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

Café Racer


1974 Honda CB550 – Café Cycles

Posted on January 24th, by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. 10 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

The CB550 was not a staple of the classic café scene back in the halcyon days but if they built them like Café Cycles that might have all changed. With the Café Racer culture booming again it’s easy for the new generation to forget its simple roots.

Most of the world’s biggest custom builders and even manufacturers have turned out big dollar Café bikes, but in a small workshop in Rhode Island a lover of British bikes and a master of hand formed aluminium parts, Pete Chase is proving the old simple ways still work. In fact he likes British bikes so much he barely cuts them up, preparing to turn out perfect custom Hondas with a British flavour!

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2002 Suzuki TL1000R

Posted on January 17th, by Scott in Café Racer. 35 comments

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Written by Marlon Slack.

Incredibly, in stock trim the Suzuki TL1000R is as ugly as it is torquey. With its rounded, fat fairing and ungainly looking seat, in the bike symbolizes much of what was wrong with the late 90s – along with Balkan ethnic cleansing, mass flooding deaths in China and the rise of ska music. Nick O’Kane – powersports sales manager at K&N air filters – saw the potential hidden underneath all the bulbous plastic of a 2002 model TL and put together this gorgeous custom that looks great, handles beautifully and has the powerplant to match.

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Honda CB750 ‘Mr Hyde’ by Classified Moto

Posted on January 14th, by Scott in Café Racer. 14 comments

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Words by Martin Hodgson.

Custom motorcycles often leave an audience profoundly polarised, while some lavish praise others ridicule and scoff. It seems the further from sedate you go the more divided the opinion, but designers like Terblanche and Tamburini have shown that is not always true and great custom builders can do the same. Create amazing one off motorcycles that receive almost universal acclaim, are anything but bland and always show off that signature style that lets you know the brains behind the build. Enter John Ryland, Classified Moto and a Honda CB750 known as Mr Hyde.

I always eagerly anticipate a new build from the Richmond, Virginia based workshop and this 1992 Honda CB750 Nighthawk certainly doesn’t disappoint. Customer Jordan had seen a pre-Nighthawk CB750 build of Classifieds called the SuperStrada and wanted something in the same vein. The first thing that hits you in the eyes is the single sided swingarm and this is certainly no bolt on conversion. While the Ducati Multistrada swingarm remains stock the Honda frame required considerable fabrication and welding expertise from Seth and Danik to get the two working in harmony. The Showa shock originally fitted to the Ducati remains in place while just like SuperStrada the rear wheel is from a Ducati 1098.

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Honda CB550K ‘Logan’ by KickMoto

Posted on January 7th, by Scott in Café Racer, Classic, Uncategorized. 32 comments

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Words by Marlon Slack.

I admire the Canadians. They’re a resilient, resourceful people with a long and proud reputation of overcoming adversity. Whether it be thriving in the barren wilderness of the North, co-existing with man-eating bears or having to live alongside French Canadians, they always seem to make the best of the difficult circumstances the Gods have dealt them. KickMoto in Halifax, Nova Scotia continue this long trend of Canuck determination by producing this tidy little café racer. It’s their first commissioned build and if the quality of this 1978 Honda CB550K is anything to go by, it certainly won’t be their last.

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‘Elegant Bastard’ by Smokin’ Motorcycles

Posted on January 5th, by Scott in Café Racer. 11 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

In the crowded world of the custom motorcycle scene new builders can easily be lost in the mix of high end builds and the well-established big names of the industry. So when Smokin’ Motorcycles of Rotterdam completed their third build and first to be revealed to the public they knew to make their mark they had to go all out. Enter build #003 Elegant Bastard; A BMW R nine T, with CAD designed parts, CNC machining, hand formed aluminium and leather from an African Antelope. It’s just the kind of splash that levels plenty of ripples and still scores a perfect 10!

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‘72 CB350 Honda – Chappell Customs

Posted on January 2nd, by Andrew in Café Racer. 14 comments

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Copper is a deceptively difficult colour to pull off on a custom bike. For all the wins we’ve spotted over the years, we also see a hell  of a lot of gaudy, steam punk train wrecks that succeed in being beautiful the same way an unwashed, Victorian-era guttersnipe succeeds in being British royalty. But prepare yourself for a masterclass in metal patina. Using the transparent powder coating, Chappell Customs have managed to make a finished product that takes the look to another level. Queen Vic herself would be proud.

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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. 34 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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