ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

BMW R80 by ROA Motorcycles

ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

BMW is one of the only main moto brands that has never graced The Bullitt garage. Sure we've had some opportunities to snag one but for whatever reason, it just never happened. And that's not to say we have wanted one. Or lusted after many... There is just something so visceral and pure about the horizontally opposed boxer engine configuration. The sound, the vibrations, the subtle pull to the side when accelerating off the line. It all just speaks to me. Vintage and modern BMWs are both rad in their own rights but lately I just can't seem to get enough of the vintage varietal. Take this BMW R80 by ROA Motorcycles for example. Not sure if it's the striking blue paint on the tank or the scrumptious rich brown in the amaretta wrapped custom seat, but there is just something about this Bavarian cafe racer that makes me stare and drool.

ROA Motorcycles BMW R80

Obviously, stripping the bike down was a starting point. The ROA team but their own custom rear subframe and I love the little step in the back. As mentioned above, the seat is wrapped in an "amaretta" material - I had to look it up - which is a microfiber material that is said to have a feel that is smoother than suede, a high-quality appearance, and a soft and supple texture. From the looks of it, we're sold!

Aside from the tank and seat, nearly every surface was blacked out aside from some raw steel accents here and there. The forks were dropped by 20% and with the pared down instrument cluster and the addition of clip-ons, the business end of the machine looks simple and clean.

I mean, did I mention that I'm in love with this tank color?! It's so damn good!

The simple front end, stubby mudguards, and knobby Heidenau K60's complete this build for a handsome and capable urban brawler. I can picture is roaming the streets of ROA's native Madrid, Spain but can also equally imagine it pulling up to Deus Ex Machina in trendy Venice, CA as well. Wherever this R80 roams, it will be right at home.

Specs:

- Model: BMW R80 RT
- Engine: BMW black powder coated
- Rims: BMW black powder coated
- Tires: Heidenau K60
- Brakes: Metallic hoses
- Front fork: Lowered 20%
- Headlight: CLUBMAN
- RMC / 40mm springs
- Speedometer: KOSO (analog / digital)
- Brake pumps: 1/2 NISSIN
- Subframe: Custom ROA unit
- Seat: ROA artisan seat with amaretta upholstery
- Rear fender: Handmade in steel
- Renthal "ultra low" handlebar
- Rear suspension Black springs
- Mufflers: Dual Escapes Megaton
- MINI circle LED indicators
- INOX screws
- BMW Aluminum Emblems
- LED taillight / brake, position, license plate light
- Modified 5cm BMW turrets
- Clip on CLBD mirrors
- Biltwell heat-resistant tape
- CR clutch control with air puller
- Adjustable 42mm headlight support

ROA BMW cafe racer

ROA Motorcycles: Web | Facebook | Instagram


NYC Norton Seeley Commando

For the street and the track

Along with Triumphs, Nortons are some of the most quintessential cafe racers ever. The Norton Motorcycle Company, based in Birmingham, England, started making motorcycles way back in 1902 (though they had French and Swiss engines in the early years). In 1907 a Norton with Peugot engine, ridden by Rem Fowler, won the twin-cylinder class in the first Isle of Man TT race, beginning a sporting tradition that went on until the 1960s. Winning the first ever IOMTT is kind of a big deal if you ask us. Not to mention, the Norton Manx racers of the 1950's were so stylish, so fast, and just so damn cool. Their legacy and racing pedigree make vintage Nortons still so highly sought after and respected.

If you're looking for a custom Norton these days, there is one place to look; NYC Norton. Whether you’re looking for a full Commando restoration, a one-of-a-kind Special, a world-class race bike blueprinted from the crank up, a Grand Prix chassis, or a top spec motor or gearbox rebuild, NYC Norton corners the market. NYC Norton not your standard roll-in service shop but a high-end dedicated workspace, streamlined for the sole purpose of producing and restoring our beloved bikes and assembling their associated components, which are either built in-house or sourced from the best suppliers in the world.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando cafe racer

The NYC Norton Seeley Commando is an absolute wolf in wolf’s clothing, built around a Titchmarsh Seeley MK2 Chassis with a Norton twin motor punched out to 1007cc. Initially conceptualized and commissioned by our good friend John Magyar, the original NYC Norton 1007cc was designed with the sole purpose of becoming the most feared machine on the big city streets. The bike twirled the dyno up to 90s at the rear wheel, and spun up quicker than any Commando we’ve had in our hands. With a total weight of just under 300lbs, careful use of the throttle was necessary.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando

Later, an NYC Norton 1007 caught the eye and became the muse for world-renowned artist Sebastian Errazuriz’s own unique vision on function vs. form. A new bike was built, adorned in Sebastian’s alloy trim (known as “Time Lapse”), was featured at the legendary Art Basel Miami show in December, 2013, and sold within 20 minutes of the VIP preview, before the doors even opened to the public; a testament to the desirability of both form and function. The Time Lapse bike is now on display at The Carnegie Museum of Art.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando exhaust

Now with more in production, the 1007 platform (pictured here) has proven to be more than a one-off pipe dream, combining the highest-performance AND reliability of a road-going Seeley Norton to date.

 

These bikes are available in 750cc, 850cc, 920cc, and 1007cc all in street-legal trim. NYC Norton Seeleys have won numerous championships and races the world over, but the Grand Prix chassis is a very rideable platform for custom street-bike specials. Their Seeley builds have been featured on TV and in print, displayed in museums and international design shows, and the centerpieces of some of the most exclusive motorcycle events around the world. These bikes are a highly technical, exclusive special, built around a replica of the famous Colin Seeley chassis, with subtle additions of modern componentry that make this exotic beauty as surprisingly tractable on the city streets as it is on the racing circuit. And, form following function, it is probably one of the most magnificent machines you’ll ever see.

NYC Norton Seeley Commando Cafe Racer

Photos: Douglas MacRae
Contact NYC Norton for pricing and availability

 

NYC Norton: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

1974 Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

A Kenny Roberts Tribute

The Yamaha TZ750 was well known two-stroke race bike built by Yamaha 1970s. While the TZ750 is a well respected model, a much lesser known model, the TX750, was also built at the time. The TX750 was a SOHC parallel twin that seems like a model that we should all know. But why don't we? The TX750 was unfortunately plagued with engine reliability issues in its early production and even though Yamaha made several changes to solve the problems the bike was ultimately withdrawn from most markets after 1974 and production stopped in the home market after 1975. For custom builders, as more popular donor bikes get more expensive — like a TZ750, CB750, Bonneville, etc. — some of these less desirable models can be great options for a new project. That is, if you do your homework to make sure you're not getting a grenade, and are up for the challenge.

Recently we ran across Ron George, an Indiana-based shed builder, who has created a TX750 cafe racer that is right up our alley. Polished, handmade aluminum bodywork, a throwback Yamaha "speedblock" livery, and a keen attention to detail make for a stunning finished piece. We reached out to Ron for the feature and he kindly shared photos and details with us. Read below for the story of the build in his own words.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

My name is Ron George, I'm a 37 year old family man from Hobart, Indiana (suburb of Chicago). I'm a husband and father to a 19 year old son. I work full time at a large steel mill in coke operations. My father was into motorcycles when I was growing up but my interests were more car related. I really got into motorcycles in late 2012. I work out of my 2 car garage at home. It's modest but I have most of what I need to get by. I try to do as much as possible without outsourcing.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer tail

The build has taken just over 2 years now. I did all of it during my days off from work. I lost track of actual work hours though. This was just another personal build for me, with hopes to possibly sell in the future if the right buyer and deal comes along.

I received the bike as a gift from my buddy Aaron Collins. It was an abandoned project that he received but had no interest in. It was in very rough shape. It was the first one I'd ever seen in person and didn't know a lot about them. After learning more...I just had to give this thing some redemption. Anyone that remembers these knows that they have a bad history. They were a massive failure for Yamaha so I just had to see what I could do with one! Thankfully this was the updated model with all the fixes that plagued the original release. I was hugely inspired by the Kenny Robert's YZR500 for this build.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

I don't sketch or do any computer renders. I get an idea in my head and go with it. The details usually change along the way but the main vision tends to remain. I really tried to improve some of the shortcomings of the original model while also just trying to add some good modern upgrades.

I started with designing a fully adjustable monoshock rear suspension. It was inspired by the Kenny Roberts TZ750. It utilizes a shock from an R6. Its height adjustable, as is the shock angle, in addition the stock's preload and dampening settings. Rebuilt forks up front with some GP quality Motul fluid. I also converted the front brakes to a dual disc using R6 axial mount calipers and some Suzuki rotors. I dreamed up an idea for a hydraulic rear drum brake to make up for the loss of leverage using rearsets. My past experience with rearsets and a rod acusted drum haven't been favorable. This setup uses an R6 master cylinder and moves a small slave cylinder. Vapor blasted the OE Mikuni Solez carbs and rebuilt them, plus added a handmade airbox. Re-laced and polished wheels with modern Metzeler rubber.

The engine seemed to be in good order so no internal changes were made. Just adjustments and normal servicing ad it had low mileage. I made a new oil tank and moved it to the tail area and it had custom AN and stainless hard lines up to an oil cooler. These had a strange and near unattainable oil filter design so I machined up an adapter than uses a BMW cartridge style filter. I also made a full TIG welded stainless 2-into-2 exhaust that exits through handmade mufflers.

Made a new wiring harness from scratch with modern connectors, lithium battery and modern reg/rec. An aluminum cockpit style gauge pod houses the speedo, tach, oil temp and oil pressure gauges, along with a Hella h3 headlamp.

I hand made all the bodywork from 3003 aluminum. The fuel tank, tail, fairings and fenders and then polished all of it (worst job ever). I also painted all of the Yamaha livery that was once again inspired by the Kenny Roberts race bikes of the day. The custom made seat was done to carry over the Yamaha speedblock design. It was done by Dane Utech.

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer custom seat

The whole build was challenging but I'd say all the metalwork was the hardest. As this was really my first time shaping aluminum,  I learned as I went along. I did every part of the build except for the seat...this build took a lot out of me.

I was one of the lucky chosen ones for an event called "The Greasy Dozen" held by Old Bike Barn. This build wouldn't have happened at this level or timeline without their help and the help of all the amazing sponsors. Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the show but an online feature will still be happening.

1974 Yamaha TX750

  • All hand-formed 3003 aluminum bodywork
  • Painted on Yamaha livery
  • Custom made Speedblock design seat
  • Hand-formed aluminum gauge pod
  • 6061 clip on handlebars with R1 controls and Motorex fluid
  • Fully adjustable monoshock rear suspension with R6 shock
  • Custom hydraulic rear brake drum with R6 master cylinder
  • Dual disc front brakes with R6 axial mount calipers and Suzuki rotors
  • Custom made stainless brake lines
  • Rebuilt front forks with Motul fluid
  • Re-laced and polished DID aluminum wheels with Metzeler Sportec Klassik rubber
  • Handmade stainless 2-into-2 exhaust with handmade mufflers
  • Oil cooler with custom AN and stainless hard lines
  • Machined oil filter adapter
  • Machined 6061 foot controls and fairing mounts
  • All new wiring harness with modern connectors,  Antigravity lithium battery and modern reg/rec.
  • Vapor blasted and rebuilt Mikuni Solex carburetors with handmade airbox and Uni filter element

Yamaha TX750 Cafe Racer by Ron George

Ron George: Facebook | Instagram


Two-Face by Deus Harajuku

Our idea of playing dress up

Have you ever had more than one vision for the aesthetic for a particular motorcycle of yours? With our Bullitt OG, I always had a spare tank and seat that could drastically change the look and feel of the bike. One moment the bike could look like a stripped down cafe racer, and the next, a clean modern classic. Apparently the team at Deus Harajuku (that's their Tokyo location) had a similar idea; take one bike and essentially create two separate looks. Based on a 1982 BMW R100RS, they whittled down numerous designs down to two final looks. After some time in the garage, "Two Face" was born and ready to roam the streets of Tokyo.

Ever since its opening, The Residence of Impermanence, aka Deus Harajuku, has delivered custom motorcycles that incorporate the Deus DNA.

The Harajuku flagship’s final customization, Two Face, is a custom concoction of a BMW R100RS their builder had stashed away for years, waiting for just the right moment to give it new life.

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Initially forgotten but in excellent health, this Airhead had only run 4000 km — just enough run to it break in. For its rebirth he gave it a completely new “face” or you could say 2 faces and injected it with a dose of new modern oil and brought it back to life.

Custom by Scrambler by Deus Harajuku - Two Face

Two Face custom BMW tank

With any design process, many ideas are inevitably going to get scrapped. Their builder managed to curb his enthusiasm down to two concepts before hitting his creative wall. Instead of going with one or the other, he chose to go with both, customizing two tanks and modifying an exhaust system, headlight cowl and tail cowl to fit both. Similar parts merging in perfect balance creating a union of two vehicles into one.

“All you need is a screwdriver and wrench, and you can enjoy setting it up yourself depending on your mood that day, be it sporty or modern. It’s easy, like choosing an outfit,” laughed their builder as he polished Two Face, and a quote from Deus Ex Machina founder Dare Jennings came to mind:

THERE’S NO RIGHT WAY TO DO INDIVIDUALISM. IT’S ALL THE SAME JUICE
- Dare Jennings

There's just something so fun and practical about having two set ups. Like having a DRZ that can be a dirtbike one moment and a supermoto the next is a pretty clear 2-for-1. Yeah, you do have to get duplicate parts in some cases but it's a whole lot more affordable than building two complete bikes.

 

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Personally, I dig the white slim tank and the steam punk front cowl most but also think the black/gold tank does look pretty proper. And maybe that's the reason why there are two. They're both rad for their own reasons and why just settle for one when you can have both?

Two Face custom BMW by Deus Harajuku

Deus Japan: Web | Facebook | Instagram
All Photos by Akira Kuwayama

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

Vagabund V13: Honda NX 650

3D printing motorcycle components

Austria-based custom shop Vagabund builds some clean bikes, predominately based on classic BMWs, like their V12 we recently featured. With their V13 build, they're taking their signature style to a very different platform — the dual-sport Honda NX 650. After two years of development, the Vagabund V13 uses 3D printing to product an angular, functional look that takes the old donor to a modern and elevated level.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

On the Vagabund V13, the fuel tank, rear cowling, handlebar control housings, and turn signal brackets are all 3D-printed.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

A Husqvarna front fender from a TC85 with a magnetic rack adds storage to the front, while two GKA fuel cans mount on either side of the seat for extended off-road range.

The engine has been completely rebuilt and a custom stainless-steel exhaust replaces the stock unit. New 320mm disc brakes and a Wilbers monoshock make the V13 ready for the outdoors, no matter how rough the terrain gets.

Vagabund V13 custom motorcycle

Taking an old (1991) Honda dual-sport and blending modern technologies and upgraded components is something we love to see. We've been eyeing an old XR400 to do something similar and this may have just gotten the creative juices flowing. Kudos to you Vagabund!

Vagabund V13 custom Honda NX 650

Vagabund V13 Specs

  • 3D printed fuel tank (Polyamid 12) with integrated motogadget mini speedo
  • 3D printed rear end, air filter cover, indicator light bracket and handlebar switch housings
  • Exhaust System: stainless steel manifold with custom-made two into one collector and modified Akrapovic muffler
  • 320mm HE disc brakes
  • Engine rebuild
  • Husqvarna TC85 front fender
  • Custom-made front rack with integrated Kellerman atto turn signals,
  • 3D printed indicator light bracket
  • Highsider headlights and quick release/magnetic mounting system for "Black Ember" bag
  • Wilbers shock
  • Custom made license plate holder with integrated Kellermann atto tail- / brake light / turn signal combination
  • GKA fuel pack with custom-made rack
  • Bridgestone Battlax tires
  • Custom made Alcantara seat
  • OTR oil cooler
  • Custom made rear frame
  • Powder coated wheels with stainless spokes
  • All new wiring
  • Modified fork bridge with new handlebar / clamps / controls / levers

Vagabund Moto: Online | Facebook | Instagram
Photography: Stefan Leitner


Hugo Eccle's Moto Guzzi Supernaturale

Moto Guzzi Supernaturale - Motorcycle Art by Hugo Eccles

Moto Guzzi excellence

We featured Untitled Motorcycles award-winning custom back in 2017. One benefit of being personal friends with builders and photographers is that we sometimes get access to special projects or collaborations. In this particular case, I am friends with both the builder and photographer. I had been sitting on these stunning photos from Erik Jutras, aka @mrpixelhead, for some time now. Typically we wouldn't feature the same bike twice, but the photos are killer and Hugo Eccles' 1975 Moto Guzzi 850T ‘Supernaturale’ warrants a second look.

Moto Guzzi Supernaturale cafe racer

UMC-023 SUPERNATURALE
1975 Moto Guzzi 850T

A minimalist café racer, the Supernaturale is 23% lighter than its original 1975 donor and the same dry weight as a Suzuki GSX-R750 superbike. The hand-formed aluminum fuel tank is a contemporary reinterpretation of the classic LeMans and encloses a state-of-the-art electrical system. Custom-engineered brackets and controls house an internal throttle system, integrated master cylinders and hidden switches.

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Bodywork
Custom handmade aluminum tank, designed by UMC
Laser-cut aluminum tank badges, gold anodized, hand-finished
Vintage Enots ‘Monza’ alloy flip-top gas cap
Paioli vintage-style petcocks
Custom seat, upholstered in raw leather
1960s Cibie 45-Iode rally lamp, customized by UMC
Custom front fender and bracket

cafe racer Moto Guzzi Supernaturale

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles cafe racer

Electrics
Custom top bracket with integrated LEDs: left blinker (amber); neutral light (green); oil temp (red), hi-beam (blue); program button; right blinker (amber)
Custom wiring loom, designed by UMC
Custom bar-end turn signals, designed and engineered by UMC
Custom Dynamics LED tail light and turn signals
Fuzeblocks fusebox
Motogadget m-Lock RFID keyless ignition
Antigravity AG-801 lithium polymer battery, hidden under gas tank
Twin Dyna coils, hidden under gas tank
Dyna III electronic ignition
Magnum Shielding custom braided spark leads

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles cafe racer

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Frame & Suspension
Original Moto Guzzi Tonti frame, modified by UMC
Ohlins SD001 steering damper, custom brackets
Original Moto Guzzi rear drive shaft, modified by UMC
Custom rear hoop with LED channel, LED plate light
Custom seat rail
Integrated rear fender
Fournales ‘Air Twin Vintage’ rear gas struts, imported from France
Moto Guzzi Lemans 4 centre-mount side stand, modified by UMC
Showa 53mm BPF forks, stripped and re-anodized
Original 1975 Moto Guzzi hubs
17″ aluminum Takasago Excel rims, stainless steel spokes
Brembo monobloc brake calipers
Custom 310mm EBC semi-floating brake discs
Dunlop Sportmax Mutant tires (120/70-17 front, 150/60-17 rear)

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

Drivetrain
844cc V-twin motor, stripped and overhauled: polished and balanced crankshaft
New main bearings, new conrods, conrod bearings
Nikasil-lined cylinders (nickel silicon carbide coating)
5-speed gearbox with upgraded clutch plates
Lightened flywheel
Dellorto PHF-36 carbs with CNC’d caps
Malossi spun aluminum carb trumpets with mesh guards
Custom stainless steel inlet manifolds, designed by UMC
Dyna III electronic ignition
Stainless steel exhaust header, wrapped with tan insulation
Internal removable drag baffles
Custom exhaust tips, nickel-plated
Braided stainless steel oil lines
Stein Dinse internal oil filter upgrade kit
Custom crankcase breather with K&N filter, designed by UMC
Custom CNC’d engine guards, designed by UMC
Custom CNC’d aluminum engine braces, designed by UMC

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale side view

Controls
Custom top bracket with engraved markings: SIN (left); FOLLE (neutral); OLIO (oil); LUCE (hi-beam); DIGI(digital); DES (right)
Motogadget Motoscope Mini (speed, revs, trip, odometer)
Custom hand controls with knurled grips, designed and engineered by UMC
GripAce hidden fingertip-activated buttons
Custom internal throttle mechanism, modified by UMC
Custom Venhill braided stainless steel throttle cables
Vintage alloy-body throttle cable splitter
Magura 190 Series 16mm radial brake master, modified
Custom Galfer braided stainless steel brake and clutch hoses
Magura 190 Series 13mm radial clutch master, modified
Hydraulic clutch slave
Minimal reservoirs with custom-fabricated breather caps
Motocicliveloce rearsets and foot controls, modified by UMC

1975 Moto Guzzi 850T Supernaturale by Untitled Motorcycles

At first glance, Hugo's Supernaturale might look "stripped down" or minimalistic but if you peruse the specs above, it's clear that there's an insane amount of detail, cleverly tucked away in there. If the devil is in the details, it appears that Hugo Eccles has kicked the devil's ass, and tidied up his room along the way. We can't get enough of this Guzzi masterpiece and hope you enjoyed these stunning images as well.

Untitled Motorcycles: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photography by Erik Jutras: Web | Instagram


1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borgotaro

A spotless 1974 Laverda 750 SFC

Peter Boggia is a native New Yorker and operates a small motorcycle workshop called Moto Borgotaro in Brooklyn. The name, Borgotaro—which comes from the village in Italy Boggia traces his family tree to—is a nod to the Old World sense of value and tradition the shop aspires to. Boggia's level of restorations (or customs) is simply amazing.

I was at a Union Garage event a few years ago celebrating "Italian Sporting Bikes" of the seventies, and as Moto Borgotaro conveniently shares a wall with UG, they had their space open too. I was gobsmacked at the level of detail of every completed bike there. A MV Agusta 750 America, a Laverda SF2, a MV Agusta Magni 861, Ducati 900SS, Mike Hailwood, a Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Telaio Rosso... all looked as if they rolled off the factory floors. It was clear that Peter was obsessed with getting every detail right, and I love him for it.

I knew it was time time feature one of his builds and realized we have never covered a Laverda here. Not only did Boggia have a stunning 1974 Laverda 750 SFC cafe racer to share with us, it's also for sale too.

“INCORPORATING MANY DEVELOPMENTS OF THE 1973 FACTORY BIKES, THE 1974 750 SFC WAS ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING SPORTING MACHINES OF THE ERA.”

— IAN FALLOON, FALLOON REPORT

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

The background on the 1974 Laverda SFC, told by Moto Borotago's owner Peter Boggia:

At only approx 541 units produced, the Laverda SFC is one of the best bikes for the buck you can collect and ride! This is a street legal factory race bike that pumps out approx. 70HP, it's fun, fast and vicious-- to me the SFC is the pinnacle of 70's Italian sport bikes, it hits all the marks and its built like a tank. This is the closest bike in feel to a Lamborghini Miura.

1974 Laverda SFC tail

At this point I can say with some authority, that I have owned, bought and sold more SFC Laverda’s then just about anyone in the US, if you look in previous sales, this bike is just 12 bikes later than the last SFC that came through the shop.

1974 Laverda SFC gauges

Every SFC is slightly unique, every bike has a story. This particular example has been in private ownership for the last 10 years, the current owner had the noted Laverda craftsman Scott Potter do a complete frame up rebuild with the intention to ride her on the beautiful California coastal roads. At this point a new Steel tank was acquired and paint matched to the rest of the bodywork, new parts were used as needed and the rear shocks were upgraded.

As the bike had been sitting, I decided to give her a once over and clean and replace the jets, set the points. After putting in some fresh fuel, this BEAST roared back to life. The time and money spent on the rebuild was obvious as the quick pull of the throttle felt the parallel twin whip the bike back and forth, the feel of the SFC is unmistakable. BUY, RIDE, COLLECT.


Representative of the second US specification batch (with numbers between 17110-17166), we introduce you to #17160

1974 Laverda SFC cafe racer

“WITH A LEFT SIDE GEARSHIFT MANDATORY ON ALL MOTORCYCLES BUILT AFTER SEPTEMBER 1974, THIS WAS THE FINAL SERIES 750 SFC READILY AVAILABLE IN THE US”

— IAN FALLOON

1974 Laverda SFC by Moto Borotago

1974 Laverda SFC engine

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS

  • Frame #17160
  • Engine #17160
  • Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
  • Borrani aluminum wheel rims
  • Ceriani suspension * rear is Marzocchi
  • Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
  • High quality aluminum replica gas tank
  • Nippon Denso instruments
  • Smaller European taillight
  • Original parts included

The US-17000-series 750 SFC included 3C Nippon Denso instruments and switches, and adjustable Tommaselli handlebars.

The US-17000-series 750 SFC included 3C Nippon Denso instruments and switches, and adjustable Tommaselli handlebars.

Twin bleed Brembo F08 series rear disc brake and Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier.

1974 Laverda SFC - rear end

Moto Borgotaro: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photography by James Tyler Reed


Moto Guzzi Airtail Cafe Racer by Death Machines of London

Repurposing a 1981 LeMans MK2

Death Machines of London, you say? The founders of DMOL feel it should be fairly obvious what they do (hint: its custom motorcycles). So, on their website instead of wasting everyone’s time with "marketing bollocks", they break down where their unique name came from. Sitting comfortably?

Airtail cafe racer - Death Machines of London

When he was twelve, Death Machines of London founder James Hilton’s uncle took him on his first motorcycle ride. The uncle advised him not to tell his dad. So he told his dad to see what would happen. Motorcycles going down like a bag of shit is what happened. 'Motorcycles are death machines, son.' was the concluding advice.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi

Such advice clearly fell on deaf ears. And so, thirty(ish) years later, they named their company after all those completely ignored words of wisdom.

For their very first custom build, Hilton selected a lovely 1981 Moto Guzzi LeMans Mark 2 for the base. There are a few striking elements that make the completed bike stand out, and there are a number of less obvious upgrades that make the bike truly special as well.

cafe racer from Death Machines of London

Getting the build started, the entire motorcycle, engine and gearbox were completely disassembled and vapor blasted prior to a forensic inspection of all original parts.

Bringing the Le Mans’ suspension up-to-date, new internals and cartridges were installed in the original front forks. The rear shocks were swapped out for a new set of Hagons, and the original, refurbished wheels were wrapped in Pirelli Sport Demons.

The original instrumentation has been completely restored and housed in a bespoke dash, incorporating 1940 Merlin Spitfire aviation warning lights and main switch. How cool is that?

The frame has been delugged & “airtailed” - an idea proposed by the client - to provide a refined minimalism, ensuring all electrical components are hidden from view.

Airtail cafe racer by Death Machines of London

The completed 950cc engine features a polished, lightened and balanced crankshaft, in-house gas flowed cylinder heads and all-new valves.

Moto Guzzi cafe racer by Death Machines of London

The motor now breathes through a pair of 40mm Dellorto carbs with accelerator pumps. A lightweight R.A.M. clutch and flywheel were also installed.

Death Machines of London custom cafe racer

On the bars, drastically reduced switchgear is made possible with their in-house custom loom utilizing an M-Unit control box.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi cockpit

Precision paintwork is in Italian Red gloss and a satin finish Old English white, with a hand painted Moto Guzzi logo. There just something so striking about the combo of raw steel and gloss paint.

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi tank

The result of all of their hard work is a stunning Guzzi café racer. This is surely a bike we’d want in our garage. What about you?

Death Machines of London custom Moto Guzzi

Death Machines Of London: Online | Facebook | Instagram

Photos by James Hilton and David Clerihew


The One Motorcycle Show 2020

PDX moto mayhem

The One Motorcycle Show descends upon Portland, OR once a year and is now in its 11th year. The show is going on this weekend and boasts to have 10,000 beers , 5,000 high-fives, 200+ bikes, 5 bands, 70 vendors, 20 partners, 15 race classes all under ONE roof! One of the best things about The One Motorcycle Show is that there's really something for everyone. Vintage bikes, cafe racers, trackers, modern retro builds, choppers, vintage motocross bikes, mini bikes, side cars, vintage board trackers, all the way to futuristic electric bikes. Lucky for us, we have our good friend, and amazing photographer, Erik Jutras on the scene. Enjoy!

Zero XP by Hugo Eccles
Zero XP by Hugo Eccles

Indian Hooligan racer at The One Motorcycle Show
Indian Hooligan racer
Futuristic tail on Hugo Eccles Zero XP at The One Motorcycle Show
Futuristic tail on Hugo Eccles Zero XP
The One Motorcycle Show is getting fancy
The One Motorcycle Show is getting fancy
Part of the "21 Helmets" display; Blind Optmism by Bryce Wang
2-stroke goodness
Flat tracker from The One Motorcycle Show
The Lunar Project by Carboni e Metalli
The essence of The One Motorcycle Show
Vintage vibes
Norton racer
Norton GP-750 racer by Bilton-Smith

The One Motorcycle Show - Instagram | Facebook

Photos: Erik Jutras - Instagram | Facebook


Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada

A lightweight Italian supermodel

I met Mike Vienne in person a few years ago at a track day and he had shown up with some pretty killer builds. Over conversations not only discovered that he builds awesome "track ready: street legal" bikes but that I had actually featured one of his previous builds; a Triumph T120R on The Bullitt back in 2014. Small world! Needless to say Mike stayed in touch and when he started working on his super-light Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada we wanted to hear and see more. After wrapping up the build, we eagerly waited for some details and photos. Mike shared a detailed write up in the Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada and share the story in his own words below.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne

"Sandro Parra (Service Manager at Pro Italia) actually connected the owner with me. The client wanted to to revive his very worn out 1995 900SS. In it’s past it had been through a few mechanics and been modded with several upgrades (carbs, wheels, etc) but it was ridden hard and put away wet. From a distance the bike looked ok, but the nearer you got… It had been sitting parked for many years after the motor gave out. A good portion of the original bodywork was damaged and the tank and carburetors were caked solid with the evaporated remains of 5 year old fuel.

As these things typically go, there was a process. Expectations versus funds versus reality. Many discussions regarding the very ambitious goals coupled with a less than equal to the task budget was an early challenge. I compiled a quick (long) list of what it would take to fix everything that we were starting with which led me to conclude that in fact, there wasn’t all that much. From what we had to start with, the idea of trying to obtain Superbike levels of performance was going to be difficult on the initial budget.

Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Jeanne Vienne

The 900SS is an iconic motorcycle. In fact, the first Ducati I ever rode was my buddy’s back in the early 90’s. I loved everything about it immediately  (the torque, the sound, the Italian “soul”, did I say, the torque!) but it’s a SuperSport afterall not a 916 and its very heavy. 415lb dry, I think.

So, like most all of my builds I chose to focus on handling and lightness as the foundation of the build. Lotus design engineer Colin Chapman once said, “simplify, then add lightness”. I use that a lot. Performance upgrades to the broken motor were discussed and dismissed. Upgrading and rebuilding the existing motor and carburetors was going to be costly and ultimately less than satisfying from a performance standpoint. In terms of horsepower, the stock bike puts out roughly mid 70’s. I proposed that we build a more modern version of Ducati’s own 900SS Superlight, which was a limited edition, produced for 2 years in the mid 90’s, with a few carbon bits and Marvic wheels, etc. It’s pretty collectible now.

Photo: Jeanne Vienne
Anyway, rather than fix what we had (which was just about everything), I floated the idea of upgrading everything all in one go, while keeping the outward appearance of a classic 900 SuperSport. A  EFI Monster 1100 Dual Spark motor could work with relative ease with the existing chassis and swingarm and due to newer manufacturing processes it would actually be lighter than the original 900SS engine. Plus you gain a modern reliable mappable ECU in the process all of which was rated at 95hp. Stepping up to fully adjustable suspension and radial brakes would both be significant upgrades over stock as well.

 

Ultimately, as the enthusiasm for the bike grew so did the budget and subsequently more money was allocated to the project. We ended up removing the stock fork internals and replacing them with a Mupo cartridge kit and while they were apart anodizing and Ti Nitride coating the external pieces to give us the look we were after.  Likewise, the brakes were replaced with Brembo’s high end billet GP-4RXs clamping down on BrakeTech’s Iron Axis rotors via a new Brembo Corsa Corta radial master cylinder. Essentially we upgraded the upgrades.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada brakes
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
The stock oil cooler was up specked to a higher capacity custom mounted Febur unit to keep engine temps in control on hot Southern California days. And I added a few additional performance enhancements that I think all modern bikes (especially Ducatis) benefit from: a Yoyodyne slipper clutch, a quick shifter, a set of performance air intakes to help it breathe more freely and I reflashed the ECU.
Championship Cycles Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada cockpit
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
In a continuing effort to keep the weight in check the bodywork is all carbon. I was able to find an unobtainium set of original Ducati Performance carbon side panels and had a tail and nose fabricated to match. The fuel tank is actually a kevlar fuel cell. Combined those items alone shed about 20lbs of unnecessary weight!

 

Then I went about trying to lose more gratuitous weight: detab the steel frame, remove all nonessential wiring and componentry. Fabricate a bunch of bits out of light weight aluminum in lieu of using the o.e. heavier steel parts.  Discreet LED lighting and a simple race seat pad replace their heavier counterparts. Essentially, strip it down to it’s core elements. It all sounds simple enough, but in reality it took much more time to ensure everything was going to work and play nice together. Ultimately, there’s room to gain even more weight savings in the future (i.e wheels) But as it sits right now we ended up right around the mid 300’s weight wise - and that’s with a full fuel load.

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
After it was all together (before final disassembly for paint and powdercoat) I took the bike up to Willow Springs for a few shakedown laps on the big track and I have to say it’s pretty fantastic. The suspension, brakes and overall lightness come together really well and allow you to dive into any corner much deeper and later than ever before. It’s not going to outrun a modern liter bike down the front straight, but you’ll certainly out brake them going into the first corner, get it turned and back on the power ahead of them. And quick transition corners like turns 3 and 4 of the Omega are effortless.

 

However, in the end the bike is much more likely to spend time carving roads in the nearby canyons than on the track- so we stepped away from the Superlight moniker and I chose SuperStrada as it’s new name. The paintwork and graphics are an homage to the Cagiva era bikes, yet with a modernish feel.  I’ll tell you though it took quite of bit of work to get those wavy original fairing panels straight so that the paint looks like glass, but the results speak for themselves." - Mike Vienne of Championship Cycles

 

Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada in action
Photo: Shaik Ridzwan
Ducati 900 SS SuperStrada major mods:
1100DS EFI/ECU motor
Quickshifter
Slipper clutch
All carbon bodywork
Kevlar fuel cell
Mupo cartridge internals in custom coated forks
Ohlins rear shock
LED lighting
Febur oil cooler
Single sided exhaust
Brembo GP4RX CNC nickel plated calipers
High-performance air intakes
Brembo Corsa Corta
Brembo clutch
Brake Tech iron axis rotors
Lightweight Sprockets with 520 conversion

Championship Cycles:
Online | Instagram || Photos: Shaik Ridzwan and Jeanne Vienne

MotoBeachClassic2019_Hero

Moto Beach Classic 2019

Hooligans take over Huntington Beach

Surfing, hooligans, custom motorcycles and flat track racing are some of the best things in the world. Combine them together in Surf City, USA and you get the Moto Beach Classic.

The Moto Beach Classic returned to Bolsa Chica State Beach Saturday, October 26th for a day of exciting motorcycle racing, live music sets, surf competition, art show, custom bike show, vendors and much more.

The Moto Beach Classic in only its third year has rapidly become a marquee beach event. The Moto Beach Classic draws motorcyclists, artists, musicians, and fans from all walks of life, cultivating a community of eclectic humans celebrating a life on two wheels at the heart of Southern California Beach Culture.

I don't have much else to say. Good times, with good friends. Here are some images from the day. Looking forward to Moto Beach 2020 already!

Vintage Indian Motorcycle

 


Moto Talbot Museum

Vintage moto heaven in Carmel

If you're a fan of vintage motorcycles, and guess you are if you're here...you really need to know about Moto Talbott Museum. Located in Carmel Valley, California, Moto Talbott Museum features more than 170 iconic motorcycles from 16 countries, and is located on one of Northern California’s most beautiful motorcycle roads. The landscape and riding alone is worth the trip there, but once you're inside, it's a moto mecca. Founded by Robb Talbott - perhaps best known as the founder of the world-famous Talbott Vineyards and curated curator and restorer by Bobby Weindorf (more on him below). And while Robb Talbott loved his California wines, there was something else equally special to him: motorcycles.

A proper Manx Isle of Man racer at Moto Talbott Museum
A proper Manx Isle of Man racer

Young Robb developed a youthful fascination with the speed, noise and commotion of the nearby Laguna Seca Raceway. Eventually he acquired a “very used” Honda 50 step-through, which he remembers as “the most fun he’d ever had.” By the time he left to study Fine Art and Design at Colorado College in 1966, Talbott was irretrievably in love with two wheels. He acquired a succession of small displacement Suzukis, and then a pantheon of iconic dirt bikes, including a BSA 441, Jawa, Bridgestone, Kawasaki and a Sachs. But his most memorable bike of all was the venerable two-stroke Yamaha DT-1 250. During this time he raced motocross and winter hill climbs. In 2001, seeking release from the pressures of a demanding work life, he was inspired to buy one of the new, reincarnated Triumph Bonnevilles.

Wayne Rainey's Yamaha YZR500 at Moto Talbott Museum
Wayne Rainey's Yamaha YZR500

500cc's of 2-stroke goodness

“I never lost my love of motorcycles. This whole thing wouldn’t work if I didn’t have the passion. I love motorcycles.”

— Robb Talbott

1973 Ducati 750 Sport at Moto Talbott Museum
1973 Ducati 750 Sport

Robb read “The Art of the Motorcycle” from the Guggenheim Museum. For Talbott the exhibit was an epiphany: there, framed against the magnificent building, he saw history’s most significant bikes in an artistic context. “For the first time, I realized that motorcycles could qualify as art,” he says. “I started getting really excited about that idea. When you see the cooling fins on an MV Agusta, or the sculpting of a Rickman hub, you realize they’re art.”

Kenny Robert's 1980 Yamaha YZR500 at Moto Talbott Museum
Kenny Robert's 1980 Yamaha YZR500
A lovely MV Agusta 750 Sport at Moto Talbott Museum
A lovely MV Agusta 750 Sport
1977 MV Agusta 850SS at Moto Talbott Museum
1977 MV Agusta 850SS

Suddenly, Robb found himself buying bikes, for the sheer pleasure of their aesthetic presence. Some he had restored, and others he left as they were, resplendent with the patina of age and their strong pedigree. “I’ve always loved barn bikes,” Robb says. Pretty soon, the barn was full. And before long, the fledgling notion of a museum was born. In 2015, after 33 years of hard work, he sold Talbott Vineyards, and began devoting all his time to the concept of the Moto Talbott Collection, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit devoted to preservation, restoration, and education. By then he had already accumulated more than 140 bikes from 12 countries.

Clearly Robb has eclectic taste

There is no logic to the Talbott collection, other than the most logical thing of all: it’s full of stuff Robb likes. This means three large categories: vintage dirt bikes, MV Agustas and all things Italian; and tiny, 175cc, pre-1957 Motogiro bikes. There are even a few vintage bicycles.

“I don’t believe you can build anything of note without passion,” says Robb. “The motorcycle museum is phase three for me, after the clothing company and the winery. I want to give back to the sport that has given so much to me.

Italian beauty. An old Gilera racer
1911 Indian Board Tracker at Moto Talbott Museum
1911 Indian Board Tracker
1922 Harley Davidson JD Board Racer at Moto Talbott Museum
1922 Harley Davidson JD Board Racer
Robb Talbott (left), Bobby Weindorf (right)

An Interview with Bobby Weindorf

Imagine if your fulltime job was fettling more than 150 of the world’s most beautiful motorcycles. Welcome to the world of Bobby Weindorf, former factory race mechanic, motorcycle dealer, and ace restorer. Taking care of the prestigious Moto Talbott Museum collection is his fulltime job. We asked him what it’s like.

Q: Do all these motorcycles run?

Weindorf: Yes. I can get anything in here running in 20 minutes or so. There is one bike from China that’s seized, and the Steve McQueen bike is missing a cable and throttle. But it’s my job to make sure all these bikes run!

Q: What are your primary responsibilities at Moto Talbott Museum?

Weindorf: I keep all the bikes running and prep them for shows. And I need to make them correct. When Robb finds a new project, we need to make a decision: should I just make it run? Should I do a cosmetic restoration, or a full mechanical restoration? That depends on how far gone the bike is. And some bikes are left in their original state, to better convey their history and provenance.

We get some bikes that have hokey parts, or are missing things. So I do a lot of research, and get a lot of parts from Italy, Spain, and BMW. With BMW, I spend a lot of time contacting their archive to make sure things are correct.

Q: How did you meet Robb?

Weindorf: Robb came down to southern California to visit another collector I’ve worked for, Guy Webster. Robb said he had an old Husky he wanted restored, and I told him I’d do it. I came up to Carmel, restored that bike. Then he wanted a Vespa restored, and I did that. Then he said he wanted to start a museum, and did I want to move north? So I did.

Q: What are the most typical restoration tasks you perform?

Weindorf: I call it the “Ps”: Paint, polishing, powdercoating, and plating. We don’t have a paint booth, and there is no polisher nearby, so we have to send out for those things. And chromers are getting harder and harder to find. The best chromer in the country, in Kentucky, just closed. I try not to have very many parts powdercoated, but it can be the right choice for the frame and other parts that get banged around a lot.

So often it’s just the little things. Bikes are missing parts, or something small is incorrect. Sometimes I look at a bike with a strange modification or part and think, “What was someone thinking here?”

Q: Do you have to fabricate parts for very old or rare bikes?

Weindorf: Some things will require machining or fabrication, like bronze swingarm bushings. And some bikes have parts that are un-obtain-ium, and you have to figure out how to have them made. If it was a cast part, you’re stuck. Some companies were only in existence for a few years, like the Italian Devil. Where in the hell are you going to find parts for that?

But getting parts has actually gotten easier, thanks to the Internet. Instead of contacting one or two guys that you happen to know, you now have the whole world to look for parts.

Q: Are there problems that are specific to a country or brand?

Weindorf: Every manufacturer is different, and you can definitely see trends among the Germans, the Italians, and the British. But basically, they’re just two wheels and a motor.

Mechanically they’re not too difficult, unless someone blew up the engine. These bikes are pretty bulletproof. The most common thing to fail is wiring. But I love wiring and electrical problems. Old wires fray. Some bikes have specific known issues, like the “slinger” [sludge trap] on old BMWs. If it’s too full, the engine doesn’t get lubrication, and it blows up. So there are things like that, which you know you have to check.

Q: You’ve worked as a mechanic for factory race teams. How does this compare?

Weindorf: Old stuff is good to work on, because it’s so basic. You can get into every part of it—nothing is out of reach. With modern bikes, there are some things that you would never attempt to take apart. Just trying to set valves on modern bike is a headache. With these bikes, if you give me 20 minutes, I’ll have all the valves done. I love the simplicity of old bikes.

New bikes have amazing traction control, and wheelie control, and ABS—but these old bikes in many ways are more enjoyable and accessible. People are intimidated by vintage bikes, but they are really, really easy, once you have a have basic understanding of mechanics and motors. They’re all just variations on a theme. Does it have gas, compression, and a spark? Keeping them running involves checking valves and changing oil. Those are the cheapest insurance measures you can do.

Q: After all these years of wrenching, are you still learning new things?

Weindorf: All these bikes have their special significance and cool factor. We have a BMW R25 with a three-slide carburetor. I thought, “Wow! I’ve never seen that before!” So I took it apart to look at it. It’s wonderful and primitive at the same time.

Q: What do you ride personally?

Weindorf: People like to ask me that! It depends on what day it is. My favorite bikes are whatever is in my garage. There are 30 bikes in there. I just have to decide what I’m doing that day. Some Sundays I’ll ride three different bikes: one to the coffee shop in the morning, another for a lunch ride, and another for a little longer ride. Mostly I rotate between three: my Ducati Multistrada, Moto Guzzi V7, and Honda GB500. I seem to be in a 500 phase. I also have a Triumph 500, a Yamaha RZ500, and a Fiat 500 car. I have a lot of 500 stuff in my life.

I’ve had bigger bikes—my Ducati is big, and I’ve had superbikes, Aprilias, and an MV F4. They’re plenty fast, but I’ll never be able to use all that horsepower on the street. I find the smaller, lighter bikes so much more fun. They give a better illusion of speed. The V7 in the real world is kind of slow and old feeling, but you get the feeling you’re going really fast when you’re doing 50mph! It’s all about how you feel. I could ride my MV and go 140mph—it’s so new and perfect, it doesn’t feel like anything. But you have to be going 140mph! Which is friggin’ crazy….

Moto Talbott Museum: Online | Facebook | Instagram


Triumph T140 Cafe Racer by Woolie of Deus Ex Machina

Most motorcycles belong in the garage. Few are home-worthy.

This is one of them. Michael Woolaway’s artistic creation, a classy 1978 Triumph T140 dubbed "The TTT", will be getting the royal treatment as a centerpiece inside its new residence near San Diego, California.

But Woolie really only builds bikes for one purpose: Going. And damned good too! For him, if it doesn’t perform well, then what’s the point?

The motor is a ported and polished 750cc T140 with all the trick racey bits — Megacycle cams and lightened lifters, bevelled and drilled cam gears, chromoly push rods, and 7mm Kibblewhite hardened valves with modern guides and seals. Handmade intake runners accomodate big gulps from two 34mm Mikuni flat-slide carburetors with velocity stacks.

The frame is one of only two handmade by C&J specially for this motor, with a wishbone section at the lower part of the oil-in-frame backbone to allow for a central monoshock and eliminate the need for an external oil tank.

The long angular aluminum tank Woolie made by hand is styled after Japanese Grand Prix racers of the 60’s and the paint is a black candy over black basecoat, producing a striking wet mirror finish.

To keep true to the slim vintage GP feel of the bike, the same tire is mounted on the rear wheel as the front, 17″ Bridgestone BT45s.

The custom stainless steel exhaust is ceramic-coated in matte black and uses a Cone Engineering megaphone. Paired with the iconic guttural thump of the vintage British parallel twin, the sound is pure nirvana.

The TTT Specs:
-Triumph T140 750cc
-Mikuni TM34-2 flatslide carbs
-Handmade aluminum tank and seat cowl
-Carbon fiber front fender
-Rizoma rearsets
-Motogadget control unit and gauges
-LSL clip on bars
-Tubeless spoke wheels
-Bridgestone BT45 tires
-Ohlins forks
-Rear suspension by Jimmy Wood at Moto Station
-Beringer 6 piston front caliper
-Brembo rear brake
-Saddlemen seat

Special thanks to MotulSaddlemenRizomaSHOEI, and Bridgestone for their support of Woolie’s Worshop and this project.

Deus Customs: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photos and words by Deus Ex Machina


Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT

A murdered-out BMW R100RT

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer

I've seen a number of Vagabund Moto's super-clean builds, and was almost shocked that we haven't featured one in the past. After digging through the archives are realizing we hadn't, it was clear we were  overdue to share something from the Austrian duo. Their recently completed 1994 BMW R100RT, featured here, is a drool-inducing masterpiece. Admittedly, I'm a total sucker for the contrast between a matte and gloss finish of the same color. While the combo gets done often, its rarely pulled off this well often. What makes this bike stand out is the beauty within the simplicity.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer with rider

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer motorcycle

Simplicity is really what makes the bike stand out. Paired down, and while it looks simple, there are plenty of super-clean details that surface upon closer inspection. The custom subframe and blacked out YSS monoshock keep the tail tidy.

Many items on the BMW R100RT were 3D printed such as the headlight housing with 5-3/4 LED headlight from "Highsider", handlebar controls, indicator lights and rear end with an integrated ShinYo stripe LED rear and brake light. We had a Motogadget Motoscope Mini mounted way back when in our Bullitt OG, but it was mounted horizontally into the triple tree. Seeing it mounted vertically is a different take that I hadn't seen before.

custom BMW cafe racer motorcycle - Vagabund Moto

One-off, 3D printed custom details and a milled aluminum Vagabond emblem bring it together. Oh, and fork booties too. Gotta love the fork booties!

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer side profile

The solid rear wheel cover in a unique touch that certainly grabs your attention. Made from GRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) and painted black, it changes the look and feel of the bike.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer rear

custom motorcycle wheel - BMW cafe racer

Much like Cafe Racer Dream’s BMW R100 RS cafe racer we featured in the past, simplicity is king. Details matter, but keeping them subdued makes them all the cooler. Vagabund's BMW R100RT cafe racer is one we'd definitely like to have in the Bullitt garage, and one that would be equally at home here on the Southern California streets. And while this Beamer might be sold, they do sell a Vagabund VnineT, which is a customized - to your liking - BMW RnineT. Check it out here.

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT cafe racer overhead

Vagabund V12 BMW R100RT 1994

  • 100% street legal
  • Rear wheel cover made out of GRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic) painted black
  • Exhaust System: Modified "HATTECH" Y-pipe and silencer (black ceramic coated)
  • "Retro fit collective" upper triple tree and fork nuts
  • Milled Vagabond emblem (aluminum)
  • 60mm reduced front fork
  • 3D printed fork covers with integrated LED turn signals
  • Custom rear subframe
  • Shortened LSL street bar
  • Grimeca Brakemaster cylinder
  • Domino clutch-lever
  • 3D printed headlight housing with 5 3/4 LED headlight from "Highsider"
  • 3D printed handlebar controls / switch clamp ("all in one" light, horn, turn signal, start)
  • 3D printed housing for indicator lights (oil, turn, light)
  • 3D printed rear end with integrated ShinYo stripe LED rear / brakelight
  • DNA air filters
  • YSS rear monoshock
  • License plate holder with integrated motogadget m-blaze pin
  • Modified LSL footrests
  • Tires: "Continental" RoadAttack

Vagabund Moto: Online | Facebook | Instagram


The Quail Motorcycle Gathering - vintage moto guzzi

Lost photos - The Quail 2018

Three cheers for vintage motorcycles

True these photos are from the 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering, which we understand was over a year ago. But being that they're all of vintage machines, does that even matter? Sadly we never got around to posting these photos from last year's event in Carmel. buy lucky you, we finally made the time. And while this isn't an exhaustive list of all bikes there, we did snap a handful of a few worth sharing.

Vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycle

Vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycle

One of our absolute favorites there was Mark Leonard's 1929 Moto Guzzi Sport 14, seen above. So damn pretty!

Craig Rodsmith's turbo-charged Moto Guzzi V9 custom was another show stopper.

Vintage Triton cafe racer motorcycle

The quintessential cafe racer: the legendary Triton

A beautiful 1984 Moto Guzzi cafe racer from William E "Chip" Connor of Hong Kong.

Scooters at a motorcycle gathering? As long as they're vintage Vespas, then sure!

Vintage Moto Guzzi motorcycle

Hugo Eccles of Untitled Motorcycles Moto Guzzi "Supernaturale" which took the Style and Design award in 2017.

Moto Studio's Moto Guzzi V9 Scrambler was another favorite of ours.

The 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering was a great time, but all of "The Quails" are a blast. The rides getting there, from nearly every direction, are worth the trip alone. It's always great food, great atmosphere with amazing builds in a beautiful setting.

Be there next year!

The Quail Motorcycle Gathering: Online


Bullitt CB Build Update

Tear it down and build it back up

We were pumped to have our Bullitt CB selected to be in the OG Moto Show. We were basically getting it prepped for the show and realized that it had gotten pretty beaten up over the last few years. Some of the powder coating was cracking, the fork boots were deteriorating...the list went on. It almost seemed easier to just tear it down, re-coat, repaint, and replace everything that needed it. So we did!

Bullitt CB torn down

Love to see 'em naked, amiright? That freshly coated frame, crinkle coated engine cases, cleared swingarm look so good. OK, maybe the white chain was a bit too much but it coordinated with the tank. Probably won't do that again though.

CB350 custom tank

The original version of the tank. First time hand-hammering knee dents and pin striping. Came out ok, but didn't feel "pro" if you know what I mean.

Stripping her back down bare.

Decided to fill in and smooth out the knee dents.

custom CB250 tank

Had to add in a Bullitt touch. Special thanks to Ronnie Simmons for the killer paint work.

Shortened up the headlight ears to pull the headlight in closer to the forks.

Adventure van loaded up with freshly coated parts and new shoes.

Third time's the charm! After 3 sets of tires, finally settled on some meaty Heidenau K60 Scout Tires. 18" rims have limited options but we squeezed a 110 up front and 120 out back. They virtually look the same size on, which is what we were going for.

custom Honda CB350 - Bullitt CB

Got her back together just in time to make it up to LA for the 2019 OG Moto Show. I had custom decals made for the tank and clearly mismeasured. They are definitely smaller than I would have preferred but I had no time to redo them and just had to roll with it to meet the deadline. I might remake some larger ones and just lay them over the clear. Or we'll just see if the current size grows on me...

When there's killer wall murals outside the show, you definitely snag a shot!

The show and the deadline was the kick in the pants needed to give the old girl a makeover and to get it done. Up next, taking her out for a little scrambling and action shots. Stay tuned!

If you want to see the build page for the Bullitt CB, and see how far she came, check it out here.


Ducati Pantah by Kozaka Toshiyuki.

Royal Pantah by Japanese custom builder Kozaka Toshiyuki

Ducati Pantah racer from Japan

The Ducati Pantah is a classic Ducati V-twin, produced between 1980 and 1986. Unlike its predecessors which were bevel-gear OHC designs, the Pantah was the first Ducati to have belt-driven camshaft motors, paving the way for the new generation of current Ducati V-twins. First shown December 1979, the Pantah came on the market as the 1980 500SL and the last of the line, the 650SL, was sold in 1986. Successful in racing as the 600 cc TT2 and later TT1 750 cc racer, the Pantah was a lighter, shorter wheelbase motorcycle, in a new trellis frame that was to become a trademark Ducati feature.

Ducati Pantah 500 SL custom by Kozaka Toshiyuki

Build by Japanese builder Kozaka Toshiyuki of Switch Stance Riding on the island of Kumamoto, this Ducati Pantah is a stunning 500 SL. In NCR dress - God we love that fuel sight line - and Marzocchi forks and Ohlins rear, this bike looks ready to rip...and it does!

Ducati Pantah 500 SL

Vintage Ducati Pantah tail

Build first. Then race.

Last year Toshiyuki entered the Sultans of Sprint race and finished a respectable 4th place. It's one thing to build a good-looking bike, but it stokes us out to see a builder who actually races his work. Now that's what we like to see. Unless you're doing a museum quality restoration, why in the hell wouldn't you want to see what the bike is capable of?

Ducati Pantah by Japanese custom builder Kozaka Toshiyuki

Be still my beating heart

While the Ducati Pantah might not be our first choice for a custom platform, Kozaka Toshiyuki might have just changed our mind. We certaibnly fans of this build and will be keeping our eyes on Toshiyuki and Switch Stance Riding for what's next.

BUILD SPECS
Exterior: NCR
Frame: Mono-shocked, Caster Angle - 3 °, Engine Mount Reinforcement, etc.
Front suspension: Marzocchi M1-R
Rear suspension: Ohlins
Wheels: Tecnomagnesio
Front brake: Brembo 4pot, 300 mm rigid rotor
Carburetor: FCR
Exhaust: Conti Verlicchi processing
Paint: Orvis One

Switch Stance Riding: Web | Facebook | Instagram
Photos: Marc Holstein: Web | Facebook | Instagram

Special thanks to Marc Holstein for providing the photos to us!


Steve McQueen's Husqvarna 250 Cross on the auction block

Own a piece of motorcycle history

Husqvarna and motocross in general was picking up steam in Europe in the early 50's - long before reaching US popularity. Credit for introducing the sport of motocross to America goes to one motorcycle and one rider; Torsten Hallman and his Husqvarna 250 Cross. In 1966, the reigning 250cc World Motocross Champion flew from his native Sweden to the U.S., where he planned to tour the country, enter races, hopefully playing up the bike's good points and driving customers to the nearest Husky shop.

With American's not being familiar with the newer style of dirt riding, he made quick work of the competition. During his two-month stay, Hallman entered nine races – a total of 23 heats – and won them all, sometimes lapping the entire field! At the Hopetown Grand Prix, the biggest off-road race on the West Coast, Hallman bested 800 entrants on his way to the checkers. His smooth riding style, and the Husqvarna's light weight and punchy two-stroke motor were an unbeatable combination.

One rider who took notice of Hallman's performance in '66 was Malcolm Smith, a Greeves racer who had previously considered the Husqvarna too spindly for rough riding in the California desert. Soon Smith would become synonymous with the Husky brand, winning eight gold medals in ISDT competition plus numerous Baja 1000 and 500 victories, on his way to general acclaim as one of the world's best all-around off-road riders. Smith and his Husqvarna were also featured in everyone's all-time favorite motorcycle movie, On Any Sunday, which in no small way also fueled the popularity of dirtbikes in America.

McQueen's 1971 Husqvarna 250 Cross

1971 HUSQVARNA 250 CROSS

This Husqvarna 250 Cross was one of them, bought new by McQueen in 1971. Like most of his vehicles, it was purchased through Solar Productions, as attested to by a Transfer of Interest notice from Husqvarna distributor Med-International to the California DMV, plus a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin signed by Export Manager Edison Dye transferring ownership to "Solar Productions/Steve McQueen." Those documents will be included in the sale, as will a Med-International invoice for the $898 cost of the bike, which includes a typed notation, "Ship to Valerian's for Steve to have picked up," referring to McQueen's favorite Husky shop in Los Angeles. Serial numbers listed on all of these documents correspond to the stampings on the motorcycle.

At some point in its post-McQueen existence the Cross was restored, though in the several times it has changed hands since, the details of who did the work and when have been lost. It's not known, for instance, if the painted plastic fenders are holdovers from McQueen or were added later. The bike has seen some light use in the ensuing years and shows a few paint nicks and scuffs. Recently serviced, the Husqvarna starts and runs, and is ready for even more action – something which the originally owner, no doubt, would heartily approve.

The historical vintage bike will be going on the auction block at the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction on Jan 24, 2019, at 13:00 PST. Estimates for the final price are in the $50-60k range. MORE HERE.


Blacktrack Motors BT-01 Carbon cafe racer

Blacktrack Motors gives the CX500 a cafe racer treatment

Blacktrack Motors was a vision that became a reality with the production of their first bike, Blacktrack – BT-01. The BT-01 was a result of a pure streak of inspiration when their designer, Sacha Lakic found a Honda CX500 in his friends garage. Captivated by the Honda's unique engine layout, he set about transforming the basket case into a sleek, modernized café racer.

Blacktrack BT01 Carbon CX500

BT-01 was designed to ensure optimal performance of the donor bike by installing new bearings, gaskets and bushes, a handmade exhaust system to a tailor-made wiring system. Furthermore, every component of the bike was remodeled and given the signature Blacktrack finish to make the cafe racer look tasteful. The BT-01 fuel tank mimics the original unit, but its tilted forward 10 degrees to change the bike’s stance and the clip-on handlebars and rear set foot controls give the BT-01 a sporty riding position.

Honda CX500 custom cafe racer - Blacktrack Motors

The bike’s backbone frame design and the v-twin motor inspired Sacha to create a very unique, light and an aesthetically pleasing cafe racer with a strong character. Blacktrack Motors launched their first bike in 2015 and the rest as they say, is history. The strong success of BT-01 inspired Sacha to continue taking vintage classics and giving them a contemporary facelift.

BT-01 Carbon cafe racer CX500

Consequently, the Blacktrack BT-02 was born. The success and popularity of both their bikes has motivated the brand, and Blacktrack works continuously and tirelessly to deliver aesthetically pleasing raw mean machines.

BT01 custom CX500 cafe racer

Part of Blacktrack philosophy is to celebrate their uniqueness and thus the BT bikes are produced as limited edition collectible items. On the occasion of Blacktrack’s 3rd anniversary, this August (2018) they released a special anniversary edition BT-01 Carbon.

The BT-01 Carbon is produced as a single unit, with a unique varnished carbon fiber body on a Honda CX500 engine.    

Blacktrack Motors CX500 cafe racer with plane

ENGINE TECHNICAL DATA
Donor: Honda CX500
Engine: Four stroke, longitudinal OHV 80° V-twin, 4 valves per cylinder, liquid cooling
Capacity: 497 cc / 30.3 cu-in
Bore and Stroke: 78 mm X 52 mm – 3.1 X 2.0 inches
Torque: 50nm / 37lb-ft at 7000 rpm
Power: 55hp / 41 kw at 9000 rpm
Fuel control: Overhead valves
Cooling system: liquid
Starter: Electric
Clutch: Wet multi-plate, 5 speed
Final drive: shaft
Exhaust system: Custom built 2 in 1 inox system

ENGINE WORK
Full engine control and gear box check
Set of two brand new 39 mm Mikuni carbs
Full engine balance: crankshaft, rods and pistons
New guides and valves seats
New timing chain and tensioner
Engine and rocker boxes high standard polishing
Brand new set of bearings, gaskets and bushes
Complete set of titanium fasteners and washers for engine and frame

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
Wheelbase: 1400 mm Overall length: 2000 mm
Seat height: 760 mm Width: 700 mm
Dry weight (tank empty): 152 kg / 341 lbs Total weight (tank full): 172 kg / 368 lbs
Fuel capacity: 17 liters / 4.9 US gal

BODY WORK
Carbon gas tank with alloy CNC gas cap
Carbon tail unit with solo seat
Speedometer and Tachometer: KOSO
CNC custom made aluminum yokes
Tubular steel frame, new custom reinforced tubular steel subframe
Powder coating of frame and swing arm

SUSPENSION
Custom - machined triple clamps
Front fork: Öhlins FGRT 43 mm gold
Rear monoshock: Öhlins TTX 36

BRAKES
Front dual disc brakes: Brembo GP Racing / PR19
Front disc diameter: 320 mm
Rear disc diameter: 220 mm
Rear brake: Accossato

RIMS
Wire-spoked rims
Front: 3.5 X 17 tubeless rim
Rear: 4.25 X 17 tubeless rim, custom CNC alloy hub

TIRES
Dunlop Sportmax Mutant Tubeless
Front: 120 / 70ZR17
Rear: 150 / 60ZR17

Blacktrack Motors BT-10 cafe racer

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Photos by Sébastian Nunes


ICON 1000 custom Suzuki Bandit

Killer Suzuki Bandit 'Colonel Butterscotch' by ICON 1000

An old Suzuki Bandit gets a new, modern retro take on life

Words and photos by Icon 1000

LIFE ISN'T ABOUT THE WINS. IT'S ABOUT THE CRASHES.

Anybody can win, but real winners are defined by their ability to lose and recover enough to race again. Such was the sordid tale of Colonel Butterscotch. Built, raced, wrecked, rebuilt, and raced again.

She started life as 1997 1200 Bandit; The ultimate econo-cruiser best suited for the middle-aged office commute. Replete with weathered saddlebags and festooned in bulk packed moto decals she came to the ICON garage. Her motor lineage placed the full-sized bandit in the rare company of Cooley and Schwantz; torque for days, smiles for miles.

Colonel Butterscotch Suzuki Bandit by ICON 1000

OVER A LONG WINTER, THE COLONEL WAS TRANSFORMED INTO A BUTTERSCOTCH'D BEAUTY FIT FOR LOCAL TRACK DAY GLORY.

Colonel Butterscotch Suzuki Bandit by ICON 1000 tail

And it was here that she smeared her lacquered bronze foundation across forty feet of Northwest asphalt. The late brake, inside pass seemed like a good idea at the time. In retrospect, it was asking a bit more than a 16" front tire can deliver. We all crash shit on occasion, and for the most part, like Butterscotch, we can all be rebuilt.

Colonel Butterscotch Suzuki Bandit by ICON 1000 forks

Colonel Butterscotch Suzuki Bandit by ICON 1000 shock

Colonel Butterscotch Suzuki Bandit by ICON 1000 custom tail

An even longer summer followed. Old plastics binned, new plastics sourced; Bent suspension yarded and new bouncy bits fitted. Ebay pages were scoured for mundane factory bits to replace rashed components, while other trashed necessities were treated to more performance-oriented upgrades. Such is the way of motorcycles...and life. Six months later the reborn caramel captain rolled forth - reworked, reimagined, reborn.

OLDER, WISER, BUT STILL JUST AS SEXY

For ICON 1000, and those of our ilk, motorcycles are about the journey, not the destination. The difference is we prefer our journeys in six gear pinned.

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