Cafe Racer TV Featured Builder of The Week – Kenny Cummings & Dan Rose, NYC Norton

If you’ve watched Season 1 or 2 of Cafe Racer TV you’ve seen quite the array of motorcycles, all of which are aspiring to the “Cafe Racer” marquee. Shod with knee indents, clip-ons and other bits and pieces focused on speed they pay homage to the forefathers of modern sport bikes, the race bikes of yesteryear. Our talented builders have all worked tirelessly to create and re-create the bikes that hailed the streets of London in the 50’s and 60’s all of which were mirrored after those very same race bikes of the day. Bikes like the Matchless G50, MV Augusta’s Fours and Ducati’s Bevel’s.

Giving it a twist and turn and slight departure from the norm we’re going to look at these machines from a slightly different perspective with one builder in particular, Kenny Cummings from NYC. Instead of staring from the sidewalk to the track, we’re going to the track and are leaving the sidewalk in the rearview…

We give you this weeks featured builder(s) from Season 2 of Cafe Racer TV, Kenny Cummings and Dan Rose, who together, with quite the cache of expertise and resource have built what is arguably one of the fastest, most accurate and simply stunning Vintage Norton Race Bikes to ever see the pits at any of the fine race tracks found in the good’ol US of A. It is, The Seely Norton.

A modern interpretation of a Seeley MKII Racing Norton with a hand fabricated frame by Roger Titschmarsh and imported from Minnovation Racing in the UK. Powered by a custom Commando motor assembled from Steve Maney Racing components and JS Motorsport internals. No paint… just bare metal. Dan Rose’s “REV’IT” Seeley Norton is an amalgamation of period correct and hand fabricated parts and serves as one of the finest examples of a period correct race bike that as they said in the day “Goes like snot!” But don’t take our word for it, stop by the recently launched website and share in the story that Dan tells as this fantastic machine comes to life.

Just like the Seeley itself, the website is well laid out, crisp and thorough. You can follow the build step by step without being overwhelmed by a myriad of photos and blathering text. Dan has somehow, just like in the creation of his machine, perfectly balanced the art of aesthetic with detail and function in the presentation of this bikes story. It’s worth the look! Trust us, you won’t be dissapointed!

Cafe Racer TV Photo-pic(s) of the Week – The Black Dice Cafe

Here’s some great shots by Mondo Lulu from The Black Dice Cafe in Toronto Canada. Pictured in the photo below is Tim Aysan, founder of, Paul & Vinni from Back Alley Customs, Hide the owner of The Black Dice Cafe and Jason from Dime City Cycles.

Cafe Racer TV Featured Builder of The Week – Union Motorcycle Classics

Operating out of a remodeled “milking parlor” within a 100 year old barn hidden in the hills of Nampa Idaho, Union Motorcycles breathes new life into classic motorcycles that would otherwise have long since been forgotten. Vintage Ducati’s, Honda’s, BSA’s, Norton’s and anything else that speaks of the speed of yesteryear is welcome in their facility which is now home to another type of untamed beasts.

Their most recent creation, a 1967 BSA Lightning, like most old motorcycles has a side story… A talented engine builder went through the motor of this one time basket case, but then lost interest as the flashier Spitfires, Rocket Goldstars, and Proddy Commandos kept his attentions focused elsewhere. An old comrade, he sweet talked the guys at Union into taking on this project. And boy are we glad they accepted!

Like the builder before them, The Union Team started on the Bezza, but lost interest as a Bonny and Triton project turned his head and drew his affections away from this diamond in the rough. In spite of its brand new motor, it seemed that this little sleeper with a heart of gold would be relegated to watching life from its box on the sidelines of shops, until its fairy godcycle stepped in. Having captured the eye of the Caferacer TV team, we asked Union Motorcycle’s to build the bike for one of our season 2 features.

Suddenly, everything old was new again. Pulling the Bezza to the front of the line, Union shaped a new first of their kind seat, tank, fairing, and side covers. GFTP put their name on the dance card with new molds and parts. The frame was heavily modified in concert with the with new body work. Rear sets, brackets, mounts, and miscellaneous hardware were fabbed up. No stock BSA bracket went untouched. Countless hours on the lathe, mill, and welder resulted in every part looking period correct and functioned to a T.

Be sure to checkout this and many of the other fantastic Union builds on their clean and crisp website, and be on the lookout for this TON-chasing Beeza on reruns of Cafe Racer TV on Velocity!

Cutting-Room Collage by: Mike Seate

Making television for a living is a great deal like writing books or magazine articles for a living. However much painstaking research one does and how many pertinent factoids one can squeeze into a tiny 30-minute episode format, there is always those who clamor for more. The shoot-to-air ratio on any TV show is large enough to have dozens of hours on unaired footage left over, and since launching Café Racer TV a couple of years ago, we’ve wondered what to do with our rapidly expanding archive. And then it hit us–or rather, thousands of e-mails from viewers collectively offered a solution: make the outtakes, bloopers and detailed custom motorcycle build tapes available to viewers on this very website. Yep, viewers can catch footage from fleshed-out mechanicals by clicking on this site where we’ll feature a different builder each and every week. While these clips are not the nuts-and-bolts, how to videos that many café racer fans have requested, they’ll provide a more in-depth view of just what goes on while creating a fast, unique streetbike.

And if greasy knuckles aren’t your cuppa, keep visiting this site and check out Café Racer TV’s outtakes and Café a la carte page – – where the show’s talented editors are having a ball posting outtakes, bloopers and other amazing moments from the series. The brief-but-informative Café A La Carte mini-features from Season I were a favorite of mine as they allowed us to profile individual motorcycle builders and owners about their machines, revealing a depth of passion that only true biking enthusiasts share. The ‘featurettes’ weren’t included in Season II, but several can be seen on the aforementioned page, which are not to be missed. As for me and the rest of the crew, we’re heading down to Georgia to conduct a test of a 1970s Honda dragbike with drag racing legend Rickey Gadson ( a rider so fast, he’s believed to possess the skills to break the sound barrier on a tuned Kawasaki and be back in the garage before the boom starts to echo. Having professional bike testers on hand at Café Racer TV helps us truly understand how well these custom motorcycles are designed as mere mortals can seldom wrest every ounce of performance from a machine and offer sound, accurate analysis of what’s going down.

We’re also teaming up with track day providers Team Pro-Motion for a possible Café Racer magazine track day at New Jersey Motorsports Park sometime in late spring 2012. We know that café enthusiasts dig fast riding and there’s no place better to let the throttle cables unwind than on a closed-circuit (read: no cops, no cars, no gravel) racecourse and Millville, New Jersey’s New Jersey Motorsports Park is among the world’s best. Sure, café racing is, historically, all about the street, but unless your last name is Pedrosa or Hayden, everyone can use some skills training to sharpen their riding. TPM even offers leathers and gear and complete motorcycles for rental and if enough folks reply, we may even schedule a Reader’s Ride-In Custom Bike Show, barbecue and some live rockabilly music. Interested? Drop a line to rockersrule@caferacermag and let us know whether you’re ready for some serious fun.

– Mike Seate

Frame Crafters Moto3 Project

A lot of our viewers wonder what other kinds of neat and new projects featured builders of Cafe Racer TV have going on in their shop while not filming and building ton-up speed machines. Well, here’s an update from one of our featured builders, Frame Crafters. Take a look!

From the Frame Crafters website – []

The GPtechFramecraftersYamaha USA Moto3 project. Earlier this year GP Tech and Framecrafters joined forces to develop a Yamaha based Moto3 GP bike. With additional support from Yamaha USA , Rising Sun Cycles and Ohlins USA, the project has made a tremendous amount of head way over the past several weeks while stirring a great interest across the board. ” We like this approach by GPTech and are very interested in its success”says Keith McCarty, Yamaha USA , Motorsports Racing Division Manager. The new bike will be unveiled and raced at USGPRU’s Championship Final Race at Putnam Park on October 7th-9th competing in the Moto3 class. Built on Framecrafters 2nd generation bi-metallic GP frame kit which is derived from their earlier F450RR project and coupled with top-shelf components makes for a competitive package.

Full Bike Specifications:

Bike- YamahaGPTechFramecrafters Moto3
Engine- 2011 Yamaha YZ250F
Framesubframe-FC 2nd gen. Bi-Metallic GP frame
Swingarm- 2011 YZ250F
ForksTriples- 40mm MoriwakiShowa
Shock – Ohlins TTX
Radiator- FC mod’ed large capacity YZF450
Fuel Tank- FC Alloy
Wheels- Galespeed, 17”x2.5” front, 17”x3.5” rear
Clip-ons- GPTech
Rear-sets- RSC Battle Factory RS250
Front Brake- 296mm AP Racing radial kit
Rear Brake- mod’ed YZ250F
Gearing- 520 GPTech
FairingSeat- HotBodiesGPTech 125GP
Exhaust- FC tapered pipeGraves muffler

The team at Framecrafters said – “this project was derived from the F450RR we did with Café Racer TV in Season 1.” How cool is it to know that shops previously featured on CRTV are out and doing fantastic things in the marketplace and race world. Good-on-ya Framecrafters and the CRTV team wishes you the best of luck!

For more details on the project, race schedule and other information please visit Framecrafters website directly by [CLICKING HERE].