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Custom Bikes Of The Week: 5 May, 2019

The best cafe racers, muscle bikes and classics from around the web.
From one extreme to the other: this week we take a look at a tiny Honda land speed record holder and the ginormous new Triumph Rocket 3 TFC. Plus a slick BMW from sunny Lisbon, a classic Norton living in France, and a Mash cafe racer from Spain.

The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC revealed
Triumph Rocket 3 TFC We hear a lot of talk about ‘factory customs.’ It’s obviously a contradiction in terms, but the new Rocket 3 isn’t quite as cynical as most. Simply because only 750 will be built, so it’s unlikely that owners will bump into each other at the local café.

The TFC is an update on the original Rocket 3, which broke cover 15 years ago. The 2.3 liter engine has been replaced by an ‘all new’ 2.5 liter mill, which churns out an incredible 163 foot-pounds of torque and a tire-shredding 168 horsepower. The exhaust note from the Arrow mufflers will be incredible, no doubt.

The 2020 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC revealed
The brakes are Brembo, the bodywork is carbon fiber, and the wheels are aluminum—which all help to trim 88 pounds off the scales compared to the original Rocket. But our favorite feature is the twin circular headlamp setup, which reminds us of the original Street Triple.

It’s unquestionably an Excess All Areas bike, and there’s a small but lucrative market for that. We don’t think Triumph will have any problem selling all 750 of these, and the limited numbers will help secondhand values too. [More]

Custom 1967 Honda S65
Custom 1967 Honda S65 From the ridiculous to the sublime: at the opposite end of the moto spectrum is this lovely little land speed racer with a hard-working 150cc motor. It comes from Tim Klostermann of California, who has been bitten hard by the Bonneville salt flats bug.

Tim races the S65 in the altered-frame class, which allowed him to replace the stock 63cc Honda engine with a 150cc Daytona unit. That boosted output to 21 horsepower, compared to Honda’s paltry six.

Custom 1967 Honda S65
Then Tim realized the regulations allowed the fitment of a turbo, so he grabbed one from a diesel tractor, installed and tuned it, built an exhaust, re-jetted the motor, and took everything apart multiple times until it ran right.

Lil’ Sucker went down the flats with an average speed of 62 mph, and a new speed record was set. “Going through the complicated process of figuring out how to make the turbo work, I felt that I earned it in the end,” says Tim. “And besides, now there is an established record for someone else to go out there and beat.” [More]

BMW R80 brat tracker by Unik Edition
BMW R80 Brat By Unik Edition Are there any unmolested 1980s BMW airheads left out there? Probably not many: the R series has been thoroughly pillaged of late. Most oldtimer customs barely merit a second glance, but this R80 RT from Luís Costa and Tiago Gonçalves is sharp and stylish, and perfect for zooming around the streets of Lisbon in Portugal.

The donor bike was rusty and beat-up, so they’ve done it a major favor. The engine gets a boost from Keihin CR carbs and a British Customs exhaust, the electrics have been refurbished, and the volts now flow through a Motogadget m.unit and into a bi-xenon headlight. New Beringer brakes haul the whole shebang down to a stop.

BMW R80 brat tracker by Unik Edition
The stock 18-inch spoked wheels look superb refinished in silver and black, and are shod with Bridgestone Trail Wing TW24 tires. And there’s an Öhlins monoshock to keep the back wheel buttoned down. A huge improvement over the ungainly RT tourer, we’d say. [More]

1965 Norton 650 SS
1965 Norton 650 SS Legend Motors in Lille, France, is one of the coolest motorcycle shops of any description in the world. We’re avid followers of Legend’s Facebook page, which supplies a steady stream of beautifully photographed classic machinery and the occasional custom.

A recent arrival in the shop is this exquisite Norton, the precursor to the 750 Atlas. It’s not one of Norton’s most famous models—few made it over to the USA—but for a brief period of eight months in the 60s, the 650 SS was the ultimate British superbike.

1965 Norton 650 SS
This particular specimen is in excellent order, and should still be able to reach the quoted top speed of 185 kph (115 mph). With a slimline featherbed frame, the 650 SS became known as the ‘best of the Dommies.’

Legend will be giving this 650 SS a light touch-up and re-installing a few missing parts, and then it’ll be ready for sale. Fans of old British iron take note. [Legend Motors]

Mash TT40 cafe racer by XTR Pepo
Mash TT40 cafe racer by XTR Pepo We live in strange times. One of the sharpest-looking factory café racers comes from the French company Mash, which gets its bikes built in China. Now Spain’s Pepo Rosell has taken the TT40 and elevated it to a whole new level with his latest build.

This machine was commissioned by Heros 66, the Spanish Mash importer, and it looks like something straight out of the pit lane of a 1960s racetrack. Pepo has kept the stock tank, but added an OSSA GP fairing, a custom seat and tail unit, and a stubby front fender.

Mash TT40 cafe racer by XTR Pepo
The 399cc engine is a version of Honda’s XBR mill, now fuel injected and made by Shineray, and Pepo has given it a fillip with a Wolfman exhaust system and DNA filter.

The striking paint job is not for shrinking violets, but should do a good job of attracting attention to the Mash brand in Spain. If you live in Europe and can’t quite stretch to the cost of a new Royal Enfield 650, Mash is a brand worth looking at. [More]

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