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El Solitario Big Bad Wolf XJR1300


It's been 2 months since my feature about the workshops that were gearing up to challenge Lucky Cat Garage's 'Sprintbeemer' in the 1/8th mile races at Glemseck 101. Since the race took place I've been eagerly awaiting details and photos of the bike that finally "killed the cat" to be released and today is the big day. The winning bike, a heavily customised 2015 Yamaha XJR1300 aptly named "Big Bad Wolf", was built by our Spanish friends 'El Solitario' in conjunction with Yamaha Yardbuilt and some of their most talented associates. Although the Big Bad Wolf was not built specifically to take on the Sprintbeemer like Plan B's 'Cherry Salt' or the Young Gun's 'Ferdinand the Sparrow' it chewed up and spat out every opponent that stood in it's way to take home the trophy and put an end to the Lucky Cat's 3 year reign.


Ride Review BMW R nineT


Bike reviews have become a regular feature of Tank Moto Magazine and with each new issue comes an opportunity for me (the editor) to test out a brand new bike. The bikes I review are all of the "ready to customise" type which to date has included the likes of Harley's 72 Sportster, Ducati's Scrambler, Triumph's Thruxton and of course the BMW R nineT. I'm no motorcycle tech whiz or ex-racing legend so my reviews tend to focus on features, aesthetics and their tolerance to customisation. Since many of these bike will appeal to you, readers of Return of the Cafe Racers, we've decided to republish them here for you to enjoy...


Barn Built 900SS Cafe Racer


In much the same way that the Ferrari and Lamborghini marques get car enthusiasts excited, Ducati holds a very special place in the heart of many motorcycle lovers. The renowned Italian brand has an air of exclusivity and refinement about it that makes many a motorcycle lover go weak in the knees. When it comes to modifying Ducati's their trellis frames and sexy 90 degree, desmodromic engines offer a great base, but in some later models the bodywork lacks the same appeal as the earlier, more stylish classics. In the 70's the 900SS was one of the hottest machines on the street, but fast forward to the 2000's and the sports bike styling trends of the nineties had taken their toll. Recognising this lapse in style, but respecting Ducati's international repute a builder in Belgium saw an opportunity to create a modern machine that celebrated Ducati's past and the results speak for themselves.


Krom Works Matchless Cafe Racer


I've just landed back on Australian soil after another mind blowing journey into the Indonesian custom motorcycle scene. This time round my visit included 4 days in Yogyakarta at the custom lifestyle event 'Kustomfest' before heading to Bandung in West Java to visit some of their best local builders with Tank Moto magazine. As a special guest at Kustomfest I was given the honour of judging the Cafe Racer category at the show. With over 20 incredible Cafe Racers to choose from it was no easy task, but the job of choosing first place was made much simpler thanks to the incredible work of Jakarta based workshop 'Krom Works'.


Kustomfest Indonesia 2015


I'm in Jogjakarta for the 2015 instalment of Kustomfest, Indonesia's biggest custom culture and lifestyle festival. Along with Luke from Fuel Magazine we're here as special guests for the second year running, which is not only an honour, but also a great opportunity to get another inside look at the incredible Indonesian custom scene. After attending the show last year we knew this year was going to be special, but Kustomfest has once again well and truly exceeded out expectations.


Built on a Budget BMW R100RS custom


When you've been bitten by the bike bug anything is possible! You may not have the skills, the time, the money or the know how, but when you've got your heart set on rocking your own custom ride, all of these challenges can be overcome. Hieronymus Evers wanted his own Cafe Racer to carve up the streets of Amsterdam. After visiting local garages and custom shops it quickly became apparent that enlisting their help was financially unviable so he'd have to approach his BMW build a bit differently...


Kawasaki W650 Racer by FCR


Anyone that's been following this site since it's launch in 2006 knows it all started with the purchase of a Kawasaki W650. Since I bought my W it's been a love affair that constantly gets better with each new day of riding. As a base for customisation the W gives you classic looks (mine always gets mistaken for being an old Brit), bulletproof reliability and solid performance. I've seen them turned into everything from Scramblers to hardtailed Bobbers, but it's as a Cafe Racer that the W really looks its best. Today to perfectly illustrate my point is a W650 based build from French workshop FCR Original, which they have quite simply called 'The W Racer'.


Triumph Bonneville Inlaws


Like most of the motorcycle community I was left a little confused after the recent release of Belstaff's 'Outlaws' short film. Starring David Beckham, Liv Tyler, Harvey Keitel and most importantly some Triumph motorcycles, Belstaff spared no expense producing the artsy farsty "fashion film". When I finally got over the initial "there goes 17 minutes and 28 seconds of my life that I'll never get back" feeling, I took a closer look at the film to uncover a bit more about Beckham's two wheeled co-stars.


Concept to Cafe Racer - Espiat Yamaha XJR


This may sound ridiculous, but sometimes I wish I lived in a place where riding during winter wasn't an option. While it's great having the luxury of being able to ride almost every day of the year down here in Australia, it would be rather productive to be forced to move my bike into a workshop for a few months. Having no option other than to tinker I would happily spend the colder months customising. Today's featured build happened exactly like that. With an icy German winter setting in and a stock Yamaha XJR1200 in the garage Daniel got busy building his dream bike.


Supernova KZ650 Cafe Racer


There's nothing like a bit of competitive spirit to egg a build on and when it's between 2 brothers you can bet the stakes are most certainly high. After Andy Webman of Interstellar Motors introduced his twin brother Jody to bike customisation it wasn't long before Jody had built himself a daily rider that put Andy's own bike to shame. Seeing his brother riding a much cooler machine than his own was exponentially worse than any noogie or chinese burn he could inflict on him so something drastic would have to be done. So Andy decided the only thing to do was to redesign and rebuild his first bike, an '81 Kawasaki KZ650 CSR cruiser into this one of a kind Cafe Racer.

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