The challenge to create the best looking, fastest, most purposeful cafe racer is a long and winding road. There are many subjective variables that need to be addressed but I feel there are several ingredients that are as simple as black and white, or should it be red and silver? See what I mean..
Firstly the frame. Norton featherbed. It just has to be in my opinion. The second most important pieces in the puzzle are the seat unit and tank. Again, they have to resemble original Manx items. Thirdly, clip-ons and rear sets. Beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder but to achieve the desired 'look', proportion, stance-angle, sound and performance all require careful consideration.
Finally the engine, the heart of any motorcycle. Should it be a Norton pushrod single? Harley pushrod? Vincent V-Twin? BSA Gold Star? Yamaha XS? Suzuki GSXR? or the old faithful Triumph Twin? Obviously some options provide more logistical challenges than others but what lump made over the last 50 years would create the epitome of a cafe racer? And slot into the bay of a featherbed frame?
Cardiff based bike builders Taimoshan believe Aprilia have the answer. The Super Cafe Racer is a Norton featherbed cradling a 1000cc Aprilia RSV motor.
The quality of the work appears to be extremely high. The time and effort put into the rear suspension and unit pro link set-up is remarkable. The rear monoshock has no top mounting point on the frame in order to prevent frame flex which can disrupt handling.
The wiring loom, fuel pump, ignition, full engine management computer and throttle bodies all sit 'in tank' under the Manx style unit.
For more information visit the Taimoshan Cycle Works site.