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Swedish twins: A pair of vintage café racers from PAAL

A vintage cafe racer from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
For some people, building custom bikes is a sideline—an after-hours escape from the daily grind. For others it’s purely a business, with success measured by income and Instagram likes. And then there’s the third type: the guys who are so passionate about the scene, they’d mortgage their house to keep going.

Malmö-based Fredrik Pål Persson is one of the passionate types: he actually did mortgage his house to keep going, a couple of years ago. He bounced back with a stunning CB500, and he’s just given us a peek at his two latest bikes, a classic pair of Honda and Kawasaki café racers.

A vintage cafe racer from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
Having almost gone bankrupt, Fredrik is now wise enough to have a standardized process for most of his builds. And he’s applied that to both the CB750 and the Z650—giving them a family feel without compromising their individuality.

Both bikes have had their electrics completely stripped out and replaced. They’ve now got new electronic ignition systems to boost reliability, and speedos and turn signals from Motogadget.

Two vintage cafe racers from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
Juice now comes from compact lithium batteries, and new headlights, and LED taillights and license plate lights keep the bikes visible at night.

For an instant visual refresh and declutter, the rear subframes have been ground off and clean, minimal hoops installed with new seat and tail units on top. The main frames have been cleaned up and refinished with fresh powder, along with the wheels and hubs.

Two vintage cafe racers from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
The seat pads are ‘Brat Style,’ with black leather upholstery, a gentle upkick at the back, and plush padding. The forks on both machines have been refurbished and polished, and new shocks installed out back—along with new rearsets.

The motors and transmissions have been completely rebuilt from the ground up, and Fredrik has vapor-blasted the engine cases. The carbs have been rebuilt too, and polished to a sheen and fitted with custom-made velocity stacks.

Two vintage cafe racers from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
Both bikes are now sporting ISR brake components and KustomTech controls to lift their stopping power into the 21st century, and have been treated to clip-on bars and fresh grips.

But the Honda engine has received special treatment. It’s a 1972 CB750 Four, but Fredrik has bored the motor out to 899cc for extra oomph.

Two vintage cafe racers from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
“This year is the 50th birthday of the CB750,” he says. “So we wanted to build a machine true to the heritage of Honda and old school customs, but with minimalistic, updated modern tech.”

“This is a bike designed to make you feel like a kid again: a bike to ride and enjoy. The low, aggressive stance, uprated engine and carbs and loud exhaust will make you smile too, no doubt!”

A vintage cafe racer from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
The donor was a barn find—a frame with an engine that PAAL found in the middle of nowhere. So Fredrik sourced all the other components from other bikes, bought them new, or custom made them.

Everything on this CB750 has been fully overhauled, except the gas tank. “We sealed the inside, but kept the beautiful raw patina on the outside to accentuate the bike’s heritage.”

A vintage cafe racer from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
The Kawasaki is a 1978 Z650, and another barn find. But this one isn’t a customer commission.

“It’s our first bike in over five years that’s not a custom order,” Fredrik reveals. “We usually build everything to order—and don’t get me wrong, we love all of our clients—but sometimes it’s nice to build something straight from the heart. There’s no compromise on our vision here, in regards to time, money or aesthetics.”

A vintage cafe racer from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden
The next job on the slate for PAAL is a ground up CB750 build. “It’s a 100% in-house designed 2019 CB750 prototype,” says Fredrik. “Based on the engine from a 1969 CB750, but with all the other components custom made. We’ve developed a new high-performance chassis, including the frame, swingarm, and suspension, to give the classic CB750 the performance of modern sports bike.”

Sounds intriguing. We’ll be staying tuned, and passing on the details as soon as we get them.

Paal Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Yannick Wolff

Two vintage cafe racer frames from PAAL Motorcycles of Sweden

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