Custom Bikes Of The Week: 7 May, 2017

The best cafe racers, scramblers and bobbers of the week
This week, we’ve got a trophy-winning Buell from Japan, a CR750 repli-racer from Texas, and a 1968 Vincent cafe racer from France. Plus a Royal Enfield with a home-made perimeter brake system.

Honda CR750 replica by Limey Bikes
Honda ‘CR750’ by Limey Bikes Honda historians may remember a kit that Big Red released after notching a win at Daytona with their CR750. Back then, you could pony up $10,000 and turn your own CB750 into a ready-to-race replica. Nowadays, building that same bike would run you about $50,000. But if you’re from Limey Bikes of Austin, Texas, you keep your costs down by starting with a $50 heap.

That’s right. This CR750 repli-racer started on the bench as a 1977 CB750K that had to be dragged from a barn. Once stripped, Chris Kelland and his partner Elijah went to work on the massive rebuild. The engine was torn down completely and bored out to 836cc. A quartet of Keihin CR29 carbs was fitted and a 4-into-4 custom exhaust fab’d and mounted. A lot of work went into making this build run and gun with the best of them—and all told, she weighs nearly 100 pounds lighter than when Limey started.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. The CR750 was a fully faired racer, so where’s the bodywork on this one? Well, to keep costs down and rideability high in the hot Texas sun, the lads from Limey elected to leave it off the bike. And I while it would look an absolute stunner in full kit, I don’t think the bike, as a package, suffers from its loss. Plus, having the headlight makes it street legal. [More]

Custom Buell XB by Ask Motorcycles
Buell XB by Ask Motorcycles The last time we saw something roll out of Rad Yamamoto’s Tokyo-based shop, Ask Motorcycles, it blew me away. The level of craftsmanship Rad plied to this work was absolute genius.

This time around, he’s upped his game. Big time. With a Buell XB on his bench, Rad set about his most ambitious and powerful project to date, Kanna. Meaning ‘No God’ in Japanese, the flowing aluminum bodywork of this ‘neo racer’ is flawless in its execution. It’s the result of many hours of hand and autohammer forming, and the organic shape is also functional: Rad’s vision demanded the panels be fitted as close to the engine as possible, so there would be issues with heat collection. The asymmetric sculpted ducting took care of this, adding a design element in the process.

It should come as no surprise that Kanna earned Rad top honors at the 2016 Mooneyes Show. What was a surprise though, at least to Rad, was that the bike also garnered a trophy from Mooneyes Judge Jeff Decker, as his personal favorite from the entire field.

Royal Enfield bobber by J&D Custom
Royal Enfield bobber by J&D Custom Co. It’s rare that ability matches ambition, especially for a builder who is just starting out. And yet, after peering at this Royal Enfield bobber from India, it would appear that builder Jay D. Patel is something of an anomaly.

Working from a 350 Thunderbird, Jay wanted to pay homage to motorcycling’s past—but maintain performance by using new parts. Brand new, in fact. As in, built from scratch, handmade parts. The velocity stack was turned on the lathe belonging to Jay’s father. The tank and tail were hand formed in the same garage but their final shape was rolled out on an English wheel that Jay himself constructed. The linkage style suspension system up front looks absolutely trick, but its efforts pale in comparison to the perimeter braking set-up. It took Jay three months and six iterations the get the design right but I’d say he nailed it. In fact, I think he nailed just about everything on this one. [More]

Moto Guzzi 1000 SP cafe racer by Moto Studio
Moto Guzzi 1000 SP by Moto Studio We’re suckers for a well-executed Guzzi build around here. There’s something sublime about the proportions of that transverse V-Twin against an uncluttered rear that always draws our eye.

The latest to spark that Moto Guzzi gaze is this cafe’d 1000 SP from Miami’s Moto Studio. To call Bruce McQuiston and his crew Guzzi specialists would be an understatement—so when we learned that ‘Moto Lino’ was Bruce’s pet project, and it had been five years in the making, we knew it was extra special.

The subframe is an all-new, bolt-on unit that angles upward instead of remaining flat. Coupled with the work on the seat and tail, it balances the bike exceptionally well and the sculpting sets off the raw aluminum knee scallops on the tank. All of which are carbon fiber Moto Studio creations, much like the custom exhaust.

Not to be left out, the round barrel motor was also treated to some TLC. The heads were ported and polished and the 28mm stock carbs were binned in favor of a set of 36mm Dell’Ortos. Up front, the suspension from a Ducati 900 SP was fitted but not before new Racetech cartridges were slipped inside. Out back, a monoshock hides between the velocity stacks before mating to the new, tubular swingarm. [More]

Egil-Vincent by Patrick Godet
Egli-Vincent by Godet Now that tax season has come and gone, there are probably a few of you with a refund check burning a hole in your Chromexcel wallet. Well, good news folks! RM Sotheby’s has an auction coming up on 27 May and this 1968 Vincent cafe racer will go under the hammer.

The creation of Patrick Godet, this elegant example of master craftsmanship is based on a Black Shadow—but uses the famed Egli-Vincent frame design for added strength. Of course quelling flex alone wasn’t enough, so this version of the Fritz Egli design is also nickel plated. And since it’s stronger, Godet decided a punched-out version of the Black Shadow’s 998cc V-Twin would work better. It now displaces 1330cc and creates 111 hp.

Everything about this build has been taken to extremes. Magnesium, yes magnesium, carbs and engine cases were fabricated and fitted. The front Fonana drum unit is a magnesium unit as well. The swooping aluminum tank is brand new and expertly formed to make room for the air supply to the front cylinder. The seat and tail are also hand-formed aluminum units which helps keep the weight of this Shadow to a svelte 378 pounds (171 kilos). In typical vintage British fashion, the shifter is located on the right, with the brakes on the left…which I promise to get used to when its new owner offers me a go. [More]