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PureBreed Fine Motorcycles, The Ultimate Cafe Racer
On October 7th, 2001 the Guggenheim Museum held a landmark exhibition. It was on that day the design world acknowledged something that the rest of us already knew; that motorcycles can be beautiful works of art. Powerful, fast and noisy, bikes are possibly the most kinetic of all sculptures.
To ride a beautifully designed motorcycle is a sublime and visceral experience. As Melissa Holbrook Pierson said in her book, “The Perfect Vehicle”, “The bike feels like an extension of the self- a better you, a perfectible, fixable you, an ominously powerful you.”
While riding we mostly feel the machine in it’s perfect balance and appreciate its design with our hands, feet, ears and backside. Yet it is only once we stop and drop the kickstand; walk away and turnaround: that our eyes see the undeniable beauty of the machine.
I think it is cafe racer culture that understands this most of all. Half the point of racing from cafe to cafe is to park with other bikes and marvel at their awesomeness and individuality. You can be sure that most riders drink coffee in the parking lot.
Where as choppers, unlike other motorcycles conversions are designed for pure display, cafe racers place an enormous importance on both ride-ability and visual design. Not to mention the faster the better. There is a reason the handlebars are slung so low.
The tradition of DIY cafe racer conversions goes back to 1939 and the Ace Cafe in London and will always be a feature of the cafe racer tribe but a motorcycle conversion in the hands of a master mechanic/designer is a whole other breed.
Which brings us to Guillaume Brochu owner and founder of PureBreed Fine Motorcycles of St-Alphonse, Quebec and his Brooklyn Project.
The Brooklyn Project - BMW S1000R
PureBreed Fine Motorcycles is offering a most exclusive custom cafe racer conversion.
There are a number of interesting aspects to this project worth mentioning here. Firstly, the purchase and financing of these cafe racers all take place with in the BMW dealership environment. Orders are created and delivered via BMW itself. Also, all modifications and changes to the original S1000R do not void the warranty.It is essentially a fully covered purchase of a brand new motorcycle.
The stock 2016, S1000R is the naked version of the faired S1000RR from BMW and the starting point for Guillaume Brochu’s The Brooklyn Project. 175 Horsepower, 380 lbs and ready to ride.
There will be a maximum of 40 machines available worldwide with PureBreed now taking orders as of January 1st, 2016. As it says on PureBreed's web site, each will be unique. Guillaume says that the typical turn around time for the custom machine should average about 6 weeks.
Needless to say this is no CB 750 or Bonneville cafe project but instead begins with the notoriously wicked 999cc inline 4 cylinder BMW superbike. All of the stock bike technology was retained, including the Race ABS brakes, electronic DDC suspension system, and selectable riding modes.
From this point PureBreed begin their work. Guillaume and the team utilize 3D scanner and printer technologies to design the new components that replace the originals. A technique that creates micron accurate tolerances and avoids using a rubber hammer to make it fit.
When I asked Guillaume about how he balances motorcycle function over beauty he was very clear, “I see them as pieces of art” but he stresses the need to avoid,”bullshit” when it comes to choice of components used to make these conversions. He goes on to say,” We must not forget that the beauty of motorcycles is in the riding.”
That said, Guillaume does share with painters and sculptures the need to tinker and change the designs while in the prototype phase. Adding a brushstroke here and there or removing a little clay from the masterpiece.
He says that with the machine almost finished he will still sit back and find himself altering and changing details constantly. “It drives me crazy sometimes”, he laughs as he excepts the comparison in my interview with him.
Of course a customer will care deeply about all the details of his/her beloved TBP (The Brooklyn Project) but needless to say the whole will be much greater then the sum of the parts. The performance of this machine will certainly be thrilling. That much power in a truly naked cafe racer will work the core strength of any rider but above all else it is the aesthetic beauty of the final machine that will be so moving; moving for both the owner and those that watch them.
Here is a list of modifications and conversions for the bike taken from The Brooklyn Project website:
- Carbon fiber custom fuel tank.Carbon fiber seat frame.
- Carbon fiber seat cowl.
- Carbon fiber front and rear fenders.
- Carbon fiber wheels.
- Racing radiator and oil cooler, aluminum.
- Titanium full exhaust system.
- Purebreed custom design top tree, custom engraving with integrated clip ons, and stainless steel signature plate.
- Purebreed headlight and speedo bracket, carbon fiber/aluminium.
- Purebreed LED Headlight7" with custom aluminum bezel.
- Custom dash and tachometer design.
- Racing folding brake and clutch levers.
- Adjustable rear sets.
- Reprogrammed fuel Injection unit with proprietary Purebreed mapping.
- 530 gold racing chain.
- Custom seat upholstery in treated premium leather, tri-density foam.
- Lithium-Ion Battery.
- LED Flashers in handlebars.
- LED taillight.
- Custom graphic work and tri-coat paint by Simon Galarneau.
- Aluminum sprocket cover.
- Custom Purebreed CNC gas cap.
- MICHELIN Pilot Power 2CT tires.
- Bar end mirrors.
- CNC brake fluid reservoir.
As well there are number of custom options which include the stitch and colour of the leather seat. Fuel tank colour and custom graphics designs are also available. A choice of carbon fiber, aluminum or spoked tubeless wheels.Special seat height options for shorter or taller riders and finally a choice of race or street exhaust systems.
The protoype S1000R cafe racer will be on display at the BMW booth in Toronto at The Motorcycle Show February 19th - 21st.
Michael Phillip Wojewoda is a freelance record producer and motorcyclist based in Toronto, Canada.