We’re all aware of the Cafe Racer’s origins. Young, British kids modifying their Nortons, Triumphs and BSA’s following the example given by production racers of the era. These modifications started with clip-on bars, seats or brakes and ended it bastards carrying Triumph engines in Norton featherbed frames.
The Ace Café popped up, young rascals carrying out illegal road races, wearing leather jackets and breaking each other’s noses…in short; the right material for newspaper headlines and movies. So far for the story, but let’s stay focused on the bikes.
With Café Racers being inspired by racing motorcycles, weight reduction was the obvious thing to do. We all know that chopping off is the first and cheapest step to a faster motorcycle. Therefore, choosing a light bike in the first place might be the smartest move. Now, the Honda GL 1000 might not be the first bike to pop up in your mind if you think about lightweight motorcycles. Oh, here’s a note to anyone unfamiliar with model codes; YES, the GL is the bloody Goldwing!
But an idea doesn’t have to be wrong only because nobody has done it before. Think about Neal Armstrong or Edmund Hillary, for instance. And even if something might seem a bit far-fetched at the beginning doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely bonkers. Ask the Wright Brothers or Bill Gates about that, I bet most people declared them whacky when they came up with their idea.
So when Adam Nestor from Adam’s Custom Shop in Sweden decided to use a GL 1000 to build himself a Café Racer, one could guess his choice had less to do with weight than with childhood memories (Adam experienced his first ride on a bike on such a GL 1000 at age 7). But even if the first GL 1000 had nothing in common with the later Goldwing models (reminding some critics of a rolling furniture catalogue), it’s still by no means a featherweight. But Adam wanted an unconventional bike and was inspired by aircraft manufacturing.
As with any good Café Racer, Adam started unscrewing or cutting of every unnecessary part of the bike. That still doesn’t transform the GL into a ballerina but it’s a good start. Shocks and forks remain stock, but the bike is lowered by inserting the fork a few centimeters. The frame, the drive shaft housing as well as the engine are painted in blue and give some contrast to the yellow rims.
The gas tank (in fact, on the GL the tank is a dummy containing storage boxes, some electrical stuff and an emergency kick starter while the real tank sits below the seat) is modified by Adam. The wiring is replaced by Motogadget and Dyna parts and hidden under the tank. Toggle switches, a quick-fastener as well as a handmade jewel of a speedo complete the aviation picture.
A half-cowl fairing is customized and fitted to the bike. The whole rear-end of the bike takes up the aviation topic with a seat cowl as well as a seat based on stainless steel. Foamed pads serve as a seat cover. Adam manufactured a 4 into 1 exhaust system for his GL. Not much noise damping here, Swedish law enforcement seems to be quite easy on this subject.
All told, Adam Nestor’s GL 1000 is a rolling proof that ignored bikes can turn out to be real gems. And by the way, who says chubby can’t be sexy?