Post 11 – Judging the 2017 Bikers Café Build-off

If you follow the custom-bike scene in the Middle East you would undoubtedly know of the Bikers Cafe Build-Off.

Introduced by Bikers Cafe – Dubai in 2015, it showcased 3 amazing creations come to life from builders like Moto, 86 CYCLES and Deus Arabia. This exciting event is now paving the way for other budding-builders to throw their creativity into the mix and see what they can produce.

A year later the 2nd Bikers Cafe Build-Off was held on October 27th 2016 and was very electrifying in many ways. Yes, once again three teams did battle including biking heavyweights Sebsports, internationally recognized custom-shop Lycan Customs and first ever seen amateurs Cafe Racers Middle East (CRME).

As the founder of Cafe Racers Middle East it was evident to me that we were definitely seen by the crowed as a loveable bunch of underdogs, just a group of likeminded bikers buddies with a flair for customizing, retro styling and modifying bikes! We were happy to participate and be the first independent / non-commercial garage to participate in the competition.

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Fast-forward to the highly anticipated 2017 Bikers Cafe Build-off held on the 21ST October 2017. Three very exciting challengers from very different backgrounds and very diverse build style were given a 150cc “Hero Thriller” motorcycle and it was going to be a showdown!

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4 rules kept them in check :

  • Must keep the stock engine
  • Must have the sponsors logo’s visibly on the bike
  • Must have the bike make emblem somewhere visible on the bike
  • Must be start-able / ride-able

 

The contestants:

VR Customs

The building and fabrication arm to the race team Vendetta Racing UAE. Known for building custom bikes and race bikes for both track and desert. Members Alan Boyter and Marc Roissetter are not new to winning trophies (mostly on the track) and customizing machines with their own hands. Seeing their past work, we knew this was going to be a dynamic team full of energy, knowhow and taste for speed!

Al Ain Customs

Enter the local heavy weights! An exciting custom bike company based out of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. Known for their jaw dropping craftsmanship in fabrication, air brush & paint, CNC machining and overall modifying… they have made many dream bikes into reality.

With trophies won from all over the GCC for their custom builds, Al Ain customs was definitely going to be setting some bench marks for there competitors.

 Bikers Oasis

Probably the contender who reminded us the most of ourselves. Hamad Al Remeithi has been no stranger to customizing bikes. A face on the scene for a while now, Hamad’s custom builds can be seen at coffee shops, meet-ups and bike shows throughout the UAE.

His beautifully built, custom Honda CB750 remains one of my favorite builds out of the UAE till date.

We didn’t know what Hamad had in store, but knew it would be something that would encompass his unique style, flair for classic styling and attention to detail.

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Show night

Invited to be a judge by Bikers Cafe alongside previous competitors Sebsports and Lycan Customs we had our work cut out for us. The benefit of being a prior competitor meant that we knew what was expected of the entrees and understand the painstaking effort of getting there builds ready for the show.

As we arrived on site we noticed 2 of the 3 competition bikes at the venue. Al Ain customs nowhere to be seen and everyone was anticipating their arrival!

We started with the unveiling of the first bike from VR Customs. The cover came off… a gasp was let out by the audience followed by applause. Flashes of red, that nostalgic shape known by anyone who has ever loved speed. VR had taken striking style elements from the famous “fastest Indian” built 1967 by the famous New Zealander Burt Monroe.

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Taking things to the next level, Team VR decided to turn into a hard tail turbo drag bike….as you do. Lol !

Next to unveil was the build from Bikers Oasis. We watched as the cover silkily slid off the bike and the room rang with applauses….. A unique and very customized café racer.

Arabic branding and Arabian influences echoed through the build, these are the stylistics which have made Biker Oasis such a recognizable figure in the community. For me I particularly liked the Arabic speedo, I have never seen that before ever! Clean lines, amazing paint work…. A head turning creation without question.

We then heard a wave of excitement coming from outside, we all rushed to the front of the cafe……. The 3rd competitor had arrived!

A crowd of people all rushed to the entrance of Bikers Cafe and watched a long covered motorcycle inch towards us, as the team from Al Ain Customs guided it toward the crowed.

We couldn’t wait any longer!As soon as the bike crossed the café threshold we had to have her unveiled!

I matt green, custom fabricated motorcycle. It looked more aro-dynamic then a bullet out of a gun! The rims where large, shiny and menacing and the bike had an overall military feel to it that echoed a beast! Cheers rang out from spectators!

Assessing the bikes was hard, I would almost prefer building a bike to judging one as its hard work! Lol.

Finish/ paint/ fabrication/ lines….etc…. so many details to check over! We talked to each builder about their work, had walks around the bikes with the builders… answering our every question.

It took a while but eventually the judges tallied up the numbers and we were ready to announce the winners:

  • VR Customs – 1st
  • Bikers Oasis – 2nd
  • Al Ain Customs – 3rd

Whilst some teams may be let down about where they placed, they really shouldn’t….

Everyone was a winner that day with the biggest prize being the love and support from both the local and international biker community!

Builders like these inspire others to take part in future competitions and share their creativeness with the rest of us!

 

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Post 10 – Wheels and Waves

If you don’t know what it is…. You should!

With humble origins starting from a popular meet-up for surfers, skaters and motorcyclists has now encompassed modern cultural movement. Located in Biarritz -France, The Wheels and Waves-Festival (W&W) has made a firm and distinctive mark on the biker world. Nestled amounts glorious architecture and incomparable waves you can hear the rumble of custom motorcycles echoing through the spectacular town. This is definitely a unique event worth attending and will undoubtedly be on our calendar for next year!

2017 saw the sixth year of the W&W Festival, encompassing about 20,000 guests and travelers from all over the world for this surf/moto frenzy! The quiet and scenic town of Biarritz gets speckled with campers and visitors eager to snatch up whatever B&B, hotel or crash-pad they can!

You are not in France, you are not in Spain; welcome to Basque Country.’ Sprawled across a huge banner hung outside the ArtRide exhibition.

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Oh the bikes…

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What was there? You name it… cafe racers of every shape and engine size, scramblers, trackers vintage builds, retro nostalgia, even the “what the hell were we doing builds” to the “we knew exactly what we’re doing builds”!

We had a number of friends who rolled down from London following from the Bike Shed Event in London in early June. It’s not surprising to see some of the ‘shed bikes’ make a re-appearance at Wheels and Waves. What fascinates us about this even possibly more than other’s is that it is allegedly a “no OEM industry hard sell” …. Instead… organic, cultured and includes races, rides and special exhibits.

“Our event is about motion,” is the mission statement of Southsiders MC founder Vincent Prat, chief of the triumvirate (with Jérôme Allé and Julien Azé) who organize this legendary festival.

Did we mention they also have an indoor cinema showing unique and custom selected flicks? Also… a big stage, with vibrant music from new age / upcoming bands provides an enthralling experience to all who attend no matter what’s your flavor. Don’t be surprised to see OG celebs such as the Legendary skater Steve Caballero shredding the half pipe (casually).

Wednesday… aka the ‘El Rollo’ is the infamous flat track race at San Sebastián’s Hipódromo. The attendees were blown away by the sheer size and scale of the competition compared to last year.

With an ominous mix of serious competitors and wannabe speed daemon, each race was small enough that it wasn’t cheer chaos. The machines varied from Triumphs to BSA’s, to even American v-twins.

“All this is awesome, but I want more?!”… well… you got it!

Thursday is the official opening day of the ‘village,’ and in the evening another ride to San Sebastián is required for the ArtRide exhibition, held on three floors of an old fish-packing warehouse in Pasaia. It’s a mix of fresh custom and vintage bikes, photography and other art, and film/performance.

The Punks Peak hillclimb (an uphill sprint bent in the middle) has spawned a host of imitators, so the ‘El Chupito’ race spices up the pre-’50 to Powerbike mix of racers. Costumes are required to race your 50cc demon, and this year the theme was ‘Superheroes.’ All sprints should be done in costume! Especially as sprints grow faster and more serious annually.

Saturday is the all-day ride out into the Pyrénées though the mountains all day. With the stunning weather this year, the riders were plentiful and in high spirits. Twisting roads and views that go-on for miles, whizzing past old and historic villages makes this ride a ‘must do’ and will resonate with every visitor to this event. Once you get back to the village don’t be surprised to see some exceptional custom bike builds scattered around the field… no extra hype … just beautiful bikes.

W&W – A festival that celebrates expression, fun and a culture that has developed around this way of life, inspired by motorcycling.

Post 9- The 3rd Bikers Cafe Build-Off !

It’s that time of the year again for the anticipated 3rd Bikers Cafe Build-off!

As participants in last year’s we know what an amazing experience it is!

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Once again three teams will do battle including Bikers Oasis, Vendetta Racing UAE and Alain Custom Motorcycle. All contenders will have to present their bikes to the judges at Bikers Café on the 21st of October 2017.

Alain Customs  has years of experience working on customized cruiser one-off builds for customers, Bikers Oasis is known for his retro custom builds made in his man-cave and VR Racing puts to racers with the build skills into the mix.

None of the three teams should be discounted!!!

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We at Cafe Racers Middle East wish the ‘best of luck’ to everyone in the comp and are excited to see what unique creations come out of this build-off .

We’ll be keeping you all up to date on the event through our social media during the evening!

 

Post 8 – Beachroad Magazine Feature

Thanks Beachroad Magazine Dubai for the awesome feature!

We love to contribute with local home grown magazines!

Click here to check it out!

 

Beachroad Magazine Dubai was conceived in 2014 with the aim to showcase businesses and talent within our communities. A mix of Culture, Arts, Fashion, Photography, Design, Travel and Dining features along the coastal road and beyond

Pictures by our good friends: Portraits of a Rider & Sean Blake

Post 6 – The Cafe Racers Corner – Bike Nation Magazine

Hey Guys!

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last year and a half you would have undoubtedly heard of ‘Bike Nation Magazine’.

Cafe Racers Middle East is happy to announce that we will be a permanent feature covering the ‘Cafe Racer Corner’ and other special articles to bring our community current info, cool bikes and trends. Make sure you grab a copy of Bike Nation Magazine off shelves or download the app and let us know what you think of our articles!

Post 4 – Bonnefication Feature – Del’s Desert Sled

 Hi guys!

Have you seen our latest feature in Bonneficiation? Awesome write-up on ‘Del’s Desert Sled’ & it’s transformation from an award winning Café Racer to a Desert Sled. Have a look!

http://www.bonnefication.com/del-gasans-t100-desert-racer 

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About Bonnefication:

Ten years ago Tim Schofield purchased his first ever Triumph Motorcycle. A 2005 Triumph Scrambler, a retro classic which Tim was told. ‘was the very Scrambler photographed for the official Triumph catalogue’. From the start Tim knew he wanted to turn what is essentially a very cool motorcycle, into something even cooler, something Steve McQueen himself would ride…

In the coming years Tim was to spend many hours searching the world-wide-web for inspiration, inspiration which he then shared on his own blog, a blog which was to later become Bonnefication.com

 

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Today Tim continues to share the very best custom and modified Hinckley Triumph Twins so you too can be inspired!

Post 3 – Dime City Cycles to support Underdogs!

We at Cafe Racers Middle East wanna say a huge ‘Thank You’ to our homies at Dime City Cycles for generously donating us parts for the 2016 Bikers Cafe Build-off!

Dime City Cycles (famous for their support of local builders and the international custom bike community) have been supplying parts globally to us ‘aspiring overseas builders’ for years! Enabling us to get our hands on the ingredients we need to create our dreams… No matter where in the world you are!

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DCC wanted to support CRME as we jointly hope to show local builders and average joe’s that a group of buddies with tool boxes can take part in a competition of this scale and be creative!

Post 2 – Biker’s Cafe Second Biker Build-Off!

The latest build-off by Bikers Café in Dubai is going to be an interesting one in many ways. Three teams will do battle including biking heavyweights Sebsports and custom shop Lycan Customs but this year a group or gnarly amateurs are jumping into the competition in the form of Café Racers Middle East (CRME) – a group of like minded bikers with a flair for chopping up metal. Adding a bit of spice to the mix the bike they have all been given to work their magic on is a stock Honda XR 125 – not the typical build-off bike but is sure will make things interesting. By October this year the three builds will be presented and judged at Bikers Café and the winner announced.

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Sebsports has years of experience working on similar offroad bikes and would initially appear to be the team to beat. Lycan’s usual style is a much more customized cruiser one-off builds for customers but they do have experience in some serious custom work. Meanwhile CRME come into the competition with their own home-build experience on café racers and their wild imaginations but would appear to be the underdogs, for the moment.

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None of the three teams should be discounted. Never under-estimate the power of the underdog as the saying goes.

‘We want to thank Bikers Cafe for having us participate in the 2nd Bikers Cafe Build Off! We are very excited to be going against the teams from Sebsports and Lycan Customs. We are the first non-commercial garage to participate in the competition and is made up of a group of freinds who will work together on building this bike. Best of luck to everyone in the comp and excited to see what unique creations come out of this build-off,’ Del Gasan, part of the CRME team said after the competition was announced at Bikers Café this weekend.

We’ll be keeping you all up to date on the progress of the team and maybe a few peeks at their work along the way.