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Zooming Around on a Custom Moto

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The real deal: A stealthy CB550 cafe racer from Hookie Co. Charlie Trelogan’s insightful piece on café racer design emphasized the importance of good lines.

The real deal: A stealthy CB550 cafe racer from Hookie Co.

No one understands this concept more than Poland’s Eastern Spirit Garage: They helped build the Honda CX500 that Charlie used to illustrate his point. Now they’ve turned their keen eye to another Honda—the ever-popular CB550. This 1980-model is the second CB550 K3 that Eastern Spirit has customised. As with most of their builds they’ve given it a distinct café racer slant, stripping it of any superfluous bits and pieces. The frame’s been de-tabbed and shortened, and the electronics and battery now hide under a custom-made tail hump. The standard front suspension’s been retained, but the rear shocks have been replaced with aftermarket units, just under 1” longer than stock. Upon stripping the engine, the guys discovered that it was actually in great shape—so the decision was made to up the capacity to 600cc with a new set of pistons and rings. The Deus Sea Sider: A C70 Super Cub for surfers. Motorcycles and surfing are uneasy bedfellows.

The Deus Sea Sider: A C70 Super Cub for surfers

If you like to ride your bike, you’re statistically more likely than most to enjoy riding the waves too. (A fact that the organizers of the Wheels & Waves festival in Biarritz know very well.) But on the other hand, a motorcycle is rarely the ideal vehicle to transport your log. Over the years, several custom shops have added surfboard racks to their motorcycles, with varying degrees of success. Many will have taken inspiration from the Deus outpost in Canggu, Bali, where they’re more likely to be waxing their boards than moustaches. Diamond Atelier smashes the mold with a radical XSR900. Motorcycle styling, even in the custom scene, tends to edge forward in increments.

Diamond Atelier smashes the mold with a radical XSR900

Bikes fit neatly within genres, perhaps stretching the envelope in one direction but playing safe in others. But occasionally someone will try something completely new. And so it is with this groundbreaking design from Diamond Atelier, the Munich workshop famous for its immaculate BMW airhead customs. Custom Bikes Of The Week: 7 May, 2017. This week, we’ve got a trophy-winning Buell from Japan, a CR750 repli-racer from Texas, and a 1968 Vincent cafe racer from France.

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 7 May, 2017

Plus a Royal Enfield with a home-made perimeter brake system. Honda ‘CR750’ by Limey Bikes Honda historians may remember a kit that Big Red released after notching a win at Daytona with their CR750. Back then, you could pony up $10,000 and turn your own CB750 into a ready-to-race replica. Nowadays, building that same bike would run you about $50,000. How to rework the CX500 without an angle grinder. For better or worse, some mods have become commonplace.

How to rework the CX500 without an angle grinder

Air boxes get removed, smaller batteries get installed, and subframes are almost always redesigned. Especially when you’re dealing with the Honda CX500. No one ever accused the CX500 of being pretty, and it’s the awkward flow of its rear end that carries most of the blame. The solution is usually to hack it off and start over—but what happens when your client asks you really nicely not to? Monster mash: Christian Klein’s wild Honda CB900. It’s getting harder and harder to categorize custom bikes.

Monster mash: Christian Klein’s wild Honda CB900

We all know a traditional cafe racer when we see one, but these days we’re just as likely to stumble across a ‘cafe’ bike with dual sport tires. Or a bobber with clip-ons and racing rubber. Some mash-ups hit the mark, and some don’t. This is most definitely one that does: a fusion of café racer and chopper styles that could never work on paper, but looks amazing in the metal.

It’s the work of Christian Klein, who first graced these pages six years ago with an unusual Ducati 350. Custom Bikes Of The Week: 9 April, 2017. Three flavors of Honda this week: A race-rep from France, a new wave cafe from Kuala Lumpur, and an insane CR500 tracker from England.

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 9 April, 2017

Plus the latest Moto Guzzi from Germany’s Kaffeemaschine and a drop-dead gorgeous BMW R80 from Spain. Olé! Honda CR500 by Thornton Hundred Motorcycles There’s just something about a stonking mad creation that makes me smile. And this CR500 tracker from England’s Thornton Hundred Motorcycles has me grinning like a Cheshire cat. With barely 100 kilos to shove around and over 70 hp of grunt from its rebuilt big-bore two-stroke, keeping the front down on this bike would be tougher than wrestling a Honey Badger with a coke addiction.

To help reign in the terror—and cement his name in our memories—Jody has fitted a set of Triumph 955 forks to his Honda, plus a set of matching 19” Excel rims riding on Maxxis flat track rubber. This is his latest cafe racer, Maschine 20, created for a client who wanted more oomph than he was getting from his Norton Commando. Diamond Atelier puts the Mark II Series into production. Building custom motorcycles for a living sounds like a dream.

Diamond Atelier puts the Mark II Series into production

Who wouldn’t want to spend all day in the workshop—getting their hands dirty and letting their creativity run wild? The reality is, it takes more than talent and a shed full of tools to create a sustainable business; you need a good head for business too. And despite their tender years, Tom Konecny and Pablo Steigleder of Munich’s Diamond Atelier are two of the most switched on dudes we’ve met. Furiosa: A Suzuki Katana resto-mod from FCR Original. Like a good pair of leather boots or a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, the Suzuki Katana just seems to get better with age.

Furiosa: A Suzuki Katana resto-mod from FCR Original

The rapier-sharp design is 35 years old now, and no longer has the power to shock. Instead, it’s heading for icon status. We’re now seeing Katanas rolling into custom shops, and it’s interesting to note the parallels between the Katana’s gestation and the inevitable cycles of the modern day custom scene. Just as we’re moving on from the ‘brat style’ and checkered-stripe café racers that dominated the past few years, Suzuki was observing a similar shift in the late 70s. Interest in large Japanese street bikes was waning: the CBs, KZs and GSs had started to lose their allure. Coolmaterial. At some point, they’re going to have to start releasing these futuristic motorcycle concepts, because we’re not sure how many more we can take without actually getting to ride one.


Most recently, Porsche unveiled the 618, an electric motorcycle concept that looks like a 911 Turbo you sit on top of rather and inside. The design is the brainchild of Miguel Angel Bahri, who wanted to make an electric concept that could actually be built today, not in the usual decades long delay (or at least what feels like decades). A digital instrument panel sits down to the left of the rider, and works with mobile devices to give important information and updates, like range, nearby charging points, and GPS. A Moto Guzzi Breva cafe racer inspired by Red Bull F1 cars. Calling the Moto Guzzi Breva 750 a ‘commuter bike’ is a bit cheeky, but it does fit the profile. Manageable power, neutral ergonomics and a low seat height make it the perfect ’round-towner for beginners. But—like many in its class—it’s hardly a looker.

It’s almost as if manufacturers deliberately build blandness into their entry-level offerings, hoping to inspire riders to upgrade later on. If that was the plan here, it’s backfired spectacularly. The Skills You Need To Build A Custom Motorcycle. We’ve all been there. You’ve seen this great bike at a show, or online, and you’ve gotta build something like it. You can see yourself hammering down the street on it.

You’ve scoured the interwebs and found a bunch of photos of the type of bike you love. Maybe you’ve even narrowed down the make and model of bike for a project donor. Next Level: A BMW R90/6 with a vintage racing vibe. Estonia is one of those countries that are hard to find on a map. (Full Disclosure: we tried and failed.) It’s a compact European republic, bordered by Russia and looking out at Finland across the chilly Baltic Sea. Despite a tiny population of just 1.3 million, Estonia is also home to one of the best custom builders in Europe—Andres Uibomäe of Renard Speed Shop.

We’ve been drooling over his builds for about six years now, but this vintage-styled BMW R90/6 cafe racer is the best yet. Most R90 customs accentuate the solid mass of the engine with an equally chunky tank, but we love the low-rise, sleek approach chosen by Renard. Shop boss Andres wanted to build a bike that was easy to ride and easy on the eye. Dark Passenger: The Case of the Cursed Honda CB750K. Motorcyclists are often superstitious creatures. Some riders put guardian bells on their bikes, others won’t ride green motorcycles, and some regard dropping a helmet as bad luck.

ICON even sews tiny St. Christopher medallions into the pockets of its jackets. So goodness knows what the Federal Moto crew made of this Honda CB750K. If ever there was a bike that should have been parked in Tutankhamen’s tomb, this is it. Cognito Moto's XS650 is the Perfect Modern Classic. We’ve spotted a rising trend over the last couple of years that we can get behind: classic bikes with modern tech upgrades. And if we were working on a project in that vein, Cognito Moto would be getting a call.

Started by brothers Devin and Nicholas Henriques, the Richmond, Virginia company is known for building parts that add modern performance to older bikes. Make CBs Great Again: Justin Webster's Honda CB750 cafe. Whenever we question the popularity of classic Honda fours, someone builds a CB that reminds us just how damn charming they can be. Today, that honor goes to Justin Webster of Gainesville, Florida. Justin runs J. Black Beauty: NCT's wild custom BMW R100. Dagger: The wild, supercharged superbike concept fresh out of a 3D printer. If you ever want to start a conversation with a biker, probably the best way to get things going is to ask "nice bike, what have you done to it?

" Customization is an almost universal part of the ownership process, and just about everyone changes bits and pieces along the way. A Moto Guzzi California Built for Stylish Adventures. We love scramblers for their laid-back, go-anywhere attitude. But the travelers in us get really excited when they’re kitted for long-distance adventures too. This Moto Guzzi California has just tackled a 3,000 kilometer trip, from Utrecht in the Netherlands, to Monaco, via France and Switzerland. Sibling Rivalry: A BMW R100 cafe from Federal's USA shop. From the moment their first build hit the airwaves, we’ve followed Federal Moto’s career.

The Canadian crew has produced one killer bike after another. This Custom Yamaha XSR700 is a Retina-Searing Treat. Despite the incredible numbers of custom builds hitting the streets daily, it’s surprisingly difficult to find anything new. Every genre has its accepted look and style, and envelopes are rarely pushed. But David González of Ad Hoc Café Racers swims upstream. His bikes are often oddball, yet always awesome. Under The Radar: Tim Harney's minimalist BMW cafe racer. Cleveland CycleWerks BSA. Scott Colosimo runs Cleveland CycleWerks, a company making cool, affordable custom-style bikes that cost as little as $3195. BSA Lightning custom. Spanish Style: Macco Motors' Kawasaki W650. Red Rooster: Playing Chicken with the Kawasaki Kz1000. Time Warp: Revival's Astounding 'BMW Landspeeder' Onirika 2853: A custom Brutale 800 by Officine GPDesign. MeanMachines: Giving the Bonneville a board tracker vibe. I’ll Be Blown: This BMW R100 is packing a Porsche turbo.

PRAËM SP3: The World’s Most Exclusive Honda RC51. BMW R nine T custom by Onehandmade. The Boxer Twins: A fine pair of BMWs from K-Speed. The Exodus, by Suprine: A recumbent motorcycle powered by BMW. Motopeds Built The Ultimate Survival Bike. Deus Ex Machina’s Project X Is Inspired By Racers From the 70s. Keanu Reeves' Arch Motorcycle Company presents its first bike: The KRGT-1. Official website of LOTUS MOTORCYCLES. ‘Moto Borgatoro’ Is a Short Film About the Creation of a Unique Bike. Diamond Atelier’s Custom BMW R100R. Diamond Atelier » Custom Motorcycle Garage. The Walking Dead: The Daryl Dixon Motorcycle. How To Build A Cafe Racer. Red Alert: Down & Out's Triumph Bonneville SE. BMW K1600 GTL Custom Project. Bandit9 - Motorcycle Design. Oxblood: Urban Rider's BMW street scrambler. BMW R1200S by Cafe Racer Dreams. Rough Crafts' Harley Dyna "Urban Cavalry" Running Lean: Fuel Motorcycles' sleek R65. William Shatner-designed Rivet motorcycle is set to stun.

Fuller Moto’s Minty Fresh Norton Commando 750. The loco steam-powered Black Pearl motorcycle from Revatu Customs. Clockwork Motorcycles. Dissident: A new Yamaha Yard Built XJR1300. Pixel Perfect: Rough Crafts' Harley Forty-Eight. Mack: A cafe-themed Sportster from DP Customs. "Le Caffage": Ducati 848 by Apogee Motoworks. "Le Caffage": Ducati 848 by Apogee Motoworks.

Très Chic: Café Racer Dreams' BMW R100. Son Of A Gun: BMW R69S 'Thompson' Rebellion Of The Machines: a true Honda CB750 café. Metisse cafe racer kits. The Black: a stealthy Honda CB350 from Australia. Going With The Flow: Kawasaki W650 by Clutch. Heavenly Hardtail: Factory Metal Works BSA A65. Heavenly Hardtail: Factory Metal Works BSA A65. Mooneyes 1964 Triumph. Ed's Burton: a most unorthodox Norton cafe racer.

The Chocolate Slider. JSK. Super sano: Heiwa's slammed Honda CB500T. Heiwa Motorcycle of Japan. Zero Engineering. Star Struck: Classified's Honda CB 750 cafe racer. Turkish Delight: A Bonneville custom from Bunker. Channelling Tron: the ultimate café fighter kit. The Pursuit of Perfection: Eastern Spirit's CX500. Oishi Yoshio: A Ronin motorcycle for Pikes Peak. Auto Fabrica Type 9 custom Moto Guzzi - Bike EXIF.