Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ducati 450 Single joins 900SS Bevel and Mule XS650 Street-tracker

The Mid Life Cycles workshop has been busy again with some interesting and diverse bikes, from classic Ducati Single to a Yamaha XS650-based street-tracker.
Nick's Ducati 450 Mark 3 heads a Latin line-up

First on the list for Sam Speer's expert attention was a very neat Ducati 450 Mark 3 that's been sitting idle for a while now. Some concentrated work on carb and electrics got this bevel-engined beauty up and running. Sam says it rides as well as it looks - for a short distance. Now we need to source a new alternator to keep the good spark going and a replacement for the tired Dellorto carby so it doesn't fuel up the plug after a short run. The Dellorto is a work of art - and this one will make a good shelf ornament. Call it another sacrifice to the Gods of Speed or other Ducati Deities. But it looks great alongside our almost-completed bevel-engined Ducati 900SS replica.
Yes, they do look good together...

Sandy finally gets to ride his Mule XS650 Tracker
Next up was Sandy's Mule XS650 Street Tracker. This one would have tested the patience of a weaker man, but Sandy's been waiting a while - first for the bike to be built in the States and delivered, and then for us to get it somewhere near road-legal and to sort out some teething troubles. Dr Roger fabricated front guard and chain guard, fitted a mirror, got the speedo working and wired the lights to... light; Sam stepped in to make sure the fuel flowed and the CDI unit fired that big grunty twin... There was a bit to do. But it now starts and rumbles like the big-engined XS that it is and Sandy is looking forward to riding Melbourne's streets and doing a few selected shows.

It's a handsome beast... 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Simon and his Norton 750 Commando

We get some enthusiastic visitors at Mid Life Cycles - and one of the more interesting recently was Simon, who rode out of his personal Tardis to bring us a touch of the Seventies.
Simon and his well-used Norton Commando

Simon has owned his Norton 750 Commando "for years" and he's modified it along the way to make it more rideable, if not more reliable. The early Honda CB750 front forks and disc brake conversion make for an interesting cross-pollination between the bike that changed motorcycling and one of the last (and best) of traditional British motorcycles. The fairing looks like it's been there since the Seventies and the overall bike looks well thought-through, and well-used.
And Simon? It would be unfair to say he looks well-used, in fact he's in fine fettle, but with open-face helmet and wrap-around shades and those fantastic period leathers, Simon is definitely Living the Dream...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kawasaki's retro Classic ZR750

1998 Kawasaki ZR750 Classic

Not quite a cafe racer - but a handsome retro-classic.

Kawasaki built a limited run of its ZR750 Classic for model years 1996 and 1998. The Classic is based on the long-running Zephyr series, with added features such as wire-spoked wheels, four-into-two exhaust and paint schemes that paid tribute to the iconic Kawasaki Z1. We've developed a real liking for these very rideable retro-bikes.
Check it out at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Honda's CB Singles make great cafe racers

Sammy the CB100 Cafe Racer
And here he is – Sammy the CB100 cafe racer. Every visitor to Mid Life Cycles is blown away by what ace builder Darren Brown has created here – a bike that’s more mascot than motorcycle, more art than machine, more Honda CR than CB… and it runs as well as it looks. We are building more of these, so Sammy is currently our Showpiece. Please inquire about your cafe racer build on any of Honda's classic CB series.
M: 0408 129 169
E: midlifecycles@gmail.com

Honda CB125 Silver Shogun cafe racer

Meet “Silver Shogun”, a Honda CB125-based cafe racer that makes short work of the local urban circuit. Bike-builder Luke Ward used a Prixhistoric Fibreglass Ducati Silver Shotgun tank and a neat seat unit to top-off this great example of a custom build.