When you've got a jones for a sportbike and you call Racine, Wisconsin, home, what's the first brand you consider? Buell, of course! Dana Peterson, the owner of this eye-catching 2004 XB12S streetfighter, might live just a few miles east of the Buell manufacturing facility in East Troy, but he didn't always bleed for Buell-during the 1980s and '90s he rode exclusively Japanese machinery, including a wicked Yamaha V-Max and a handful of Gixxers. When he returned to sportbikes in '99 after a five-year hiatus, though, it was the raw-edged, V-twin-powered Buell M2 Cyclone that caught his attention. He promptly purchased one and tricked it out with custom paint and lots of chrome before he got the urge to hit the racetrack in '03, which is where this Buell XB enters the picture. Peterson bought the XB for a track bike, thinking the short wheelbase, stiffer chassis and lighter weight would make for the perfect track weapon. But as the first track day approached, Peterson changed his tack: "I own my own businesses, a bar (the Boiler Room in Racine) and a cleaning service, and I really need my arms and legs, so I decided the track maybe wasn't such a good idea," Peterson says. Instead, Peterson went the custom route with his XB, aiming to one-up his M2. The first step was some sick paint, for which he turned to his old friend Will Christman of The Sign Shop in Racine (www.airbrushcreations.com), who did the incredible airbrushing on this bike in a variety of House of Kolor shades. "I gave Will free reign to do whatever he wanted on the bike," Peterson says. "I figured that if he was having fun, he'd do better work. I just told him I didn't want anything typical-no skulls, no flames, no tribal, none of that crap, just something unique." Apparently Christman isn't a good listener, because the licks that he laid down on Peterson's XB contain all of the above elements, but done in such an innovative and original style that it looks anything but typical. Especially cool are the murals laid on the frame and swingarm, where Christman sanded through the factory powdercoat and blended the murals in with torn-metal graphics on the edges. And Peterson absolutely loves the result-and that's the sign of a true artist, when he can do exactly the opposite of what the customer asks for and still make him love it! To finish the bike off, Peterson scoured the slim Buell aftermarket for only the choicest bolt-ons, including CRG Roll-a-Click levers and bar-end mirror, Crossroads Racing billet bars, a Dark Horse Moto plate relocator and axle sliders, Kellerman Micro 1000 turn signals and the too-cool LSL dual projector headlamps from Germany. Just like the license plate says, it's one "WLDXB," and the perfect bike for cruising the southern Wisconsin backroads just as Erik Buell intended.
John Offenhartz's bike didn't make the list of the top three finalists at the Ducati Monster Challenge covered in our September '06 issue, but we couldn't pass up an opportunity to show his ultra-clean, chromed-out 2001 Monster M900 Chromo on our pages, no matter what the Ducati contest judges' decision was. Although most people would consider the Chromo-version of the Monster unique enough with its factory-chromed fuel tank, Offenhartz lives in San Francisco, where, he says, "It seems like you can't swing a cat without hitting a Ducati, and nobody in this town keeps their bike stock." Offenhartz got the mod bug-and got it bad. Inspired by the mirror-finish tank that was already in place, he tried to avoid paint whenever possible and use brushed or polished metal components wherever he could to maintain the Chromo esthetic. Offenhartz started customizing the bike piece by piece with a somewhat unique guideline-no more than two days to do any given mod-since he was still riding the bike to work every day and couldn't afford to have it out of commission for any length of time! The only time Offenhartz violated this simple rule was when he had the frame powdercoated silver (the only "paint" on the bike), and while the frame was out for treatment, the motor went to Desmotosport for a bunch of performance mods, including a lightened flywheel and upgraded clutch. Other big mods include an upgraded 748 Superbike inverted fork with clip-ons to replace the Monster's stock tubular bar and a gob of bolt-ons, many of them intended for different bikes that were modified by Offenhartz to purposely avoid the "off-the-shelf-custom" feel. Especially impressive is the custom instrument cluster with its array of five gauges and the retro-styled chopper headlight, which Offenhartz says makes the bike look like some sort of "Jules Verne creation, basically what someone in the '20s thought the 'Motorcycle of the Future!' would look like."