Readers Rides December 2011

Well I don't know about you but I'm just about as stuffed as the Turkey I polished off yesterday! Today is a great day to sit and relax in front of your computer with a beer and find inspiration for your holiday  custom motorcycle project, so without further adieu here's the best Cafe Racers and custom motorcycles that have found their way into our inbox this month. We hope they get you as excited as they did us.

Brad's 1976 Honda CB750:

We're kicking off this months round up with a CB750 ground up rebuild and resto Cafe Racer from Brad in Wisconsin. It's a 1976 CB750 which is Brad's first custom motorcycle build. The build was began after a nasty chain snap that resulted in a busted engine cover. The rebuild included a new refurbed and painted engine, fresh paint job, polished covers and some nifty cutting to produce the rising sun emblems on the sprocket cover and engine mounts. Clip on bars, a Yoshimura exhaust, small indicators and tail light and custom designed  decals on the dials complete complete the look of this CB750 Cafe Racer.

If you check out Brad's Flickr page he has put together a selection of CB750 wallpapers for those of you who are die hard fans and the might Honda Four.

Pommy Jon's T120R Triton:

Jon's Triton Cafe Racer is a real looker and unfortunately the shot above is the only one we have (Jon if you're reading this feel free to send in some more photos). It's the perfect mix of a 1965 T120R Triumph engine and a 1961 Norton Slimline frame. 1970 GT750 forks were polished and fitted along with the hubs which have been custom laced and again polished to a mirror finish. A Joe Hunt magneto keeps the electrics in order and a pair of halogens in the nose provide the light needed for night rides. In classic Cafe Racer style Jon took a Suzuki 250 petrol tank and cut it out to form the seat pan and tail's a trick that we think make those fibreglass options sound pretty lame!

1978 Honda CB550K3 Cafe Racer:

After being surrounded by Cafe Racers for most of his life Sean wanted to build a bike in the style he had grown to love but with the same reliable characteristics of the sports bikes he owned. In Feb 2011 he got his hands on a Honda CB550 which he promptly stripped down to begin converting in to his dream ride. Here's how it came together:

"This is the 1st bike that I have ever completely built from the ground up. I have done all of the fabrication myself, the only thing I didn't do was powder coating the rims. I taught myself how to weld, how to work with fibreglass and how to spray paint and pinstripe. Just a few of the numerous changes I made to the bike include fitting the fuel tank from a Honda CB500T, adding a CEV Tipo 105 headlight and bucket converted to run a halogen, the seat and tail were made by myself and also upholstered by me also. The exhaust is a mis-mash of parts, two of the pipes are CB500K, two are from a CB650 and the 4 into 2 collector is also from a CB650. I rebuilt the engine and the braking system which included changing the rear drum brake from rod to cable operated for better modulation and feel."

Sean had his fair share of frustrations with the build especially with the rewiring and relocating the electrics but he's proud of how it turned out and rightly so. He's now planning a more modern Cafe Racer based on a Ducati Monster.

1974 Norton Commando 850 Roadster:

It's not as extreme as the other custom builds listed above but this Norton Commando is an absolute work of art. Joe bought the Norton as a "non running rusty mess" that had been updated several times in its life but had never had a full resto.

A "mild" Cafe Racer was achieved with some basic aesthetic upgrades but the rest of the build wasn't so easy. Joe tells us that "the list of upgrades it too long to to list!" and during this ground up rebuild every nut, bolt and part was either replaced, upgraded or rebuilt. Judging from these photos we're not about to question that claim as it's one of the nicest Commandos we've seen in some time.

If you've got a custom motorcycle or a Cafe Racer you'd like to see on Return of the Cafe Racers send it to us here.

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