Dennis Karlsson and Richard Kyle are two guys with a thing for bikes – really big bikes. They’re the brawns and brains behind Half Caste Creations, crafting vintage motorcycles into modern works of art – sheer poetry in motion. And as in poetry, or rather punk rock, as per the boys’ penchant, motorcycles are nothing if not the sum of their parts; parts that’ve been personally sourced, restored and pieced together like a veritable jigsaw of metal, madness and beauty.
Reptilia is a compact bobber of entangled curves and camber, featuring a powder-coated frame that has been chopped to a more universal size. Outfitted with an engine from Thailand’s most beloved bike model, the Yahama SR400, it displays an impressive shape thanks to an oddly elegant exhaust system. The exhaust’s teardrop aspect is echoed in the brushed-chrome fender as well as the 1930s replica taillight, bestowing the bike its hyper-streamlined, late Deco look. Its moniker is manifested in the seat and fuel tank’s Siamese crocodile leather upholstery. Add to that a springer front suspension replicated from a 1930- 50s Harley, a headlamp modded from a 1947 car fog light, vintage military tires and an upgraded CR carburator, and you’ve got yourself a cold-blooded predator; a marriage of mechanical precision and unruly animalism, of steel and skin, of rigidity and rhythm that rides, as Karlsson puts it, “like a fucking dream.”