13 Custom Motorcycle Styles to Fuel Your Inspiration

The custom motorcycle scene is booming across the nation, igniting a passion for transforming ordinary motorcycles into unique and expressive creations. Custom motorcycles are factory-produced motorcycles that have been modified to reflect the owner's individuality and style. The reasons for customizing motorcycles are as diverse as the riders themselves, ranging from the desire to stand out from the crowd to a deep personal connection to the bike, even to boosting the rider's social status.

Custom motorcycle styles encompass a wide spectrum, from minimalist modifications to radical transformations that leave only the engine intact, with all other components custom-built. Understanding the various custom motorcycle styles is crucial for developing a clear vision for your own custom build and avoiding a disjointed outcome.

1. Cafe Racer

This ubiquitous style in the custom motorcycle world today emulates the distinctive aesthetics of classic racing motorcycles. Hallmarks of a cafe racer include clip-on handlebars that force the rider into a crouched position, a single-seater flat bench, a sleek elongated fuel tank that provides a comfortable thigh grip, a wasp tail rear end, and the option of a fairing. Cafe racers prioritize speed and simplicity over riding comfort. The aggressive riding position makes them less suitable for long-distance touring.

Photo by @jatiokta  -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @azwar_gk -  curated by KustomGaras

2. Brat Cafe

The Brat Cafe style shares many similarities with cafe racers, but the key distinction lies in the absence of the wasp tail rear end and the adoption of an elongated skateboard-style flat bench in its place.

 Photo by @ianxmahendra  -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @ikrombillie  -  curated by KustomGaras

3. Bobber

Emerging in the 1920s in America, the bobber style initially involved exclusively modifying Harley-Davidson motorcycles. However, it has since become a popular choice for a wide range of motorcycle brands and models. Bobbers are characterized by the removal of the front fender, a shortened wheelbase, low handlebars, the use of "donut" tires (with a plump profile) for both the front and rear wheels, and the stripping of all unnecessary accessories. The overall look of a bobber is significantly more minimalist.

A "cut-down" procedure is also performed on the frame, which is reinforced by adding a diagonal tube from the top of the steering head to the rear axle. The seat mount is then cut and replaced with a single-seater design to achieve lower ground clearance.

Photo by triumphmotorcycles.com  -  curated by KustomGaras

4. Bratstyle

This style takes its name from a custom motorcycle workshop in Tokyo, Japan, founded by Go Takamine. The motorcycles he builds are so distinctive that anyone who sees them will immediately recognize them as Bratstyle creations. At first glance, the style bears resemblance to bobbers, as simplicity is its core philosophy. It features classic-pattern knobby tires front and rear, a chopper-style fuel tank, semi-hanger handlebars, a non-rigid frame that allows for the use of suspension, and a longer seat that can accommodate a pillion.

Photo by @enginebreakmc  -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @threemonkeysengineering  -  curated by KustomGaras

5. Scrambler

If you're an avid off-road enthusiast seeking a motorcycle that can handle challenging terrain, a scrambler might be the perfect choice for you. Scramblers are characterized by their use of knobby tires, side-mounted exhausts, and high ground clearance, making them ideal for maneuvering on a variety of surfaces, embodying the spirit of adventure motorcycles.

 Photo by @miftaharmanie  -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @injusticecustoms  -  curated by KustomGaras

6. Street Tracker

These motorcycles resemble vintage trail bikes like the Honda XL, Yamaha DT, and Suzuki TS. Trackers combine the aesthetics of enduro trail bikes with those of street bikes, making them suitable for dual-purpose use.These motorcycles resemble vintage trail bikes like the Honda XL, Yamaha DT, and Suzuki TS. Trackers combine the aesthetics of enduro trail bikes with those of street bikes, making them suitable for dual-purpose use.

 Photo by @fikri_japs -  curated by KustomGaras

7. Flat Tracker

This style emerged from a racing series called Flat Track. Flat trackers are similar to street trackers but feature a tapered rear end and a more compact (smaller) fuel tank.

Photo by mirror.co.uk -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @autodromemotodrome -  curated by KustomGaras

8. Chopper

High handlebars, a low seat, long forks, and a custom-designed angled frame are the hallmarks of a chopper. Additionally, choppers are often characterized by a larger front wheel diameter compared to the rear wheel and the use of tires with contrasting widths. This style is predominantly associated with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but many Japanese motorcycles are also now being modified into choppers.

 Photo by medcom.id -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by NaikMotor.com -  curated by KustomGaras

9. Jap Style

If you're looking for a custom motorcycle that's comfortable for daily commuting, Jap Style is a great option. This style doesn't require extensive modifications. Some key changes include cutting the rear frame to accommodate a smaller fender and taillight, upgrading to larger, wider tires, sculpting a smaller (or purchasing a pre-made) fuel tank to create a simpler, more streamlined look, and shortening the wheelbase relative to the body.

Photo by @kabla_kustom  -  curated by KustomGaras

Photo by @banditmoka  -  curated by KustomGaras 

Photo by @indrakn__ -  curated by KustomGaras 

10. Sinner and Socal

The Sinners Socal (South California) style has a large following in the United States. It's essentially an evolution of the chopper style, featuring Z-bar/U-bar/T-bar handlebars that aren't too wide, and smaller tires on both wheels, resulting in a unique look that stands out from the crowd compared to most other choppers.

Photo by @omarannas -  curated by KustomGaras 

11. Moped

Moped, an acronym for "motorized pedal bicycle," was originally designed to provide a simple and affordable mode of transportation. However, in Indonesia, mopeds have evolved to resemble scooters and underbone motorcycles. In some countries, even small three-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicles are sometimes classified as mopeds. Most custom mopeds are styled to resemble cafe racers, but with narrower tires to maintain engine performance and maneuverability.

Photo by @caferacerxxx -  curated by KustomGaras  

Photo by @barakatkuitan_garage -  curated by KustomGaras 

Photo by @classiccustombrother -  curated by KustomGaras 

12. Street Cub

This style predominantly features underbone motorcycles from the late 1970s to 1990s, particularly those produced by Honda (C Series, Astrea Grand, Astrea Prima, and Impressa). Street Cubs are characterized by a bobbed rear end (no fender) and the use of flat bar or semi-hanger handlebars, creating a minimalist look. Street Cubs are often paired with "donut" tires with a plump profile for a lowered stance.


There you have it! With these 13 distinct custom motorcycle styles, you have a solid foundation to ignite your creativity and guide you towards your dream custom build. Stay tuned for KustomGaras' upcoming in-depth exploration of each style, providing a deeper dive into their characteristics and inspiring modifications.

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