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RSD KTM Café Racer

Posted on June 16, 2010 by Scott in Café Racer, Scrambler. 10 comments

Roland Sands Design (RSD) recently posted these ‘almost finished’ pics of their latest creation on their site – the classic paint job is yet to be done. Turning a KTM 530 into a café racer might not be the most practical build, but I do love the look of it. The bike has the very distinctive RSD styling but the one thing I personaly don’t like is the left-over KTM plastic underneath the new gas tank. Here’s what RSD say about the bike: “What started life as a 530 Motocross bike was transformed into a no frills mid way custom somewhere between a café racer, a super single and a motocross bike. We always anticipated taking this project further and now that time has come. Welcome to flavor country my friends, welcome to the modern day café racer… We had the chance to rip it up on this KTM on the streets of Willow. The bike is super fun to ride, it’s light, agile, torquey and stylish. It does everything you want a good road bike to do….it just does it better”. Check out the build vids and more photos here.

  • jonnysocko

    I guess it looks ok? But this just seems silly to me. A Cafe for ridin the burms??? Ok!

  • rev.dub

    As far as aesthetics go, RSD has left much to be desired with this one. Not feeling it.

  • Trav

    the "Left-over KTM plastic below the new gas tank" has to be there.. because it is the original gas tank. The "new gas tank" isn’t a tank at all, just a shell. They didn’t do much but change the wheels and make faux cafe aluminum bodywork. Not that it doesn’t take talent.. but all you really neded to do was put supermoto running gear on it and set the suspension up right

  • FS

    bleh. i dont feel it either..its not low-slung like a cafe racer should be. it just seems like a dual-sport with cafe racer characteristics.

  • powermatic

    Ride height of a motard, but riding position of a cafe? Apparently "flavor country" is a land where the laws of physics no longer prevail, and people road race on Stilt Bikes. All you supermoto guys could cheaply imitate this with a set of clubmans and some rearsets-but I’m guessing that you won’t. Why? Because it would be stupid to do so. Thankfully, RS’s breathless pronouncements to the contrary, this is not "the modern day cafe racer".

  • Jurp

    Welcome to the modern day café racer..??? God I hope not. Whats next the VESPA cafe racer?

  • I’ve been thinking of a build similar to this for quite some time. A streeted dirt bike in the naked/street racer, leaned-forward style, but I think "cafe" is the wrong thing here. Trying to fit this bike into the "cafe" category is where he went wrong. I would rather see a new look that really flows with the bike and doesn’t fit into any specific category. Ok, yes you can do this, but does it work? No, it’s trying too hard. Here’s a better looking example of a dirt bike conversion:


  • powermatic

    @ Stephen Freskos/ yes, the XR650 link is where RS might have gone had he taken the time-much better.

    @ Trav/ the stock tank doesn’t "have" to be there-RS could have built a custom tank and eliminated the plastic. Of course, that would have been more work, and would have raised the CG even higher on this ridiculous machine, so it’s probably better that he simply gave up

  • HJ

    Fancy covers? real bikes don’t have no stinkin covers,( fake tanks and such). Real cafes are stripped down, nothing that doesn’t make it go fast or stop, hang the mechanicals in the wind. They should call it the STORK with those long legs! All the tech available to them, you’d think they would have done better. Interesting idea, poor execution.

  • Troy

    I love it. A small lowering job and it would be perfect. Light, nimble, torquey, everything a cafe racer should be. Heaps of fun in the twisties, I bet