Most of the leading custom builders work on commission—they get a brief from a client, a direction is agreed upon, and a motorcycle starts to take shape. Compromise is inevitable, whether it’s around budget or aesthetic direction.
Some of the most popular builds on The Bike Shed are bikes like Boris Moretti’s 1983 R65 Brat (ish) build. The rugged engine, tank and frame of the R series beemer has been etched into our collective subconscious as the simple mechanical heart of a range of custom builds from cafe racers to scramblers and even the odd bobber, but it’s the leanest of these builds that seem to bring out the best of the bike.
With six in-line cylinders the Honda CBX 1100 was never anything but a big bike, but somehow Federico Lozada and German Karp from Herencia Custom Garage have managed to give this build, for Mariano Arcioni, a minimal silhouette and an almost lightweight look.
Avec le nombre d’ateliers qui se sont créés ces dernières années, il est peut-être devenu un peu plus difficile aujourd’hui de se faire remarquer, de se faire un nom, mais je vous parie que nos camarades bruxellois vont sortir de l’ombre en moins de temps qu’il ne faut pour le dire ! Il n’y a qu’à voir leur 1ère réalisation, cette Yamaha XS 400 que vous avez sous les yeux, pour en être convaincu.
Some custom motorcycles are so outlandish that they grab your attention immediately, while some are so understated and classy that, once you notice them, you can’t look away. Case in point: Cafe Racer Dreams‘ #38.
The Suzuki DR Big is an off-road/desert bike, 800cc, single cilynder produced between 1987 and 1997. Slow cruising with the higher gears was not what DR Big was meant to. So, Mr. Józef Z. Istebnej from Poland decided that his DR 800 was the right base for a yard built café racer.
The Harley Sportster is one of my favourite motorcycles, people are sometimes surprised to hear that but the humble Sportster really is fantastic. (The Sportster that only exists in our dreams (and in Roland Sands Design's garage)...
Shaun Part, gaffer at Down & Out Cafe Racers, wanted a little bike for nipping around town, and having recently built a ’60′s Bonneville bobber he decided he quite fancied a mid-sized twin. Enter the modest Honda CB450. Pretty, punchy and with a sweet sounding engine.