Cafe Racers – Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Sun, 17 Jun 2018 15:18:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 18077751 BMW K100 Retro Racer by Les Ateliers Du Dr Joë https://silodrome.com/bmw-k100-motorcycle/ Thu, 07 Jun 2018 06:25:34 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=77884 BMW K100 Retro Racer by Les Ateliers Du Dr Joë

The BMW K100 The BMW K100 was the motorcycle developed by the German marque to take the fight to the new breed of Japanese inline-4s, whilst at the same time meeting the increasingly stringent emissions regulations in Germany. It was never likely that the Germans would copy the favorite engine layout of the Japanese that...

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BMW K100 Retro Racer by Les Ateliers Du Dr Joë

The BMW K100

The BMW K100 was the motorcycle developed by the German marque to take the fight to the new breed of Japanese inline-4s, whilst at the same time meeting the increasingly stringent emissions regulations in Germany.

It was never likely that the Germans would copy the favorite engine layout of the Japanese that had been largely pioneered by the Italians, an inline-4 mounted transversely in the frame with one or two overhead cams. Germans generally like to do things their own way, and as logically as possible.

Once the engineers at BMW had settled on an inline-4 with a shaft drive they set about planning the best possible engine layout. It was decided that the engine should be laid on its side, with the crank on the right and the head on the left, as this would allow the power from the crank to pass into the gearbox and out into the right-side shaft drive requiring only a single 90° bevel gear to power the rear wheel.

This flat-4 layout also gave the bike a low centre of gravity, and ample room for the intake system and radiator.

BMW sold the K-series in solid numbers, though never quite matching their Japanese counterparts. Over the course of its production run, the K-series would be offered in engine sizes from 750cc all the way up to 1300cc, and today they’re popular choice with custom bike builders due to their bulletproof engineering and unusual looks.

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

The Les Ateliers Du Dr Joë BMW K100 Racer

The K100 you see here has been through a full rebuilt at the hands of well-known tattoo artist and custom motorcycle builder based in the French Pyrenees mountains – Joël Alba, or as he’s known in tattoo circles, Dr Joë.

With this build he wanted to take a motorcycle that no one really associates with racing, and turn it into a bike that looks like it could have been built by the BMW Motorsport department in-period for competition use.

Once he had located and bought a good K100 work began with a full teardown. Once the engine was removed from the frame it was overhauled, and then set aside ready for re-fitting.

The frame was detabbed and a new subframe was fabricated to suit the new low-profile seat. The rear cowl, seat, fuel tank, fuel tank housing, front fairing and windshield were all made in-house by Joël, and he rather cleverly made use of a BMW Z4 indicator on either side of the fairing – something I think we may see emulated quite a bit on BMW builds going forwards.

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

The fuel tank is a feature that will have caught the attention of many, it’s a hand-made aluminum tank designed to fit neatly inside a bespoke fiberglass housing, the tank is fitted with a pop-up style Monza fuel cap, and it contains a non-standard fuel pump as the original BMW unit wouldn’t fit.

Joël kept the original alloy wheels in place but had them painted black, before sanding off the outer edges of the spokes. The frame, wheels, and forks were all painted with a long-lasting black epoxy paint, offset nicely with the white bodywork and unpainted metallic surfaces.

In order to change the front suspension geometry a Laverda triple tree was modified to fit, and new springs with a higher-performance fork oil were fitted. A higher-performance rear monoshock as sourced from the BMW catalogue, and a set of velocity stacks have been fitted to the intakes to help smooth airflow as it enters the engine.

Joël’s Dad is a mechanic, and his work influenced his son significantly as he grew up, so Joël decided to dedicate this build to his father- so he added his year of birth as the racing number (52). The build is a remarkable testament to what can be achieved with a BMW K100 and some talent, and Joël is proud of his support from BMW MINI pauTarbes.

If you’d like to see more of Joël’s work you can click to follow his official Facebook Page, or you can follow his Instagram here.

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Engine

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle

BMW K100 Custom Motorcycle Dr Joe

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Elemental Custom Cycles BMW R80 Monolever Cafe Racer Project 4 https://silodrome.com/cafe-racer-bmw-r80/ Mon, 14 May 2018 06:01:14 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=77106 Elemental Custom Cycles BMW R80 Monolever Cafe Racer Project 4

The beautiful BMW cafe racer you see here is the work of Elemental Custom Cycles based in Neustadt, Germany just outside of Nuremberg. The core philosophy of the garage is “Life’s to short to ride boring motorcycles” – which sound like words to live by to me. This bike is the latest project from the German...

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Elemental Custom Cycles BMW R80 Monolever Cafe Racer Project 4

The beautiful BMW cafe racer you see here is the work of Elemental Custom Cycles based in Neustadt, Germany just outside of Nuremberg.

The core philosophy of the garage is “Life’s to short to ride boring motorcycles” – which sound like words to live by to me. This bike is the latest project from the German custom motorcycle garage, in true no-nonsense German style they named it “Project 4”.

Project 4 began when Andi, a new Elemental Custom Cycles client, rode 6 hours from Frankfurt to meet the team and discuss a cafe racer build. As luck would have it, they managed to find a BMW R80 for sale locally with just 7,000 kms on the clock while Andi was still in the shop.

The project outline called for a clean, minimalist BMW cafe racer that combined show bike looks, with real world rideability. This was no small task.

The build began with a full teardown and an inspection of all parts (you can scroll down to see a picture of the original bike before work began). It was decided that a new rear subframe would be needed so the team at ECC developed one and fabricated it, the rear of the fuel tank was then elevated slightly to follow the line of the seat base and rear cowl.

BMW R80 Monolever Cafe Racer

The frame was de-tabbed and the front end was lowered 50mm with a pair of Wielbers springs replacing the originals inside the fork tubes. A new adjustable rear monoshock was sourced from YSS, and a pair of Brembo brake rotors replaced the factory units up front.

One of the most challenging aspects of the build was the spoked wheels – it proved remarkably difficult to match hubs, spokes, and rims – giving Andi the 17″ wheels front and back that he wanted, with a 120mm tire upfront and a 150mm unit in the rear.

The eye-catching paintwork on the bike required over 40 drafts before the final design was settled on – the base layer is an Audi Daytona grey metallic with teal accents and 7 layers of clear coat to make it gleam. The final detail was the unique exhaust, the team at ECC couldn’t find an off-the-shelf unit that suited their needs, so they created one in-house, with a bespoke stainless steel muffler under the engine.

The completed bike is fully road legal, it passed the stringent German TÜV regulations and now carries full road registration – a rare thing in the country, with many customs needing to be trailered to shows.

If you’d like to see more from Elemental Custom Cycles you can click here to visit their website, you can also scroll down to read more about the BMW R80 Monolever.

BMW R80 Monolever

The BMW R80 Monolever

The R80 Monolever was built from 1982 to 1995 and enjoyed solid sales numbers, it was powered by a more-reliable-than-taxes 797.5cc boxer twin producing 49hp and 59Nm of torque. BMW built over 22,000 Monolevers during the life of the model, this means that they’re relatively easy to come by in many parts of the world and as they become a little older and a little less expensive we’re seeing a slow increase in the number of custom motorcycle garages that are taking them on as project bikes.

The “T” in “RT” stands for “Touring”, these models had a signifiant fairing added for highway and autobahn cruising at sustained speeds in excess of 100 mph. Many were fitted with hard pannier cases that made them ideal for long distance touring, a role they fulfilled in Germany, across Europe and further afield.

Although it isn’t known how many of the original 22,000 Monolevers have survived to the modern day, I’m willing to bet that the majority of them have survived in some way or other. The bulletproof boxer twin engine, reliable 5-speed transmission, and shaft drive are all renowned for their toughness, rivalling the best of the Japanese bikes for reliability.

Cafe Racer Headlight

BMW R80 Monolever Shock

Cafe Racer Seat

Cafe Racer Clip On Handlebars

BMW R80 Monolever Parking Garage

BMW R80 Monolever Rear

BMW R80 Monolever Tire

BMW R80 Monolever Custom Before and After

Photos by Christian Motzek Photography

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The Goblin Works Garage Norton Dominator Cafe Racer https://silodrome.com/norton-dominator-cafe-racer/ Thu, 10 May 2018 09:01:09 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=77057 The Goblin Works Garage Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

The Norton Dominator Cafe Racer This Norton Dominator cafe racer holds two unique distinctions, it’s the only one like it in the world, and it’s the first (and so far only) custom motorcycle to have been commissioned directly by the Norton factory in England. The project started when Anthony Partridge stopped by the Norton Motorcycles headquarters...

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The Goblin Works Garage Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

The Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

This Norton Dominator cafe racer holds two unique distinctions, it’s the only one like it in the world, and it’s the first (and so far only) custom motorcycle to have been commissioned directly by the Norton factory in England.

The project started when Anthony Partridge stopped by the Norton Motorcycles headquarters to pick up his new Norton Dominator, a bike he was to use as his daily rider on the new Discovery Channel TV series Goblin Works Garage.

While he was there, Norton CEO Stuart Garner took him aside and pitched him the idea of building the first cafe racer concept bike for the company. This new build would be based on the 2017 Norton Dominator platform, this made the job rather difficult as many consider the Dominator to be the best looking production motorcycle in the world. Being asked to rebuild the two-wheeled equivalent of Helen of Troy, without messing it up, is no small ask.

The only real caveat to Stuart’s request was that the frame and geometry not be chopped or changed – so the bike could be used for the development of future models at Norton.

Cafe Racer

The Build

The build process started with research looking back at the original cafe racers from the late 1950s and into the 1960s – the first Ton Up Boys, the 59 Club, and of course, the regulars of the Ace Cafe.

These first cafe racers weren’t glossy, glittery, polished, or perfect. They were stripped back, lightweight, parts-bin specials typically owned by teens and young adults with very limited financial resources.

Many of these original cafe racers were Nortons fitted with a variation of the company’s famed air-cooled parallel twin, sitting inside a Featherbed frame, with everything that wasn’t absolutely essential removed to lower the kerb weight.

After the bike had been rolled into the Goblin Works Garage a basic strip down began, it was decided to remove the original fuel tank and trim the sides and rear, new panel sections were then welded in. This resulted in a slightly smaller and lighter tank with functional knee cutouts providing a slightly better aerodynamic profile when tucked in behind the gauges.

The original seat was replaced with a bespoke unit with generous padding for longer rides, upholstered in leather and terminating in a minimalist alloy cowl. The seat supports on either side were lightened with speed holes, and a new twin exhaust was fabricated in-house that matches the lines of the rear subframe.

The original wheels were swapped out front and back, with new ultra-lightweight units from BST. This lowered the weight of the bike a little, but it also lowered rotating and unsprung mass.

The front cowl and seat cowl were both shaped by Lauren at Storik Metalcraft, the schedule was tight as the bike needed to be ready for filming, and Lauren turned out the parts in world record time, meaning the bike was ready in time for the cameras to start rolling – but only just.

The completed bike is a fantastic example of a modern cafe racer – right down to the Norton parallel twin and clip-on handlebars. If you’d like to see more of Anthony’s work you can tune in and watch Goblin Works Garage on Discovery Channel, the team build both cars and motorcycles, and we’ll be featuring more of their creations here on Silodrome in the coming months.

Carbon Motorcycle Wheels

Brembo Brakes

Norton Seat

Norton Exhaust

Norton Motorcycle Grips

Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

Norton Engine

Norton Logo

Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

Norton Dominator Cafe Racer

Norton Sketch

Goblin Works Garage

Images by Chris Fosin

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The Hawkers One Triumph Thruxton by Tamarit Motorcycles https://silodrome.com/triumph-thruxton-tamarit-motorcycles/ Mon, 02 Apr 2018 06:00:25 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=74019 The Hawkers One Triumph Thruxton by Tamarit Motorcycles

This 2004 Triumph Thruxton was built by Tamarit Motorcycles for Hawkers and El Ganso, the brief was very specific and the timeline was tight – but fortunately the team at Tamarit were able to find a suitable Thruxton in the nearby town of Salamanca relatively quickly. The Triumph Thruxton 900 The Triumph Thruxton 900 was...

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The Hawkers One Triumph Thruxton by Tamarit Motorcycles

This 2004 Triumph Thruxton was built by Tamarit Motorcycles for Hawkers and El Ganso, the brief was very specific and the timeline was tight – but fortunately the team at Tamarit were able to find a suitable Thruxton in the nearby town of Salamanca relatively quickly.

The Triumph Thruxton 900

The Triumph Thruxton 900 was introduced in 2004 as the performance version of the already popular Triumph Bonneville. These were amongst the first of the popular retro-modern motorcycles, and they would help trigger a wave that would soon encompass almost all of the major motorcycle manufacturers including Ducati, BMW, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

Triumph named the Thruxton after the Thruxton Circuit, a race track where Triumph took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the Thruxton 500 Mile endurance race in 1969.

Triumph Thruxton

As a hat-tip to the performance past of Triumph, the engineers tasked with developing the Thruxton engine took the oil and air-cooled parallel twin and added high-performance cams, higher compression pistons, and a series of other modifications to take power up to 68 bhp and 53 ft lbs of torque.

The model proved popular both in its native Britain and around the world, and in 2016 Triumph introduced an all-new version with a 1200cc engine and 100 bhp. Despite the new version, the value of modern classic Triumph Thruxton 900 seems to have plateaued in most world markets, with very strong demand from people who want a simple, fun to ride bike with classic lines.

The Hawkers One Triumph Thruxton by Tamarit Motorcycles

The Hawkers / El Ganso / Tamarit Motorcycles joint project began with a meeting and a basic outline of what kind of custom motorcycle was required – the team at Tamarit then went back to base and began hashing out the concept.

Hawkers and El Ganso wanted a retro motorcycle with classic cafe racer lines, a white/blue/red paint scheme, and it had to be great to ride – not just a piece of showroom floor furniture.

Triumph Thruxton

Once the 2004 Thruxton had been located and bought, it was loaded into a van and brought back to Tamarit – as with all of their builds this one began with a teardown and an inspection of parts. The bike was still relatively low-mileage so a full engine rebuild wasn’t needed – just a tune, a change of fluids and filters, and a carburetor clean.

A new Jarama was chosen for the bike in-keeping with the cafe racer theme, this was accompanied by a headlight fairing, a headlight grill, a tail tidy kit, a new side cover, a Papillon exhaust, bar-end mirrors, and a set of black, low-profile indicators.

Painting required seven parts making their way into the booth and receiving a blue center stripe with red outlines on a white background (when viewed from above). The bike was completed a matter of days before the deadline, and it was taken to the grand opening of the new El Ganso Store in Madrid.

If you’d like to see more from Tamarit Motorcycles you can click here to visit their website, or hit the links below to follow them on social media.

Follow Tamarit on FacebookInstagram

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton

Triumph Thruxton Front

Triumph Thruxton Back

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The GQ x Barbour x Untitled Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton 1200 R https://silodrome.com/gq-barbour-untitled-motorcycles-triumph-thruxton-1200-r/ Thu, 08 Mar 2018 07:00:20 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=74478 The GQ x Barbour x Untitled Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

The Triumph Thruxton 1200 R is the top of the line model in the new generation of modern classic motorcycles built by the venerable British marque, and this one is a little more special than most – it was built by the team at Untitled Motorcycles for GQ and Barbour as part of the GQ...

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The GQ x Barbour x Untitled Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

The Triumph Thruxton 1200 R is the top of the line model in the new generation of modern classic motorcycles built by the venerable British marque, and this one is a little more special than most – it was built by the team at Untitled Motorcycles for GQ and Barbour as part of the GQ Car Awards 2018.

The Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

Compared to the Triumph Thruxton 1200, the Thruxton 1200 R benefits from race bred, fully adjustable Showa big piston forks up front, fully adjustable Öhlins twin rear shocks in the rear, Brembo Monobloc radial calipers with twin floating Brembo discs, and Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tires front and back.

Triumph developed a new 1200cc parallel twin for the Triumph Thruxton, it has a single overhead cam, multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection, and an 11.0:1 compression ratio, it produces 97hp at 6750 rpm, with 82.6 ft-lbs of torque at 4950 rpm – both of these figures are a big step up over the model’s 865cc predecessor.

Although often forgotten the talking about a new motorcycles facts and figures is the frame – though there are few elements more important for overall handling. The Thruxton 1200 R has a rigid tubular steel cradle that utilizes the engine as a stressed-member, and the swingarm is lightweight aluminum-alloy to help reduce unsprung mass.

Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

Interestingly the engineers at Triumph were able to reduce the weight of the new model compared to the previous Thruxton 900, so that despite the significant gain in engine capacity the total weight of the bike is a couple of kilograms lighter – an impressive feat given the size of the new engine.

The reception of both the Thruxton 1200 and the Thruxton 1200 R has been overwhelmingly positive – with reviewers noting an increase in build quality, and a notable step-up in handling and performance.

The GQ x Barbour x Untitled Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

This Thruxton was built by Adam Kay in London out of his world-renowned garage – Untitled Motorcycles. Adam was one of the first of the new generation custom motorcycle builders in Britain having started out almost 10 years ago – when the scene was far less crowded than it is now.

The team at GQ approached Adam to build their new bike based on this heritage, and once the brand-new Triumph had been delivered to his Hampstead headquarters the build began. The first step was to develop a series of CAD drawings on his computer using images from the official Triumph website as a guide – this allowed him to experiment with an array of looks and features without needing to open the toolbox.

The design brief for the bike was simple: GQ wanted it to showcase equal parts sophistication and strength. Blackshuckkustom was tasked with painting/powder-coating the tank, side covers, wheels, and other parts in a deep gloss black, and a new leather seat was made by Glenn Moger.

A new speedometer from Motogadget was installed into a custom designed and CNC milled bracket made by Fasttec Racing, above a set of newly installed set of Speed Triple R forks, and the headlight was mounted to a set of custom aluminum brackets.

There are water jet cut aluminum GQ logos on either side of the fuel tank coupled with twin Barbour briefcases on either side of the tail – as a hat-tip to the two brands that made the build possible. The completed bike is an excellent example of a modern cafe racer, and after the treatment from Adam I’d dare to guess that it’s notably quicker than it was in stock condition too.

If you’d like to read more about this build you can click here to read the article on GQ, or you can click here to visit Untitled Motorcycles.

Triumph Thruxton 1200 R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R

Triumph Thruxton R Untitled Motorcycles

All Images: Ludovic Robert

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JM Customs BMW R45 Cafe Racer https://silodrome.com/bmw-r45-cafe-racer/ Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:00:35 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71859 JM Customs BMW R45 Cafe Racer

This BMW R45 is the work of a Scottish custom motorcycle garage based in Perth, on the east side of the country famous for whisky, haggis, and being so vicious in battle that the Romans gave up on conquering their territory and built a wall to try to contain them. It’s always interesting when Scots...

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JM Customs BMW R45 Cafe Racer

This BMW R45 is the work of a Scottish custom motorcycle garage based in Perth, on the east side of the country famous for whisky, haggis, and being so vicious in battle that the Romans gave up on conquering their territory and built a wall to try to contain them.

It’s always interesting when Scots build bikes because they’re a people who don’t tend to like unnecessary embellishments or functionless ornamentation. When Scots build a custom motorcycle it’s usually solidly built, very capable, and designed to be ridden, not just looked at from afar.

The Team at JM Customs

JM Customs was originally founded by James Moir, an oil and gas industry specialist who’s always had a deep love for motorcycles, design and fabrication.

It wasn’t long before James was too busy to do it all himself, so he brought on Chris Burnett as lead mechanic, a man with years of hard-earned experience as a specialist motorcycle mechanic who can do engine pulldowns with his eyes closed and tune carburetors by glancing at them from across the room.

The BMW R45

The BMW R45 was introduced in the late 1970s as a mid-weight model with a lower kerb weight, sharper styling, and more approachable price tag. It proved popular with both new riders and commuters thanks to its reliable horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, its solid frame, low center of gravity, and excellent fuel economy.

BMW built almost 30,000 of them over the course of the production run, and many of them are still on the road today thanks to their toughness and cult classic status. In more recent years custom motorcycle builders have favored the model because of its tune-ability and rugged build quality.

BMW R45

The JM Customs BMW R45 Cafe Racer

The BMW R45 you see here belongs to a Scot named Steve who came across JM Customs on social media and loved the look of the bikes they were building. As it happens, Steve had an old BMW R45 that had been sitting in his garage for years. He contacted James, and the two men came to a gentleman’s agreement to get the trusty old Beemer back on the road.

Once the R45 had been rolled into the JM Customs workshop, the project began with a full teardown and inspection. Surprisingly the bike was in solid shape despite its age.

It was decided early on that a John Player color scheme would be used – black and gold hues that’ll be immediately familiar to any fan of Formula 1 history. The original BMW wheels where powder coated gold, with the frame, engine, lower fork legs, and swing arm all painted or powder coated black.

The fuel tank was sent off to local painter Ross Sinclair to be colored black, with gold pin striping around the perimeter edge.

The goal was to create a solid mid-weight cafe racer, so the frame was de-tabbed and all non-essential parts were removed for weight savings. The original battery and battery box was removed and a new box was fabricated in-house, then fitted with a lightweight lithium-ion unit.

A set of clip-on handlebars were fitted up front along with new levers, heated grips (important in Scotland), modern switch gear, and a new minimalist speedometer. The front fender was chopped down, and just below it the original brake rotors were swapped out for newer replacements paired with new pads.

The original seat was far too bulky so it was replaced with a new unit built in-house, with a new seat pan, custom cut foam, and upholstery done by local shop Creative Upholstery. The original headers were kept and fitted with a new set of mini-mufflers that give the bike far more bark, and the pipes were strapped up with heat wrap.

The completed bike is a masterclass in minimalist modern cafe racers, and an excellent example of a proper Scottish custom motorcycle. If you’d like to see more from JM Customs you can follow their Facebook Page here, or follow their Instagram here.

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

BMW R45

All images copyright 2018 Oliver Young

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Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom https://silodrome.com/triumph-thruxton-custom/ Fri, 09 Feb 2018 10:00:12 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=71569 Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom

There’s something very appealing about a well-built Triumph Thruxton custom, it’s a bike that helped put Triumph on the map in the world of modern classic motorcycles, and the model has proven to be a hugely popular base for customization the world over. Thruxt8n – The Original Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom Tamarit Motorcycles is a...

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Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom

There’s something very appealing about a well-built Triumph Thruxton custom, it’s a bike that helped put Triumph on the map in the world of modern classic motorcycles, and the model has proven to be a hugely popular base for customization the world over.

Thruxt8n – The Original Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom

Tamarit Motorcycles is a Spanish custom garage and low-volume parts maker that was founded 6 years ago after a discussion among friends in a bar. The first custom motorcycle they built was a Triumph Thruxton for Toni Gandia, a longtime friend of the Tamarit crew.

The completed bike was named Thruxt8n, and Toni put it to good use commuting to work and riding it between cities, it would later spend a few years garaged by the sea in Málaga – and the salt took its toll. Toni decided to bring the bike back to Tamarit and sit down with them to create an outline for the second phase of the Thruxton’s life.

The Triumph Thruxton

Triumph had originally developed the Thruxton as a slightly more powerful, cafe racer version of the popular Bonneville model. In order to boost performance, the engine was fitted with higher-performance camshafts and different pistons, bringing power up to 68 bhp.

Externally, the model received a full cafe racer makeover including rearset footrests, small aeroscreen, twin reverse-cone mufflers, and removable seat cowl. Minor modifications would be made to the model over its 2004 to 2016 production run, and the custom community quickly discovered that the engine would respond very well to tuning – with some rebuilt to produce 90-100 bhp.

An all-new Thruxton was released in 2016 with a lot more engine capacity and one less cam, but the originals are proving to be remarkably popular on the secondhand market, with depreciation seeming to have stopped and even reversed in some parts of the world.

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Juna – The Rebuilt Tamarit Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton Custom

Once Toni had brought the bike back to Tamarit they spent time inspecting it, the bike had been ridden extensively and it’d had a couple of sideways encounters with the asphalt – so it was decided that a full rebuild was in order.

The bike was stripped back and everything was either cleaned, repainted, or replaced entirely. It was decided that a new look was in order, so the tank, side covers, and seat received a retrotastic 1970s-inspired black and gold livery. The headlight cowl and valve covers were then painted black and gold respectively to match, and the hubs and rims received black powder coating.

Once this was done, the headers were wrapped and paired with a set of matte black mufflers, and the rear fender eliminator kit tidied up the backend significantly. A new Little Bastard front fender was installed, alongside Pantera springs, and a Super López sump guard.

The completed bike is about as close to Triumph Thruxton perfection as we’re likely to find in this life, and Toni is back in the saddle tearing up roads across Spain. If you’d like to read more about this build or commission your own, you can click here to visit Tamarit Motorcycles.

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

Triumph Thruxton Custom

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Norton Featherbed 750 Road Racing Motorcycle Built By Sonny Angel https://silodrome.com/norton-featherbed-racing-motorcycle/ Tue, 23 Jan 2018 04:01:48 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=70548 Norton Featherbed 750 Road Racing Motorcycle Built By Sonny Angel

This Norton is a racing special built by legendary California Norton dealer Sonny Angel for racing duties in the USA. A Norton Featherbed frame was used as the starting point for the build, a favorite among motorcycle racers of the era and a design that was widely copied by other manufacturers.

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Norton Featherbed 750 Road Racing Motorcycle Built By Sonny Angel

The Norton Featherbed 750 Road Racer

This Norton is a racing special built by legendary California Norton dealer Sonny Angel for racing duties in the USA. A Norton Featherbed frame was used as the starting point for the build, a favorite among motorcycle racers of the era and a design that was widely copied by other manufacturers.

A 1962 650 Norton parallel twin was fitted, after it was bored to 750cc, and fitted with twin Amal carburetors sporting alloy velocity stacks. Up front a pair of Norton Roadholder forks were installed, topped with clip-on handlebars and a tachometer – there was no need for a speedometer, headlight, or blinkers, as it was never intended to pass a road licensing inspection.

An open single-chain primary connects the 750cc parallel twin to the 4-speed Norton gearbox used extensively right through to the end of Commando production in the 1970s. Interestingly, Sonny Angel and his team fitted an NSU rear wheel to allow for quick gearing changes. He was also an NSU dealer, so he would have had ample supply and experience with the twin sprocket wheels, and the benefits of being able to change a racing motorcycle’s final gear ratio in a matter of minutes would have been valuable.

A single seat with a bump stop was installed behind a large-capacity Manx-style fuel tank, with a strap to hold it in place and knee indents on either side to accommodate the rider’s legs. Hand-painted number “5” plates were applied to both sides and the front, and short exhausts were fitted with no cross-over, and the smallest mufflers that could be found – noise complaints would be unlikely.

In recent years the Norton has been rebuilt, and it’s now listed as running strongly. It’s a unique piece of British/American motorcycle history and with an estimated price of between $16,000 to $20,000 USD it could very well be greeted by a sea of waving paddles when it crosses the auction block with Bonhams in Las Vegas on the 25th of January. If you’d like to read more about the bike or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Sonny Angel Motorcycles

Sonny Angel travelled to England as a young man and ended up spending two years working in the Vincent Motorcycle Factory in Stevenage. He was part of the team that built the final Vincent in the factory before it closed down, and his connections to British motorcycling wouldn’t end there.

After traveling back to California and opening Sonny Angel Motorcycles, his own dealership, he would take part in countless road races, drag races, off road races, and he went to the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1955, where he would ride his custom Vincent Rapide to a speed of 144.69 mph.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Sonny saw what was happening to the British, Italian, and American motorcycle industries as the glut of cheap Japanese bikes flooded the market. He recognized the importance of the Honda CB750 and realized he could build a faster and better handling competitor for it using little more than a rolling Norton Atlas chassis and the engine from a Hillman Imp.

Though on the face of it it might seem absurd to put a car engine into a production motorcycle, it was actually remarkably clever. The Hillman Imp engine was closely based on a Coventry Climax unit that had enjoyed some racing successes. It was a lightweight, inline-4 that was cast from aluminum alloy and used water-cooling. It had a single overhead cam rather than the more common pushrods, a displacement of 875cc and 51+ hp depending on the state of tune.

Sonny built a working prototype with his team, but couldn’t get Norton to show any interest in a production model. The company was struggling with low sales and financial problems, but if they’d put Sonny’s Norton-Coventry Climax into production they might have been able to compete more effectively with the Japanese.

Sonny sold his dealership a few years ago and retired, he’s now in his 90s and still enjoying life. If you’d like to follow his Facebook Page you can click here. They share stories and imagery from his illustrious life, including a number of pictures of the machines he rode.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Racer https://silodrome.com/norton-atlas-cafe-racer/ Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:00:01 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69960 1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Racer

The Norton Atlas was released in 1962 as the replacement for the venerable Norton Dominator. British motorcycle manufacturers were all targeting the colossal American market, typically by appealing to their love of power and speed.

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1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Racer

The Norton Atlas

The Norton Atlas was released in 1962 as the replacement for the venerable Norton Dominator. British motorcycle manufacturers were all targeting the colossal American market at the time, typically by appealing to their love of power and speed.

With this in mind, the engineers at Norton set about increasing the capacity of their famous parallel twin from 650cc to 750cc (actually 745cc) – a significant increase over the volume it started out at back in 1949 – at just 497cc. In 1973 Norton would increase it one more time to 838cc (referred to as 850), and private tuning companies would go even further, boosting it to 920cc and from there up to over 1000cc.

In some respects, the Norton Atlas was a motorcycle in the Goldilocks-zone. It was fitted with Norton’s famous parallel twin bolted to Norton’s legendary Featherbed frame – almost certainly the most famous motorcycle chassis of all time, even today many decades later it’s still in production with small specialist companies around the world.

When it was introduced the Atlas was fitted with almost all the parts Norton had on hand, including the aforementioned engine and Featherbed frame. Up front there was a pair of Roadholder forks, the rear was held aloft on a set of adjustable Girling shocks, the front and rear drum brakes were sourced from the Dominator parts catalogue, along with the fuel tank, oil tank, and gearbox. The phrase “better the devil you know” largely ruled the British motorcycle industry at the time, particularly as funding for new designs was hard to come by.

The 59 Club and the Cafe Racer

In 1959 the 59 Club had sprung into being, popularizing the cafe racer motorcycle genre, named because the riders based themselves at the famous Ace Cafe in-between illegal road races – a humble transport cafe in Stonebridge, north-west London that would become a global phenomenon.

The term cafe racer doesn’t have a list of required features that are set in stone. The styling has changed somewhat over the years, but the original cafe racer motorcycles typically had some variation of the following: clip-on or clubman handlebars, a single seat with a bump stop, a fuel tank with knee indents on either side, no fenders (or minimal fenders), and an engine tuned for speed at the expensive of everything else.

The motorcycle wing of the club had been started by Reverend Bill Shergold at the Eton Mission in London in 1962 – the same year the Norton Atlas was first sold to the public. It’s easy to see that it was almost a foregone conclusion that the new, bigger-engined Norton would find its way into the ranks of the Ace Cafe faithful.

The 1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Racer Shown Here

The motorcycle you see here is a very well put together Norton Atlas cafe racer. Many cafe racers of the era used the Featherbed frame, as it was considered the best in England (perhaps even the world) at the time. Some kept the Norton engine in place and some swapped it out for a Triumph parallel twin – creating the “Triton”.

This motor has been rebuilt, with higher-compression Norton Commando pistons and connecting rods for more power. It also has a Tri-Spark ignition fitted for more reliable running and easy starting, as well as a Mikuni VM carburetor – also offering easier starting and more reliable operation.

Importantly, the electrics have been significantly improved with a solid state regulator/rectifier, an updated stator, and a complete harness upgrade to negative earth.

Flanged aluminum rims have been fitted front and back, with new tires and new stainless/nickel spokes and nipples from Buchanan’s. John Tickle headlight ears are installed, along with Buzz Kill custom clip-ons, and Norman Hyde rearsets.

With just 11,350 miles on the clock since the build this Atlas has the overwhelming majority of its life ahead of it. It’s currently for sale on the new motorcycle auction website MotoAuct, and it’s based in Belgium, Wisconsin.

If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

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Moto Adonis Yamaha TR1 Cafe Racer https://silodrome.com/yamaha-tr1-cafe-racer/ Tue, 12 Dec 2017 07:00:09 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=69022 Moto Adonis Yamaha TR1 Cafe Racer

The Yamaha TR1 was developed to appeal to the motorcyclists who had been left behind by the great UJM arms race - not all riders wanted a high revving inline-4 that'd snap your neck if you grabbed a little too much throttle. Many riders wanted a bike that favored torque over high-RPM horsepower, a more upright riding position, and a simpler engine that they could work on themselves.

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Moto Adonis Yamaha TR1 Cafe Racer

The Yamaha TR1

The Yamaha TR1 was developed to appeal to the motorcyclists who had been left behind by the great UJM arms race – not all riders wanted a high revving inline-4 that’d snap your neck if you grabbed a little too much throttle. Many riders wanted a bike that favored torque over high-RPM horsepower, a more upright riding position, and a simpler engine that they could work on themselves.

I’m convinced that Yamaha designed the TR1 with a Vincent Black Shadow parked in the design studio – with a briefing that the new bike should be a modern version of the same. Both motorcycles have load-bearing V-twins, with a steel backbone frame, a unit construction engine with vertically split crankcases, and an interesting cantilever-style rear suspension.

The one area where the Vincent and the Yamaha differ greatly is in their visual appeal. The British bike is widely considered one of the most beautiful of all time, and it had performance so significant it was still winning races 20 years after it left production.

The Yamaha TR1 is not a particularly attractive machine. In fact I’m convinced that once the engineers had finished developing the beautiful engine, frame, and suspension they handed the rest of the design off to a right handed Basset Hound with a crayon taped to its left paw.

It’s almost certainly the styling that let the TR1 down, and resulted in it not being a sales success in any of the markets where it was offered. Sales were abysmally slow from the start – although period motorcycle magazine reviews were mostly positive about the new Yamaha twin.

The 983 cc SOHC V-twin is an excellent engine by all accounts, with 69 hp and 59 ft-lbs of torque. Top speed is 190 km/h, and as a sport tourer it provided stiff competition for the bikes being produced by brands like BMW.

Yamaha sold the Tr1 for the 1981, 1982, and 1983 model years before slow sales forced its cancellation. Today many riders have rediscovered the now relatively rare model, and it’s been given a second wind by top-tier custom motorcycle garages on both sides of the Atlantic, who typically strip the bike back to its engine/frame and toss the Basset Hound bodywork on the scrap heap.

Moto Adonis

Moto Adonis is based in Roosendaal in the Netherlands, they’re a highly regarded custom motorcycle garage who focus on performance, functionality, and styling. Builds typically undergo a full teardown with an inspection of all parts, and a careful design process where they work closely with the client to create the exact bike they had in mind.

The Moto Adonis Yamaha TR1

When Moto Adonis took on the TR1 they had a very clear mission – to take the bike apart and rebuild it in such a way that the original soul of the TR1 would remain intact, but also reference the British heritage of the core design. A tricky balancing act to say the least.

Once the full teardown was done and the team could inspect the parts they made a few key decisions – a new subframe would be needed, as well as a new exhaust, triple tree, forks, rear brake, seat, tank, rear cowl, wheels, and fuel tank.

A new handmade exhaust was the first order of business, shaped to carefully curve around the engine, frame, and engine side cover with a 2-into-1 set up and a single upturned muffler. A new subframe was then fabricated and fit, capped off with a new seat and rear cowl.

An original Rickman front fairing was fitted, and a Triumph Bonneville fuel tank was sourced and modified to fit. A pair of late-80s GSX-R forks were fitted upfront with a new triple tree, and a Brembo brake unit was fitted in the rear. Harley-Davidson spoked wheels were fitted front and back, shod with Shinko tires.

Moto Adonis chose three colors for the TR1 – Porsche Elfenbein Weiss (off white), black, and the copper of the leather seat, grips, and exhaust pipes.

The completed bike is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen this year, and it sets the benchmark rather high for other builders who choose to take on a Yamaha TR1-based project. If you’d like to see more from Moto Adonis you can click here, alternatively you can follow them on social media below.

Follow Moto Adonis on FacebookInstagramYouTube

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