Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

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Yamaha RD125

Posted on October 13, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 15 comments

By guest writer Ian Lee.

Full length fairings. Small capacity engines. Pizza cutter tyres. All strike up images of 1970s motorcycle racing, but do these statements make you think of a fully registered streetbike? Bobby Costello, of Costello Fabrications, has done the ton in creativity and engineering to bring this build as close as possible to a full race bike, yet still be able to blast around town when the desire arises.


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Studio Motor’s Honda CL350 – “No.27”

Posted on October 2, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 43 comments

There’s an interesting phenomena, the name of which I haven’t figured out yet (suggestions on the back of a stamped, self-addressed email please), that somehow dictates that any cool custom shop we stumble upon will have a back catalogue of bikes inversely proportional to the distance they are from the west. Recently found a new shop in downtown London/New York/ LA/Sydney? See that one bike they have displayed proudly in the window? It’s a safe bet it’s their only one, too. But find yourself wandering through, say, South Jakarta and the lucky money’s on any bike shop within spitting distance being a veritable custom bike factory. Like this one for instance. Downtown Bintaro’s own Studio Motor Custom Bikes. A quick skim of their website and I counted at least a dozen of the sweetest bike’s I’ve seen in a good while, including this here gem. Please give a warm, 12 bike salute to Studio Motor’s hard-working boss, Donny Ariyanto.


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Sérgio Teixeira’s Suzuki GSX 750 – “Saudade”

Posted on September 9, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 25 comments

If you took yr average 1950s cafe racer and ground it up in a giant sausage maker, what do you think would come out the other end? For those of you who answered a ‘bunch of ground metal with small pieces of rubber, vinyl and glass, all coated in a nice oily sauce,’ then technically you’d be right. Smart arses. But what I was alluding to was more of a distillation of the bike’s Raison d’être in to something pure and unadulterated. In a traditional cafe racer’s case, I’m guessing that what you’d get is a kind of ‘essence of honest speed.’ A substance that would characterise the scene’s key traits of going as fast as bloody possible on a working-class, post-war English budget. Think those days are long gone? Think again, for as the GFC bites hard in Western Europe, there are still guys who want maximum bang-for-their-buck for as little buck as possible, and what they are coming up with still stirs the soul like their 50 year-old brethren. Here’s one of them; Sérgio Teixeria’s Suzuki GSX 750 cafe racer.


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BMW RS09 Cafe Racer

Posted on August 17, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 87 comments

It’s hard to believe that when the Sydney Opera House was unveiled back in 1973, a lot of the public called it the ugliest building they had seen. Not that it was truly ugly, but because they hadn’t seen anything like it before. Now I’m not saying this BMW is the “Opera House” of the custom world. But I am saying you probably haven’t seen a K100RS like it. Roel Scheffers from the Netherlands is the man behind this unique Beemer. Roel has built many bikes over the years, usually streetfighters and choppers, so this build was a little left of field for him. As a kid he used to ride on the back of his Dads K100, so this model holds some special memories to him – he wanted to build something different while still keeping the soul of the K100, and we reckon that’s just what he’s done.


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’78 Suzuki GT 250

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 48 comments

Gandhi was a patient man. His commitment to non-violence saw him wait almost 50 years for freedom only to die less than 6 months after India was finally granted independence from British rule. Buddha is said to have once meditated under a bodhi tree for 49 straight days until he claimed to have attained enlightenment. And the Bible’s Job refused to give up even after his family and life was taken away from him. Then there’s the story of one David Ottesen, a man who’s patience makes Job look like Russell Crowe. See dear readers, I promised good David a post on Pipeburn very soon after I shot the beautiful bike you see before you last Christmas. And I promised, and I promised… Soon, summer became Autumn, and the leaves fell from the trees, but did I do anything? Oh no, still I procrastinated and never made good on my empty words. But David never gave up. He persisted until the sheer weight of guilt began to crush me like a millstone. Then, and only then he told me that he planned to sell the bike. And the guilt became too much to bare. David, I’m truly sorry; anyone wanna buy a bike?


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’01 Suzuki GS500 – Ellaspede 007

Posted on April 2, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 66 comments

Consider if you will this mental image. Pipeburn, instead of being the super amazing blog that it currently is, is magically transformed into a warehouse. And not just any warehouse, but one that contains each and every bike that we have ever featured in these here virtual pages in the iron. Now place yourself at the open doors of this warehouse with the world’s biggest baddest, most power gun. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, it’s a phased plasma rifle in the 40 Watt range. You let rip, and almost instantly the brute power of the gun begins to tear the bikes to shreds. Firestones by the ton are ripped from arsehole to breakfast time. The pipewrap flies up into the air like streamers at a Macy’s Day parade. But you know the one bike bit you’d see nary hide nor hair of in all this supersonic chaos? The one major component that features heavily on a vast majority of bikes built since the early 80s but is rare as hen’s teeth around these parts? For those of you shouting “beam frames” at the top of you exhaust-infected lungs, congrats. You’ve just won yourselves a case of beer. Off the top of my head the only other bike in recent memory that featured a beam frame was Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. Unfortunately the prize beer is make-believe, just like the warehouse and the gun. But that shouldn’t bother someone with an imagination as powerful as yours so sit down, crack open an invisible cold one, and enjoy the beam-framed splendor of Ellaspede’s superb Suzuki GS500.


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Yamaha XJR 1200 – “Mastino”

Posted on February 7, 2012 by Scott in Café Racer, Racer. 21 comments

This beautiful creation was built by an Italian shop based in Rome called Emporio Elaborazioni (EE). It was started by a graphic designer, a mechanic and a silversmith who all shared a love of custom motorcycles. This brutal bike is nicknamed the ‘Mastino’ or Mastiff after the breed of large, powerful and rather stocky pedigree dogs. When you look at the stance of this short, mean and muscular café racer you realise the name couldn’t be more fitting if it tried. We always thought the powerful and naked XJR 1200 would be a great contender for a modern café racer, but we had no idea it could look this good – trust the Italians to teach us a lesson in style.


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1998 Honda VTR 1000F – ‘Christine’

Posted on January 31, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Other, Racer. 69 comments

Christine – more shiny stuff than a dictator’s palace

Every time we post a bike, Scott and I sweat over a good “angle” to open the piece with. Something unique about the bike that will grab a reader’s attention and help them get into the story. Sometimes it’s to do with the owner’s job or a neat little ditty about the bike itself; where it was found or maybe something to do with a tasteless mod a previous owner had done. Most of the time it’s pretty slim pickings, whether it’s lack of time on our behalf or stories that just aren’t that wacky we often end up pulling stuff out of some pretty damn thin air. Then there’s bikes like Tyler Mill’s Honda VTR. This bike has more angles than a cubist painting; it killed its first owner when only a few days old. Then it was repaired and ridden by Honda salesmen. Then it was customised in what I can only describe as a “zombie killer” style. Then it was plumbed with nitrous. If you told us aliens had done a burnout on it while riding it across Roswell with a young JFK looking on in a giant octopus costume, we’d just about believe you. Hello Christine you strange, strange woman.


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Trillion Industries ’79 Honda CB650

Posted on January 4, 2012 by Andrew in Café Racer, Racer. 64 comments

Adam Sandler movies. They’re a dime a dozen. He’s an uncultured yet loveable ice hockey player/divorcee/single dad/college drop-out who tries his best to raise a kid/make it into the big leagues/get a job/be responsible/fall in love/manage his successful father’s dildo factory (what – you didn’t see that one?) blah blah blah. That’s what I thought too, and then I saw Punch Drunk Love and I was blown away. What really made it for me was the fact that I went into it with preconceptions of what I was about to see and subsequently had my brain deep-fried by a very clever director who knew just how to screw with the formula to take something good and make it truly great. How the bejesus does that have anything to do with the killer Honda CB you see here? Well, this director’s name is Derek Pauletto and he’s managed to cafe a Honda CB (which some would consider a very tired, “Sandler-ish” formula) and put just enough clever little twists into it to really make it into one of this year’s must-see customs.


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Honda CB836CR “Sentoh” – AFT Customs

Posted on October 15, 2011 by Andrew in Other, Racer. 28 comments

There’s always an inherent problem being in a “scene” like the current boom for cafe racers, and that is that you are so bombarded with cool bikes that your eyes become a little shuttered to the possibilities you have when you set out to make a bike for yourself. In many ways the eyes of someone outside the “scene” are more fresh and therefore able to really create something new, like this all-original take on a cafe racer by Jim Guiffra and the guys girls at his AFT Customs shop in Jackson, CA. More used to a Californian chopper style of customising, it’s really refreshing to see a racer with a new approach. Based on a 1976 CB750 Four, It’s definitely channelling the spirit of cafe racers but with a healthy shot of west coast ‘tood, a pinch of track gear and (seemingly) a few left-over parts from a giant Japanese robot. It’s one of those rare bikes that makes you do a double-take with it’s deft, effortless mix of genres yet coherent overall look.


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