Any custom shop that builds its own frames gets our immediate respect. Granted, you need a certain degree of mechanical aptitude to strip down and tune up an engine, or install completely new suspension. But fabricating a new frame is a whole different ball game.

This angular and curiously appealing light motorcycle comes from Belgians Yves Noël and Wouter Bollen, who have been running Rook motorcycles since 2013. The guys describe ‘ROOKie’ as a “minimalistic urban scrambler with an eighties BMX influence.”

Rook are based in an old gunpowder factory near Brussels, which is probably worth a story in itself. The name doesn’t just refer to the famously intelligent black bird: it also means ‘smoke’ in Dutch, as in combustion engines, burning rubber and the beguiling odor of two-stroke.

It’s an odd but clever name, and you could probably describe Noël and Bollen in the same way. Bollen

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