Slate Hammer Harley Cafe Racer

Over the past few years Taiwanese workshop Rough Crafts have achieved amazing things in the world of custom motorcycles. Their dedication to American marque Harley Davidson is evident through their HD dominated build portfolio and their range of Rough Craft 'Hard Parts' (custom parts and accessories) for late model Harleys is ever expanding. Their builds grace the pages of international print and digital publications making them a regular name drop amongst enthusiasts and rightly so, as they are world class. Although their latest creation steps away from their traditional bobber/hardtail style it's as well designed and executed as any of their builds and I'm happy to say it's a Cafe Racer inspired creation that has left me wanting more.

RetroMoto BMW R100 Scrambler

In the world of custom motorcycle building tight deadlines are about as desirable as a swift kick to the bean bag. In most cases tight deadlines result in shortcuts being taken or bad design decisions being made. However there's always an exception to the rule and it seems Junior Burrell of Retro Moto has it sussed. With only 2 weeks up his sleeve Junior turned a stock BMW into this superb Scrambler for a buddy who in my book, should now owe him free beer for life.

Black Bomber CB450 Flat Tracker

Another of the great workshops I had the opportunity to rub shoulders with at Kustomfest in Indonesia was Jakarta’s ‘Gearhead Monkey Garage’. At the show the Gearhead crew took out several trophy categories for their custom car and bike builds, but it was one particular bike of theirs that caught my eye. With a Honda CB450 engine nestled snuggly into a Yamaha XS650 frame their “Black Bomber” Flat Track Racer had me heading back over to their stand several times over the weekend for a closer look. Before the show wrapped up I asked the bike owner Tommy Sunu to give us the lowdown on the bike and their workshop. Here’s what he had to say…

Fury Honda CB750 Cafe Racer

It's true. Sometimes the simple things in life are often the best. Take for example this super clean CB750 build from Montreal based workshop Clockwork Motorcycles. No clutter, no mess, no flair. Just clean lines, a simple colour palette and beautifully exposed and finished mechanical goodness. Shop owner Samuel Guertin is an ex-helicopter mechanic of 10 years who made the cross-over to building bikes 2 years ago, a passion he'd been yearning to fulfil. His Honda CB750 Cafe Racer named 'Fury' is his latest creation and as he puts it, "Fury is a modern gentleman, The perfect balance between brute and refinement", and I couldn't agree with him more.

Monkey Bike Madness

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...

Smoked Garage Lotus C0-1 Bronco

When the hype of the Lotus C0-1 concept reached its climax everyone was talking about it. Every motorcycle blog and magazine ran pictures of the renderings and we were all left with our jaws dragging on the floor wondering when we would be seeing these amazing Lotus motorcycles out on the street. Unfortunately, as with most concepts built by large manufacturers, we've been left waiting for what feels like an eternity while they test and refine every nut and bolt before official production can begin.

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!

Custom Parts for your Cafe Racer #1

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...

Hammerbike Honda CB550 Crimea

Siberia. 13 million square kilometres of the most sparsely populated land on Earth and as it turns out, home to one of the coolest custom Honda CB550's around. Roman Molchanov runs the workshop 'Hammerbike Customs' in the frozen heart of Siberia (that may not be an accurate statement, but it sounds cool) where he services customer bikes and builds world class custom motorcycles. In a country where custom workshops are as rare as people and spare parts are as readily available as leprechauns Roman's built a custom CB550 that's as cool as the snow surrounding the Hammerbike workshop.

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