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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

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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This transformation comes to us from Leonardo Gil Vergara. This is his first Cafe Racer build, and we think it turned out great.

Here’s some information in this own words.

This is a Suzuki AX4 GD110 2010. I changed the exhaust, tires, seat, tank, handlebars, grips, mirrors, controls, directional, stop, filter, battery, and CDI. Leonard lives in Mexico City. Please share your thoughts on his creation.

cafe racer bike of the week

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Bull Cafe Racer by Krystian Bednarek

This comes to us from Krystian Bednarek of Poland. This captures the spirit behind building a Cafe Racer. We love the bike and the story and hope you enjoy reading about it. Below is Krystian’s story in his own words. We love that Krystian shared his video of building the bike and riding it. Enjoy!

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I wanted to create a raw bike. I wish it contains as little plastic as possible instead of a lot of metal and leather parts. It is my first motorcycle, which I was building by myself, that is why I wanted to do my best during preparation. I have been browsing in the internet thousands of motorcycles for a long time. Each of them gave me some inspirations to choose specified elements to create my dream one.

Thanks to this I was creating the vision of original motorcycle in my head. Although I knew what I really wanted to create, I was not able to draw the project on a paper. Finally I started to work hard. I have bought a basis: Honda cb 750 seven fifty, the production year 1992 in very good condition.

When the previous owner heard, that I am going to dismantle his motorcycle, he told that he did not want to hear it, so we brought on motorcycle on car carrier trailers. After the arrival of motorcycle to my garage I did not know from what I should start with. The hundreds of parts, how can I remember it- I was asking myself. It was the first motrocycle, which I have ever built. Everything was quite new for me.

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I decided to disassemble parts one after another and report everything. First of all I wrote the name of part, which I was going to dismantle on the paper then I recored the name of this part, part inside motorcycle and how I disamantle it. Thanks to it I had about 80 movies with exact documentation. I did not have any experience in creating a shape o frame, that is why I left on the frame: engine, wheels, steering wheel.

Therefore it was easier to achieve intended look of the frame. Gradually I have been creating on my own some parts, others I bought. But all in the strict sequence. After assembling one part I pitched to it another without hurry. Nevertheless whole of this project took about 500 hour of hard work. I did not take the easy way out even with smallest details.

Everything had to be just as I designed. Sometimes I was made to do the part once again, but it was worth it. Thanks to these efforts now I have such motorcycle, which was in my head from the beginning. After assembly of motorcycle came a long time awaited moment – the first firing a motorcycle. I must admit, it was very stressful for me, because it was some kind of test after one year of hard work. After little difficulties I managed to fired it, and there was a lot of smoke in the garage.

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It was an amazing feeling that is experienced only once, because once in a lifetime you can do the first motorcycle. After this I conducted tests of every part, careful rides due to check if everything work as it should. Of course I started testing from the brakes.

When the tests were successful,  came the moment to make the whole project elegantly documented. I took a photo and video sessions to be able to go back always to those nice moments. During the entire construction process I met many interesting people who share similar interests and passions. Such people were the owners of companies who have done for me for free some parts. The first was company ARMJ (http://armj.com.pl)  who performed a great seat. The second company wass a PROTON (http://protonfilters.pl)  who has done sports air filters. I truly appreciate this collaboration. Besides, I spent a lot of hours with my dad. For sure without him motorcycle would not look like as looks now.

Video of the build.

Video of the ride

Krystian is also quite talented when it comes to building websites. This one is dedicated to his Cafe Racer build.

Website:
http://bullcaferacer.pl/en 

 

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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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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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