As the lines blur between the different styles of custom bike building and builders become more adventurous, it's getting much harder to simply label a custom motorcycle as a Cafe Racer, Tracker, Bobber, etcetera. While this latest build by CRO motorcycles is a self proclaimed Cafe Racer many may argue otherwise (and I'm sure a few of my Facebook followers will!) but personally I think it's evolution at work. If you want to build a period correct Cafe Racer you'd probably never consider a BMW as a donor let alone one released in the late 70's. As older bikes get older and are either falling to bits or cost an arm and a leg to buy we're all looking for alternatives. Bikes like BMW's R65 are available at a good price and offer solid performance and reliability, but using one as the base for a Cafe Racer means it's sometimes necessary to bend the rules. This is what the evolution of bike building is all about, its designing, modifying and re-engineering to suit the subject and CRO's Valkyrie is a perfect example of one builders way of doing this.
When opportunity beckons what do you do? ... let it pass you by or seize it? Whilst the decision for Henry didn’t make for completely smooth sailing, the potential result was well worth the gamble. He was after a clean and unique bike to run down to the shops on and something to check out the best surf breaks early in the morning. What he initially found was a shabby ‘93 black Kawasaki ZR550 (Zephyr)... and a vision of how cool that bike could be. The point is that Henry had some ideas, saw an opportunity, seized it and some time later that vision materialized as the bike you see here now.
Although the Kawasaki Z650 might be considered by many to be the low powered cousin of the Z1, it actually has quite an impressive reputation of it's own. Because of it's reduced weight, smooth power delivery and impressive top speed it was actually one of the most drivable models to ever come out under the Z guise. So almost 40 years after their first release it's no wonder we're seeing Z650's being given a fresh lease of life thanks to some clever custom builders. Kerozin Motorcycles in France are the latest custom builders to do exactly that and this is their Kawasaki Z650 'Bratstyle' build.
While the idea of belting down a freeway at a ton and a half on a big bore Cafe Racer sounds like a blast, it's not the sort of practice most of us often get the chance to do. In fact it's probably illegal where many of you live making it an even less frequent exercise. In big cities small capacity motorcycles rule the streets and although many may argue "There's no point making a Cafe Racer out of a 250cc bike!", I beg to differ. Big bikes get the blood pumping but small bikes make you smile. I am lucky enough to have one of each and I have to say my little 200cc thumper is the best fix for Monday morning blues. It's quick off the line, splits through busy traffic without knocking a single mirror and handles like it's on rails. So when a bike like this latest build from Tricana in Portugal appears in my inbox I'm all smiles.
Valtoron in Valdetorres de Jarama, Spain, is the workshop of two brothers, Pablo and Carlos Delgado. Since 1995 the brothers have used their skills as craftsmen to design, mould, cast and create custom motorcycles as unique as the skills the possess and 'La Bestia' is one of their latest builds. The following story and images are an extract from a full story that ran in Tank Moto issue 3...
Is it just me or does this look like insanely good fun? There's no denying that Yamaha's legendary SR400 is a hoot to ride but what do you do if it's 32 horses ain't giving you the thrills you crave? You slap a Daihatsu turbo on it of course! This sexy little number hails from the crazy kids at Performance Cycle Shaft in Japan and it's 2 parts insanity mixed with 1 part of engineering brilliance.