Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73

Cafe Racer

This build comes to us from Bernie Blackwell in Melbourne, Australia. He tells you about it in his own words.

This 1973 Honda 750.4 cylinder completed its early life in the early 1980’s racing at weekends as a Hillclimber in country Victoria. Rumour has its name as the Bucking Bronco! Discovered in a Leongatha farmshed in early 2011,she was resurrected over 3 1/2 years. The battered original was stripped of 11kg of extraneous parts and fittings….with an industrial angle grinder!

The desired build was to achieve a Manx Nortonlike look(circa 1960)…. organic, brutal, muscular and yet elegant….with a minimal bare hungry look.
The handmade fuel tank,oil tank and tailpiece were fabricated by Bernie Willett of Eltham. Every nut, bolt, washer and bracket has been replaced or fabricated by hand.and its all been mastered by Greg Cook of Leongatha.

Some 40 years after its appearance at the World Exhibition in Tokyo (note the Souvenir coin on the tailpiece) this once mass produced modern classic has been given a full stripped down makeover.

Bucking Bronco lives on!…as CB73.


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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

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Cafe Racer Magazine Issue #12 AVAILABLE NOW!

Alright folks, just in time for the Holidays!  Cafe Racer Magazine issue #12 is now available and it’s packed full of ton-up goodness!  If you don’t feel like fighting the holiday traffic just swing over to the Cafe Racer Store at Dime City Cycles and they’ll get it right to your door!

Click Here to order!

Jokers In The Pack from Week Three of Cafe Racer TV

It’s funny, but people who see and recognize us crew members from Café Racer often remark that we must have the best jobs in the world. I’ll insist that title belongs, inarguably, to the guy who gets to measure Beyonce for her mini-dresses, but sure, testing and building fast motorbikes for a living can be a blast.

But as a career, it can also have unforeseen dangers.

During the shooting of the series, we had a few mishaps that placed riders squarely on their butts, and as a veteran of a few crashes- some bad, some just plain embarrassing- I can tell you that getting horizontal on two wheels is never fun. Viewers will see one bust-up during the series, while a few others I witnessed were, mercifully, not captured on video. The odd thing about the crashes I witnessed this year was that nearly all of them could have been avoided. Statistics show that a great many motorcycle accidents were caused by rider error and that surely seems to be the case in my experience.

After concluding one shoot involving a group of café racer riders, we decided to head off en masse for lunch. The riders represented all different ages, makes of motorcycle and riding styles. I generally ride alone, because years of road riding in groups has taught me that you’re only as safe as the least skilled member of any riding group. All it takes is a novice or someone who hasn’t ridden in years with rusty skills to put everyone else at risk.

Jokers In The Pack from Week Three of Cafe Racer TV

That was the case during our group lunch ride- a biker who seemed in perfect control of his Triumph managed to panic brake in a tight, decreasing-radius turn, launching man and machine into a guardrail. Leading the group, I had the sickeningly familiar experience of looking into my rear-views to see no one following behind me. Returning to the scene, I was relieved to see the rider wasn’t seriously hurt, though that’s more than I could say for his poor Bonneville which had twisted forks, a dented gas tank and exhaust pipes that looked like they lost a battle with a  transformer robot.

In the aftermath, I resigned myself to start riding alone again, and to stick to my rules about recreational riding. Though it may seem a bit of a buzz-kill, I’ll insist on making it a point to chat a little before heading out on the road, with everyone involved. It’s better to ascertain their individual riding skills, whether they’ve had a few beers or even if their motorcycle is properly maintained before finding out the facts in the middle of a fast corner. And knowing what’s up can only make the ride safer and more fun for everybody.

– Mike Seate