• May 26th 2010 at 8:01AM
  • 8
Ryca Motors CS-1 – Click above for high-res image gallery

In case you hadn't noticed, cafe racers are in. In fact, retro in general has been seeing a resurgence of sorts for the last decade or so, and there's a certain intrinsic charm to motorcycles designed to be sportbikes before the term sportbike actually existed. Established motorcycle brands, such as Ducati with its Sport Classic series and Triumph with its Thruxton, have taken note with production models that ape the design of low-slung classics with dropped handlebars, raised exhausts and sloping seats.

As much as we appreciate those bikes, it's important to note that cafe racers were highly customized by their owners and were therefore much more unique than the bikes they were based on. As such, we're finding ourselves rather intrigued by the CS-1 from Ryca Motors. Starting with the well-known Suzuki S40 (or the Savage, as it was previously known) means that parts and service will never present a problem, and that bike's easygoing 650cc single cylinder powerplant lends itself to the cafe racer look with relatively little effort.

Casey Stevenson, formerly an engineer at NASA, designed the CS-1 to be a fun and fuel efficient machine that could be built on a small budget and sold as a small run of production models and kits. Want one? A check for $9,500 will get you a CS-1 brand new off the showroom floor, and $8,000 will get you a bike built atop a gently used donor. If you already have an S40 or Savage, you can get it converted for $5,500 or you can buy the complete kit for $3,200.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saw this on The Kneeslider almost a week ago. Very impressed that it made its way to AB. Keep the moto news coming.

      Thumbs up JKor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I forgot to mention that as interesting as this is, I don't see why anyone would choose this dolled up $4800 bike over a factory Triumph Thruxton, which goes for only $7999 (but admittedly still needs some parts removed to get as cool as this one).
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is too expensive for a one-banger. The DIY would be the way to go, but those that can wrench could probably make that for less than $2k.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not that bad. A brand new custom 650 for less than $10K is acceptable. It's not like Suzuki is gouging. This is a custom piece. It may not go like a gsx-r, but you're not going to see 10/day either.

        I think it's worth it. I wouldn't pay it. My cafe cost me less than $2k altogether, but I'd respect anyone who bought one. Not everybody has the time or means to wrench anymore. This is a way to get something fun, reliable, unique at a price competive with similarly sized (not styled) bikes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Um....because a factory Thruxton is just a dolled up version of the boring new Bonnevilles. The CS-1 is totally rad and different. Already saving up for one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That looks fantastic, and I'm seriously looking into this.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've ridden several cafe racers and just can't stand them. They are definitely not for me. I love the look, though.

      Drastically lowered bars means there's usually excessive pressure on the wrists while riding, which is especially bad if you have even a trace of carpal tunnel. They have clumsy handling at low speed due to overly narrow bars that give no steering leverage. They're twitchy at high speed for the same reason. The ones I rode had too hard seats, and the rear mounted foot controls are just plain awkward for ordinary riding.

      There are plenty of reasons why these bikes were generally used for short races only. If this is what you want, need, or respect, it's a cool choice. Otherwise, look the other way. ;)

      On the other hand, I love the Suzuki Savage/S40, even though Suzuki narrowed the bars a bit too much in latest models, in my opinion. The Savage/S40 is one of the world's best bikes for just plain fun city riding, is competent on the highway, yet is so easily overlooked or considered a novice rider's toy in a market full of twins and four cylinders.

      The S40's light weight and narrow frame make it a great starting point for a custom like this, since light and narrow reduces the disadvantages of those tiny handlebars.
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