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ReturnOfTheCafeRacers.com

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100% Carbon - VanderHeide Gentleman's Racer

17.10.2016

Over the last decade the use of carbon fiber in automotive applications has become common place. From bodywork and chassis construction to protective racewear it has revolutionised the industry. Carbon fibers light weight and superior strength make it a great alternative to traditional alloys, but it comes at a cost. In fact you can expect to pay at least double what you'd pay for an aluminium version of a carbon part. So why would anyone consider making an entire motorcycle out of carbon fiber?Well it's probably because there are people out there who can afford to pay for it. Take for instance this limited production VanderHeide Motorcycle. At 150,000 Euros I doubt many of you (and certainly not me) will be running out to get your hands on one, but don't let the luxury price tag deceive you. This isn't just a fancy carbon fiber thing for the filthy rich to throw money at, this "Gentleman's Racer" is actually being coined as a game changer for motorcycle design.

 

Gear Review - Jack Stillman Bag

16.10.2016

Finding a good bag is tricky. I tend to be the sort who uses one bag for everything - so it’s got to be hardwearing for trips on the bike, stylish enough to carry me through the working week, and versatile enough to lug home groceries or load with gear for a weekend escape.I’d been following the gear from Western Australian outfit 'Jack Stillman' with interest ever since their first motorcycle pannier, so when Jarrod Stillman, owner operator of Jack Stillman reached out with a prototype backpack for us to put through it’s paces, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

Clear Vision - Wrench Kings Honda CB750

15.10.2016

You may have limitless vision, but without the skills to execute your ideas they will never see the light of day. We've all experienced those times of hopelessness when throwing your hands in the air in frustration is all that's left to do. Building custom motorcycles is no walk in the park and not everyone has the skills to do it properly. That's why custom workshops like the 'Wrench Kings' exist. Bram and his team at the Wrench Kings workshop in the Netherlands pride themselves in turning other people's visions into rolling works of art. When they were approached by Lex, an advertising agency owner from Holland with an unfinished 1977 Honda CB750 project they happily accepted the challenge and delivered an exceptional result.

 

Piece of cake - Ducati ST2 Cafe Racer

12.10.2016

Earlier this year I headed to Sydney with Luke from Tank Moto to shoot a few stories for an upcoming issue of the mag. While we were there we spent some time at the MotoRetro workshop where I was fortunate to meet Gary Vicente. After talking with Gary about his bike collection it became pretty clear that he had a soft spot for European scoots, Ducatis in particular, and his latest build confirms my observation. Over the past 3 years he's been working on and off on putting together this '97 Ducati ST2 framed cafe racer, learning a few valuable fabrication techniques along the way.

 

Beastly Buell - Greaser Garage XB12SS

07.10.2016

The Buell XB platform is an unlikely hero for the cafe set - A torquey, Harley-powered, space-framed sportsbike from the now twice defunct Buell nameplate. But the XB has provided the basis for some of the most distinctive customs we’ve seen in recent times. From the sharp futuristic lines of the Magpul Ronin to a smooth take on the Norton Manx, the XB lends itself to wild transformations. Today we take a look at a build by Greaser Garage from Genoa, Italy. Applying his own twist to this oddball 2006 Buell XB12SS, Matteo Scarsi, product and graphic designer for Greaser Garage, explains how this beast of a Buell came to be...

 

Monotone Masterpiece - Moto Guzzi 850T Cafe Racer

05.10.2016

Despite an unfortunate and unforeseeable turn of events, Johann Keyser managed to turn misfortune into an opportunity that lead to the birth of his Moto Motivo workshop. After building a slew of cool custom motorcycles for customers Johann decided it was time to treat himself by building a bike to his own liking. To complete the task he got his hands on a 1975 Moto Guzzi 850T which, over a 3 month period, was transformed into his interpretation of a pure, Italian bred café racer.

 

The Keeper - Yamaha XJ900 Cafe Racer

02.10.2016

How many of us have stopped to wonder about the amazing custom work we would have done to the first bike we ever owned... had we kept it long enough. At the age of 37, Finnish born Swedish resident Daniel Bertell is one of the few who can show you. Sitting in his driveway is the Yamaha XJ900 he first bought at aged 17 and now 20 years later it's been transformed to perform and look exactly how he'd always envisaged.

 

The Brute from Belarus - Tramontana Yamaha XV750

30.09.2016

Ahh Belarus. The home of 300+ potato recipes and one of the greenest countries on the planet. If you weren't aware of these facts about Belarus don't worry, neither was I. Belarus isn't a country that often gets a mention here on Return of the Cafe Racers, in fact this is only the second time we've had a feature from the landlocked, eastern European country. Spartak Malkevich, owner and founder of 'Sparta Garage' is the only builder we've come across from Belarus, but that doesn't mean he lacks ability. Today we talk to Spartak about his latest build, the Yamaha XV750 'Tramontana' cafe racer.

 

The Brute from Belarus - Tramontana Yamaha XV750

30.09.2016

Ahh Belarus. The home of 300+ potato recipes and one of the greenest countries on the planet. If you weren't aware of these facts about Belarus don't worry, neither was I. Belarus isn't a country that often gets a mention here on Return of the Cafe Racers, in fact this is only the second time we've had a feature from the landlocked, eastern European country. Spartak Malkevich, owner and founder of 'Sparta Garage' is the only builder we've come across from Belarus, but that doesn't mean he lacks ability. Today we talk to Spartak about his latest build, the Yamaha XV750 'Tramontana' cafe racer.

 

The Underdog - Essenza Kawasaki Vulcan S

25.09.2016

Earlier this month the first series of the Essenza 1/8th mile sprint challenge was completed at the Glemseck festival in Leonberg, Germany. Manufacturers and custom builders went head to head in a knock out style race schedule to decide the victors. Racers were limited to 2 cylinders and a capacity no larger than 1200cc using bikes supplied by big named manufacturers. The 16 bike grid was filled with motorcycles that sat on the cusp of the engine capacity limit including Harley Sportsters, BMW R9Ts, T120 Bonnevilles and a Ducati 1200R Monster. However tucked in amongst them, sat a quietly confident rider on a 649cc Kawasaki cafe racer.

 
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