Gentlemen, may we have your votes please?
In 2021 the BikeBrewers team got invited by the Café Racer Club Bulgaria to act as judges for the 2nd edition of the Caféracerfest in Kyustendil – Bulgaria. We didn’t know what to expect, since this was the first time we were asked to perform this serious duty, and all we had seen so far were (lovely) pictures of the first edition. Now, we may not know much about the Eurovision Song contest, however, we do know a thing or two about caféracers, so we grabbed our motorcycle gear and headed East.
As you may recall, we were blown away by the quality of the event, which we clearly communicated in our September 24th report. A major factor in the success of the first two editions is the undaunted organizer of the event, Ivan Mushev. That name may ring a bell, and it should; we’ve featured some of Ivan’s masterpieces under the name of his outfit Bull Moto custom. But that’s not what we are here for now.
We must have done something right as we have been invited to judge again at the 2022 edition of the Caféracerfest which is coming up on June 11th, and we couldn’t be more excited! Looking back at last year’s event did raise the question if this year’s contenders have any idea of the high level of last year’s participants? If we go by what we saw last year, we have some pretty high expectations.
…and the winner is..!
This story is about Borislav Aleksov and his dream to build the ultimate café racer. Before the Bulgarian builder got his hands on this 1992 Yamaha XV1100, he had already built a Honda CX500 café racer. Borislav was fascinated by the air-cooled Yamaha v-twin, so when one of his friends was selling his, Borislav knew that it was now or never. We’re glad he took that chance.
It’s safe to say that we have yet to see a boring Yamaha XV caféracer here at BikeBrewers. This one seems to be the latest addition to that list, keeping the standard yet again, very high. It’s hard to imagine that Borislav had a budget of a mere 7500 euro; that kind of money you’d expect a shed-built bike to cost, definitely not a show-winning unit like this.
Borislav started with chopping the rear sub-frame, and building a new one from scratch. At the front a set of Suzuki GSX-R1000 forks were adopted, held firmly in place by a set of Aprilia RSV4 triple clamps. The forks allow for radial brake callipers to be mounted, which is exactly what the master craftsman did, courtesy of Tokico. At the rear, a Yamaha FZ6 mono-shock keeps the bike on track. The new forks brought a new dilemma; the ground clearance was now compromised. The solution: raising the engine up in the frame. That’s not an easy task, so countless hours were spent trying to get it right.
The engine didn’t go back in the frame before being completely overhauled and got covered with a fresh coat of paint. The carbs were cleaned and rebuild, so that took care of the intake side of things. On the exhaust side, a new custom-made exhaust system was build from the ground up. We really liked the lines and angles of the exhaust system, and it’s one of the key features that attracted us to this bike on the day of the event. When we asked Borislav what his intentions were when he built this bike, he said that, at first he wanted to build a classic looking café racer, but that he changed his mind half-way through the project after being inspired by some builds he saw on Facebook.
A friend of Borislav took care of lacing the hubs to a new set of aluminium rims, which were also in black. Yes, black is the theme with this build, and we like it! Do you know what’s also black? The modified Benelli fuel tank, the epitome of café racer fuel tanks. Everything was painted in-house by Borislav himself. A custom leather seat keeps the rider firmly in place, and a Daytona Velona 80 gives all the necessary rider info whilst maintaining a contemporary look.
It is clear to see why this particular café racer took the 1st prize during the 2021 Caferacerfest.
This is what Borislav had to say about his build:
“I like the paint scheme and the general profile of the motorcycle that is the exact opposite of a chopper. The riding experience is unexplainable after 3 years of working on this project to be able to finally ride it is a dream come true. Thanks also for the Felix helmet that I received as a prize. It really enhances the look of the ride” he smiles.
Below are some shots of the bike before Borislave opened his toolbox and the build in progress.