Metric Revolution - First Look

Photo Gallery: Moto-TV Beyond

Metric Revolution - First Look

Metric Revolution - First Look

It all started with Jesse James and his “Motorcycle Mania” made-for-television documentaries. Then came the “Biker Build-Off” series that introduced us to the likes of Billy Lane, Matt Hotch and the late, great Indian Larry. But nobody has milked the boob tube like those Three Stooges of Custom Bike Building, Paul Sr., Paulie and Mikey Teutul of “American Chopper” fame.

Just how famous are these guys? Well, before that powers-that-be at the Discovery Channel grew tired of grease under their fingernails, it was one of the cable network’s top-rated programs. Now Discovery runs seemingly endless marathons on Alaskan crab fisherman (that’s high-brow?) and the Fightin’ Teutuls have been shipped off to sister channel TLC, where their popularity continues unabated. Hey, these guys do Super Bowl commercials, go riding with Russell Crowe, Jeremy Irons and Ewan McGregor, and have licensed their names and likenesses to Kmart, 7-11, Go Daddy and who-knows-who.

One builder show trying to capture some of that enthusiasm and fan following is “Metric Revolution.” The concept here is a series of build-offs featuring some lesser-known shops, the twist being that all bikes must be “metric,” i.e.non-American, i.e.non Harley-based.

Answering the bell were 18 professional bike builders broken up into Pro Cruiser and Pro Sportbike classes. In addition, four amateur builders were allowed in, competing in a Rookies class. The series kicked off this past April and runs through June on ESPN2. For air times and more info, log on towww.metrictv.com. Casting for season two is underway.

Looks like a Harley chopper at first, but that?s a Suzuki V-Twin in the engine bay. From Antonio Renzi at Modesto Custom Cycle.

Known for their custom YZF Yamahas, the boys at McCoy Motorsports threw everyone a curve with this super-clean twin-turbo Suzuki Hayabusa. It?s the coverbike for CW?s SportBike 2007, on newsstands now.

Lots of engineering in Rookie Carl Stephens "Ratikul" with a backwards-mounted Triumph Speedmaster Twin fed by an AeroCharger and fuel-injection.

Looking like something from the set of Alien 4, this heavily airbrushed turbo Kawasaki ZX-10 was created by Pit Stop Motorsports.

Ray Neff, another "MR" Rookie, created a cowl for his Triumph Rocket III motor, then fabricated a frame. How much stretch? "A lot," says Neff.

Another Triumph 955, not looking very British, old boy. The work of Jason Sapp at C&S; Customs.

Adding the female touch was pinup-worthy Dana D?Oench, whose Rookie-class entry "Ass Backwards" used a Suzuki 1500 V-Twin mounted backwards in a chassis that rivals a railway freight car for wheelbase.

Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 gets the full-on custom treatment from Doug Keim Creative Cycles.

The most rideable of the "Metric Revolution" tuner bikes is this evil-looking Triumph Speed Triple by Carlos Custom Sportbike. Nicely done.

Canni Designs? "Spitfire" started life as a 2005 Triumph Daytona 955i sportbike. Lack of mirrors not a problem: "It?s so fast, you don?t need ?em!" says Adam Canni.

Viking Motorcycles sandwiched a Honda VTX1800 V-Twin between a funky front end and 330mm rear meat.

Dusold Designs? clean Triumph Rocket III. Power goes from motor to relocated shaft-drive rear gear case then to chain and sprockets.

One of the Rookie-class entries, Tommy Graves? Honda VTX1300-motored "Smackdown." Looks dangerous just sitting still.

"One of a Kind," a Suzuki GSX-R1000 out of LBF Cycles, lives up to its name, looks more like a concept bike than a custom.

Another big Yamaha Star, this one done up as a modern board-tracker by Jaxon Fyyfe of Wild Card Customs. Fantastic build-quality on this one.

Triumph?s 2300cc lump of a Triple was a popular choice of powerplant for the "MR" builders. This one?s from MGS Customs.

Another well-known tuner outfit, Roaring Toyz, delivered a blown, turbocharged, nitrous-equipped GSX-R1000. Its name? Fittingly, "Overkill."

Neo-chopper meets 108-inch Yamaha Roadstar V-Twin in Don Gray Custom?s "Twisted Angel."

Beneath all those spikes and Ferrari-red paint is a 1500cc Suzuki Boulevard, the handiwork of a shop fittingly called Mad Wrench.

Tricked Out Custom Cycles lived up to its name, throwing down with this turbo?ed, nitrous-injected Kawasaki ZX-10

"Juice" started life as an ?06 Yamaha YZF-R1, was worked over by Custom Sportbike Concepts, one of the country?s name tuner shops.