Don’t call it a comeback: A custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
There was a time when David Gonzalez was blowing up our servers on a regular basis. But it’s been five years since we’ve heard from the enigmatic Spanish custom bike builder behind Ad Hoc Café Racers, which is a huge shame. David’s unique style constantly flits between futuristic brutalism and retro elegance, and he can work his magic on just about any make and model of motorcycle.

As it turns out, David has missed us as much as we’ve missed him. The truth is that he’s had his head down over the last season, grinding away at what he calls “filler projects” to keep the lights on. Between that and a plethora of other factors, including several workshop relocations, Ad Hoc has been firmly out of the loop.

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
But the shop has turned a corner now, and David is back to building the types of bikes that he wants to. He has a slew of Ad Hoc signature builds in the queue—starting with this brutal custom Buell 1125CR, which he’s named ‘Coco’ after his English bulldog.

“I promised myself that one day I would build a motorcycle as a tribute to my dog,” he tells us. “He was stubborn, aesthetically imposing, noble, played wildly, and made you smile as soon as you saw his face.”

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
The Buell 1125CR is the perfect starting point for a bulldog-inspired custom build. Released in 2008, it boasts a 146 hp Rotax-built V-twin engine, fully-adjustable Showa suspension, and signature Buell details —like perimeter brakes and a fuel-in-frame chassis. More importantly, it looks like a bulldog, thanks to its purposeful stance and broad-shouldered bodywork.

David saw an opportunity to strip the 1125CR back and make it look even more aggressive. But first, he wanted to visualize his ideas—so he called on Blaž Šuštaršič at ER Motorcycles to render the bike digitally. Blaž is an accomplished custom builder in his own right, but he’s also a dab hand at digital design (you’ve probably seen his work more than you know).

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
David and Blaž went back and forth on a few ideas before settling on the final design. But the rest of the process didn’t go as smoothly as expected. “I made a prototype in fiberglass to scan it and then reproduce it with 3D printing,” says David, “but we couldn’t find machines that had the capacity to make such large pieces.”

In the end, David abandoned the idea and reverted to his go-to method for building custom bikes, by shaping everything out of metal. “This was the first (and last) motorcycle that I designed by computer,” he quips.

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
The Buell’s fuel-carrying main frame was a boon, since it freed David from the hassle of designing a new fuel tank. He focused his efforts on shaping a new monocoque body to replace the OEM fuel tank cover and seat. The new bodywork follows the blocky aesthetic that we’ve come to know and love from Ad Hoc, while also complementing the 1125CR’s distinctive chassis design.

David built everything around the OEM air box and electrical installation, while also making sure that both are still easily accessible. A pair of chunky handmade side fairings replace the curved units that previously adorned the front of the bike.

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
A supermoto-esque seat is nestled in the top of the bodywork, upholstered in perforated leather. Move to the back, and you’ll spot a generous LED taillight, wedged into the rear of the bodywork. “We wanted to break the trend of minimalist LED taillights,” explains David.

“Under the seat, there’s a practical compartment with a lock. We’re sure that the bike’s owner, an Italian chef who has a fantastic gnocchi restaurant in Barcelona, can figure out what accessories to store inside!”

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
There’s more brutalism up front, where a rectangular LED headlight sits on a custom mount that doubles as a protective roll bar of sorts. The ignition sits to the left of it—but the bike’s been wired so that you can also start it via a remote or your smartphone. The original speedo still sits up top, since David reckons that “no aftermarket speedo will give us as much information as this one.”

Lower down, you’ll find a trimmed front fender that morphs into a partial wheel cover. David kept the OEM front wheel, deeming the Buell perimeter brake design too cool to ignore. The solid 18” rear wheel comes from a Harley-Davidson V-Rod, and the tires are Avon’s cruiser-specific Cobra items.

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
Other additions include a custom rear shock from Gears Racing, and a Race Spirits exhaust—which is reportedly no good if you have neighbors that like to nap.

We’re used to seeing bright and colorful liveries from Ad Hoc, so the murdered-out scheme on this Buell feels out of character. But David is embracing the change and has a similar vibe planned for some of Ad Hoc’s upcoming projects. Black is used to terrific effect here, with textured powder coating on the frame, and gloss and matte finishes on the bodywork.

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers
Lack of color aside, this custom Buell 1125CR is a clear statement that Ad Hoc is back with its offbeat and unapologetic style of motorcycle customization. More, please.

Ad Hoc Café Racers | Instagram | Images by K. Rodriguez

Custom Buell 1125CR by Ad Hoc Café Racers

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