badass cycles

Getting back to the basics.

Motorcycles are, above all else, a toy to most riders in North America. Ridiculous insurance rates, increased helmet and safety laws and a dying interest in hands-on activities from the younger generation have caused a downturn in passion for two-wheelers. But it isn’t all doom and gloom.

As the motorcycle industry grows more competitive the fat has been trimmed from it, and only the purest bikes shops and custom builders remain. Badass Cycles remains.

Navigating their website it becomes apparent that motorcycles and the actual activity of riding your **** bike is what they stand for. The shop has built some very cool Harleys and metric customs, but they aren’t promoted as trailer queens.

One stunning red1979 XS650 gone-chopper/bobber caught my eye in particular. I’ve always had a soft spot for a springer front-end, and this bike’s narrow frame and bars draw emphasis to the bike’s front suspension. No front brake? Check. Rigid frame? Of course. No turn signals? Right. Nicely routed custom pipes? You bet.

Other noteworthy details of this custom would be the vented rear drum, amber headlight, chopped rear fender, minimalist tank and that ultra-cool pedal kick-start. The bike does have electric start as well, but it’s an option I’d rather go without.

Yamaha’s XS platform is among the most popular for Japanese customs, but there is something about a good-looking air-cooled parallel twin that just looks right.

Badass Cycles boasts a labor rate of $50. But $75 if you watch, and $100 if you want to help. Which is awesome. If you’re a like-minded rider be sure to checkout their site, multiple videos and follow the Edmonton-based shop on Twitter too.

If you aren’t into custom bikes your on the wrong site, but if you need reasons to chop a perfectly good motorcycle here are 11 from this shop. In today’s day and age of weekend warriors and coffee shop crusaders we tip are hats to those keeping it badass in this business.

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