Cafe Racer Dreams XR600
By Ross Sharp - 03 Nov 14
This season's new black seems to be the Street Tracker or Scrambler, or perhaps some Frankenstein love child of the two. No longer though is it acceptable to slap a set of knobblies on a street bike and adorn it with more adventurous connotations. Cafe Racer Dreams aren't some new upstart, they've been banging the custom drum for a long time and have produced some wonderful bikes in the process. Need confirmation? Click here for some of what we have featured from Pedro and Efraon over the past couple of years. Starting with a proper donor usually leads to a true multi-tasking result, in this case an XR600. Well, not quite proper, the Honda arrived in appalling condition and needed more work than the usual elaborate strip and rebuild that CRD apply to their builds. On this project the customer wanted something similar to a CRD XR600 from a couple of years back, the Apollo, obviously with some upgrades and a bit more punch. Making subframes suit certain designs can be futile, so Pedro saved the compromise and chopped the old one off, preferring to fabricate from scratch. A skimpy rear fender hangs off the new structure in an attempt to keep crud away from the fancy bits. One of these being the Öhlins rear shock, very fancy. Exhausts are a contentious issue. Some like flowing continuous bends that involve either expensive equipment and brain that can make a protractor work or arms like Hugh Jackman and bag of dry sand, others prefer the welded section approach. Personally I'm torn but in this case; if you can weld then let the world know. Escapes GR based in Galica on Spain's far west coast put together this race style 2-into-1 stainless system with a two stroke-esque muffler. The slim waistline comes courtesy of a handmade and upholstered seat flowing into the CG125 fuel tank. It does make me wonder what happens when a pizza delivery guy or courier needs a replacement fuel tank from a breakers yard, "Sorry sir, the dude with the beard and cool pick-up truck bought the last ones we had". Crackle finish high-temp black paint and raw edges to the cooling fins is the sort of attention to detail that keeps the order book full at CRD. And another shot of that exhaust; it looks like it grew there, out of a steel vine, should such a thing exist. The Baja 1000 is off the cards so excessive suspension travel up front has been reduced to give a flatter, meaner stance and allow the new owner to get a little more aggressive on the brakes. The paint job is subtle enough to let the rest of the workmanship do the taking whilst looking purposeful and smart. The wheelset is by Excel with Continental TKC 80 tyres. Just a side note, if you're a forum jockey with no real knowledge of what actually works in the real world; then please pipe down. Conti's knobbly dual sport tyre can be pushed very hard on asphalt and the results enjoyed in abundance. I've done it, our mates have done it and loads of others have done it; they work, fact. The CRD website will give you an idea of the breadth of the guy's experience, and if you like what you see don't be put off by their location if you're from distant shores, working with a project and shipping globally is no problem. They also run a hugely successful Facebook page so keep up to date with their latest work.