By Anthony van Someren - 12 Feb 12
Marc from Hove has built this rather gorgeous cafe racer/street tracker, and although it's based on the humble SR500, like a few customs on here, there is a huge amount of detail is this build, plus it uses very high quality suspension components with the emphasis on handling. Marc's gaol was to create an (ex) racer's cafe racer, with the best possible tyres, suspension, brakes and the least weight possible. He used to race MZ 250s and SV650s, and always liked the cafe racer style of these basic motorcycles, which are so easy to work - useful when you crash alot!. Now that he's got young children and can't justify the cost, time and risks of racing every weekend, he's put his mind to building and customising a few bikes, relying on basic skills he's picked up informally over the years, and a lot of help from his mates. Marc lives down by the sea in Brighton, arguably the spiritual home of the Cafe Racer and he says there is a really nice cafe and custom scene beginning to take shape there. (Note to self - Must visit soon) The SR is his 18th motorcycle in the last 10yrs as Marc is a fan of all sorts of bikes from supermotos to modern sports bikes, but like many of us, what he's really attracted to in a 'proper' bike is function leading form. Looking good is important but the engineering and purpose come first. He also has a very heavily modified GSXR1000 K5 which makes 180bhp and weights 170Kgs! The front end is from a 2011 Aprilia SXV 550 supermoto. They have some of the chunkiest forks around with 60mm tubes and come with 4 pot radial caliper, made by Beringer but unbranded. With the right setup, from end handling and stopping certainly shouldn't be a problem. The tyres are supersoft road legal wets from Maxxis, called Goldspeeds (very popular with Supermoto racers) which come in some very useful profiles. The rear is a 17x165x50 ie fat and low, which is the only tyre Marc found would fit the standard SR swinging arm. Marc expects to get some serious lean on, with plenty of grip. The SR is going to used for carving up and down the twisty Sussex back roads with friends, cruising up and down the sea front and taking Marc to watch club racing at Brands Hatch and Goodwood, his two local circuits. He also plans to see how well she goes on a track with a view to enter some local hill climbing events later in the year. I think we should all get down there and cheer him on. Thanks for sharing your build with us Marc. We look forward to seeing you at one of the Bike Shed events as the year warms up, and if you don't come to up us, we may have to come down to you for some Brighton & Hove cafe-racer hospitality!