What is it that makes the perfect cafe racer, brat, chopper or whatever your preference?
Is there even such a thing as perfection? Your idea of perfect will likely be different to mine for example.
After all, isn’t it more about how they make us feel? The passion, the freedom, it’s exhilarating, intoxicating.
Ironwood Custom Motorcycles are based in Amsterdam are the architects of some of the finest cafe racers you are ever likely to see.
They are more well known for their air cooled BMW based creations but they are by no means a one trick pony. An example of their ability to diversify is here on these pages, the Honda 1978 CB550.
Cafe racers are the very epitome of a simple, light weight, slim and trim motorcycle. Their beauty is in their simplicity and this IWC realisation is a beautiful example of the genre.
When the base bike arrived at IWC it was desperately in need of some remedy.
Owner Arjan van den Boom said “The original bike was hideous man, absolutely the most ugliest bike I ever laid my hands on. It was in shit condition too.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Arj set about deconstructing the decrepit old beast and set it on the path to redemption.
The grubby old CB was striped to it’s bare bones, exposed and vulnerable, but in the capable and expert hands of Arj and IWC it wouldn’t be long before the old girl would sing her sweet song again.
Once stripped, lightweight was the name of the game. All superfluous metal was removed, leaving a light and strong frame to form a skeleton for the reborn CB550. So much effort put in to creating a clean, lightweight look, the last thing Arj wanted was the electrics getting in the way so the electrics are hidden between the subframe tubes with the battery mounted under the bike, low slung, to improve the handling.
Next, the disheveled old Honda engine was carefully, painstakingly disassembled, stripped down to component form and rebuilt, given new life.
Stance is important with a cafe racer so the front was dropped 60mm over the forks which were fitted with 25mm shorter springs, helping the bike’s turn in and sharpening the handling. To finish off the classic cafe racer look, the bike rolls on a set of radial Avons.
IWC are particularly proud of the seat unit. A beautiful Miller Kustom Upholstery brat seat with a row of hidden LED’s that make up the brake light and indicators.
Colour choice was simple, black.
Black frame, black engine, black forks, black heart.
They have created a beautiful bike, exhilarating, intoxicating and absolutely authentic, yet with a contemporary twist see.