Something for everyone this week: the classic perfection of a Moto Guzzi cafe racer, a stealth R18 commissioned by BMW and a slender CB650R from the European Honda dealership build. Plus a glimpse of BMW’s very, very radical new CE 04.
Moto Guzzi California 1100 EV by Bernd and Robin Mehnert The Mehnerts are a German father-son duo who normally make wind instruments. But when a friend gave them a cheap California 1100, they bought it and turned to metalworking.
The California might be a cruiser, but it converts surprisingly well into a café racer format, mainly thanks to the Tonti frame. It’s way too heavy though, so Bernd and Robin focused on losing weight, using as many aluminum parts as possible.
Inspired by Axel Budde and his famous Kaffeemaschine builds, the Mehnerts installed the lower frame tubes of a Le Mans, an aluminum tank from WBO Racing and a GRP seat and tail unit.
German Moto specialist Guzzi Dynotec supplied the leather saddle, reprogrammed the fuel injection and also helped with the painting for the few parts that are not in raw metal.
Power is boosted by a modified airbox (with high flow air filter) and a Mistral exhaust system, increasing power from 68 to 86 hp. The weight has dropped from around 250 to 210 kg, allowing the Guzzi to pass the 200 km / h mark. And with a lowered and refurbished front fork and 36PRCLB piggyback hlin shocks at the rear, the California now has the stance to match. [Via]
BMW R18 by Pier City Cycles This Sussex, England workshop keeps a low profile on the custom scene, but it’s a thriving business that specializes in custom BMW R nineTs. They do full builds and also sell a huge range of parts for Boxer owners who prefer to do the job themselves.
PCC has now caught the attention of BMW Motorrad UK, who have asked them to customize an R18 for the Goodwood Festival of Speed which takes place this weekend.
The R18 is currently sitting in the Supercar Paddock, but we believe it will easily defend against the surrounding exoticism, despite relatively subtle mods.
PCC has reduced all of the “heritage” vibe of the R18 and gone for what they call a “neo” look. Manufacturing features a low-profile seat on rigid support struts, upholstered by James King Atelier using a combination of pork suede and leather.
The slim fenders are handcrafted and the bars are lower and narrower than the stock ones. The exhaust system is also new, with custom piping designed to match Unit Garage’s frame and tiny end caps.
BMW’s Option 719 program provided more goodies, including blacked-out covers for the engine crankcase and cylinder heads, blacked-out fork covers, and black aluminum rims.
On the electrical side, PCC installed a Denali M7 headlight and used Motogadget Tens2 combo units for the rest of the lighting, as well as the compact Motoscope Mini digital counter.
After a complete repaint, the R18 was ready to take on the famous hill climb at Goodwood, with James Hiller, the frequent Isle of Man TT racer on board. We would have liked to be there to see and hear it, since this R18 registers a whopping 121 dB on the sound level meter. [Pier City | Images by Drew Irvine]
Honda Europe CB650R custom competition Custom builds involving dealers are fraught with dangers for manufacturers’ marketing departments. It takes more than just a skilled mechanic to build an eye-catching custom, and a stylish showroom doesn’t guarantee an eye for design. And then you have to have all the bikes photographed consistently.
We’ve seen some real random competitions in the past, but Honda is right with its “Garage Dreams” contest, involving 36 dealers across Europe. The winning bikes were meant to be on display a few days ago at the Wheels & Waves festival in France, but since that was canceled Honda has put together an online showcase of the top ten builds.
We are particularly seduced by the machine presented here, by the Portuguese garage Mototrofa. His name is Fenix - after the garage fire in 2019 and his resurrection – and won the Iberian section of the competition.
Mototrofa grafted the one-sided swingarm and rear wheel from a VFR750F, as well as the front wheel from a CBR900RR Fireblade. The seat and tail unit is customized, and an Akrapovič titanium exhaust system releases a few extra horsepower while reducing weight by almost five kilograms.
The paint was designed with the help of (and applied by) another Portuguese brand Nexx Helmets, the ’93’ signifying the founding year of Mototrofa. And also the bib of a certain young Spanish MotoGP champion…
Electric scooter BMW CE 04 We don’t usually find new scooter launches interesting, but BMW’s latest urban runabout really does butter our toast. Not only because it’s electric, but also because cyberpunk style is out of this world.
The aesthetic is similar to what we’re starting to see in the more forward-thinking custom builders. They’re also remarkably close to the Concept Link that BMW revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza show four years ago. And as you might expect, it sparked off some of the more conservative members of the motorcycle fraternity.
The maximum speed is 75 mph (120 km / h) and the range is approximately 80 miles (130 km). To get those user-friendly numbers, the weight is 509 pounds (231 kg), which pretty much matches that of the new Revolution Max-powered Sportster S that Harley is about to reveal. BMW, usefully, equips the CE 04 with a reverse gear.
It’s also worth noting that this scoot is big – it’s about an inch taller than a Pan America. There is plenty of room for a passenger on the bench seat, as well as front and side storage compartments.
BMW has a history in the world of electric scooters, thanks to the maxi scooter C-evolution. So you can count on the fact that the CE 04 is well sorted, fun to drive and cheap to run. However, it won’t be cheap to buy: in the US, the price will start at $ 11,795.
It’s pretty much the same as a new base Ducati Monster model, but much less than the $ 21,999 LiveWire One. You pay your money and you make your choice. [BMW CE 04 Definition product page]