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Custom Bikes Of The Week: 11 February, 2018

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
Classic cafe elegance from England’s Sinroja, a cute Moto Guzzi mini bike from Spain, a slinky sprintbike from Belgium, and an electric Ducati Scrambler from Thailand. We’re collecting the air miles this week.

Moto Guzzi kids mini bike by Kacerwagen
Moto Guzzi Pony Mini Bike by Kacerwagen At the Long Beach Motorcycle Show back in November, a group of industry insiders and veteran journalists convened to pitch ideas on how to attract new riders and reverse a declining trend in North America. Well, guess what folks? Chus Valencia, the man behind Kacerwagen, has the issue licked: start ‘em young and start ‘em with something rad.

The Pony Tracker was Chus’ gift to his nephew Luca this Christmas—but getting this obscure 50cc Guzzi to its current state took some sweat equity. The Pony was a barn find, so it looked more like a rented mule when things started out. Everything was stripped and treated to a run at the sandblaster.

Moto Guzzi kids mini bike by Kacerwagen
Once back to bare metal, the plan for a dirt tracker was cemented and work began on modifying the subframe. The twin outboard shocks were swapped for a cantilevered, mono shock setup as well. On top, the stock tank was sliced down its center and treated to a diet. The new shape suits the package to a T and we doubt Luca is too concerned about covering miles… yet.

To make tracks, the Pony needed a working motor. A two-stroke Morini S6 unit filled the void and delivers more than enough grunt to have Luca smiling behind his helmet. A custom tailpiece, seat and front cowl complete the look, and Chus even sorted out a set of Mitas tires. Hell, even at 40 I’d love to see this thing under the tree with my name on it. [More]

Honda CB550 by Sinroja Motorcycles
Honda CB550 by Sinroja Motorcycles After some incredible work commissioned by Royal Enfield, the Leicester-based brothers Rahul and Birju are at it again. But instead of going back to the well, they decided to try something new. This time around they’ve focused their efforts on creating a classic Honda CB cafe—and the result is just as clean.

Minimal design, maximum impact: that’s the mantra at Sinroja Motorcycles, and you can tell the brothers take it seriously. Just look at the lines on this bike. Starting with a CB550 frame, its rear was quickly discarded in favor of an in-house creation. This provided the perfect perch for the new seat, which has been tightly wrapped in sumptuous Bentley leather.

Honda CB550 by Sinroja Motorcycles
Up front, a Fastec Engineering top yoke cradles a Motogadget Motoscope Tiny gauge and hugs the forks—which have been modified to run a second, solid disc brake.

The CB550 engine has been completely rebuilt and overbored to 61mm. The head from a CB650 received some special treatment to enable it to bolt right up, along with a new set of valves and seats, and a performance cam. A set of carbs from a Kawi Z650 handle fueling, and Steve Scriminger’s signature Pulse Jet ignition system was integrated as well. Compression is upped to 11.5:1, and delivers performance as punchy as the looks. [More]

Sultans of Sprint racer by Hermanus
Hermanus’ Sultans of Sprint racer If you were at Glemseck last year, this race bike may look a bit familiar. I say a bit because it’s had a touch of redux. Originally the creation of Mellow Motorcycles, ‘FRKNSTN’ was a ride that Belgians Evy and Andy of Bruges’ Hermanus Workshop wanted for themselves.

Underpinned by a Honda CB750 frame with a KTM swingarm, and powered by a bottle-fed Ducati 1000DS L-twin, the starting point for Hermanus’ build was already plenty quick. So quick that it was the 2017 Glemseck winner. So there were no major modifications required, but Evy and Andy obviously wanted to make the bike their own. And since Evy has been pegged as the pilot of this sprinter, some ergonomic changes were in order as well.

Sultans of Sprint racer by Hermanus
A slick new replica Ducati 175 fairing was fabricated by the fellow Belgians at Gunnar’s House of Custom, and a new seat was crafted to suit Evy’s frame. The wheels were in need of a rebuild, and while they were at it, a beefier front brake was installed. Tipping the scales at a scant 324 pounds (147 kg), and with a lighter pilot and smoother bodywork, Hermanus may find themselves taking home the glory in 2018.

Honda VT750RS by ADS Motorcycles
Honda VT750RS by ADS Motorcycles He’s spent a dozen years building other people’s two-wheeled dreams, so David Seidman of ADS Motorcycles is no stranger to making changes on the fly. As the Long Island, NY native says, “Most people can tell you what they don’t like, but they have a really hard time telling you what they do like.” So when a long time customer came into the shop with a Honda VT750RS and some ideas, David knew he’d need to concoct a plan B. Or in this case, ‘Plan-Z.’

The original idea was to turn the Shadow into a sporty cruiser. Something that could gobble miles and look cool. The suspension was firmed up, and the rear fender was bobbed. And then the design direction changed…and changed again. And again. From UJM to cafe racer and everything else in between, each time the bike would be 70% completed before a new plan was hatched.

Honda VT750RS by ADS Motorcycles
Finally, clearer heads prevailed and the roadster went under its final transformation—into the street tracker we see here. The requisite flat tracker seat and cowl were crafted to replace the previously humped cafe unit that once sat on the flattened and abbreviated subframe.

A set of Mule bars found their way up front and a new intake was fitted too. A sight gauge was installed on the tank and a set of matched ProCycle wheels were bolted up. The biggest change, and the one that finally ushered in completion on this build, was to the exhaust. An underframe muffler originally built for Sportsters was adapted to fit, and the blacked out pipes were routed to suit. Oh, and we’re told that after all of this, the client behind Plan-Z has moved on to something else, so it’s actually for sale. [Email ADS Motorcycles]

Project D-EV: an electric Ducati scrambler
Project D-EV: an electric Ducati scrambler The last time we checked in with Ducati Thailand, they raised our brows with a tasteful run of limited Paul Smart tribute bikes—using a Scrambler as the base. The Bangkok team has now switched from the past to the future, with the most unusual ‘Project D-EV.’

It’s taken just over two years to get everything right, but this battery-powered Scrambler cafe is now the personal bike of the owner of Ducati Thailand—an early adopter and electric vehicle advocate. In place of the iconic 803cc L-Twin now hangs a 33 kW engine and 5.6 kWh battery. Which means this silent cafe racer offers up 79 pound-feet of twist at all points in the rev range.

Project D-EV: an electric Ducati scrambler
Which is exactly why a custom machined and extended swingarm has been bolted up out back. More than just a simple swap, all of the detailing has been sweated here. The mono-shock has been moved inboard, and a belt-drive conversion replaces the chain. The brakes have been beefed up as well, with twin discs now floating up front.

We’re told Project D-EV is capable of hitting 100 mph (160 kph), has a range of over 100 kilometers, and tips the scales at 364 pounds (165 kg). So it’s not only a more powerful Scrambler, but also weighs ten pounds less than its dino-juice sipping stablemate. The future’s looking brighter, just less braaapier. [More]

Project D-EV: an electric Ducati scrambler