Honda CX500 RR


Honda's CX500. The Japanese manufacturers only venture into the world of horizontally opposed twins. In many ways the CX was a groundbreaking development in the world of motorcycling with it's water cooled engine, electric start and reliable shaft drive. While on paper it sounds like a milestone in motorcycle production history the CX is often looked upon to with conflicting opinions. On one side there's the guys who knew the CX by it's not so affectionate nickname of "plastic maggot" and by a rather unpleasant period when they suffered cam chain problems that lead to a factory recall. Then the opposing opinions are those of a new breed of custom builder who are taking stock CX500's and turning them into rather tasty looking customs, inspired by builds completed by the likes of the Wrenchmonkees and Moto Mucci. Mike Meyers (note the spelling...this is Austin's new ride) falls into the latter category. The story of his build is typical to what many find when working with old machines that others have previously "tinkered" with, but as you can see his hard work has most certainly paid off and this is one of the best looking CX based builds I've seen to date.

The Mako Harley Davidson Sporster


 Brandon Holstein run a workshop called 'Brawny Built' in Signal Hills, California where he does everything from basic servicing through to full custom builds. Back in 2010 he also co-founded 'The Speed Merchant' workshop and parts manufacturer which has been kicking butt ever since. A couple of years ago he blew peoples minds when he unveiled his Harley Davidson 883 Sporster based "Mako" at Born Free 5 and I had the opportunity to interview him for issue 5 of Tank Moto magazine. Here's some of what he had to say about his Brawny Built beast.

MRS Suzuki VanVan Scrambler


Since buying a Yamaha TW200 last year I've become more and more interested in small capacity dual-sport motorcycles. Nothing puts a grin on your face like belting over kerbs, taking short cuts through park land or grabbing air over speed humps (note: I do not condone or recommend this sort of behaviour...I just enjoy it). In France a hot favourite in the dual-sport, small capacity category is the 125cc Suzuki Van Van. It's sub 12 horsepower rating may not be enough to see you crack the ton, but it's got all the right ingredients to generate one of those aforementioned grins. In it's stock form it's no head turner, but with a good eye and some clever customisation the potential is definitely there. This Scrambler styled Van Van by French workshop Oficina MRS is a perfect example...

Ivory Comet XL Sportster


"Modern Retro". That's how Taiwan born, LA based Samuel Kao of JSK Custom Design describes his 'Ivory Comet' Cafe Racer. Based on a '97 XL1200 Harley Davidson Sportster the Ivory Comet takes fundamental aspects of Cafe Racer design and blends them perfectly with modern styling and modern performance components. Since its completion earlier this year the bike has brought home an impressive collection of prestigious trophies including "Best Cafe Racer" at Born Free 6. Taking over a year to complete the build of the bike pushed Sam to his limits, but as I'm sure you will agree his hard work was well worth it.

Tentacle Paradox CB450 Cafe Racer


We've all seen the listings on eBay. "Perfect project bike", "Needs some attention", "It's all there, just requires reassembling!". The unfinished or forgotten dreams of budding backyard builders up for grabs at bargain prices. Many of us toy with the notion of getting our hands dirty and starting where the previous owner left off but when it comes to placing a bid we get cold feet. There are people out there though that take the chance. They've know they've got their work cut out for them but they jump in head first. Daniel Pon was skeptical when he first saw the advert for 3 rusty, seventies Honda CB450's but 3 years after making the purchase he ended up with one of the coolest looking CB's I've seen...

Bryan's Blacked out CB550


Let's face it. We don't all possess the ability to rebuild an engine, to hand form steel or to even swap out a set of indicators. When you don't have the skill, the tools, the time or the inclination to build your own bike custom workshops like California's Seaweed & Gravel are there to lend a hand. Bryan stepped away from his sports bike past in favour of riding a more stylish and less aggressive steed and Seaweed &Gravel's Brady Young delivered...

Minority Customs Cub Green


If you've been following Return of the Cafe Racers on Instagram or Facebook you'll have seen that I recently attended Kustomfest in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The show was awesome with 20,000+ people through the doors and an incredible collection of over 150 unique custom motorcycles on display. The custom scene in Indonesia is thriving and of all the builds on display that excited me the most, it was the small capacity bikes that really blew me away. Small bikes rule the streets of Indo so it's no wonder they put so much effort into their custom creations and one bike that seems to be a favourite base for customisation is the mighty Honda Cub.

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