cafe racer tv

An Agrentina Build With Great Detail

Dino Maltoni of Mendoza, Argentina sent us this build of a Kawasaki Zephyr 550. Below he tells us in his own words about the build.

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Basically it had to cut and to manufacture a subchasis to measure since originally it brings a base of chassis type delta, to be able to give a more retro aspect and at the same time to obtain lines more according to a racer cafe. Glass of artisan way conservando a.aspecto similar to the one that brings of factory but of minor dimensions. To the same one was introduced to him a double light back light. In the front we adapted a copulino somewhat modified, was placed semimanillares, the whole painting was painted with powder paint as it came from the factory. Was made tailor made escapes and stainless steel. The pinto with a combination of green trikes and a kawasaki engine was given a glossy black color. The upholstery is also handmade which combines different textures and threads.

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Can A Diversion Be Cool?

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Yamaha XJ600s …”Morpheus”
This write comes to us from James Moir at JM Customs.
When Morpheus arrived it was a tired, mundane commuter. A gauntlet was thrown down when a friend said ” A Diversion could never be cool, ever!”
Never being one to shy away from a challenge , I got to work. Stripping away all the unnecessary weight, we cut off the subframe and fabricated a new , lightweight frame with a distinctive point at the back. Hand crafted a seat unit , encompassing LED Tail lights/turn signals.
We ran with the stock tank, as we loved the long flat line to the top of the tank. After milling away the bar risers, we added new clip on bars , switch gear and levers .
With a single speedo to the centre, it keeps everything minimal up front. Looking clean.
To maintain the lines of the bike we fabricated a wrap around plate mount which looks killer! Rebuilding the stock front forks , we upgraded the rear shock with a fully adjustable Hagon shock!  We wrapped out the headers for that old school look and installed a sweet can that we got from Caferacerpartsuk!
Laying on our  custom mixed gunmetal grey with metallic blue, it looks awesome set off amongst the satin black powder coating! We are proud of this transformation.
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Here are some links :
Facebook:
Instagram : @jm_customs

A Build From Down Under

Our friends from down under sent us this build. Andrew Cathcart sent us this. Check out the video below, the photo, and the info.

Cafe racer tvThe spec sheet for the bike is as follows:

  • Chassis – Genuine 1981 900 MHR frame heavily modified with narrowed steering head angle, repositioned engine mounts, shortened seat hoop and all surplus brackets removed. Relocated lithium ion battery now sits alongside dual twin-fire coils under tank.
  • Engine – Vee Two Ritorno Twin in 992cc (94 x 71.5mm) form featuring bathtub combustion chamber, 45mm inlet/40mm exhaust valves, ported and polished cylinder heads, forged billet slipper pistons, lightened and balanced crankshaft, pressure fed close ratio 5 speed gearbox, and dichromate plated magnesium covers, fueled by Keihin FCR41m flatslide racing carburettors.
  • Bodywork – Vee Two Imola short circuit race tank (100mm shorter than original in length) with modified Imola replica fairing and one-off seat fabricated from three separate items.
  • Paint – Genuine “Greenframe” green colour-matched to genuine ’74 750SS. Modified Mercedes silver. All custom decals supplied by Underground Designs.
  • Wheels and Tyres – front: 17 x 3.5”, rear: 17 x 5.5”. Wheels are alloy rims fitted to original bevel hubs via stainless steel spokes – all made by Spoked Wheel Services. Tyres are Pirelli Phantom Sportcomp – 120/70 front, 180/55 rear.
  • Suspension and Brakes – Front: Öhlins FG511 43mm forks originally supplied on the Ducati 1098S, with Brembo M4 forged radial callipers operated by Brembo RCS 19 master cylinder. Rear: Öhlins 36PL twin piggyback shocks and axially mounted P34 twin piston caliper.
  • Electronics – Powered by Motogadget m-unit microprocessor controller replacing all fuses, relays and massively reducing amount of wiring. The m-unit controls the Motogadget Chronoclassic multi-function display speedometer/tachometer, JW Speaker twin project-blaze disc LED bar-end indicators. The ignition on the engine is controlled by an Elektronik Sachse digital contactless system originally developed with Brook Henry.

For more pics, visit their website.

www.veetwo.com/gallery.html

 

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See A Cafe Racer Build Start To Finish!

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Marc Roissette sent us a time lapse video of the entire build. Below is a story behind the build, in his own words.

I bought this GSX 750 last year as the other owner had some issues with it not running well and also a fuel float / leak flooding the cylinders. I was able to negotiate a fairly good deal on the bike and this is where the project started. After picking up the bike and getting it home, I decided the first step was to sort out the carbies and get the bike running to have a sense of things I needed to change before going into the modification side. After a strip down and re-build of the carbs I found the last person to build͟d had left some parts out causing 1 of the two issues.

Watch his time lapse video to see the entire process.

The second problem to solve before getting it running right was tank pet cock not closing when shut off causing constant fuel drain into the engine. I installed an inline fuel tap to solve this issue in the short term. Taking it down to a track day in stock form and cutting a few laps I decided the whole front end needed replacing as the front suspension was like a trampoline and the brakes were wooden and just did not stop in the way I wanted, the rear sets were rubber and had no feel and the exhaust did not have the note or look I wanted, it was also time to re-jet the carbs and get some nice K&N filters. The bike went home and was stripped back to just the frame, engine out, carbs off and front end off to the shelf. The frame was then taken to with a grinder to remove all the old and un-used tabs to clean up the look of the bike, a new rear hoop welded onto improve rigidity and sent off to be powder coated. After searching around for a GSXR front end locally I was unable to get the parts required which would have made for a nice easy front end bearing conversion. I was though lucky enough to get a Ducati 996 front end off a good friend at Vendetta Racing which then needed some more work to the frame to get it attached due to the 35mm head stem.

Whilst all this work was going on a tail piece was ordered from Norway and I manufactured seat pan and tail plate to store all the wiring, battery etc and have a seat pad made up. Once completed the tank and tail piece were sent off for paint in a scheme I had designed in photoshop.More parts were ordered for the bike such as new chain, sprockets, rears sets, levers, gauge cluster, filters, short throttle and others to get the look and feel I wanted for the bike.

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The wiring harness was stripped back to bare and re-run causing some minor headaches as finding a workshop manual for a GSXF 750 was near impossible! Once the freshly powder coated frame was back the install of parts could start once again. First the engine was re-installed after a good degrease and clean then the wiring harness fed through the bike before the rear swing arm was re-attached. Getting the new front end on the bike was difficult without the required hoist to lift the bike up but I was able to use a step ladder and some bike tie downs to get the job done. With front end on the bike was stable and rest of the work for re-assembly could be completed. Once the wiring harness was all re-connected to controls it was time to balance the carbs. Now this is tricky, being my first time working with in line carbs I was a little clueless as to how to go about the task, after much time spent looking through a manual for a Bandit 600 and youtube videos I got the basics sorted out and balancing tool on the carbs to complete the job. After about 3 hours of work on and off the balance and pilots were adjusted a level that worked and the rest of the parts could be installed!

 

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A Father and Son Building Together

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Spencer Ashburn wrote to us about a project that he and his dad started together. The two watched all our Cafe Racer TV videos and from that experience they were inspired to start building café racers.

“We loved the idea of taking everything off the bike and making it go as fast as it could for starters, but then to add to the style of the bike to make it our own design. To go along with that we made the bike with whatever we had laying around the shop. We embodied this idea about two years ago,” said Spencer.

What started out as a father and son bike build turned into a father and son bike collection.

“We both found that we enjoyed working on bikes and creating our own design but we also loved working together and adding to each others ideas and visions. We loved it so much that we ended up having Friday bike nights, where we would spend the remainder of Friday evenings working on the bikes and grilling out.  My dad, Troy, started as a mechanic and is now a painter. So we do have some tools to work with, but we don’t have this big elaborate shop with all the tools in the world.

We made this bike with a couple of hammers, a torch, a welder, and some hair brained idea that we could make a bike of our own.  Although this bike isn’t completely finished. It still needs to be pulled apart and properly cleaned and painted,” said Spencer.

That didn’t stop the two from showing it off at the Slimmey Crud Run in Wisconsin, where it drew a lot of attention. Net, they took it to Rockerbox in Wisconsin and put it in the show,  and successfully cameg away with a win.

“This bike may not be the simple café racer that you may very well know, but the café racer isn’t just about the bike itself, it’s the history behind the bike in how you made it your own. It’s how you took the bike and made it faster and better then the next guy. And if you were to ask me, I think this bike embodies that to the fullest”, Spencer told us.

See all the steps they took in making the bike the way it is at www.trash-works.com

Watch the videos of their bike “Evolution”.

 

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You Can’t Miss This Retro Bobber!

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This build comes to us from Loen Montefusco, one of our Facebook fans. What do you think?

It took me about 5 months to build it from scratch. I bought a 1994 stock sportster and kept a few things from the bike , the front wheel, the engine, the speedo well thats it. the rest is what you see…the frame is totally custom…the neck is a 1943 b33 BSA, and I gave it a 35 degrees rake. The hard-tail is from an old twin cam. A big welding challenge to get it right. I didn’t want the frame very low but not very high either, its about 12 cm from the ground under the engine which gives me a good clearance to not hit into what ever is out there on the road.
The back wheel rim needed to be bigger. So, I bought a 19″ front rim and re-spoke it to fit the rear hub. The front end is an I-beam replica 1936, 2″ under stock . Tires oh yes, the tires are 19″ Firestone Champion Deluxe with no white wall..It doesn’t exist. So I put that on. The seat is a k-model 1945 replica on soft springs to keep your kidneys from falling off your body. The engine was converted from 883 to 1200cc with custom upsweep pipes and with a custom velocity stack on the carb. Of course I needed to rejet that thing, but that´s not hard.
One of the biggest challenges was to get the front brake right. As you can see, it´s wire driven from the backwards brake levers, BMWs 1943 replicas…to the master cylinder which is located under the tank and from there it turns hydraulic to activate the front end caliper brake.. It took me a while to get it right. The internal throttle is also sharing the same space with the brake wire. The tank is elongated and I hammered the indents of the sides..patience patience… the headlight housing took me a couple of days to build. I i took an old BMWs housing, a 7″ and turn into a 5″ to fit the stock HD headlight. It took a lot of welding and cutting. This is the first motorcycle I ever built. It was very fun, and now I´m hooked.
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What a looker

This build comes to us from Ale De Carvalho. He just finished this bike with Danny Zeus of Zeus Motorcycles in East London.

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The LSTCI Harley-Davidson Softail 1450cc was stripped down to the bone revealing only the most iconic features:

tank, dash, panel, engine and the wild roar of the V-Twin.  The all mate black bobber is authentic, wild looker and very confortable to ride.

Extra items added to make the bike to make it unique.

Screamin Eagle Performance Kit / Air / Exhaust

Harley Davidson custom frame

Springer Front End Forks

Handlebar

Wheels / Rims / Spokes

Indian motorcycle classic tires

Rear Black fitted fender

Custom seat

Foot peg extensions

Performance Machine front caliper

“Stop” side mount tail light

Vintage 70’s yellow headlight … to name a few.

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Cafe Racer Build – Lotta Work, Not a lotta money

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This build comes to us from Cosmin Andrei. Below he talks about the build in his own words.

Our names are Cosmin and Paul. We are the guilty dudes that started this. My friend Paul had in his garage a Kawasaki GPZ 500s in good condition (just ugly from our point of view). We wanted to transform it and didn’t had the money to get it transformed in a professional workshop. So we started in my garage with only one thing in mind (make it a WAR ZONE CAFE RACER :P) (we love cafe racers…This made us want it) We stripped it completely, sandblasted it, and ordered parts that we needed. After sandblasting,came our biggest challenge…modify the frame to look like we want! (it came out in one week the way we wanted it)

The preassembly was also a challenge. We dropped the idea of having the original cooling fluid tank and came up with the idea of using a military Aluminum bottle instead. We tried to get some of the cafe racer/scrambler/army features on it,while hiding the cables as best as we could. A big delay was due to the construction of the seat. It was built by us, with a fiberglass base + seat spunge and leather. Favorite features: Cooling fluid tank, exhaust, seat and tires: Biggest challenge: The Frame

They did the entire build for $1,100. Good job guys!

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Cafe Racer from Stockholm

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This build comes to us from Loen Montefusco from Stockholm. Below is his story of the build in his own words.

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I bought it (Suzuki GS 550) stock. It was sitting collecting dust at a friends garage. So I took the challenge. It takes a lot of effort to make ugly stock bikes into a better looking bikes.

I kept the stock tank and just did the dents on it. I shortened the rear end of the frame to add the loop and gave it an angle. I removed the engine and changed some gaskets on it, then washed it of course. The top clamp was a major league job but was very fun to do. I removed the risers and drilled a big hole for the stock fuel gauge and it wasn’t easy.

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The springs on the fork are cut down to lower the whole bike. The rear shocks and harley as well as the pipes. The stock pipes of the Suzuki are just out of proportion, way too big for the Cafe Racer. I bought the seat but modified it a lot to get the shape I wanted, short and low but still comfortable. The front fender is stock but shortened and modified to get the brackets close to the tire. The back fender is from an old Swedish Husqvarna Rödmyra from 42′. The speedos are the smallest possible for the cafe. The headlight is stock. It’s just upside down to get it as close as possible to the frame. Avon tires are the biggest possible for the rims.

The whole build took three months.

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Cafe Racer/Scrambler Build

This build comes to us from Phil Tornado of Austria. He took an ’81 Yamaha SR500 and turned it into a mix of a Cafe Racer and Scrambler. He bought the bike in Germany and did the entire build himself, cutting the tail of the frame and the fender to get the Scrambler look.
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