A Better Boxer – James’ BMW R80 Cafe Racer

I can’t resist the beauty of a BMW boxer engine. Nothing compares or looks quite like it. Regardless of whether it’s in stock condition or heavily customised, these are beautiful machines. Their unorthodox horizontal head configuration and final shaft drive has always intrigued me, while at the same time frightening me. With all the bulk of those cylinders you wouldn’t think it would be suitable for a café racer build, but when I look at James’ 1980 BMW R80, I know I am mistaken. This is the bike that originally got James hooked on building and riding old motorcycles, and it shows what can be done with a modest amount of effort, a lot of inspiration and a beefy BMW boxer.

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‘004’ Honda CB450 – KickMoto

‘004’ Honda CB450 – KickMoto

Written by Martin Hodgson.

When it comes time to give credit to which Japanese bikes began the rise and reign of the machines from the Land of the Rising Sun the countries first superbikes, the Honda CB750 and the Kawasaki Z1, often receive the praise. But before they arrived on the scene the first strike in the four-stroke wars was delivered by a motorcycle known simply as the Black Bomber. Released in 1965 the Honda CB450 came packed with technology that defied its very classic chrome and black aesthetic. The first full production bike to feature dual overhead cams, it produced more than 100hp/litre, enjoyed reliable electrics and was described at the time as “engineered with passion and styled with restraint, an embodiment of all the qualities a motorcycle should posses”.

South Garage – Kimera Sportster Cafe Racer

It’s been some time since I featured a custom build from Italy’s South Garage. That doesn’t mean that Enzo and the boys have been sitting around twiddling their thumbs though. Their website currently showcases over 30 original South Garage custom builds that are enough to make any motorcycle lover weak in the knees. Although European and British made motorcycles tend to be their preferred subject matter, South Garage have ventured into relatively new waters with their latest Harley Davidson based build.

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Oil In Our Veins – Sameiro’s Bol D’Or Tomahawk

With a lineage of auto enthusiasts that includes one of Portugal’s first F1 drivers, brothers Manolo and João Sameiro were predestined to become engine lovers. In 2013 they opened the doors to their ‘Sameiro’s Motors’ workshop in Viana do Castelo, determined to influence the cafe racer and tracker scene with their own approach to motorcycle customisation. Three years on the brothers have amassed an impressive portfolio of custom motorcycles and have begun to develop a distinct style of their own. Their latest creation, which started out as a decrepit ’79 Honda Bol D’Or, is the perfect representation of their highly functional approach to bike building. Blending modern tech with old school grunt and finished with minimal fuss this is their S3 Tomahawk.
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1984 Moto Guzzi SPII

1984 Moto Guzzi SPII

Written by Martin Hodgson.

Growing up in the ’80s with a two-wheeled obsessed neighbour I’d often sit on his living room floor flipping through a giant book, the Encyclopaedia of Motorcycles. He’d encourage me to read up on BMW, ignore the “Jap Crap” and when I got to the Moto Guzzi section he’d wax lyrical as if talking about the most amazing thing on the planet. It’s easy to understand why, up until that point Guzzi had been the big daddy of the Italian Motorcycle world with production peaking in 1973 at some 50,000 units. But by the ’90s it was as low as 3,000, the mystique had been lost and most had never even heard of the marque.

Paula Dean – Honda CB550 Cafe Racer

“I have zero history with motorcycles. My husband Tanner used to race dirt bikes and has owned several road bikes. We were high school sweethearts, but because we went to different colleges I didn’t spend a lot of time on his bikes with him. One night over dinner, my husband and our good friend Tyson started talking about how I needed to learn to ride. At first I wasn’t all that interested, but after a few months of lessons, I started riding a scooter with the boys. It wasn’t long before I was learning to ride a motorcycle and after getting my license Tanner gave my first bike for Valentine’s Day. It was a stock Honda CL350 in great original condition that was just too cool to cut up. Being my first motorcycle ever, I was rather partial to keeping it how it was. However, two of my close buddies owned custom café racers and I loved the look of their bikes. Tyson had already custom built his own CB750 cafe racer with help from Tanner. He was itching to build another and I had my heart set on owning one, so after finding a complete piece of junk CB550 donor our personal project began.
”
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‘The Crow’ BMW R100RS – NCT Motorcycles

‘The Crow’ BMW R100RS – NCT Motorcycles

Written by Martin Hodgson.

The Eastern Alps of Austria must be one of the most picturesque places in the world, from the snow-covered alpine region, to the 200 crystal clear lakes and the many castles, museums and breweries to visit there is not shortage of things to do. Everywhere you go the food is as spectacular as the scenery and not only does the beer flow but there is an abundance of wineries and literally a “Cider Trail”. The only thing left to decide is how to get around the perfectly laid mountain roads and it’s hard to think of anything that suits more than two wheels. It’s here that David Widmann and his team Kurt and Manuel operate

No Reserve: 1957 NSU Prima III Scooter

This is from the site Bring a Trailer (https://bringatrailer.com/) ...

This 1957 NSU Prima III was purchased from the collection of well known scooter restorers Tom and Anna Giordano. NSU began producing the Innocenti Lambretta under license beginning in 1950, then introduced the Prima as their own design in 1956. This Prima III was originally equipped with a 146cc engine but has been bored out to the 175cc displacement of the higher priced Prima V. It has been restored both cosmetically and mechanically using many NOS parts acquired by the Giordanos from a former NSU dealer, and remains in good condition.

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The scooter is in nice cosmetic condition with fresh paint in a period appropriate pastel green. The trim was restored with a combination of polished original parts and NOS pieces where available. Some of the trim between the two rear side panels is missing but there are no other significant flaws in the bodywork.

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The clock and speedometer have been restored. The scooter is equipped with an electric starter and all lights are in working order.

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The dual bicycle style seats for the rider and pillion passenger are in very good condition. The grab handle for the back seat rider is still in the protective plastic wrap.

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The frame was also cleaned and repainted as part of the restoration, as were the wheels. New tires were fitted.

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The mechanical components of the scooter were all refurbished, with the following work performed:

  • Fully rebuilt engine
  • Transmission disassembled with any worn parts replaced as needed
  • Rebuilt carburetor
  • Fuel tank cleaned out and new fuel lines installed
  • All cables replaced
  • Brake system rebuilt
  • Suspension rebuilt

The engine is a 175cc unit that starts easily and runs well, and with all the mechanical systems refreshed the scooter is said to ride nicely.

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The scooter is sold with a Washington state title. These German built NSU scooters are an interesting alternative to the more common Vespa and Lambretta scooters of the era. This example has been nicely restored with good attention to detail and is being offered at no reserve.

What might have been – Banfugliera Moto Guzzi 1000SP

I have to admit I have a soft spot for classic race bikes. Purposeful performance and minimal aesthetics are certainly contributing factors to this, but above all else it’s their styling. The shape of their bodywork and their retro livery remind us of a time when being bold and brash was par for the course. Without doubt it was during the sixties and seventies when the best looking motorcycles navigated racetracks around the world and Italian classic spare parts supplier and custom builders Officine 08 couldn’t agree more. As regular exhibitors at the EICMA show in Milan they know that it takes something special to make an impression at the show and in 2015 that’s exactly what they set out to do.
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