Vintage Iron has been in the motorcycle restoration business for 25 years and they have built race bikes, street bikes, collectible bikes and a few one-off projects. But the company is best known for its ability to restore period perfect motocross bikes.
For Café Racer TV, VI’s owner, Rick Doughty was asked by one of his clients to take a nearly new Rokon Cobra MX machine and make it into a street bike. Here is the story straight from Rick:
“Nothing we have ever built is as wild and interesting as the King Kobra, commissioned by Tom Reese of Moto Armory. Tom just happens to own the largest off road motorcycle collection in the country and Rokons are some of his favorites.
Rokon started manufacturing two wheel drive trail bikes and later developed full size competition motorcycles, all with snowmobile engines and clutches. Rokons were therefore very unconventional which made the brand a perfect candidate for a cafe racer project.
The original Cobra was the highest performance machine that Rokon ever offered and was very limited production with less than 100 made.
The King Kobra is a “one of one” machine that showcases a blend of old and new technology and sticks to the unique spirit that is Rokon and Tom Reese.”
Bike: 1974 Rokon Cobra (Now “King Kobra”)
Engine: 340cc Sachs snowmobile with reversed head and cylinder
Carburetion: 38mm Mikuni flat slide
Rear Swing Arm: Original Rokon
Rear Wheel: Mid-70s Harley Sportster
Front Wheel: Mid-70s Harley Sportster
Clip-Ons or Bars/ triple clamps: David Munoz Billet Fabrications
Seat: Legendary Motorcycles cafe seat
Tank: Legendary Motorcycles cafe tank
Rear Sets: David Munoz Billet Fabrication
Exhaust: Custom, hand made Vintage Iron expansion chamber
Paint: Vintage Iron metallic dark gray
Headlight: Legendary Motorcycle generic cafe headlight
Front Brake: Yamaha XS650
Rear Brake: Yamaha XS 650
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: David Munoz Billet Fabrications
Cycle Icons’ Leon Stanley unfortunately lives in the wrong era. Instead of weeping about it, he recreated the bygone era of racing-your-daily-rider by converting a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet into three versions for Café Racer TV. It’s an ambitious adventure that ends in an attempt at a land speed record and it isn’t to be missed.
Now operating under the name Badger Corse, Cycle Icons proved on episode four that a motorcycle can be whatever you want it to be, if only you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
If you’re curious to know more about the parts Stanley used on version 3.0, scroll below. If you want to know how Teddy Roosevelt became the inspiration for this project, click HERE.
Bike: 2007 Royal Enfield Bullet: “The Badger” Version 3.0
Engine: 500cc pushrod single
Cylinder: Alloy, Indian aftermarket
Piston: High-compression Hitchcocks by Accralite
Head: Hitchcocks “Big Head”
Cams: Hitchcocks “competition” grind
Carb: Mikuni VM38
Intake manifold: Custom machined by Desengman LLC
Exhaust: Custom fabricated
Clutch: Bob Newby Racing
Frame: Modified Royal Enfield
Front suspension: Modified Royal Enfield
Top yoke: Hitchcocks
Bars: Tommaselli adjustable clip-ons
Rear suspension: Bitubo
Front Brake: Modified Royal Enfield
Rear Brake: modified Royal Enfield
Wheels: Royal Enfield, 19 inch WM2 in black powdercoat
Tires: Avon AM26 90/90v19 front, 100/90v19 rear
Tank: Modified Royal Enfield
Seat: vintage aftermarket Triumph of unknown origin
Rear sets: Hitchcocks
Cycle Icons/Badger Corse
MaceTech Industries is a small FL shop run by Mace Livingston, a general aviation mechanic who is expanding his resume to include custom bike builds.
Livingston’s Mad Max-like KTM café racer, which he built with his wife, Ashlie for Café Racer TV, will be love/hate for most people. Livingston’s airplane and military experience has provided him with an imagination we’ve never seen before on this show and it resulted in a bike that caused 8-time National Enduro Champion Mike Lafferty to say, “What the heck is it?”
Whether you’re a lover or hater of this project, you have to appreciate Mace and Ashlie’s moxie and their willingness to risk reputation by being bold.
Bike: 2000 KTM 640 Adventure
Subframe: MaceTech Industries Custom
Engine: KTM 620cc single cylinder. Kick and electric start
Carburetion or FI System: 42mm Mikuni FCR carb.
Rear Swing Arm: KTM Duke
Rear Wheel: 17-in. aluminum BBS
Front Wheel: 17-in. aluminum BBS with MaceTech Industries axle conversion for the Triumph front suspension.
Clip-Ons or Bars: Modified Triumph clip-ons
Seat: MaceTech Industries custom seat pan, hand formed and upholstered by Ashlie Livingston.
Tank: MaceTech Industries “Mad Max” special. Handmade using exhaust tubing from a semi truck.
Rear Sets: Modified KTM
Tires: 17-in. front and rear Avon Distanzia’s
Exhaust: MaceTech Industries designed and fabricated exhaust system; single cylinder, dual exhaust.
Paint: Clear coat powder coated bare steel
Headlight: 1975 Honda CB500T headlight with custom MaceTech Industries mounts for a Triumph front end.
Front Brake: Triumph
Rear Brake: Brembo
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: MaceTech industries custom triple trees to mount Triumph front suspension to KTM frame.
Even though the project bike was a Harley-Davidson Sportster and even though it turned out to be a street tracker, the opportunity to work with Roland Sands and Travis and Lyn-z Pastrana was too good. Sands is A-list in the custom bike and accessories world and Travis and Lyn-z are action sports legends.
Roland is a former AMA 250GP champion with a gift for design that functions and Roland Sands Design is a team of innovative designers, engineers and fabricators who are as passionate about motorcycles as he is.
As talented as Sands and his team is, when they discovered that their salvage yard Sportster had napkins for an air filter, they were a bit worried about what they’d got themselves into. Pastrana lightened the mood by picking up what he called “tool number one,” a hammer.
The end result is a naked street tracker suitable for the dirt ovals of the Grand National Series. The Pastranas were on hand for a reveal and test that put Travis in a first-time, compromising position.
Bike: 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 from Safari Cycle Salvage in Long Beach, CA
Frame: 2006 Sportster Custom 1200
Subframe: Custom RSD
Engine: Sportster 1200 with Zippers Performance Super Hammer 1200 Engine Kit
Carburetion or FI System: Mikuni Carburetor
Rear Swing Arm: Customized sportster swing arm for a single Progressive shock
Rear Wheel: 17X3.5
Front Wheel: 17X3.5
Clip-Ons or Bars: Prototype RSD Step-bars
Seat: Custom by SDG
Tank: RSD Vintage tank
Rear Sets: Prototype RSD mid-controls
Tires: 130/80-17 front and 140/80-17 rear Dunlop Trailmax TR91
Exhaust: Custom RSD stainless exhaust
Paint: Chris Wood of Airtrix
Front Brake: PM 4 Piston
Rear Brake: PM 4 Piston
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: RSD Custom Harley 48
Analog Motorcycles started in the summer of 2009. Tony Prust, founder, has been riding and customizing motorcycles for over 15 years in conjunction with his job as a percussion technician for the rock band Chevelle. When the band’s drummer Sam Loeffler wanted a custom café racer he asked his drum tech to moonlight as a bike tech.
The project bike was a horrendously wide and bulky Bimota DB3 that was turned over to the Bostrom brothers for a racetrack test outside of Chicago.
Today, Prust is fully focused on Analog Motorcycles and building bikes. The attention to detail Tony has developed throughout this hobby, combined with his previous profession as a trim carpenter, is starting to result in incredibly beautiful motorcycles. His goal has always been to put together bikes that both look good and perform well.
Currently Analog is capable of small accessory installs to full custom bike builds, powder coating to fabricating and everything in between.
Bike: 1996 Bimota DB3 Mantra
Frame: Stock Bimota DB3
Subframe: Analog design and fabricated with Mike Ardito
Engine: Ducati M900 (2 valve air-cooled 900cc) Refreshed and rebuilt from inside out by TJ of Ducati Milwaukee. Later model oil cooler and custom made oil lines by Analog
Carburetion or FI System: Keihin FCR carbs with Velocity Stacks
Rear Swing Arm: Stock Bimota
Rear Wheel: Alpina 17″ from JCPak Bikes with custom made spacers to allow fitment by Analog
Front Wheel: Alpina 17″ from JCPak Bikes with custom made spacers to allow fitment by Analog
Clip-Ons: Vortex Clip-ons with Speedy Moto bars
Seat: Analog pan and design. Rod’s Designs stitched the Upholstery
Tank: Analog design Mark Ardito Fabricated
Rear Sets: Custom made brackets by Analog. Rizoma rear sets
Tires: Front: 120/70-17 Rear:180/55-17 Pirelli Diablo Rosso II
Exhaust: Analog design with same length pipe, 3″ baffles at end and custom painted Biltwell tips. Fabricated by Mike Ardito. Ceramic coated by Hytek Coatings
Paint: Graphic layout and color scheme Analog. Paint by Kiel of Crown Autobody
Headlight: Emgo British 7″ bucket, custom headlight with integrated LED signals and LSL headlight brackets
Front Brake: 320mm custom made ISR rotors, 2x 6 piston monoblock calipers, and fully adjustable radial master cylinders with integrated control switches
Rear Brake: Custom ISR rotor, ISR master cylinder and Stock Brembo caliper
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: Stock Bimota
Suspension: Rebuilt stock Pailloi forks and rear shock with custom made fork brace by Analog and Gary Prust
Speedo: Koso DB-01R
Electrical: Complete rewire with Koso gauge, relocated Earth X lithium battery, and LED taillight array with running, brake and signals in single strip.
Other: Custom made HEL brake lines, Custom fabricated belt guards by Analog, EVR slipper clutch and slave cylinder, all powder coating by J & J Powder coating, suspension refreshed by Bruce at Moto Rider, All ISR parts sourced through Mike at Power Barn, and CRG bar end mirrors
Implying that they were just a bunch of hipsters from Seattle looking to make a statement on national television, Café Racer Magazine’s Mike Seate said this “Franken-bike” project by Twinline Motorcycles would never work.
If marrying a Honda and a Kawasaki wasn’t tough enough, Twinline also took on new challenges that they’ve never tried before, like building a custom gas tank, rebuilding an unfamiliar engine and manipulating and strengthening a frame for a powerhouse that it was never intended to house.
Although it was ambitious and took a bit longer than anticipated, Twinline, led by a group of young craftsman and artists, proved that mixed technology and generations can work. Yes, the future of custom bikes is good.
Bike: “The Thorn” 1977 Honda CB550 and 1990 Kawasaki EX500
Frame: 1977 Honda CB550, strengthened & gusseted
Subrame: Modified stock, gusseted
Engine: Rebuilt 1990 Kawasaki EX500, Bored to 600cc with Engine Dynamics kit, Webcam 245 cams, Barnett clutch, heavyweight springs
Carburetion or FI System: Keihin CR33, 70mm velocity stacks
Rear Swing Arm: Modified stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 2.15” x 18” Warp 9 rim, stainless spokes, KDX200 hub
Front Wheel (Size): 2.15” x 18” Warp 9 rim, stainless spokes, Warp 9 KTM hub
Clip-Ons or Bars: Woodcraft 35mm clip-ons
Seat: Custom one-off seat and upholstery
Tank: Modified CB550ss tank, Pingel high flow petcock
Rear Sets: Motobits pegs, levers, linkage, Moto-R bracket
Tires (Sizes): Front: Avon AM22 110/80-18, Rear: Avon AM23 130/65-18
Exhaust : Modified stock headers, hand made cones
Paint: Frame: 20% powder-coat, Bodywork: none, raw mild steel
Headlight: CB350 bucket, H4 bulb, handmade mounts
Front Brake: Nissin 14mm master cylinder, stainless braided line, Brembo dual pot caliper
Rear Brake: Nissin CBR master cylinder, stainless braided line, Nissin caliper
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: Modified stock, steering damper
Electronics: Trail Tech Vapor gauge, Shorai battery, stock CDI, customized wiring harness
2106 S. Holgate st.
Seattle, Wa 98144
More photos and specs for “The Thorn”
Ry Seidler is classic do-it-yourself-Detroit. From tattoos to automotive engineering, Ry is one of those rare people who can both sides of his brain. The guy even designed his own CNC machine. Some of the feedback we’ve received for “Café Racer” TV is ‘What about the regular guys building in garages?’ Ry is way too talented to be classified as ‘regular’ but he’s definitely in a home garage. When asked to describe Ry’s best skills, the segment producer of this story called Ry “The most complete dude we’ve ever had on the show.”
The CRTV crew met Ry back in season 2 when we worked with the Café Racer Ypsi shop in Ypsilanti, MI. Ry was the tank and seat fabricator for the gift bike for CRY’s Melissa.
For season 4 of CRTV Ry took on a beaten and forgotten Harley Davidson 350cc Sprint that looked like it was a chopper/dirt bike in a previous life.
Bike: (Make/Model/Year) 1972 Harley-Davidson Aermacchi Sprint
Specifications: 350cc 4 stroke 4-speed
Frame: Modified 1969 & 72 Harley-Davidson Sprint
Carburetion or FI System: Carbureted
Rear Swing Arm: modified stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 18”
Front Wheel (Size): 18”
Clip-Ons or Bars: Hand made bars
Seat: Modified vintage Bates flat track seat
Tank: ‘69 Aermacchi
Rear Sets: Handmade, modified stock
Tires (Sizes): 2.75 X 18 front 3.5X18 rear
Exhaust : Handmade pipe with 70s Sportster muffler
Paint: By Ry Seidler. Orange candy with gold pearl over cream
Headlight: Sportster lamp bucket grafted onto a Aermacchi SS body
Front Brake: Drum
Rear Brake: Drum
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: Original, smoothed and polished
RAS Moto Detroit
BIKE: 1975 Moto Guzzi 850 T3
The Bay Area has a great riding scene and culture and Grey Dog Moto is part of why it’s so good on the left coast. Alameda, CA is an island sandwiched between San Francisco and Oakland and Patrick Bell’s Grey Dog takes up just 150 sq. ft. of prime bike building real estate. With a love for speed and a laid back Weimaraner named Berlin as his CEO, Bell has turned his passion into his profession. In episode one of season four Bell chopped a cherry ’75 Guzzi for an over-sized client and took a few risks along the way.
Subframe: Tonti/Grey Dog Moto Custom Subframe (Bike was built for a 220lb 6′ 3″ customer)
Engine: Fairly Stock 850cc Moto Guzzi with Dyna III Electronic Ignition/Coils
Carburetor or FI System: 30mm Dellortos Carburetors re-jetted with K&N Filters, Tommaselli Throttle
Rear Swing Arm: Moto Guzzi with stock gearing for final drive
Rear Wheel: – 18″ rim w/ Stock Hub with 40 hole Excel Rim (by Buchanan)
Front Wheel: – 17″ rim w/ modified hub also 40 hole Excel Rim (by John Koester, Phil Gaitan and Patrick Bell)
Clip-Ons or Bars: – Woodcraft Clip-ons with R6 electrics
Seat: Custom Ducati 1978 900 custom seat (battery & all necessary electrics in seat hump)
Tank: Cut and fabricated “ALL STEEL” Guzzi 850 T3 Stretched Tank (By Tony Parker & GreyDogMoto)
Rear Sets: Aprillia/Ducati/GSXR Custom built by John Koester & GreyDogMoto (parts supplied by Woodcraft)
Tires: rear 130/70/18 front 110/70/17 Bridgestone “Battlax”
Exhaust: Custom headers/end pipes by Emgo
Paint: Tony Parker “The Master” at Crown Works Garage
Headlight: 7″ H4 1975 Honda in Chrome w/ custom welded Grey Dog Moto headlight ears
Front Brake: GSXR front master cylinder, R1 Yamaha Custom fitted forks , 310mm rotors, 4 piston Yamaha calipers Custom Billet GreyDogMoto spacers (by Phil Gaitan)
Rear Brake: Stock rotor “De-linked” Brembo Caliper with custom braded lines
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: R1 Yamaha Inverted Forks, Custom “GPS” Gauge (by Speedhut)
Rear Suspension: Custom built and painted Wilbur Shocks (by The Beemer Shop…Thanks Ted & Josh)
“This bike was built for a very tall customer who now fits nicely onto this custom Moto Guzzi cafe racer. No easy task for such a tall order (pun intended). Lots of custom bits to ensure substantial braking and suspension needs. A real powerhouse to ride and smooth as silk even at 100 mph. This Guzzi is not only insane fun to ride it’s a reliable daily driver.”
— Patrick Bell
Grey Dog Moto
Bike: Honda XL600R 1987
It’s funny how life works out. John Ryland was laid off from his job in advertising and the next thing he knows he’s building a custom motorcycle for Battlestar Galactica’s Katee Sackhoff. OK, sounds simpler than it really was but it’s been Classified’s style and willingness to experiment, and their ability to market and promote, that has helped their tiny Richmond shop command attention in the custom world. Ryland isn’t scared to use every piece of a scrap bike and if one part doesn’t quite fit the build then he’ll turn it into a desk lamp.
Frame: Honda XL600R heavily modified by Alex Heath of Richmond, VA to accept new swing arm
Carburetion or FI System: XL600R stock carb jetted for free-flowing exhaust and foam filters
Rear Swing Arm: 2006 Triumph Sprint ST 1050 single-sided swing arm, Progressive Suspension 465 shock, custom billet lower mount
Rear Wheel (Size): 2006 Triumph Sprint ST 1050 (17-inch)
Front Wheel (Size): 2005 Kawasaki ZX6-R (17-inch)
Clip-Ons or Bars: ZX6-R clip-ons
Seat: Custom solo seat shaped in house and upholstered by Roy Baird of Richmond, VA
Tank: 1970’s Honda CB350, two-tone nickel plated
Rear Sets: Stock pegs and foot controls
Tires (Sizes): Front: Metzeler ME 880 130/80-17 Rear: Dunlop D616 180/55-17
Exhaust: Custom Stainless pipes and silencer by Seth Ingham of Richmond, VA
Paint: No paint. All powder coated by Shaun Dusara of Richmond, VA
Headlight: Twin 4-inch halogens
Front Brake: 2005 Kawasaki ZX6-R stock
Rear Brake: 2006 Triumph Sprint ST 1050
Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree: Classified Moto triple conversion with custom CM billet upper clamp.
Classified Moto, LLC