One of the biggest highlights for me when we were pulling together issue 6 of Tank Moto Magazine also happened to be the smallest. Nick Sawyer's incredible custom Honda Z50JZ Monkey Bike was a ground up build with a focus on performance improvements and the results are quite astounding. With the talented Jason Lau behind the lens we captured these images and recorded the story of this grand little build...
Meanwhile our friends at Bali based workshop Smoked Garage couldn't be bothered waiting any longer and decided to go ahead and build one themselves. I was lucky enough to be in Bali a few weeks ago shooting content for the upcoming issue 7 of Tank Moto Magazine and we joined Nicko Eigert from Smoked Garage on top of a building with half a plane on it for a quick interview, photo session and a celebratory burn out!
One of the most difficult aspects of building a Cafe Racer or custom motorcycle can be sourcing cool custom parts. You can spend hours if not days trawling the internet to find a part that satisfies your own unique aesthetic. Some time ago I ran a series of features about 'finding parts for your Cafe Racer' that pointed out some great websites where you could source parts, but I figured it was time to take it to the next level. In this new series I will be featuring specific parts produced by workshops around the world that are a cut above the rest. From handlebars to footpegs, headlights to batteries, here's a look at some of best custom parts around...
Two french guys, a workshop in Hong Kong and one iconic German bike. Lifestyle brand and custom motorcycle workshop Angry Lane is the brainchild of brothers Ben and G Barras. Together they produce custom leather goods and clothing, distribute Japanese made custom parts and of course, build custom motorcycles. Amongst the plethora of modern sports bikes on Hong Kong island the guys discovered an original condition '87 BMW R80S. Venturing away from their usual Bobber/Chopper penchant the brothers decided to try their hand at a Cafe Racer build and, as I'm sure you'll agree, they've done a pretty good job of it.
If you've been following Return of the Cafe Racers for a while you'll have figured out I'm a fan of post apocalyptic celluloid, especially that which involves zombies. AMC's 'The Walking Dead' is of course the perfect example of exactly that and what makes the show even more attractive to me is the addition of a character who rides custom motorcycles. I am of course referring to Daryl (Norman Reedus) the crossbow wielding bad boy who for the first few seasons of the show got around on a ratty old Triumph Chopper. Now in it's fifth season The Walking Dead has seen Daryl acquire a new steed in the form of a custom Honda CB750 Nighthawk built in the real world by none other than Classified Moto. Classified Moto constructed 2 identical bikes for the show and in the following video by AMC you can hear about the project first hand from Norman and CM's very own John Ryland.
No it doesn't have a headlight. No it doesn't have indicators, a rearview mirror or a stop light. No it's not going to be comfortable for long rides and no you can't have a go. This is the 'Triumph Salt Racer'. A purpose built land speed record breaker (fingers crossed). It's the work of a few local geniuses here in Melbourne who have combined their talents, resources and know how to build a land speed bike with its sights set firmly on setting a new DLRA record at Lake Gardiner in South Australia at the end of this month. Cloaked in carbon fibre and boasting a "few" more horses than your regular Thruxton, this Triumph's far from stock and every tweak that's been made had no other purpose than to make it go as fast as possible!