is positively beaming. “We’re engineering the world’s fastest, solely US-built, off-road bike,” he says. “Less than 1% of the world is covered in pavement—Buell’s Baja 1190 is designed to dominate the other 99.7%.”
“This bike elevates the Buell brand to even greater heights and brings back the passion for American performance motorcycles. Buell engineers have created a beast of a motorcycle—the fastest, most agile 1,200 cc class dirt bike ever made. Enthusiasts will be blown away.”
That’s a lot to take in—especially the part about the 1,200 cc class of dirt bikes. We’re no experts, but wouldn’t the Buell Baja 1190 be competing in a class of one? [More]
Ariel Ace Black Edition Based out of the UK, younger readers will know Ariel Motor Company for producing some of the most face-bendingly fast cars in the world. Stripped down to the bare essentials, their cars are studies in lightweight design.
But if you cast your mind back to the early 1900s, you’ll see that Ariel produced motorcycles. And rather good ones, at that.
Building on their lightweight, performance-oriented expertise, Ariel has just released their latest motorcycle: the Ariel Ace Black Edition. The Ace Black Edition is based on their current Ace model, finished mostly in black (obviously), but with just five examples being built. Exclusive is an understatement.
Each bike is built to order, with Ariel fitting it perfectly to each buyer. How do they do this? By painstakingly building (almost) every component in-house.
The perimeter-style frame is CNC-machined in parts, then welded together by hand. The Black Edition goes one step further with a satin black Cerakote finish, which is just seven microns thick. The tank, radiator shrouds, belly pan, mudguards and seat panels are all composite, and owners can have these parts finished in either black or black carbon.
As for performance, the engines are supplied by Honda—and, thankfully, Ariel picked a good one. The Honda 1,237 cc V4 produces 173 hp, and is mated to a six-speed transmission and a shaft drive.
The suspension is top shelf as well. The 43 mm Showa front forks are fully adjustable, as is the Showa shock absorber out back. If this is too traditional for your liking, you can spec your Ariel with black girder forks, or even black carbon wheels.
We wouldn’t say the Ace Black Edition is the prettiest motorcycle out there, but it is intriguing. And even if it doesn’t tickle your fancy, you have to admit that it’s great to see the Ariel name living on. [More]
Honda ST90 by Drake Speed The original ad for the 1975 Honda ST90 listed it as a “range rider, runabout and sightseer.” It was something that the whole family could enjoy—and it’s still every bit as charming today.
This particular example comes from Drake Speed out of New Zealand. Receiving an original Honda ST frame with front forks, rear shocks and rear wheel, Marcus Drake knew he was in for a restomod rather than a full restoration.
14” Honda CRF rims were laced to the original hubs, with new tires spooned on. The fenders are custom, as are their mounting brackets. A larger engine was fitted, but Marcus doesn’t know the exact capacity.
The exhaust is custom, and the wiring was simplified for reliability purposes. Tall handlebars and new, longer rear shocks keep the ride comfortable, as does the new seat.
The beautiful paint is a result of Marcus being a fan of 70s paint jobs. The purple powder was imported from the USA and laid down over the frame. The custom decals are from Doozi, while the yellow headlight is another great nod to the 70s.
Marcus debuted his ST90 at the Annual Syd’s Moped Run in Christchurch, New Zealand. The event was the vision of the late Syd Falconer, who started the run in 1995 (on his 70th birthday, no less). The event evidently still runs today, and we couldn’t think of a better place for Marcus to show off his new Honda. [Source]
Kawasaki Z1000 by Bull Dock No ifs, ands or buts—restomods are damn cool. And although we like nothing more than seeing a classic Ducati or Moto Guzzi outfitted with modern suspension and performance upgrades, this rule especially applies to 70s and 80s Japanese bikes.
This tangerine dream comes from Bull Dock—the Japanese workshop run by Masashuiko Wakui. They’ve been building restomods for 20 years, and this is their take on the legendary Kawasaki Z1R.
The donor engine for this build actually came from a Type 1 Kawasaki Z1000, but it’s been fitted with a Z100J-type head. This meant that Bull Dock could install larger valves, and port the intake and exhaust chambers. 76 mm Cosworth pistons were fitted, along with an ST-L1 cam from Yoshimura.
A hydraulic clutch helps the new Kawasaki six-speed box, while fueling comes from a brace of Yoshimura Keihin FCR-MJN carbs. The showpiece of the engine—the exhaust—is a Win McCoy Neo titanium system. Bored out to 1,197 cc, this Z1000 most certainly produces more than the 90 hp it came out with back in 1978.
Bull Dock also added extra gussets to provide extra rigidity throughout the frame, aiding in the handling department. Reducing unsprung mass are the Marchesini M10RS Corse magnesium wheels, stopped by new Brembo brakes. The swingarm is aluminum, and the suspension is from Nitron, with 43 mm front forks and fully adjustable piggyback rear shocks.
It’s lighter, faster, stronger and more orange. It’s motorcycling perfection. [Source]