Bringing you the world's best café racers, bobbers and custom motorcycles

Café Racer


2003 Harley Sportster – Mandrill Garage

Posted on December 13th, by Scott in Café Racer. 25 comments

China is a funny country in a not so funny way. While most countries generally think motorcycles are a viable way to cut traffic congestion and reduce pollution in cities, the Chinese are going the other way. They have started to ban motorcycles in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai (plus another 200 cities across the country). These strict laws by the government are having a huge impact on bike manufacturers like Harley-Davidson who thought the new found wealth of the Chinese would make it an easy market to increase their sales. How wrong they were. There are however a number of small custom shops who are defying logic and opening custom garages because it’s what they love doing. One of these is a freshly opened shop called Mandrill in Beijing. Mandrill is the love child of Lin and a few of his like minded friends, who are determined to keep the motorcycle culture alive and have a place that bike enthusiasts can hang out. Their first build is this compact Harley Sportster café racer which has been built over the last couple of years and given the name ‘Red-Eye Bitch’ because of the many late nights it took to build her in their spare time – they all still have day jobs to pay the bills.

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BMW R100 by Nozem Amsterdam

Posted on December 8th, by Scott in Café Racer. 33 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

At first glance this is a café racer based on a BMW boxer obviously built by a talented team. But as you take it all in you realise it’s builds like this that finally and empathetically make the statement that the elite of custom bike building is no longer exclusively a V-Twin domain. It’s no surprise then to see big names like Roland Sands and Marcus Walz turn their hands to Metric bikes. But this is what Lorenzo, Delano and Daniel from Nozem Amsterdam do, take metric, often unconventional bikes and turn them into elite custom creations.

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‘77 BMW R100 ‘Night Cruise’ – A Max Daines Film

Posted on December 1st, by Andrew in Bobber, Café Racer, Video. 18 comments

Here’s something we hope we see more of. A sweet bike, a bunch of sweet, sweet photos and a very sweet video. Max Daines is a cinematographer in Utah that has recently turned his hand to a bit of automotive film making. With the help of a damn nice BMW R100 bobber, Photographer Jun Song, and a whole bunch of empty city, Max has managed to produce something that raises the bar while avoiding some of the more typical clichés of the genre. So sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of a star R100 BMW and her first big box office success, “Night Cruise’.

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Kawasaki W650 “Bean” by Revival Cycles

Posted on November 19th, by Scott in Café Racer. 23 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

If I sat down with pen and paper and began to brainstorm my perfect café custom I could never limit myself to just one influence. I’d want the vintage appeal of 1950’s British bikes, the beauty and charisma of Italian styling, the function and reliability of Japan’s best and then I’d entrust the whole build to a workshop of builders who understand the beauty of raw mechanics and properly engineered fabrication. Pen and Paper can be pushed aside, silence and admiration is all you need and join me in feasting your eyes on Revival Cycles Kawasaki W650 “Bean”, my dream bike come true.

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Royal Enfield 350 ‘Nevermore’

Posted on November 9th, by Scott in Bobber, Café Racer. 23 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

On the streets of India the cycle of choice tends to be the Royal Enfield. Reliable, easy to work on, spares aplenty, there is little that is not appealing about the retro motorcycle marque. Except if you want to stand out that is. Rolling out of India’s top new custom workshop, this bike is an idea executed with the mindset of a truly different bike being created. Scratch built around a late model Royal Enfield engine, Mean Green Customs have shown what it takes to stand out from the crowd, with their stealth bike concept. In a sea of Royal Enfield bobbers, this hard tail is something else, the mechanical engineer who created this masterpiece yearning to build something unique – and a chance to put his home made frame jig to use.

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Moto Guzzi Le Mans by Kaffeemaschine

Posted on November 3rd, by Scott in Café Racer. 27 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

When a builder is passionate about the bike he is working on, you can see it in his work. Axel from Kaffeemaschine has almost reached a state of oneness with Moto Guzzi’s. This stunning build is one in a long line of Guzzi’s that were lucky enough to have received his touch. Given the name ‘Machine 14′, the bike has the stance and smooth lines of a classic cafe racer. When it comes to aesthetics, Axel usually chooses less is more. Built up from a stock Le Mans 3 donor bike, this is very much the machine you would find parked up outside the local Kaffeehaus – just after it clocked the Ton.

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‘86 Benelli 654 Sport – Inglourious Basterds Cycles

Posted on October 30th, by Andrew in Café Racer. 34 comments

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You have to admit, the global custom motorcycle scene at the moment is anything but boring. While the current generation waxes lyrical about their new-school café racers and brats, the old school revel in their baggers, billet and bobbers. Each to their own, we say. But what if your own isn’t one or the other? Well, here’s a perfect case in point; Bologna’s Inglourious Basterds Cycles. Equally comfortable with classic Americana builds as they are with old-school bobbers and retro racers, they’ve just taken their second AMD trophy in as many years with a bike that couldn’t be more different from their previous builds. Introducing “Madiba.”

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Honda CX500RR

Posted on October 1st, by Scott in Café Racer. 42 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgeson

To create a motorcycle so good that passers-by ask you when the factory started selling them, you need a designer, fabricator and builder capable of bringing such a bike to life. With his CX500RR, Mike Meyers has proven he is all three and starting out with the much maligned 1980 Honda CX500 he only made the task harder. But with a love for the look of the CX’s engine design and ready to prove the doubters wrong he built a café racer that would easily take pride of place on a Honda showroom floor.

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BMW K-Series ‘Bell Kaff’

Posted on September 29th, by Scott in Café Racer. 36 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

There are few people amongst us who haven’t looked at the European bikes of 60s & 70s and thought: “those guys really knew how to build bikes”. Italian, German or English, the motorcycles of that age have inspired many a modern day builder to create something beautiful. The bike featured here today has been influenced by all three of the above bike building greats, the Beemer created using K-series mechanicals coupled with old school aesthetics. Built by Larry Romestant of Romestant Engineering and Design, we would like to introduce you to the ‘Bell Kaff’.

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1977 Yamaha RD400 by Rusty Bolt Garage

Posted on September 17th, by Scott in Café Racer. 15 comments

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Written by Ian Lee.

Sometimes a bike appears in our inbox that is hard to write a post on. It’s not so much the bike is built in bad taste, or lacks description from the builder, it’s because the damn thing has so many features it can be hard to know where to start. Today’s bike falls into this category, it is a cacophony of build aspects, all vying for attention at the same time. Coming out of the Rusty Bolt Garage in Santa Fe, this Yamaha RD400 has been built with everything “either upgraded, replaced, or repaired on this baby.” And what a beautiful baby it is.

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