Posts

Finally, A Cafe Racer After Eight Long Years!

IMG_1787 IMG_1789

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.

IMG_1791

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.

IMG_1719 IMG_1651 IMG_1473IMG_1678

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.

IMG_1768

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.

 

Cafe Racer

Cafe Racer Before & After

Cafe racer before IMG_1822 IMG_9680 IMG_9740 IMG_9754 IMG_9807 Kopie IMG_9680111

Check out these before and after shots sent to us by Philipp Dewies. He’s a 23year old mechanical engineering student at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He got some great practical experience in his field while working on this Cafe Racer project with his dad.  The idea to build a Cafe Racer was born out of necessity. Philipp says that he didn’t have enough money to buy a cool bike from a dealer.

He bought what he calls “a cheap” BMW R65 and started to unscrew the whole bike.  He and his dad built new parts, fixed problems and enjoyed the time together in their garage. They had so  much fun, they decided to build another one, a better one. They bought the 1985 BMW R80 RT you see pictured above. They worked on it every weekend for about nine months in their home garage.

“My dad and I were in scale modelling for many years, so we had all the tools we needed already at home,” Philipp told us.

The paint is the original Porsche Aetna Blau from the legendary 1960 Porsche 356B. They integrated a Motogadget Tiny Speedster in the lamp body, powder coated the engine, and many other parts. For the perfect clean shape of the seat they decided to put on a very small Kellermann indicator/backlight combination. He used the leather from the seat to cover the handles. The helmet was painted also in the Porsche Blau. Philipp grinded it in spots to get a cool design. Then he put a clear lacquer on it. The helmet makes a great touch. Tell us what you think. If you have a project you’d like to show, just send it to us through this Contact Us form .

Before & After: Kevin Stanley

KevinStanley

Kevin Stanley, who runs his own chop shop in L.A. sent us these before and after shots.

The Honda Brat:

What did he change? “Custom frame hoop, new dime city cycles brat style seat, clubman handlebars, new lighting, new lowered shocks, new tires.”

The Hawk:

What did you enjoy most and what did you find most challenging?  “Making this particular less desirable model and frame actually look good! Modifying the seat to flow with the hard to work with stock frame. And relocating all the wiring under the seat along with the lithium battery.”

How long did it take? “We worked on this bike for about a month.”
Stanley says when it comes to restoring bikes, he loves “seeing ideas become reality and the transformation of what the bike started out as and how it ends up. The real test is when you are out on the road with it and they turn heads!”
So, which bike does he enjoy riding the most?
The Honda Hawk:   He says, “it was quick and nimble after tearing off all unnecessary parts and after the new exhaust was installed, airbox was removed and carb rejet mods we did, it was a blast to ride!”
Below is a shot of Kevin at a Progressive International Motorcycle show. He’s displaying, “our 2011 Harley Sportster Cafe Racer, 2014 Royal Enfield Continental Gt Cafe Racer and 2004 Triumph Thruxton Cafe Racer. “
10521965_829906807052048_1136079228479950467_n

The Budget Bike That Time Built

By Mike Seate

Twenty four hours isn’t much time to build a custom motorcycle, or even customize one. We learned this lesson the hard, sweaty way in the summer of 2010 during production of the first season of “Café Racer TV”. In a series we called the Budget Build-off, two teams squared off at Mid-Ohio during the AMA’s annual Vintage Motorcycle Days, one of the largest motorcycle swap meets in the world.

I was paired with A.J. Fulgado and Frank Ford from New York’s XPO Streetfighter, while CRTV’s narrator, Ben Friedman was partnered with Long Beach, Calif. builder Jay LaRossa of Lossa Engineering. Each team was given $1,000, a golf cart and a garage, and let loose in the sea of parts and bikes that is VMD. The mission was to show the viewers how much you could do with just a little bit of money. But, unlike the viewers, we only got 24 hours.

Budget Build Update_1_Web

A.J. Fulgado, left, gets pressure form producer Brad Jones. “15 seconds builders!” It was like being on an episode of “Chopped”.

Our team found a clean, stock 1978 Suzuki GS 750E but we spent $800. We only had enough money left for a seat, handlebars and a bikini fairing. Ben’s team clearly came away smarter, having purchased a pair of running Honda CB360s for half that much. The shoot, which was in July, was the warmest, wettest, most humid weekend this side of a Panamanian rain forest. It was challenging, crazed but, I admit, fun. In the end, crowds liked both bikes but A.J. asked that he take the bodge job Suzuki back to his New York shop so “People don’t think I can’t build a better café racer than this,” he said.

So off it went to the Big Apple.

Two years quickly passed before I started wondering what had become of our budget build. Not much. A.J. got busy with other projects and left the 750 to rust in his yard. After retrieving the old girl from a weather-induced fate, we decided to see what sort of custom streetbike could be salvaged from the bones of a motorcycle that had clearly experienced a hard knock life.

Almost four years after the initial purchase and, (ahem), rebuild, the Swap Meet Special GS 750 is finally looking like the sort of motorbike any self respecting road burner would be proud to own. The lengthy rehab has been chronicled in the pages of Café Racer magazine where the final assembly and road test will run in our October/November issue, which hits newsstands October 1.

Budget Build Update_2_Web

You’ll barely recognize the old “‘Zook” when you read about it in the Oct./Nov. issue of Cafe Racer Magazine, on newsstands Oct. 1

Most of you who recall what the GS looked like at the end of the Velocity show build will hardly recognize the old girl, proving that given enough time, you can make any motorcycle shine.

And…. We’re Back!

It’s been a while since we revved up Café Racer TV but we believe you’ll find the payoff well worth the wait. Season 4 returns to Velocity on Wednesday, November 6 at 10 pm EST and then repeats at 1 am EST on Nov. 7.

First up, a new one hour format provides the gearheads among us with far more in-depth, detailed coverage of each custom motorcycle build.

We’re talking about hands-on nuts and bolts footage of these high-performance bikes from their earliest stages until they’re finished, fueled and ready for a Boz Brothers test ride.

In episode one, two complete café racers will be built and ridden, the first emerging from Classified Moto’s Richmond, VA garage. Their decision to transform a muddy old Honda dual-sport bike into a café racer for actress Katee Sackhoff has to be one of the oddest–and most inspiring–builds to appear on Café Racer TV.

Also twisting the throttle this week is Bay Area custom shop Grey Dog Moto. Patrick Bell has the rare ability to see a sleek, fast ton-up machine hiding deep within a bulky Moto Guzzi California cruiser.

Later, you’ll feel like part of the pack as we join test rider Blake Kelly and comedian Alonzo Bodden to ride the legendary canyons of California in the first of our Great Roads series. You may think you’ve seen twisty roads but Mulholland Highway, high in the Santa Monica Mountains, will have your front wheel pointing westward for a piece of the action. Strap on your helmets and climb aboard – this is going to be a blast!

Mike Seate
Editor, Café Racer Magazine
Coordinating Producer, Café Racer TV

[nggallery id=82]

The world has changed when cafe racers are welcome at Sturgis…

We’re so happy to hear that many of the builders featured on CRTV over the first three seasons are still going strong and are now embarking on bolder and bigger projects than ever.

A lot of our friends are getting ready for Michael Lichter’s 13th annual Motorcycles as Art show in Sturgis (August 5-11). It will be held at the Buffalo Chip and this year’s theme is: “Ton Up! – Speed, Style and Cafe Racer Culture.”

The gallery will include 32 bikes from different builders and lots of artwork and photos. Loaded Gun Customs is one of the builders and here is a look at the making of Bucephalus, named after the horse of Alexander the Great

Live At Barber!- Inside the Ace Corner

Jason Michaels of Dime City Cycles and Ben Friedman with Cafe Racer TV show off the faces and places inside the Ace Corner at the Barber Vintage Festival 2012:

Live At Barber! – The Cafe Posse Rides Out

Dime City Cycles’ own Jason Michaels sends out the Barber Cafe Bike Ride here at the Barber Vintage Festival:

Cafe Racer TV Season 3 Builders Teaser

Check it out Cafe Racer fans, here’s another video to get your carburetors pumping for the April 19th release of Cafe Racer TV Season 3 on Velocity!

Builders

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria