The Iceberg – Civil Custom Honda CB750

“When I was around 21 I bought my first motorcycle, a 2012 Honda Shadow Phantom, but when I was about 22 I saw a cafe racer and instantly fell in love with the style and idea.” recalls the now 24 years old Pavel Onishenko. “I work at an auto body shop and that’s where I built my motorcycle. I grew up watching my Dad work on cars and I had the opportunity to tinker with stuff growing up which gave me experience using tools and a basic knowledge of mechanics.”
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Gear Review – Quadlock Smartphone Bike Kit

Getting lost on your motorcycle sucks. There’s nothing worse than having to pull over to fish your phone out of your pocket so you can figure out where the hell you are. I know, I know, this is the digital age and GPS has been around for years, but I’ve been searching for the right solution to mount my phone to my motorcycle for some time and up until now hadn’t found anything that met all of my requirements. I wanted a well priced phone mount that allowed quick fitment and removal of my phone, was weatherproof,  added very little bulk to my handlebars and could be swapped from one bike to another with minimal effort. Thankfully a clever Aussie brand called Quad Lock has come to the rescue and never shall I be lost again…
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Going Straight – Wrench Kings Honda GL500

The Honda CX500s just keep coming! A while ago I read a feature on another custom motorcycle blog that mentioned how difficult it must have become to find an unmodified CB750; I think this statement could also now be applied to Honda’s CX series of longitudinal v-twins. Personally, I was never a huge fan. In its standard form the plastic maggot looks about as appealing to me as playing Pokemon Go and after being involved in a few CX based custom builds, I learnt first hand how much work needs to go into one to achieve a decent result. My personal CX gripes aside though I have to admit when they are done right, a CX500 Cafe Racer cuts a fine figure and todays build from Netherlands based workshop ‘Wrench Kings’ the is a perfect example.
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The Brute – Jamie’s Yamaha XJR1300

On a recent trip to Sydney I was lucky enough to meet a guy who really knows his way around a Yamaha XJR1300. Harley Borkowski is a mechanic at the performance workshop of RB Racing. He’s a no bull kind of guy that sneers at custom builds without purpose, and he has every right to. His extensive knowledge of race engineering means he can put together a better engine than most and when it comes to customisation he’s not about to sacrifice any aspect of performance just to look good. Despite this attitude he is a strong supporter of the custom scene, lending his knowledge and advice to members of the Sydney custom scene whenever it’s required. His own heavily modified XJR1300 was on display at the Throttle Roll show this year and it was one of the stand outs for me. Having such a solid reputation means that Harley has become the go to guy for many XJR owners so when local rider Jamie Blake Crozier decided to invest in a 2006 version of Yamaha’s 1300cc ‘Sport Heritage’ muscle bike, he headed straight to Harley.

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Tried and True – Stasis Moto Guzzi G5 1000

Revival Motorcycles ‘Handbuilt Show’ has quickly established itself as one of North America’s top custom motorcycle gatherings. With each new year the Revival team manage to amass an incredible collection of custom builds and host great schedule of events to entertain the thousands who visit the show. This year the lineup was a melting pot of custom motorcycle styles, makes and models and amongst them were some standout cafe racer builds. One such build that got me rather excited was this stunning Moto Guzzi G5 by Cliff Fisher the owner/operator of Stasis Motorcycles. We recently had the chance to talk with Cliff about his build and he even arranged this exclusive photoshoot of the bike for Return of the Cafe Racers.
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Gear Review – Velomacchi Speedway Gloves

As the name implies Velomacchi’s Speedway gloves were inspired by ’60s and ’70s flat track racing. Their website drops the names of legendary racers such as Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Ray Carroll and looking back at old photos of the riders in their gear the connection is clear. We recently had the chance to slip our hands into a pair of the Speedway gloves for our own review of the relatively young companies first endeavour in motorcycle glove manufacturing.

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The Black Bull – Taurus Honda CB750

For anyone who enjoys tinkering with motorcycles there will come a day when you’ll need to invest in some real tools. That Ikea Fixa kit may have proved it’s worth the last time your taps were leaking, but when it comes to rebuilding an engine you’re going to need much more than that Scandinavian play set.

UK based graphic designer, Tom Crane had all the skills he needed to realise his vision of a cafe racer. A keen design eye, a youth filled with riding and a father who passed down his extensive knowledge of motorcycle mechanics had him on the right path. Unfortunately by the time he was ready to undertake the build he was out of home and Dad’s tools were no longer on hand…
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Endurance Racer – TonUp Moto Guzzi Le Mans

Just like many of the other motorcycle manufacturers, Moto Guzzi has been celebrating its past by releasing a series of classically style models over the past few years. Their V7 proved to be a huge success and with the recent release of the V9 they’re hoping to once again tap into current trends in styling and customisation. However despite all the new technology and performance improvements there still seems to be something missing from the newer bikes. I may be a hopeless romantic, but the bikes I recall from my youth are the ones that really get me excited. Over in Portugal the guys at Ton Up Garage couldn’t agree with me more. They’ve built a business out of revitalising and customising classics and their latest build using a Moto Guzzi Le Mans 1000 is no exception.
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Racy Runabout – Unikat Honda CB350f

To wrap up this week’s motorcycle features we’re revisiting our friends from Wroclaw in Poland, Unikat Motorworks. This time Grzegorz, Marek and Kuba have reworked a ’78 Honda CB350F that was imported from Holland especially for the task. It’s no secret the guys have a soft spot for cafe racer style builds and according to Grzegorz they’re also rather partial to mid-sized Japanese bikes. So, as you would expect, the combination of these 2 passions has resulted in yet another great showcase of Unikat’s methodology.
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Quarter Century – Half Caste Honda CB550 Galgo

Turning your passion for building motorcycles into a business isn’t something everyone can achieve. For Dennis Karlsson it came about after the realisation that the career that awaited him at the end of his studies wasn’t for him. Thankfully as a child his parents had given him the essential skills and knowledge he needed to make the transition, but it wasn’t something he’d planned. Soon after selling his first custom he opened the doors to his ‘Half Caste Creations’ workshop and hasn’t looked back. Today we talk to Dennis about how his life as a custom motorcycle builder began and about his latest build, the Honda CB550 ‘Galgo’.
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