Dino Maltoni of Mendoza, Argentina sent us this build of a Kawasaki Zephyr 550. Below he tells us in his own words about the build.
Basically it had to cut and to manufacture a subchasis to measure since originally it brings a base of chassis type delta, to be able to give a more retro aspect and at the same time to obtain lines more according to a racer cafe. Glass of artisan way conservando a.aspecto similar to the one that brings of factory but of minor dimensions. To the same one was introduced to him a double light back light. In the front we adapted a copulino somewhat modified, was placed semimanillares, the whole painting was painted with powder paint as it came from the factory. Was made tailor made escapes and stainless steel. The pinto with a combination of green trikes and a kawasaki engine was given a glossy black color. The upholstery is also handmade which combines different textures and threads.
Marc Roissette sent us a time lapse video of the entire build. Below is a story behind the build, in his own words.
I bought this GSX 750 last year as the other owner had some issues with it not running well and also a fuel float / leak flooding the cylinders. I was able to negotiate a fairly good deal on the bike and this is where the project started. After picking up the bike and getting it home, I decided the first step was to sort out the carbies and get the bike running to have a sense of things I needed to change before going into the modification side. After a strip down and re-build of the carbs I found the last person to build͟d had left some parts out causing 1 of the two issues.
Watch his time lapse video to see the entire process.
The second problem to solve before getting it running right was tank pet cock not closing when shut off causing constant fuel drain into the engine. I installed an inline fuel tap to solve this issue in the short term. Taking it down to a track day in stock form and cutting a few laps I decided the whole front end needed replacing as the front suspension was like a trampoline and the brakes were wooden and just did not stop in the way I wanted, the rear sets were rubber and had no feel and the exhaust did not have the note or look I wanted, it was also time to re-jet the carbs and get some nice K&N filters. The bike went home and was stripped back to just the frame, engine out, carbs off and front end off to the shelf. The frame was then taken to with a grinder to remove all the old and un-used tabs to clean up the look of the bike, a new rear hoop welded onto improve rigidity and sent off to be powder coated. After searching around for a GSXR front end locally I was unable to get the parts required which would have made for a nice easy front end bearing conversion. I was though lucky enough to get a Ducati 996 front end off a good friend at Vendetta Racing which then needed some more work to the frame to get it attached due to the 35mm head stem.
Whilst all this work was going on a tail piece was ordered from Norway and I manufactured seat pan and tail plate to store all the wiring, battery etc and have a seat pad made up. Once completed the tank and tail piece were sent off for paint in a scheme I had designed in photoshop.More parts were ordered for the bike such as new chain, sprockets, rears sets, levers, gauge cluster, filters, short throttle and others to get the look and feel I wanted for the bike.
The wiring harness was stripped back to bare and re-run causing some minor headaches as finding a workshop manual for a GSXF 750 was near impossible! Once the freshly powder coated frame was back the install of parts could start once again. First the engine was re-installed after a good degrease and clean then the wiring harness fed through the bike before the rear swing arm was re-attached. Getting the new front end on the bike was difficult without the required hoist to lift the bike up but I was able to use a step ladder and some bike tie downs to get the job done. With front end on the bike was stable and rest of the work for re-assembly could be completed. Once the wiring harness was all re-connected to controls it was time to balance the carbs. Now this is tricky, being my first time working with in line carbs I was a little clueless as to how to go about the task, after much time spent looking through a manual for a Bandit 600 and youtube videos I got the basics sorted out and balancing tool on the carbs to complete the job. After about 3 hours of work on and off the balance and pilots were adjusted a level that worked and the rest of the parts could be installed!
Spencer Ashburn wrote to us about a project that he and his dad started together. The two watched all our Cafe Racer TV videos and from that experience they were inspired to start building café racers.
“We loved the idea of taking everything off the bike and making it go as fast as it could for starters, but then to add to the style of the bike to make it our own design. To go along with that we made the bike with whatever we had laying around the shop. We embodied this idea about two years ago,” said Spencer.
What started out as a father and son bike build turned into a father and son bike collection.
“We both found that we enjoyed working on bikes and creating our own design but we also loved working together and adding to each others ideas and visions. We loved it so much that we ended up having Friday bike nights, where we would spend the remainder of Friday evenings working on the bikes and grilling out. My dad, Troy, started as a mechanic and is now a painter. So we do have some tools to work with, but we don’t have this big elaborate shop with all the tools in the world.
We made this bike with a couple of hammers, a torch, a welder, and some hair brained idea that we could make a bike of our own. Although this bike isn’t completely finished. It still needs to be pulled apart and properly cleaned and painted,” said Spencer.
That didn’t stop the two from showing it off at the Slimmey Crud Run in Wisconsin, where it drew a lot of attention. Net, they took it to Rockerbox in Wisconsin and put it in the show, and successfully cameg away with a win.
“This bike may not be the simple café racer that you may very well know, but the café racer isn’t just about the bike itself, it’s the history behind the bike in how you made it your own. It’s how you took the bike and made it faster and better then the next guy. And if you were to ask me, I think this bike embodies that to the fullest”, Spencer told us.
See all the steps they took in making the bike the way it is at www.trash-works.com
Watch the videos of their bike “Evolution”.
This build comes to us from Loen Montefusco from Stockholm. Below is his story of the build in his own words.
I kept the stock tank and just did the dents on it. I shortened the rear end of the frame to add the loop and gave it an angle. I removed the engine and changed some gaskets on it, then washed it of course. The top clamp was a major league job but was very fun to do. I removed the risers and drilled a big hole for the stock fuel gauge and it wasn’t easy.
The springs on the fork are cut down to lower the whole bike. The rear shocks and harley as well as the pipes. The stock pipes of the Suzuki are just out of proportion, way too big for the Cafe Racer. I bought the seat but modified it a lot to get the shape I wanted, short and low but still comfortable. The front fender is stock but shortened and modified to get the brackets close to the tire. The back fender is from an old Swedish Husqvarna Rödmyra from 42′. The speedos are the smallest possible for the cafe. The headlight is stock. It’s just upside down to get it as close as possible to the frame. Avon tires are the biggest possible for the rims.
The whole build took three months.
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.
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.
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.
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.