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Moto Guzzi Cafe Racer – ‘Kaffeemaschine 5’

Posted on April 20, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 41 comments

An alchemist, in case you didn’t already know, is defined as a person who possesses (amongst other things) the capability of turning base metals into the noble metals. Put simply, that’s turning iron, nickle, led, or zinc into gold and silver – called noble metals because they seem to have an almost magical ability to resist ever looking old and dated. Now fast forward 1000 years and consider the modern-day work of Hamburg’s Axel Budde. Given a rather scrappy collection of basic parts, some of which had well and truly been turned into near scrap before they reached his lab, he has managed to materialise the very precious bike you see before you here. Magic? Science? A product of the dark arts? Sadly for those of us looking to emulate his creation, it turns out that it’s nothing more than sheer determination, skill, and hard work. Damn.

“I built the bike for Thomas Gruner, who had bought a ’89 Moto Guzzi Le Mans 4 in pieces a couple of years ago and didn’t really know what he had bought and how to put it back together again. He asked me to build a custom cafe racer from his bits and pieces.”

“I was struggling a lot with the totally crappy inside of his engine and some parts, it was obvious that he bought a disassembled bike which has had an accident including some engine damage. He immediately fell in love with the tank lying around in my workshop (though not really ideal for the high neck of the late Le Mans frame,) which became his only definite wish for the bike. Except for the tank, I built all alloy parts on the bike by hand, as usual. The engine and transmission got a total revision and now have brand new stock Le Mans 1000 specs (950cc, 81hp).”

“Even with the original power, the Guzzi is performing great after the 183kg “diet” (the stock LM 1000 is around 240kg) only the frame loses 3,5kg of steel. The modified fork is off a California with special stainless steel discs. Brakes are equipped with modern calipers and a momentum support on the rear. Exhaust is Lafranconi, shocks are Ikon, the rev counter is from MMB. The minimal wiring harness is built by myself.”


“so I wanted it classic and elegant,
but a bit hot rod too”


“I think Thomas is not the guy who’d fit a totally classic motorcycle (in his case, that’s meant as a compliment). I chose the seat shape and the type of paint because of the impression I had of him- so I wanted it classic and elegant, but a bit of hot rod too – away from the iconic Italian racer.”

Those impressed enough with Axel’s skills may wish to investigate further at his website, the very Germanically-named And let me be the first to point out that yes, it DOES sound like a place that sells espresso machines. And very cool motorbikes, apparently…

  • gray

    oh. my. god.

  • MarkH

    Immaculate, walking the wire between genres and imperfect enough to retain character… that’s the wine, this bike’s nice too 😉

    • creatureparty

      Imperfect enough? Im trying to spot a speck of dust in the photos

  • It’s really pretty, but there’s something about it that looks like it came from a modern corporate boardroom.  Is it too smooth and too chromed?

    • cagivarider

      That’s because it’s all new.
      After some years of use it’ll be perfect!

      Best regards

    • Yeah, and Scarlett Johansson is too beautiful…

      • GuitarSlinger

        Errrrrr…. seriously ? Scarlett Johansson is cute and all …….. but beautiful ? 

        I think not . The bike though ? Now thats beautiful !

        • 50merc

           Amen brotha….

  • PJFlyer

    I love the engine in a guzzi, the body work sometimes, but the engine always! I have just sat and stared at this bike and can find no fault. It is absolutely stunning! That type of perfection will never come from a corporate boardroom, never. It speaks to my soul.

  • Richard Brandt

    What tires are on this bike? I think I may need to look for those shortly.

    • Vander82

      Bridgestone Batlaxx BT45. Excellent tyres.

  • Andy Cherries1

    Utterly stunning

  • Heckwellenbrettreiter

    I haven´t seen a bike for some time, that looks this smooth and complete, when speaking about the concept. I cannot find a point, where I would change it. For me, it looks perfect. I would want one… 🙂

  • Chris

    Wow. Period.

  • GuitarSlinger

    That is soooooo clean it almost hurts . In a good way ! I’ve seen these guys work before and its all good , but nothing like this one . Damn !

    This’n may just qualify for a Top Ten for the Year IMHO

  • Kyle

    Are those turn signals part of the “stock” bits or are they for sale somewhere?

  • cagivarider

    They are so called “Ochsenaugen” (oxeneyes) made by Hella.
    Here’s a link, I hope it works:

    Best regards

    • Davidabl2

      Emgo (of Taiwan) makes ’em too.  On EBay they will be called something like BMW Bar end turn signals. But I’m sure that yours are a “Hella’ lot nicer 🙂

  • Neil Fenton

    Said Natalie Portman : “He’s too good looking”

  • Maczee

    good flow to the bike

  • matt machine

    great looking bike……

  • Barney

    Gorgeous bike!!!!

  • Car2nst

    I could sit and look at that bike for hours-is it immoral to want to marry a bike?

  • peeej

    Beautiful would be an understatement!

  • Xsbank

    The turn signals are right off an old Bimmer. Love that tank and the seat work is spectacular. Don’t like velocity stacks and I worry about the rear brake torque arm being flimsy and hanging out a bit – vulnerable, perhaps, but otherwise the entire bike is magic. Well done!

  • davmo

    Truly inspiring. Balance is the word that comes to mind. Great lines, love the styling, execution is superb. Homerun.

  • HJ

    cool, top notch build, nice to see a different platform- dig the guzzi, artwork guys

  • If we never posted another bike on Pipeburn, I’d die a happy man to be leaving this one at the top of the pile…

    • davmo

      Yeah, but I have a feeling that @always on two could still find something to pick apart here…if he were here.

  • Roklobster

    Gor-juss. Almost hurts to look at it.

    Serious lust over here…

  • KrookStreetRacing

    That is incredible. And I don’t even like Guzzis…

  • folgorino

    I googled premature ejaculation and I ended up here… 

  • Van Bo!

    She’s a beaut… of the finest to grace your pages.

  • PGearbox

    The stainless steel tail flows beautifully into the tail light. Love how clean and perfect everything is.

  • caferacer

    Awesome build. Why did you keep the rather unattractive square fin barrels vs. repro round ones? Thank god for the old-style valve covers though…

  • very , very sweet.. and looks street legal too! wonder where did he hide the battery, RR, etc.?

  • Balata

    What is the tank off that is stunning!!!

  • cale

    Well done, got the feel of retro look yet elegant.


    Just perfect…what else..

    • GRILLO