The new ICON Variant Pro™ Carbon

Custom Bikes Of The Week: 24 May, 2020

The best cafe racers and custom motorcycles from around the web
The Buell X1 gets its turn with the amazingly prolific builders at K-Speed. Plus an impossibly elegant CB550 from Kott Motorcycles, and a (barely) street legal Honda XR650R tracker.

Honda CB550 cafe racer by Dustin Kott
Honda CB550 by Dustin Kott This chic Honda cafe racer scores major points on both balance and subtlety. It’s the work of Dustin Kott, who’s been building Japanese cafe racers for longer than most—so he’s had plenty of time to hone his craft. And if you’ve followed Dustin’s career, you’ll spot a lot of his signature touches too.

That’s because this 1978 CB550 comes with a unique backstory. The client had originally ordered a few Kott Motorcycles parts to build the bike himself, with the help of his father.

Honda CB550 cafe racer by Dustin Kott
A few months after the parts order went out, the entire bike showed up at the shop with everything fitted, and instructions for Dustin to “make sense of the build.”

Having some of his own style already imbued into the bike was a great springboard for Dustin, who proceeded to add the hands-on touches it needed to get over the finish line. He retained the stock fuel tank, but hammered out a pair of knee indents. They pair up nicely with an elegant perforated seat, and a typical Kott tail section.

Honda CB550 cafe racer by Dustin Kott
This CB’s also running with a Suzuki GSX-R front-end, matched up to triples from Cognito Moto, and new Sun rims, laced by Buchanan’s. The headlight’s from a mid-sixties Triumph, and the exhaust is a burly four-into-one chromed setup. With a host of small details and a perfectly judged paint job, there’s not a hair out of place on this textbook cafe racer. [More]

Custom Buell X1 by K-Speed
Buell X1 by K-Speed Apparently there’s a lot of potential lurking under the skin of the Buell X1. When we asked our friends at K-Speed about their latest build, they told us they only made “minor changes.” They’re unnecessarily modest though, because this 2001-model X1 looks absolutely bonkers.

The biggest change is that the Buell’s clumsy bodywork is all gone. In its place is a hand-shaped tank, followed by a custom seat and subframe arrangement. The subframe bolts on and has an LED tail light embedded at the back, and there’s a leather Harley-Davidson belt adding extra security to the tank.

Custom Buell X1 by K-Speed
The cockpit’s all-new too, with fresh handlebars, grips and controls, and a small speedo mounted next to the tank. There’s a small LED headlight up front on hand-made brackets, new turn signals, and a custom-built fender hugging the front wheel. K-Speed also swapped the tires out for a set of Continental TKC80s.

Custom Buell X1 by K-Speed
The motor’s still stock, but the fuel injection system was traded for a carb. And yes, K-Speed are aware that there’s no cover on the air filter—it has a clear perspex shield, but they removed it for a video shoot to improve the soundtrack.

Put this side-by-side with a stock X1, and you’ll also notice that a ton of parts have been redone in black—except for the tank and fender, which are sporting raw finishes. [K-Speed]

Honda XR650R tracker by Parr Motorcycles
Honda XR650R by Parr Motorcycles Just the other day we were singing the praises of the venerable Honda XR650L. But this wild street tracker is based on its far superior stablemate: the XR650R that dominated the Baja 1000 for so many years. The work of Spencer at Parr Motorcycles in Indiana, it looks absolutely sensational—and probably goes just as well, too.

Spencer grew up around flat track racing, so he took inspiration for this project from a bike he’d ogled in his youth: the legendary RS750. He started by stripping the 2002-model XR’s dirt-bike plastics off, then tried to figure out what fuel tank would fit the frame’s broad backbone. A 1974 CR125 Elsinore unit turned out to be just the ticket—once he’d fettled it a bit.

Honda XR650R tracker by Parr Motorcycles
For the rear, Spencer fabricated a new subframe, topped off with an aluminum tail section. He also built a twin exhaust system, with a pair of SuperTrapp mufflers adding a period-correct hit.

There’s a fair bit of mechanical work going on here too. The XR motor was rebuilt, and the front end swapped for a set of Honda CRF forks, upgraded with Racetech internals. The wheels are 19” Excel rims on Dubya hubs, wrapped in dirt track rubber from Mitas.

Honda XR650R tracker by Parr Motorcycles
The bike is street legal-ish too, with LED taillights, a Baja Designs headlight and a small Motogadget speedo.

With a throwback Honda paint scheme to finish it off, it’s an absolute showstopper. [More]

Custom Ducati Streetfighter S
Ducati Streetfighter by Jérémie Duchampt With aggressive geometry and impressive numbers, the Ducati Streetfighter S is nothing short of beastly. But we’ve never seen it turned into a cafe racer … until now.

This mad science comes from Frenchman Jérémie Duchampt, who normally customizes cars, and who decided to ‘cafe’ the Streetfighter simply because he hadn’t seen it done before. His first big job was to design a new bolt-on subframe, and then a new tail section to sit on top of it. He kept the stock fuel tank, but extended the bottom of the tail unit to flow into it, mimicking its contours at the same time.

Custom Ducati Streetfighter S
Up front, Jérémie swapped the Streetfighter bars for clip-ons, covered the original mounts, and built a carbon fiber shroud to hide the speedo. He also ditched the Ducati’s sharp triangular headlight for a more classic number.

Upgrades include a steering damper, a bunch of carbon fiber bolt-ons to shed weight, and a small Lithium-ion battery. The suspension was upgraded with parts from French company Delcamp Energie, and a Yoshimura muffler was matched up to the new custom headers. And since Jérémie is a car enthusiast too, a Gulf-inspired livery was the only logical choice. [More]

Custom Ducati Streetfighter S

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
5K Shares
READ NEXT