Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73

Cafe Racer

This build comes to us from Bernie Blackwell in Melbourne, Australia. He tells you about it in his own words.

This 1973 Honda 750.4 cylinder completed its early life in the early 1980’s racing at weekends as a Hillclimber in country Victoria. Rumour has its name as the Bucking Bronco! Discovered in a Leongatha farmshed in early 2011,she was resurrected over 3 1/2 years. The battered original was stripped of 11kg of extraneous parts and fittings….with an industrial angle grinder!

The desired build was to achieve a Manx Nortonlike look(circa 1960)…. organic, brutal, muscular and yet elegant….with a minimal bare hungry look.
The handmade fuel tank,oil tank and tailpiece were fabricated by Bernie Willett of Eltham. Every nut, bolt, washer and bracket has been replaced or fabricated by hand.and its all been mastered by Greg Cook of Leongatha.

Some 40 years after its appearance at the World Exhibition in Tokyo (note the Souvenir coin on the tailpiece) this once mass produced modern classic has been given a full stripped down makeover.

Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73.

 

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A Build From Poland

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This bike comes from Pascal, a frenchman now living in Poland. He was bored – unable to find an elegant cafe racer on the market for his 50th birthday. He  asked the company, Unikat, to build one for him. He loves it and wants to share it with the community of others who love cafe racers. The leather comes from a Mercedes 300 SL. The bike has hand-crafted exhausts, tail, and air filter. Pascal already ordered another one from Unikat. He wants the world to know ” Poland’s got talent!”

 

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Cafe Racer TV

Ton Up Tuesday

Cafe Racer TV Ton Up Tuesday

 

It looks like a new generation of  Cafe Racers, and we love it!  Frank Marcus, a sports teacher in the Netherlands, led this project. He wanted get students interested in learning to build. They just  presented bike at the Interclassic Show in Maastricht. This school project not only got these 16 and 17 year olds interested in the technical part but they fell in love with the nostalgia (and loved all the attention) they got showing off this Cafe Racer. They had  7 offers on the bike. But, since it wasn’t built with money in mind, they turned down the offers and preferred to enjoy it. “In short, we achieved more goals then we had in mind,” said Frank.

 

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Below is an excerpt in Frank’s words about why they wanted to do this and why he led the project. There are so many great builders and bikes but it all starts in a shack or garage ones. I find the whole Caféracer and Scramblerscene to be very sympathetic. Here it’s not about the money but about making cool bikes, as it should be… We can not compete with a professional builder but with the funding we had (max 2000 euro all-in) we were able to make a cool bike that is worth wile showing.

I selected 5 students who were motivated to be in this project. For the built we used the knowledge of Marcel Schepers, who is owner of Schepers Motor Design. He is known for building very nice bikes and  currently has some Kawasaki w800’s in his shop that he rebuild into

cool scramblers. His latest project is a flat tracker that he is building for the Glemseck meating in 2016 in Germany. For the saddle and bag we could rely on Jowi Paulissen. He is a local magician with leather, makes saddles, baggs and all kinds of upholstery. For the paint job we can thank  local garage Beckers who painted our tank for free.

This project is meant to show kids that working in the technical sector can be fun. We are losing a lot of interest from our youth in thisstudy and line of work and with this project we try to show that it can be a great education and that there are a lot of jobs to be found. The two students that worked on the bike André and Floyd, have been busy grinding, measuring, bending, making brackets, painting (exhaust), brake revision and more. Fenders, metal plates on the side, saddle plate and several brackets have been hand made by these guys.

The engine itself we left untouched, we found this 34 year old XJ650 with only 8000 miles on the counter. If its reliable we don’t temper with it. Thanks Frank, keep up the good work!

 

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Want to win cool stuff?

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Hey, we are asking you for your help and yeah, we are willing to bribe you a little. Help us promote our live webcast coming up next Tuesday, Feb. 2nd. and you can win cool Cafe Racer TV merchandise. We are giving away things like t-shirts, dvds and helmets, goggles and gloves both before the event and during.

What do you have to do to be eligible? Just promote the event. We’ll pick random winners who like, comment and share the event. We’ll announce the winners during the live event. (You must be present to win).

We want to bring you these webcasts to connect Cafe Racer enthusiasts with professional builders for all kinds of topics. You tell us what you want and we’ll deliver.

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Learn tips for buying a vintage bike – ask questions live

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Get Discounts!

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Here are some of the prizes.

DVDRiver & Road Baron Aviator goggles River & Road Baron Aviator googles Roland Sands Barfly gloves back Roland Sands Barfly gloves front Speed&Strenth  front view Speed&Strenth back view

Long Sleeve Logo T-Shirt

Long Sleeve Logo T-Shirt

 

More Than A Bike – Great Cafe Racer

Cafe Racer

This story comes to us from our friends at Atlanta Motorcycle Works. The team recently completed a build for a loyal customer who lost his father in the middle of a restoration project. This is the story in their own words. 

Jared Morris ins’t your average “motorcycle guy.” Jared gets extremely passionate and involved in what he’s riding, this is especially the case with his father’s Yamaha RD400. The project with his father became a “ride as you work” type project. We could often hear Jared tearing down the street of his nearby neighborhood. While working on the project Jared’s dad fell ill, leaving him unable to assist Jared with the project. As life became more hectic for Jared, the bike became hard to make time for. Jared had been a long time friend and customer of Atlanta Motorcycle Works. We had helped Jared with small stuff all over his bike, but this time he had a different request. Jared wanted a completely custom motorcycle to honor his father who recently passed. From that point on we gave this bike everything we had in order to deliver something amazing to our friend.

Jared and his family were blown away with the end result. There’s a long list of things that set this bike apart from a stock RD400, but the most notable things would be the RD400 Daytona fork swap as well RZ350 swing arm swap and wheels. There’s a custom bracket allowing for an RZ Brembo front caliper. The Carbs have been vapor honed and re-jetted to work with the new DG exhaust and pod filters. The motor has been vapor honed, and the case covers have been powder coated. A new halo headlight has been fitted with new brackets. Updated hand controls were added with a pair of blast from the past rear sets to match. The front fender is an item off an XS750 that has been modified to fit this bike. The paint work was done with what Jared’s dad had planned for the bike. Jared’s Dad, Bob, was a flat track racer in his younger days. The bike has his old racing numbers as well as his nick name “Bullet Bob.”

Photography was done by Braden Cain.
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Cafe Racer from CD175

This build comes to us from Sylvain Tourangeau. He’s one of our Facebook fans.  Below is his description of the build in his own words.
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I just completed the little CD175 Cafe. I did some small tests rides because at this time of the year it’s kind of cold down here. The bike is running very good. I rebuilt the engine with oversize piston, new bearings, and seals. I restored everything on the bike. I did the powder coating myself on the wheels as well as many engine and frame parts. I used chrome powder coat on small parts. I also did the candy red with base coat/ clear coat paint. Since I installed a flat bar handlebar, all the cables were too long. So I ordered wires and fittings and made the clutch, front brake and throttle cable myself at the right size. This bike runs on 6V, so I used a GS750 headlight and replaced the 12V H4 light with a 6V H4. I made the cafe seat from fiberglass with the recessed brake light, and my wife did the seat cover.
 
The only thing I didn’t do myself was the chrome on the tank side panels.
Vintage bike
So, what do you think of this build? Let us know and join our conversation on Facebook. 
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Cafe Racer

Maxmade Machines Latest Project

Max Langwieder says he’s a huge fan of Cafe Racer TV. In fact Max tells us he was inspired to build his first Cafe Racer after watching the show. Here are a few photos from his shop, Maxmade Machines in Munich, Germany.

 

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Cafe Racer

See A Cafe Racer Built On A New Bike

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(Sent to us from Jorge Damico and published without edits)

Stylish and original ideas always excite me. When I was introduced to the Cafe Racer style of motorcycles I was immediately hooked up by the concept and history behind of it as well its unique look. There is something in this style that lights up a desire for emotion and adrenaline. From that very moment I knew that I had to build and ride one.

After a long and extensive research analyzing all the possible donor bikes, years and types, I came across with the 2015 Yamaha SR400. It is the very same motorcycle being built since 1978 by Yamaha with a few modern improvements like fuel injection and front disk brake. The idea of using a brand new bike as a base of my project had its pros and cons. Yet a few strong arguments made me to decide in favor of using a 2015 motorcycle instead of an old beat up one. Not having to worry about potential and expensive issues on the engine, transmission, electrical parts and brake system were some of them, leaving me with room to invest time, energy and effort on the other aspects of the machine; allowing me to add my own flavor and ideas to the project.

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In order to achieve a more compact profile look the shorter front and rear fenders played a major role. The horizontal line of the bike had to be lowered; a Triumph clubman type handle bar, thinner seat, repositioned meters and head light made the job, promoting a better alignment with the gas tank imaginary line. A new set of blinkers, mirrors and shorter muffler gave the final touches showcasing my re-interpretation of a classic and reliable motorcycle on a vintage look.

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The end result was a leaner, cleaner and louder motorcycle that turns heads wherever we go. People get so enthusiastic with the bike that they stop by, ask questions and spend time admiring each detail; from teenagers to old dudes, man and women. However, more rewarding than all of this, is to have the sensation that I was able to spark in them curiosity and astonishment for Cafe Racers and vintage motorcycles.

By the end of the day, the conclusion of the project wasn’t what gave me the feeling of “mission completed”. The emotion of being able to motivate and encourage others to do similar things was the ultimate prize of this project.

Jorge Damico

Finally, A Cafe Racer After Eight Long Years!

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Chris Graziano is a police officer from Wisconsin. He sent us his story about his latest build. He’s built three café racers over the years.  His boss, the chief of Police saw his 1976 cb750 and loved it. What better way to get favor with the boss than to build a Cafe Racer for him.

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The boss said he had an old bike – the first one he bought. He had given it to a family member and guess where it ended up, of course – in a barn. Chris and his boss began pulling pictures and talking about what he liked.

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Chris stripped the 1978 GS750 down to the frame and rebuilt or replaced almost every part from the forks to the wheel bearings. “I rebuilt the top end of the bike and we added several add ons to the bike.  I love working on old bikes and bringing them back from the dead.  This bike was fun and is pretty quick.  The most difficult challenge was getting the carbs tuned right with the 4 to 1 pipes and the air pods on the carbs it took several times rejetting the carbs to get them right.  I hope to build another bike for myself soon”, Chris told us.

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Good luck and we hope to see it when you do, Chris. Send us your bike photos and bike stories and like us on Facebook.

 

Old School Cafe Racer in Brazil

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This Cafe Racer project and article comes to us from Augusto Bittencourt. Most of this came from what he sent to us via Facebook. 

The 1973 YAMAHA TX 500 was the basis for construction of this Vintage/Old School Cafe Racer. This bike was built in the owner’s house, Augusto Bittencourt, in his own workspace. He called it Lucas, in honor of his son Lucas Bittencourt,  a Speed Motorcycle pilot.

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As it was built to be Old School, the front disc brakes gave way to a drum brake from a Norton Commando with Dunlop rim, carburetors were kept and overfed, the tail and seat are English, the handlebar and throttle are Tomazelli ones, the electric start was eliminated and left only the kick start. The pedals have been recoiled for more racing style piloting, the levers are retro, and the mirror is a bar end and there are thermo tapes on the exhaust. The tank was handcrushed to give the Cafe style and a racing style air vent builted next to the cover, which was maintained with an gasoline buoy marker.

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The speedometer is a Smiths, in the best English style. The painting refers to the years 50`s in shades of red, black and silver with the YAMAHA name styled “Norton”, and an adhesive tail make an homage to Isle Of Man TT. The biggest difficulty in building a Cafe Racer style machine here in Brazil is the lack of available parts and accessories, requiring care, which makes it very expensive and labor-intensive project.

As an initial test-drive, the “Lucas Cafe” was piloted by the homonym pilot Lucas Bittencourt in Cascavel 2015 Gentlemans Ride between the cities of Cascavel and Toledo in Brazil, a journey of 100 km, making it one of the event’s attractions, not only for style but also the sound coming out of the exhaust, like a B-52 flying.

It is difficult to talk about cost when the manpower is the owner himself and the parts were all imported. The most important thing is that the project achieved its objective and has become one of the most Old School Cafe Racers in Brazil for sure, in terms of labor, creativity and authenticity.