Breaking into a market as competitive as custom motorcycles takes a Herculean effort and a steadfast commitment to the product you design. For their first finished build, the makers at Hyde Designs have shattered expectations with a true dark horse of a bike. Dubbed the Hyde Octavia, the Cape Town-based designers used a BMW X Challenge as their jumping off point, taking advantage of the 650 Rotax engine and open swingarm that comes standard on the factory model. But on top of this frame they build something truly remarkable, sculpting a crisp geometry in a matte black finish. The fiberglass tail flies high above the back wheel, while the custom-welded steel tank draws a sharp contrast to the exposed machinery beneath it on the chassis. Everything about the Octavia oozes style, and pushes the envelope of Café Racer design in a new and exciting direction. Most impressive of all is to bear in mind that this is not the work of an established shop, but Hyde Design’s first attempt at customizing a bike. And if this prelude is any indication of what’s to come, I have high hopes for where their maverick spirit will take them.