Vintage hillclimb racers are some of the most interesting and unique motorcycles ever built. So, it’s frankly surprising that more builders don’t look to this antiquated class when drawing inspiration, especially considering the stellar outcome that path can yield. Case in point: this stunning retro hillclimber-themed bobber from Australian custom bike outfit, Machine 1867.
The build started life as a 1957 Gilera Extra Rossa 175, though, aside from the small-displacement four-stroke OHV single, very little remains of the post-war Italian donor. The air-cooled milll now sits in a bespoke hard-tailed chassis that’s been treated to a polished ceramic powder-coat. The Gilera’s 19” wheels have been stripped, overhauled, powder-coated in gold, and then shod in knobby Mitas E-05 rubber. The suspension is now comprised of a one-off springer-style fork, and a leather-adorned tractor-style saddle with its own shock and linkage. Rounding out this all-metal masterpiece is a custom tank and hillclimb-style rear fender — both made from 1.2mm mild steel — and a bevy of custom-machined elements including the axles, linkages, top and bottom yokes, spacers, and grips, and a jockey-style hand-shift setup. The finished result is absolutely breathtaking, sporting top-notch craftsmanship and an overall neat, and uncluttered appearance. And while it was obviously churned out in recent times, this is one custom that could legitimately pass for a factory racer of yesteryear.