cafe racerFOR SOME riders, the latest racy sport motorcycles and muscular cruisers are just too off-the-shelf to excite. Those people are turning instead to two-wheeled couture: café racers. These light, stripped-down bikes are built in the spirit of 1960s models, which owners modified for extra speed and raced from one “café” (bar) to the next. While a few large companies, including BMW and Moto Guzzi, sell café-esque models today, the most inspired examples are emerging from the workshops of custom builders.  READ ON

CARLOS OSORIO / TORONTO STAR: Of all the bikes George Tchor has built over the past 15 years or so, including a $300,000 trike, he says the bike seen here, called “18,” is his favourite.At Kreater Custom Motorcycles, the customers write the big cheques without complaint and George Tchor’s team creates a mechanical work of art without compromise.

Sometimes, when things get hectic at the shop and George Tchor starts stressing out, one of his technicians will come over and whisper in his ear: “Hey — we’re building custom bikes!”
“And I think, yeah. How can I get upset building custom bikes for a living?” says Tchor. “We have some fun here.” READ ON

Ronin Motor Works making new bikes from Buell'sVehicle manufacturers make limited edition models available all the time, but few people start their own business for the sole purpose of taking someone else’s hardware and rebuilding it into their own, exclusive line. This, however, is exactly what people behind Ronin Motor Works did when it heard Harley Davidson was killing off its Buell brand of motorcycles, with its interests falling in particular on the liquid-cooled 1125 series. READ ON

Billy Lane is a free man. 

The celebrity motorcycle builder, whose custom work earned the Melbourne-based designer several spots on reality television, has been formally freed from an Orlando work release program today as part of the completion of his sentence on a vehicular homicide charge, the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed today. READ ON

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