I've always loved Buells, or at least I liked them before they were ruined with Rotax liquid-cooled engines, giant side-pod radiators and engineering so clever it usually led to warped discs and all-too-easy write offs when the fuel-holding frames got a small ding...
The older X1s and M1s were testament to the idea of brutal engineering and Americana, with inappropriately huge and heavy Harley-engines shoehorned into lightweight frames with sports 17inch wheels and decent brakes.
Under slung shocks and under slung exhausts were also ahead of thier time, and their tiny rear ends coupled with muscular tanks (actually air box covers) created beasts that always reminded me of the Bulldog in Tom & Jerry Cartoons; barrel-chested and built to maim.
...As it happens my wife had a Buell - until today - when the insurer's finally confirmed that she'd written it off in a relatively minor prang... But that's another story.
...so, when one of the guys on the forum sent me a link to a "Buell Cafe Racer" I was expecting to see a hideous hybrid, not a beauty. Where cafe racers are about subtlety and lightweight flickable biking, Buell's uncompromising brutishness didn't seem likely to provide a donor for something that wouldn't look like a bodybuilder on a catwalk... so I was pleasantly surprised to see this...
In fact, I wasn't just "pleasantly surprised
" (that's too British and understated) I was actually blown away.
I hadn't planned to use this website to just re-post stuff from other websites, especially not places like EXIF
, as we all share the same audiences, but as this bike didn't seem to be featured elsewhere, I thought it would be ok to re-post here, credit the authors at Cycle Canada
and link back to their own words, pics and hard work.
The bike was built by John Whitby for a customer of TJ Cycle
in Calgary, Canada.
It started life as a non-runner that needed fixing, but after a while became a major project with an ambition to create a UK style cafe racer using an American platform.
Quite why they thought that would work, I can't imagine, but I guess Whitby had some kind of vision and the end result speaks for itself. I love it. Whitby has even cured the usual Buell issue of having one ugly side. On this bike, both sides are worth drooling over.
I'm assuming this is Whitby? If so, well done fella.
Check out the original article
for more pics and a more technical write-up. Photos are by Amee Rehal.