Michiel de Molenaar


G’day Cafe Racer TV,

I feel really honoured to have my bike selected as bike of the week!

I got addicted to bike building after I bought a CX500 together with a friend  to turn into a chopper. That project turned out much better than we both expected and I got hooked to building bikes. Choppers are nice to build, but I like to ride my bikes hard. So when it was time to buy a bike for myself the only logical thing for me was to build a caferacer. So I bought a wrecked 1988 BMW R80 with a 1000cc engine and turned it into the bike in the photo’s.

Building a bike was a big challenge for me, on one side because I’m not very technical and didn’t have any mechanical background at all before the CX500 and this was my first solo build. On the other side I have to do things LOW budget. I’m a Dutch student (geosciences) with a demanding study so I hardly have any time to earn money. This meant I had to be a little creative. For example: I made the seat out of a bicycle rack I found in somebody else’s trash, the  exhaust is made out of a stainless steel coffee thermos I bought for a couple of euro’s and I used one of my leather belts that usually keep my jeans up to strap down the tank. The only part I did spend some money on is the tacho unit. In my eyes a caferacer has to be minimalistic and functional, this tacho has a speedo, a rev counter and all the idiot lights I want.

The result is not a clean and polished caferacer as you often see on the internet and at meetings, but a bike that is a little rough around the edges and so much fun to ride! The added frame stiffness because of the home made frame braces and the low centre of gravity  make the handling razor sharp while the velocity stacks, the 1000cc engine and the exhaust provide plenty of go and all the right noises.

Greetings from a caferacer addict (there are more bikes on the way!)


*For those of you interested in following Michiels bike builds stop by his fantastic BLOG located at http://bmwcafe.blogspot.com/ here’s a great little video he shot as well!