Customer Builds: John Elbrow - London

This bike was built with a CS-1 Cafe Racer Kit



Tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to build a RYCA.
I think, like most, I discovered RYCA via the internet... think I must have googled Cafe Racer. Also I fell maybe into a midlife crisis. I was really drawn to the look, style. Simplicity of the design.

How did you find your Suzuki? What year model? What shape was it in?

By chance. Although the Savages are a lot rarer in the UK, I found on Ebay a non-runner '87 model, and it was in a sorry state. But back at the Surrey Speed Shop workshop, jump leads on it started first time. Hoorah!!!

Did you sell the take-off parts? How much did you get?
All parts were so rusty, only value as scrap.

Tell us about any mods or upgrades you did to your bike.
In order to try and save on the shipping, wheels were relaced and powder coated locally. As I wanted to fit classic Dunlop TTs K81, we did the swingarm mod at SSS. Also, despite the cost, a Ballastic battery which is much smaller and lighter than the standard. Inspired by Deus, the paintwork is an old Ferrari colour Griggo. 

How long have you been riding? What other bikes do you own?
I have been riding over 30 years. Apart from the RYCA, I ride a BMW R1200R and a Vespa ET4. Have just purchased an earlier BMW R80 (next project).

What's your occupation?
My background is within the automotive industry. I work for BMW.

What advice would you give to future RYCA builders?
Take your time, drink tea. Watch the You Tube videos. Enjoy the process, label everything. If in doubt, email Ryan/Casey

What was the best thing about building the bike?
Despite all the cuts, burns, bruises and budget, it's a very enjoyable journey. So much so that I started a FB page Surrey Speed Shop -- a kinda custom commune, lots of great photos and updates of what I build and like.

Tell us about any problems you had and how you solved them.
My biggest problem was the condition of the Moto. It was a very slow strip down, and at the risk of repeating myself, label things. Even take photos of wiring etc.

Anything else you want to add?
Thank you RYCA. Having really no skills, I have made a Moto that looks stunning and always pulls a crowd. The whole journey has been a pleasure. Ending on an old cliche... YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE ON A MOTO.

Thanks, John... Sounds like a fun project, and the bike looks fantastic!




See more customer builds in the Customer Gallery.


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