Tobias Guckel’s Kawasaki cafe racer

Kamikaze: Kawasaki H1 cafe racer
Tobias Guckel is one of Germany’s top custom builders, and a name you’ve probably never heard of. Based in the tiny Bavarian town of Rappenhof, he’s been building bikes for 25 years, and seems to be able to turn his hand to anything — from immaculate classic restorations to over-the-top Harley show bikes.

This is Tobias’ latest creation, a vintage Kawasaki café racer with a twisted, hooligan edge. It’s called ‘Kamikaze,’ and what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in style.

Kamikaze: Kawasaki H1 cafe racer
The frame is from a Kawasaki H1, one of the quickest production machines of the 1970s. Except Tobias has shoehorned in an even more potent motor: the 748cc two-stroke mill from the Kawasaki H2, a bike that Motorcycle Classics described as “the motorcycling equivalent of the Sex Pistols.”

Kamikaze: Kawasaki H1 cafe racer
For even more power, Tobias has fitted a fresh set of Mikuni VM34 carbs and hooked the engine up to a custom exhaust from Jolly Moto. It’s a work of art, but I’m betting that the neighbors will be feeling anything but jolly when they hear this bike fire up.

There’s a definite retro character to this Kawasaki cafe racer, amplified by the retina-searing paint, but many of the components are modern fitments or custom one-offs. Handling was never the forte of Kawasaki’s 1970s triples, so Tobias has beefed it up with modern suspension.

Kamikaze: Kawasaki H1 cafe racer
The forks, swingarm, brakes and wheels are from a Suzuki GSX-R1100, the triple trees are custom-fabricated, and the stock H1 frame has been modified for extra strength and a cleaner look. Michelin Pilot 2 rubber helps keep the show on the road.

The striking tank is stock, but the seat-and-tail unit is new, with a neat taillight frenched into the upkick at the back.

It’s probably the most subtle detail on the whole bike, but we love it anyway.

Images by Christian Haasz. To see more of Tobias’ work, head over the to the TGS Motorcycles website.

Kamikaze: Kawasaki H1 cafe racer