Robinson's xs750 Cafe
By Anthony van Someren - 07 Jan 14
Luke Robinson's modest approach to talking about the custom cafe racers he builds is at odds with the quality of his work. Every time we tell him we love his bikes, he tries to tell us that they're nothing special, and even when he showcased his CB750 cafe racer at the Bike Shed he thought it wasn't up to scratch, even when everyone loved it and he nearly sold it twice. Despite the relative simplicity, these builds are the dog's danglies as far as we're concerned. Why over complicate things, when you know what works? Besides, what really makes these builds work is a solid work ethic and a large dose of good taste. This latest xs750 was a commissioned build, and when Luke first saw the bike roll into his workshop he thought it looked like a half-decent donor, but he was very wrong. Everything he touched turned out to be broken or seized, so rather than benefit from a cute nickname (his last bike was called Free Willy) this build will be forever known as The Bastard Bike. Builders around the world feel your pain, Luke. Once all the basics were sorted, freed-up or rebuilt, Luke set to work on shortening, de-lugging and modifying the subframe to take the new bodywork and seat. The rear lost 30mm and was also stiffened. Up-front, the forks were pulled up through the yokes, reducing the steering angle to improve turn-in and firm-up the handling. Clip-on's were fitted with brown leather wrapped grips, which you can also see on the kickstart lever, while aftermarket rearsets made sure of a proper cafe-racer crouch. A mini speedo keeps tabs on the level of law-breaking but there are no indies required on this bare-bones racer. Pipewrap covers the header pipes, while the end cans are painted black, but the rest of the paintwork is vibrant with red tones mixed in with the dark metallic silver, brought out by the light and complemented by pinky-red pinstripes. It's another modest Robinson's Speedshop special, but it's also a superb looking machine and desirable enough to keep those commissions coming in. keep up the good work, Luke, and make sure you send the next build in to us too. See more of Luke’s bikes on The Robinson’s Speedshop Bike Shed Pages or Luke’s own Website and Facebook pages.