La Boheme Kawasaki Zephyr 750

Suzuki Katana. Honda Dominator. Kawasaki Ninja. These are all bike names that inspire visions of power and awesomeness. In some bizarre, magical way they appeal to men before they've even laid eyes on them.  It's motorcycle marketing at it's finest. Then there's the Yamaha Virago, the Honda Gold Wing and let's not forget the Kawasaki Zephyr. Not exactly awe inspiring titles are they? But somewhere along the way people have chosen to look beyond these product naming disasters to focus on what really counts about these bikes. They perform just as well as others in the same class, are famously reliable and most importantly make a great base for customization. So even though I cringe a little every time I get an email from a builder who says they've customized one, I'm often pleasantly surprised by the result. This Zephyr 750 by Sameiros Motors in Portugal is the perfect example of just that.

Throttle Roll 2014

A couple of months back I flew to Sydney to attend one of Australia's best custom motorcycle events. Organised by Mark Hawwa of Sydney Cafe Racers, Throttle Roll is a 2 day music, motorcycle, lifestyle festival that takes place at a huge pub just outside of Sydney's CBD. A great wall of custom motorcycles rising up over 10 meters high surrounded the pubs beer garden, beer flowed freely and live music kept everyone's feet tapping till well after the sun had set. Outside the pub hundreds more bikes lined the streets with just as many jaw dropping custom builds as we'd seen inside. It was an awesome show, put on by a rad dude whose passion for the custom scene has created something truly amazing. Read on for video coverage of the show...

Cognito Moto CB750

"I started Cognito Moto with the black and red Honda CB550 featured on Return of the Cafe Racers last year. This is my latest build a which started off as a '74 CB750 frame and motor I picked up for $400. The original plan was to use parts I had laying around to build a 2 up for the wife and I to tool around town. After the initial mock up and back and forth between tanks the build changed quickly and a quickly became bit more extreme."

Return of the Cafe Racers turns 10

The bike that started it all. The W650 Cafe Racer I built in 2007. Photo by Jason Lau 
Ten years ago I had an idea. I had discovered the world of Cafe Racers and I decided to build my own. Around about the same time I also discovered the world of blogging and decided to document the entire build and everything I learnt about Cafe Racers along the way. Ten years on the site is still going strong and I've enjoyed every minute of the journey. I've featured countless amazing custom builds from some of the world's best backyard builders and custom workshops, I've built a loyal following of readers whose support is a source of constant inspiration and I've been lucky enough to be able to make  a career out of my passion for motorcycles. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement.

If you're interested in learning about other projects I'm involved in check out...

Bandit9 Honda Eve

The following story is an extract from Tank Moto issue 4
“My very first motorcycle was a 50cc Honda Cub. It was more of a scooter but it didn’t matter. My first ride on the Cub was like achieving nirvana. I used to go out for these midnight rides with my girlfriend - the streets were empty, nothing but stars above you, a quiet lake on one side and a jungle on the other. It was completely quiet except for the buzzing of the 50cc engine. There was something really poetic about the experience. Something clicked inside me, I fell in love with motorcycles,” Daryl Villanueva of Bandit9 recalls.

An-Bu XS650 Monsters

If you're a regular reader of Return of the Cafe Racers you're sure to recognise these 2 custom builds as the work of An-Bu Bikes in Japan. Like many other Japanese workshops An-Bu have developed a recognisable and unique style thanks to their use of custom made fairings, muted colour palettes and  indecipherable slogans and logos. Both of these custom Yamaha XS650 builds go by the name "Monster" with the newer of the two (the blue grey bike) having "SPEED" added to it's title. What makes these XS650's Monsters? Read on to find out...

Catrina CB750 CafeTracker

I'm very excited to say that todays bike comes from the home of Tacos and Tequila which is, of course, Mexico. This is the first Mexican built (Guadalajara to be geographically precise) custom motorcycle to grace the pages of ROCR. Its builder, Ricardo Meade of Catrina Motorcycles and it's his own Honda CB750 based cocktail of Cafe Racer and Tracker style.

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