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Before & After: Mark Pardoski

1976 Honda CJ360T a first-time build by Mark Pardoski. “It took me two winters of my spare time to complete the build,” he said. Mark rescued the bike from the shed of a friend, whose uncle (pictured) bought it new in ’76. The bike had sat for 15 years.

 

Find Mark on Instagram at bulletproofwelding

Your Shop: Inglorious Motorcycles

Sam Evans of Essex, England sent us photos of his 1978 Honda CB400 Superdream. It’s the first bike he ever built. “After completing the bike I wanted to build more, so I started up Inglorious Motorcycles,” he said. Inglorious has been in business since only earlier this year.

 
“The bike was a pile of bits that I bought off of an old guy down the road from my house. I put most of it back together then started designing the rear end, as well as buying a new tank (CB750). “The tank that came with it was from a CB350, and was covered in dents! The rest of the modifications were all done by myself.

Specs/Parts

Custom subframe with LED brake light
Custom clip on bars with polished hand controls and leather bar tape
CB750 tank
Custom twin stainless exhaust with pipe wrap
Bates headlight
LED indicators
Firestone Deluxe champion tires
3″ lowered forks

Find Inglorious:

Website
Facebook
Instagram: ingloriousmotorcycles

 

Your Shop: Bedlam Werks

From Travis Christopher, the owner of Bedlam Werks in Athens, GA:

“Three years ago I started my company, Bedlam Werks,” Christopher said. “We are a custom motorcycle parts manufacturer that operates out of Athens, Georgia. Our primary medium for construction is aluminum. My passion for custom design began as a young kid. I grew up working on old cars and motorcycles with my grandfather, who worked his entire life as a machinist. Eventually my affinity for working with my hands developed into my pursuit of a BFA in sculpture at the University of Georgia where I worked extensively with metals. This is also where I met the rest of the talented team of artists and bikers that now make up the Bedlam Werks crew. Our main goal as a business is to help others in their artistic pursuits and we enjoy seeing how our parts are applied to their projects. We came together on the belief that motorcycle culture and art are intertwined in a way that is rooted in craft, tradition, and the human experience. Plus, we all really like fast, cool looking bikes.

http://bedlamwerks.com/

Christopher and his crew built “Rocket” a 1976 Honda CB550. This bike is actually on its third life as it was rebuilt once before and then stolen from Bedlam’s storage.

“It was a huge loss,” Christopher said. “Lucky for us, our one-of-a-kind custom motorcycle with its conspicuous Richard Petty red and blue color scheme was discovered at a flea market and returned, although it had suffered some body and electrical damage. We debated restoring it to its original condition, but eventually we decided to re-rebuild it as a new project. This time we wanted to expand on our design and implement a retro-futuristic style. I took inspiration from the “new” technology of the 1950s and 60s. The sleek curves and polished finish lend well to aluminum and I like the idea of modern day cafe racers as being a preview for the future of innovation in motorcycle design. Thus, Rocket was born. We built a new tank and seat which we left unpainted to give it a sci-fi kinda vibe. All other modifications were made with the purpose of making it a lighter, faster bike with a clean, minimalistic aesthetic.”

 

ROCKET SPECS: The rear section of the frame was removed and rebuilt with 1/8″ steel tubing for added strength. The airbox, handle bar controls, and indicators were all removed. The new tank and seat pan are both Custom built by Bedlam Werks out of .090″ 3003 aluminum, with a satin finish and a high polish to the raised center stripe. The upholstery is charcoal gray vinyl to accent the raw metal surface of the bike.

More features:

  • Lightened brake disc and drum
  • Custom 4 into 1 exhaust with thermal exhaust wrap
  • Custom aluminium fuel tank
  • Custom aluminum seat pan
  • Custom upholstery
  • Rebuilt CB550 engine with forged Wiseco pistons which increases the displacement from 544cc to 553.5cc
  • New front sprocket for increased low end torque
  • Gazi Sport Lite rear suspension
  • Front forks rebuilt with RaceTech performance springs and Gold Valve Cartridge Emulators
  • Loaded Gun Rear sets with custom mounting plate
  • Custom dash and controls
  • Shorai lithium iron battery
  • Dynatech Dyna S ignition and 3ohm Dyna ignition coils
  • Halogen Headlight
  • X-Arc LED signals and brake lights
  • Modern rectifier/regulator combo
  • New wiring harness
  • Motogadget electronic control box M Unit

My Path to Bike Building: Jay LaRossa

We’re interested in hearing about the origins and influences of motorcycle builders, whether they’ve been on the program or not. First up in this new series is Lossa Engineering’s Jay LaRossa.

Although Jay Larossa is a gifted car and truck builder whose work has been featured in dozens of magazines and who once worked for Jesse James at West Coast Choppers, his heritage is in motorcycles and his current business started just like so many do: in the garage.

Jay has been on Café Racer TV three times and we’re very happy to report that he is recently recovered from a second bout of cancer. Here’s Jay’s story in his own words.

I didn’t get into motorcycles because I just liked them or was trying to be the cool kid. I was born into motorcycling; it was pretty much in my blood from birth.

My parents met at a motorcycle shop. My mom’s family owned Van Nuys Cycle in California and my dad was a mechanic there. But it goes even further back than that when my grandparents came to California from New York. Grandpa opened up a motorcycle shop in North Hollywood and sold and serviced new Yamahas, Nortons, Matchless, Ossa, Kawasaki and Lambretta scooters. He serviced the brand new YCS-1s that the original TV series Batman and Batgirl motorcycles were built on.

At a very early age my pops would ride me around on the back of his bikes. He had Harleys and a bunch of different Yamahas. We would always go to the flat track races on the weekends. In the mid-1980s my dad, uncle and I rode up to Laguna Seca and watched one of Kenny Roberts’ last races. I rode up on the back of my dad’s Yamaha XS1100. I also remember riding in my uncle’s sidecar that was on his old Harley. He’d put that thing up at a 45 degree angle and scare the crap out of me.

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My first motorcycle that was mine was a brand new Yamaha GT80 my parents bought me when I was 9. Then, when I was about 14, I bought, with my own damn money, a Honda Aero 50. I completely painted it custom, installed a radio and air horns and terrorized the streets of my hometown. When I was in my early 20s I walked into a Yamaha dealer and bought a brand new 1992 FZR600. I fully customized that bike too and kept that until I moved to Long Beach.

Life happened, several cars and trucks later and the opening of a custom automotive shop and then getting the cancer. When I was done with my treatment and all clear, I decided I wanted to get a motorcycle again. I really wanted a Ducati Monster and I found a 1999 Monster Chromo Edition. I instantly started to modify the crap out of it and was actually modifying it more than riding it. At that point I wanted another bike and wanted a vintage bike this time, so I bought my first Honda CB550. I always dug motorcycle racing, so wanted to build a race-looking bike for the street (Cafe Racer).

While looking for parts to build my 550, I came across more CB550s and CB160s and amounted a horde of about 10 bikes within the few months. I built that first CB550, put it up for sale while building a CB160 in my four car garage. People dug my first two bikes so I stopped building cars, I love building motorcycles.

I put up the CB160 on eBay to sell to try and jump start the business. It sold and a few custom ordered bike builds started coming in. I was banging away at them and decided that wasn’t too professional working out of a garage and I didn’t want all these strangers at my house. So, in 2007 I put my 1966 Cadillac up for sale and used the money to pay for 6 months of rent in a real shop. I figured, if after 6 months, if I couldn’t start paying the rent with building motorcycles, I would shut down.

I’m still here.

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 Season 2 Builder Recap

Due to the foundation of “cafe culture” being established by the building of low budget speed machines with whatever the gents who were turning wrenches had access to the available talent for custom builders is both varied and vast. In season 2 of Cafe Racer TV you’ll see some familiar faces along with some new ones, some of which are responsible for the original cafe movement that took place in London. Take some time and research these guys, look at their websites, check their facebooks pages. They do what do for you, and for the love of the machine and each and every one deserves a bit of your time. We’ve got a stellar cast lined up for you this season folks, we hope you enjoy it! Go Go Cafe Racer!

British Customs

British Customs began with a vision to manufacture quality bolt-on parts that even a novice rider could install and use. With just a few thousand dollars to start, British Customs has grown from an out-of-the-garage home business into the leading manufacturer of aftermarket parts and accessories for Triumph Motorcycles. The initial focus was to improve overall performance starting with air boxes and exhaust pipes, but owner Jason Panther quickly saw the need for styling and designing quality products to specifically match the fit and finish of the Triumph Motorcycle line. With more than 18 years of experience in the industry, British Customs is the expert source and one-stop-shop for all things Triumph.  Their mission is to provide quality, simple to install bolt-on parts while improving a bike’s appearance, handling and performance a perfect segway for the next generation of Cafe Racers!

Bike Specifications: 2011 Triumph Thruxton

Frame: Stock
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Stock
Carburetion or FI System: EFI
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 17”
Front Wheel (Size): 18”
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Hagon Nitros
Clip-Ons or Bars: LSL Clip-ons w/ British Customs Triple Tree
Seat: Stock
Tank: Stock
Rear Sets: Stock
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): 130/70-18 Front, 170/55-17 Rear (British Customs Wide Tire Kit)
Exhaust: British Customs 2-into-1
Paint: White Pearl w/ Gold Hue and Silver Accent Striping

British Customs featured in Episodes – 11, 12 & 13

– Original Airs: 10/5, 10/12 & 10/19 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
18426 South Broadway
Gardena, CA 90248
Phone: (877) 999-2748
Email: sean@british-customs.com
Website: www.british-customs.com

Bryan Fuller – Fuller Hotrods

Bryan Fuller is no stranger to cutting things up and making them gleem. Having worked with Chip Foose on a series of one-week custom builds for the TV series “Overhaulin” is no easy feat for any man! In addition to cutting and grinding with the best of them Bryan has also been a co-host for SPEED’s “Two Guys Garage” which is the oldest how-to automotive TV show currently on the air. Combine those elements with the mind to bend metal and chase speed and his talented crew and you’ve got a formula for one heck of a Cafe Racer!

Bike Specifications: Honda CB750

Frame: Modified stock, Fuller Rear Section
Subrame: N/A
Engine: 1969 CB750 w/ 836 Kit
Carburetion or FI System: CR
Rear Swing Arm: Custom Fuller, Retains Engine Oil
Rear Wheel (Size): 5.50-18”
Front Wheel (Size): 3.50-18”
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Fox
Clip-Ons or Bars: Custom, Fuller w/ Beringer Controls
Seat: Custom Aluminum Fuller
Tank: 1969 CB750 Modified stock, Fuller Custom
Rear Sets: Custom Fuller
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): 110/80-19 Front, 180/55-18 Rear
Exhaust: Custom Fuller w/ Cone Engineering Mufflers
Paint: JDK w/ Stripping by Papa Studios, Plating & Polishing by Pro Plating Atlanta

Bryan Fuller featured in Episodes – 1, 2 & 3

– Original Airs: 8/3, 8/3 & 8/10 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
250 Arizona NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: (310) 704-3855
Email: bryan@fullerhotrods.com
Website: www.fullerhotrods.com

Classic Bike Experience

A bunch of guys who like to work on old British bikes (and yes, occasionally some other stuff).  Their group includes many former Brit bike mechanics, racers and aerospace engineers.  They started as a small club operating out of a heated garage, dubbed “The Classic Bike Cooperative”.  And cooperate they did, to the point where we outgrew the space!  And now, their favorite parts supplier in NH has decided to do more retirement related activities.  So, after purchasing his inventory and a move into their new location in Essex Junction VT they open for business turning out some the most classic cafe iron running the streets.

Bike Specifications: Norton Commando

Frame: Norton Commando
Subrame: Stock Norton Isolastic
Engine: 750 Norton Commando
Carburetion or FI System: Mikuni 2 into 1 –  34mm
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 19”
Front Wheel (Size): 19”
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Stock
Clip-Ons or Bars: Norman Hyde “M” bars
Seat: Corbin Gunfighter
Tank: Commando Roadster
Rear Sets: N/A
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): Avon 19”
Exhaust: Pattern Dunstall
Paint: Custom

Classic Bike Experience featured in Episodes – 14, 15 & 16

– Original Airs: 10/26, 11/2 & 11/9 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
104 Center Rd. 05452
Essex, VT
Phone: (802) 310-878-6961
Email: jack@classicbikeexperience.com
Website: www.classicbikeexperience.com

Greg “Doc’s Chops” Hageman

Back for another season of Cafe Racer, Greg Hageman is still bless for an eye for finding “Pickers” quality treasure among trash-heaps, transforming old and forgotten, Japanese commuter bikes from the 1970s into stunning café racers. Greg’s specialty is everything from Yamaha’s XS 650 and shaft-driven XS 750 to Honda’s CX 500 transverse twin as you all know, but this year he’s taken on something new, a Yamaha Virago. Hageman hasn’t let us down yet, but lets be honest people, this is a Yamaha Virago one of the ugliest motorcycles every produced. Greg’s gonna have his work cut out for him so stay tuned and you be the judge!

Bike Specifications: Yamaha Virago 750

Frame: Stock
Subrame: Handbuilt
Engine: 750cc
Carburetion or FI System: Dynojet Carburetion
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 15 x 3″
Front Wheel (Size): 18 x 3″
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Showa
Clip-Ons or Bars: Tarozzi
Seat: Moto Lanna
Tank: Benelli Original NOS
Rear Sets: Tarozzi
Radiator: Stock
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): Front 120/90-18, Rear 140/90-15
Exhaust: Jardine
Paint: Custom by Kenny Chains

Greg Hageman featured in Episodes – 15, & 16

– Original Airs: 11/2, 11/9 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
Email: docschops@yahoo.com
Website: www.docschops.net

Dave Degens – Dresda Triumph & Triton Tuning

Dave Degens, while he didn’t build a specific bike for Cafe Racer TV Season 2 deserves mention amongst our fantastic list of builders. Why? Because along with folks like Mark Wilsmore of The Ace Cafe, Degens helped pioneer “Cafe Racer Culture” and has been instrumental in its furtherment around the globe. In Daves’ words- “The whole idea was a racer you could use on the road, or the nearest you could get to it.” And was he ever right… Famous around the globe for tuning Triumphs and his most famous game-changing production bike, “The Triton” the youth of cafe culture owes a great debt to Degens. Here’s a sampling of what Dave likes to do in his later years, custom one-off purpose built machines. In this case, a rare Rudge. If you’re going to watch any of the features in Cafe Racer TV, this is the one!

Dave Degens featured in Episode – 1

– Original Airs: 8/3 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
Howells, Friday Street
Rusper, West Sussex RH12 4QA
Phone: (011) 44 1293 871 887
Email: dave@dresda.co.uk
Website: www.dresda.co.uk

Dime City Cycles

Back for another season, the boys in red at Dime City Cycles have arguable become the go to guys for vintage Honda parts. In addition to their access to hard to find Honda items, they’ve also managed to amass and build what may be the largest source of universal cafe racer parts on the web.  Loaded with high quality product images and witty product descriptions it’s confirmed, these boys love to have when it comes to work.  So whether you’re building a vintage Honda or Yamaha or even a modern Triumph they’ve got it all! In addition, they also turn out some of the coolest Honda Cafe Racers pounding the pavement.

Bike Specifications: Honda CB400F Super Sport “The Four Hundred”

Frame: Modified stock chromoly track frame
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Yoshimura 466cc CB400F
Carburetion or FI System: CR Race on big-bore carburetors
Rear Swing Arm: Modified stock chromoly track swingarm
Rear Wheel (Size): 18” Aluminum shouldered
Front Wheel (Size): 18” Aluminum shouldered
Steering Stabilizer: Custom valved hydraulic
Rear Shock(s): Progressive
Clip-Ons or Bars: Tarozzi
Seat: Handbuilt fiberglass
Tank: Replica fiberglass Ducati GP
Rear Sets: DCC/Loaded Gun
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: Customized replica Ducati GP
Tires (Sizes): 120 Metzler rear and 110 Metzler front
Exhaust: Custom DCC/MAC stainless steel & ceramic coated
Paint: Custom by Tribby, Pin Striping by Liza aka: Von Dutch’s Daughter

Dime City Cycles featured in Episodes – 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15

– Original Airs: 9/7, 9/14, 10/19, 10/26 & 11/02 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
2025 Lake Ave. SE, Unit C
Largo, FL 33771
Phone: (727) 386-9735
Email: thecrew@dimecitycycles.com
Website: www.dimecitycycles.com

Framecrafters

Framecrafters is a performance motorcycle fabrication shop located in northwest Illinois. Originally a design and fabrication shop for chassis only, Framecrafters has methodically expanded their focus to the entire motorcycle. While still specializing in frame and associated parts fabrication, Framecrafters also offers their expertise of building, converting, and restoring motorcycles to their customers. Randy, Justin, and Karsten are life long motorcycle enthusiasts who ride and race. Street, trail, track, each type is viewed by Framecrafters as an important part of motorcycling that should be fun and exhilarating. From building a ground up racer to resuscitating your old street bike, Framecrafters is up to the task and a solid member of the Café Racer team!

Bike Specifications: Framecrafters Custom YZ450F

Frame: Custom, Bi-Metallic
Subrame: Custom, Solo Aluminum
Engine: 06’-09’ Yamaha YZ450F
Carburetion or FI System: 42MM Keihin
Rear Swing Arm: 06’-09’ Yamaha YZ450F
Rear Wheel (Size): Galespeed Aluminum 5” x 17”
Front Wheel (Size): Galespeed Aluminum 3.5” x 17”
Steering Stabilizer: 100MM Shindy
Rear Shock(s): RaceTech G3-S w/ FC Linkage
Clip-Ons or Bars: Vortex
Seat: Battle Factory Honda RS250 Fiberglass
Tank: Custom, Aluminum
Rear Sets: Battle Factory Honda RS250
Radiator: Custom, 06’-09’ Yamaha YZ450F
Fairings: Battle Factory Honda RS250 Fiberglass
Tires (Sizes): 120/70-17 Dunlop KR106 Front, 165/55-17 Rear
Exhaust: Custom Stainless Steel
Paint: N/A

Framecrafters featured in Episodes – 10, 11 & 12

– Original Airs: 09/28, 10/05 & 10/12 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
Email: randy@framecrafters.net
Website: www.framecrafters.net

Yoshi Kosaka – Garage Co & Jay LaRossa – Lossa Engineering

Lossa Engineering and Garage Company have teamed up to build one of the baddest RD’s out there.  By far one of the fastest and most popular 2 strokes from the 70’s, the RD 350/400’s were the bike of choice for those looking for white knuckles.  Jay and Yoshi wanted to build a purpose built vintage race bike and still make it street-able.  No modern stuff here folks, just parts and style straight from the 70’s.  Yoshi rebuilt the RD350 motor and hand made the 2 stroke exhaust from flat steel while Lossa built the tail from a old SR500 gas tank and stretched n lowered the Dayton Special gas tank.  The Lossa team also de tabbed the frame, made the seat hoop and reinforced the whole frame.  Garage Co. supplied the rare Yamaha TZ front end with clip ons and a flanged hoop.

Bike Specifications: Yamaha RD400

Frame: Stock
Subrame: Stock
Engine: Rebuilt, RD350
Carburetion or FI System: Dual Mikuni
Rear Swing Arm: Custom Aluminum, Lossa
Rear Wheel (Size): 18”
Front Wheel (Size): 18”
Steering Stabilizer: Kawasaki H1
Rear Shock(s): Hagon
Clip-Ons or Bars: Vintage
Seat: Custom Steel, Lossa (From SR500 Fuel Tank)
Tank: Custom RD400 Daytona Special, Lossa (Stretched 2-1/2” and Lowered 1”)
Rear Sets: Loaded Gun
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): Dunlop
Exhaust: Custom, Yoshi
Paint: House of Kolor Black Gold w/ Chrome Yellow & White Striping

Yoshi & Jay featured in Episodes – 14 & 15

– Original Airs: 11/03 & 11/10 @ 8:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info: (Jay)
2659 Junipero Ave
Signal Hill, CA 90755
Phone: (562) 899-8389
Email: info@lossaengineering.com
Website: www.lossaengineering.com

Contact info: (Yoshi)
956 W. Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90302
Phone: (800) 393-3766
Email: yoshi@garagecompany.com
Website: www.garagecompany.com

Joker Machine

With roots in aviation product design Joker Machine holds itself to the absolute highest level of standards in the industry. Begining under the name C&W the Joker emblem was scrawled on a hand-full of custom parts produced for their first v-twin project and it was an instant success! Thus, the name was changed to Joker Machine. With a list of distributors of their over 700, manufactured in-house skus, like Drag Specialties and Parts Unlimited it’s no surprise that the brand and company took off with great success. As they’ve developed their brand and parts list they’ve produced quite and offering for the Honda CB750 which is arguable, the most iconic Japanese Cafe Racer ever built.

Bike Specifications: 1975 Honda CB750 SOHC

Frame: Stock
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Stock CB750 SOHC
Carburetion or FI System: Stock Keihin Carburetors
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 18” Aluminum Excell
Front Wheel (Size): 19” Aluminum Excell
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Hagon
Clip-Ons or Bars: Flanders (Triple tree & controls by Joker Machine)
Seat: Classic City Cycles
Tank: Stock Honda CB750
Rear Sets: Joker Machine
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: Customized replica Ducati GP
Tires (Sizes): Bridgestone Battleax 19” Front, 18” Reart
Exhaust: MAC 4-into-1
Paint & Powdercoat: Corsair Powdercoating & Specialized Coatings

Joker Machine featured in Episodes – 7, 8 & 9

– Original Airs: 9/7, 9/14 & 9/21 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
1931 Yeager Ave.
La Verne, CA 91750
Phone: (909) 596-9690
Email: rpw@jokermachine.com
Website: www.jokermachine.com

Morrie’s Place

With an eye for the original, the team at Morrie’s Place found a gem in a Norton Chopper and along with the rest of their classic custom works, have created a stunning original representation of what the chopped up, raked out metal sled resembled in it’s hay-day. With a major basis of their business being resurrecting English iron, they have the tools, knowledge and experience to revive even the most forgotten of motorcycles!

Bike Specifications: 1948 Norton

Frame: Garden Gate Norton Plunger
Subrame: N/A
Engine: 1948 Norton 500cc OHC International Single Cylinder
Carburetion or FI System: Amal TT10
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 20”
Front Wheel (Size): 21”
Steering Stabilizer: Friction Knob Damper
Rear Shock(s): N/A
Clip-Ons or Bars: Clubmans
Seat: British Solo
Tank: 1947 Norton Manx
Rear Sets: N/A
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: N/A
Tires (Sizes): 3.50×20 Rear, 3.25×21 Front
Exhaust: Straight Pipe w/ Megaphone
Paint & Powdercoat: Period Correct Two-Tonw White and Black

Morrie’s Place featured in Episode – 12

– Original Airs: 10/12 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
5410 Austin Ct.
Ringwood, IL 60072
Phone: (815) 653-7000
Email: morriesplc@aol.com
Website: www.morriesplacecycles.com


Kenny Cummings – NYC Norton

Kenny Cummings is a four-time AHRMA National Champion racer, who campaigns a Seeley Norton Commando and a Manx Norton throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. After many years of building and perfecting his own racing bikes, he has put his skills toward building and tuning bikes for others who want a high level of performance from their classics. Based in NYC, he quietly opened his shop, NYC Norton, to a few select customers last year and was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm. On the lifts currently are several racing bikes in various states of completion, including a couple that will be campaigned by world-class racers at this year’s Barber Vintage Celebration, as well as a handful of high-performance street bikes.

Bike Specifications: Custom Norton Commando

Frame: Seeley MK2, fabricated by Roger Titschmarsh and imported from Minnovation Racing in the UK
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Highly modified Norton Commando 750cc
Carburetion or FI System: Amal MK2 36mm
Rear Swing Arm: Seeley
Rear Wheel (Size): 18″ Flanged Alloy w/Dunlop KR164
Front Wheel (Size): 18″ Flanged Alloy w/Dunlop KR825
Steering Stabilizer: Ohlins Damper
Rear Shock(s): Works Performance Lightweight Alloy Trackers
Clip-Ons or Bars: Minnovation
Seat: Seeley MK2
Tank: Seeley Short Circuit
Rear Sets: Barleycorn Engineering
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: Kirby w/ Belly-pan
Tires (Sizes): KR164 = 130/70, KR825 = 80/80
Exhaust: Steve Maney Racing
Paint & Powdercoat: None – Bare frame exposing absolute TIG-brazing

Spannerland featured in Episode – 11

– Original Airs: 10/5 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
Email: nycnorton@gmail.com

Santiago Choppers

Hailing from France, Alain Bernard is most often found with a hammer in his hand and Elvis playing on the background. Fortunately, for both the hammer and Elvis, he brings them both into the best possible light. An artist who combines the best of all marques, Alain Bernard created a stunning KZ1000 in Season One and is back with his Norley a hybrid Norton Featherbed Frame powered by a Sportster Engine. The crew of Santiago Choppers always delivers with a punch and this season is no exception!

Bike Specifications: 2011 Norley

Frame: JW Motorcycle/Santiago Chopper –
Subrame: N/A
Engine: 74ci Harley Davidson Sportster
Carburetion or FI System: CR
Rear Swing Arm: Norley
Rear Wheel (Size): 17” Norley
Front Wheel (Size): 17” Norley
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Norley
Clip-Ons or Bars: Ducati Frontend & Tripple Trees w/ Votex Clip-ons
Seat: Norley
Tank: Norley
Rear Sets: Storz
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: None
Tires (Sizes): 17×3.5” Front & Rear
Exhaust: Norley
Paint & Powdercoat: Paint by Craig

Santiago Choppers featured in Episodes – 9, 10 and 11

– Original Airs: 9/21, 9/28 and 10/05 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
6102 Adamo Dr. E
Tampa, FL 33619
Phone: (813) 677-1676
Email: santiagochopper@aol.com
Website: www.santiagochopper.com

Contact info:
Wynne Pendraig
JW Motorcycles
Email: jwmotorcycles@gmail.com
Website: www.the-norley.com

Tim Harney

With a spotty driving record, an almost unusable and impractical education for industrial design (since the US economic downturn) and a desire to go fast, Tim Harney has forged a path as one of the most unique up and coming custom bike builders. With a great emphasis on classic cafe culture, chopping what you have and keeping things on the the leanest of budgets, Tim has managed to produce some fast, flashy and now, reliable Cafe Racers to run around the streets of Brooklyn on. Paying his bills by producing custom metal furniture from his boutique in NYC, Brooklyn Design House, he candidly stated – “Metal is metal, it’s all the same.” And how right he is, folks. Tim is the epitome of cafe spirit, a down and dirty, get it done and have a fun time while doing it stand-up guy and we’re confident you’ll enjoy his spot in Season 2. Just watch out for the smoke cloud!

Bike Specifications: 2011 Harney Bro’s Special

Frame: 1997 GSXR1100
Subrame: Ducati Bi-Posto
Engine: 1987 Suzuki LT250R w/ 6 Speed Transmission
Carburetion or FI System: Carburetion
Rear Swing Arm: Honda Hawk GT
Rear Wheel (Size): 17″
Front Wheel (Size): 17″
Steering Stabilizer: N/A
Rear Shock(s): Fox Double-clicker Honda Hawk
Clip-Ons or Bars: Triumph 675
Seat: Ducati Bi-Posto
Tank: GSXR750
Rear Sets: 2006 Kawasaki, ZX10R
Radiator: Yamaha Virago
Fairings: Custom Aluminum, Harney
Tires (Sizes): 18” and 19”
Exhaust: Sectioned FMF Expansion Chamber w/ FMF Muffler
Paint & Powdercoat: N/A

Tim Harney featured in Episodes – 8, 9 and 10

– Original Airs: 9/14, 9/21 and 9/28 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
Email: harneytim@gmail.com

Union Motorcycles

The team at Union Motorcycles consists of dedicated (dare we say rabid?) vintage motorcycle enthusiasts with a wide spectrum of backgrounds and skills. They say it takes a village? We’ve they’ve got one. (Including the occasional idiot.) Professional mechanics, Fabricators and restorers joining forces with professional designers = Something we like to think of as the Super Friends of Classic Motorcycles. Their 67 Beezer is a testament to the dedication and fun-loving atmosphere such a place creates.

Bike Specifications: 1967 BSA A65 Lightning

Frame: Modified and stripped BSA A65
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Stock, Rebuilt
Carburetion or FI System: Dual Amal Concentrics carbs
Rear Swing Arm: Stock – detabbed
Rear Wheel (Size): 18″ Shouldered Aluminum
Front Wheel (Size): 18″ Shouldered Aluminum
Steering Stabilizer: Modified Ceriani dampener
Rear Shock(s): 1 inch over stock
Clip-Ons or Bars: Dunstall Replicas
Seat: Custom Fiberglass, Union and GFTP
Tank: Custom Fiberglass, Union and GFTP
Rear Sets: Custom, Union
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: Custom Fiberglass, Union and GFTP
Tires (Sizes): 18” and 18”
Exhaust: Stock headers –  modified mufflers
Paint & Powdercoat: Paint

Union Motorcycles featured in Episodes – 6, 7 and 8
– Original Airs: 8/31, 9/7 and 9/14 @ 9:00pm

– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
6129 Ustick Rd.
Nampa, ID 83687
Phone: (208) 466-4474
Email: unionmotorcycleclassics@gmail.com
Website: www.unionmotorcycle.com

Ypsilanti Cafe Racer

John started riding at the age of 4 when his dad put him on a Ruppman mini bike, which is when he simultaneously fell in love with motorcycles. Along with riding motorcycles he was heavy into skateboarding and the punk rock scene from England, and from a young age was influenced by rocker culture.  As an adult in the mid 90s he combined his love for motorcycles and stunts from skateboarding and became a stunt rider until 2002 when he with aspirations to open his first bike shop. With a mind to open a facility that was geared more toward the punk rocker scene led him to the “café racer” style of bikes.  Ypsilnati Cafe Racer was officially started in 2009 by combining Johns mechanical talents with partner Leah’s business savvy. Filling a void in the metro Detroit area they’ve experienced tremendous growth and success in sharing cafe culture.

Bike Specifications: 1976 Honda CB360

Frame: Strock, Stripped
Subrame: N/A
Engine: Stock, Rebuilt
Carburetion or FI System: Stock
Rear Swing Arm: Stock
Rear Wheel (Size): 18″ Stock
Front Wheel (Size): 18″ Stock
Steering Stabilizer: Custom, Ypsilanti
Rear Shock(s): Stock
Clip-Ons or Bars: Dunstall Replicas
Seat: Custom Steel, RAS MOTO/Ypsilanti
Tank: Custom Fiberglass, RAS Moto/Ypsilanti
Rear Sets: Custom Aluminum, RAS Moto/Ypsilanti
Radiator: N/A
Fairings: None
Tires (Sizes): 3.50-18 Rear, 3.00-19 Front
Exhaust: Moto Fiaccone
Paint & Powdercoat: RAS Moto/Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti Cafe Racer featured in Episodes – 6, and 7

– Original Airs: 8/31, and 9/7 @ 9:00pm
– First Replay: Coming Soon

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Contact info:
10 E. Cross Street
Ypsilanti, MI 49198
Phone: (313) 590-3373
Email: johnnycrasher@yahoo.com
Website: www.caferacerypsi.com

Week 10 – Cafe by any definition

“You call that a café racer?’ These six words are familiar in our ears, minds and e-mail in-boxes, and they emanate from readers of all stripes, nationalities and specific motorcycling preferences. It appears there are more individual definitions of what constitutes a true café racer than there are backaches from too-low clip-on handlebars, but that, as they say, is the beauty of the thing.


To the purists we meet, a café racer can only be British, air-cooled and imbued with certain character traits including but not limited to, leaky crankcases, dodgy electrical systems, kick starters and a mechanical lineage that can be directly traced back to Guy Fawkes and Bracebridge Street. We heard lots of this while filming the Café Racer series in the United Kingdom, a place where, very often, café racers are locked in a place and time that hasn’t moved forward technologically since pints cost pocket change and smoking was permitted in pubs. These machines are, beyond debate, the true essence of the café racer, but I’d like to think the term can have a much broader definition these days.

In other parts of the world, for instance, people held equally strong opinions about just what quantifies a café racer, but their differing views make for a wild, unpredictable genre of custom streetbikes that, to be honest, is as malleable as a block of billet aluminum. In Germany, stripped-down, high-performance streetfighters are considered the natural, 21st Century heirs to the Café Racer mantle, while in Japan, rockers tend to favor small-displacement Japanese retros and commuter bikes, dressed up in throwback bodywork that makes Yamaha SR 500s and Honda GB’s resemble everything from Manx Nortons to Matchless’ stunning G50 and everything in between.


Here in the States, at risk of sounding chauvinistic, we seem to enjoy the broadest possible re-defining of what a café racer can be, as builders across a vast age and cultural range continue to amaze us with their creations. Attend a cutting-edge streetbike rally like Milwaukee’s Rockerbox or one of the many Mods and Rockers events happening these days, and you’ll be blown away by the sheer, unbridled enthusiasm and experimentation that’s happening right here, right now. I’ve spent long moments staring at bikes that were so odd they defied description, only to ask myself, “is it stripped down, unique and faster than it was stock?” Well, that, my friends is a café racer. As we say on the show, the cool thing about the café racer is there really aren’t any steadfast rules about what constitutes the prefect machine, which is a large part of what makes these motorbikes so fascinating.

Some of my favorite ton-up motorcycles seen during the past few years have, surprisingly, been powered by American-made V-Twins. This is a development not many of us could have anticipated, as Harleys are very often, associated with anything but performance riding. But the way a V-Twin motor fills a café racer frame, the sheer length of the mill lending itself perfectly to the stretched-out riding position, the ominous rumble of a pair of megas holding back wads of torque. – it all seems somehow, well, proper.


There’s also lots to dig about how the café racer craze has helped resurrect and in many cases save, old, otherwise discarded Japanese strreetbikes. I can honestly recall- which is a nice way of admitting to being over the hill – when mid-1970s Hondas, Yamahas Suzukis and Kawasakis went for only a few hundred bucks each, mainly because few North Americans realized their remarkable mechanical resilience and timeless style. Today, you may pay upwards of a Grand for clean, running examples of these ideal café donor bikes, but the fact that they’re being rebuilt, ridden and cherished by a new generation of custom builders means they’ll be around for another 30 or 40 years. And though purists may turn their noses up at newfangled sportbikes and water-cooled machines being turned into café customs, well, until you’ve ridden one of these nitro-charged road-burners at full-throttle with the wind rushing by at warp speed and your senses overloaded with adrenaline, you really shouldn’t knock ‘em.

So what, after all does make a motorcycle a café racer. Well, we put that question to Dave Degens, racer, engineer and serious builder who has cobbed together several hundred café racer specials over the years, and his answer was as illuminating as it was direct.


“A café racer is a racer for the road. A race bike you can ride to work and ten take to the track or backroads on the weekends and race against your mates,” he explained. That about covers it for me.

– Mike Seate

Cafe Clubs Abroad

On any Sunday, traveling the winding roads nestled in the mountains of Portugal you will find the “Cafe Racer 351 Club.”  Comprised of bikes of different years, makes and models the club meets regularly and stretches the legs of their trusty cafe steeds to the ton enjoying the fantastic countryside and landscape their country has to offer.

Cafe Racer 351 Club, Portugal

There aren’t many things in life that could be more enjoyable than twisting the throttle of a air-cooled twin up and down and in and out of the sea-side towns and mountain roads.  The perfect place for a cafe racer, the quaint little villages in Portugal offer a fantastic taste of cafe culture with a very old-world feel.  Brick paved roads, street cafes and some of the best latte’s in the world are just a few of the elements that inspire Cafe Racer club 351 members to assemble and share in the camaraderie that their club promotes.

Cafe Racer 351 Club, Portugal

Cafe Racer 351 Club, Portugal

Paying homage to the classic cafe racer style hailing from Britain, CR351 Club members sport everything from track worthy Triton’s to humble Honda’s. They do not discriminate. The only binding and pertinent element seems to be an appreciation for going fast on stripped down vintage scoots. Good on ya guys!

If you get a chance and can read Portuguese, take a look at their website or better yet, take a trip to Portugal and join them for a ride!  From the looks of the video below it’s worth the trip.

Club website – www.caferacer351.com

Builders

Season 4 Builders: Twinline Motorcycles

Implying that they were just a bunch of hipsters from Seattle looking to make a statement on national television, Café Racer Magazine’s Mike Seate said this “Franken-bike” project by Twinline Motorcycles would never work.

If marrying a Honda and a Kawasaki wasn’t tough enough, Twinline also took on new challenges that they’ve never tried before, like building a custom gas tank, rebuilding an unfamiliar engine and manipulating and strengthening a frame for a powerhouse that it was never intended to house. 

Although it was ambitious and took a bit longer than anticipated, Twinline, led by a group of young craftsman and artists, proved that mixed technology and generations can work. Yes, the future of custom bikes is good.

Bike: “The Thorn” 1977 Honda CB550 and 1990 Kawasaki EX500

SPECIFICATIONS

Frame:  1977 Honda CB550, strengthened & gusseted

Subrame: Modified stock, gusseted

Engine: Rebuilt 1990 Kawasaki EX500, Bored to 600cc with Engine Dynamics kit, Webcam 245 cams, Barnett clutch, heavyweight springs

Carburetion or FI System: Keihin CR33, 70mm velocity stacks

Rear Swing Arm:  Modified stock

Rear Wheel (Size): 2.15” x 18” Warp 9 rim, stainless spokes, KDX200 hub

Front Wheel (Size): 2.15” x 18” Warp 9 rim, stainless spokes, Warp 9 KTM hub

Clip-Ons or Bars: Woodcraft 35mm clip-ons

Seat: Custom one-off seat and upholstery

Tank:  Modified CB550ss tank, Pingel high flow petcock

Rear Sets: Motobits pegs, levers, linkage, Moto-R bracket

Tires (Sizes): Front: Avon AM22 110/80-18, Rear: Avon AM23 130/65-18

Exhaust : Modified stock headers, hand made cones

Paint: Frame: 20% powder-coat, Bodywork: none, raw mild steel

Headlight: CB350 bucket, H4 bulb, handmade mounts

Front Brake: Nissin 14mm master cylinder, stainless braided line, Brembo dual pot caliper

Rear Brake: Nissin CBR master cylinder, stainless braided line, Nissin caliper

Top Steering Clamp/Triple Tree:  Modified stock, steering damper

Electronics: Trail Tech Vapor gauge, Shorai battery, stock CDI, customized wiring harness

Twinline Motorcycles

2106 S. Holgate st.

Seattle, Wa 98144

Phone: 206-768-8686

Jeff: tower@twinlinemotorcycles.com

Ian: ian@houseonfire.com

www.twinlinemotorcycles.com

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More photos and specs for “The Thorn”

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