This Cafe Racer build comes to us from Glen Harland of New Zealand, a design engineer with a passion for creating a custom bike that can’t be missed when he’s on the road.
Glen builds bikes for himself and for his friends under the name ArtMoto. After riding a friend’s Ducati Sport Classic, he developed a lust for a café racer. “I was liking the power of the v-twin of the Ducati, but I didn’t really want a Ducati. So I decided that a Suzuki TL1000s was the best option and was able to find a 97 model just 20 minutes from my house”, said Glen.”
Glen says the motor seemed strong but the body work had seen better days. So he was able to get it at a good price. “No point cutting up a minter. I road it around for a few months to make sure all was good with it, and it gave me time to collect parts for the build. Once the cooler days of winter set in, it was time to take her off the road and start the build.”
The plan right from the start was for him to do everything himself. “This meant I was going to have to learn a few new skills. Once I had the front fairing mounted, I started work on the tail. I shaped the tail out of clay, then glassed over the top. I made two tails, the solo one and a two up one so I can take the wife and kids for a ride. While I was at it, I had a go at making some carbon fiber parts. I made the tank protector, dash mount, chain guard, and the solo tail. I fitted a Ohlins shock in the rear and the front end from a 04 GSXR1000, to give a lot better suspension and better brakes”, said Glen.
At work, Glen has a powder coating booth. So, he was able to powder coat the frame and all other parts in dark metallic grey. “I powder coated the wheels and all other blue bits in a candy blue. I made a spray booth in my shed from plastic drop cloths and called on the advice of a couple of painter friends. With them giving me guidance, I sprayed the body work in metallic grey with matching blue highlights and metallic grey pin stripping. This is the one area I haven’t attempted to do myself in the past, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out,” Glen told us.
Glen went on to say he made the seat base and foamed it, but he did pay to get a professional upholster to cover it. “It was all back together and running a couple of days before the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride where it got its first public outing. The reaction was pretty good, and I’m a happy man.”
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