– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Ichiban Moto and the Art of the Cafe Racer


Every once in a while, you stumble upon someone that combines the passion and the know how to build great custom motorcycles. That happened to me earlier today when I discovered Ichiban Moto. Building old fashioned cafe racers the old fashioned way with old fashioned tools, Ichiban Moto embodies the spirit of Zen. Patience and tenacity lead to incredible works of art.

Below are just two videos Ichiban offers to the cafe racer devotee on its YouTube channel. The first thoroughly inventories the tools necessary to build a great cafe racer, while the second goes through a painstakingly precise rear suspension modification ensured to improve handling and aesthetics. Enjoy.


  1. Ichiban Moto says:

    Can’t wait to finish this sweet build so I can start my next bad ass project !

  2. bad Chad says:


  3. Artem says:

    Still looks nice I think.

  4. Peter D says:

    Pretty sure he installed those shocks upside down and failed to mention the performance benefits of doing that! That is one of the attributes of a master mechanic, they never give you all of the secrets.

  5. adaleb says:

    Hilarious! Absolutely made my week. This is why MD is the best of the best. I just watched them again, and I am still laughing. Ha!

    • adaleb says:

      Plus, I love the fact that if you look real close, you will see that he never really did drill through that frame rail for the new upper shock mount. It was all smoke and mirrors to make us think he screwed with the rear downtube…

      I’m still laughing. “Cafe Racer…?… I got your snarky, superior Cafe Racer attitude right here….”.


  6. Tom says:

    Thanks MD! I really needed that laugh

  7. YellowDuck says:

    I just about peed my pants when he was taking the shock off with the claw hammer. And then again when we was explaining how it had been “lowered for performance”. Hilarious.

  8. Robb says:

    Truly dry humour, loved it. Forwarding on to friends that can appreciate this type of thing 🙂

  9. Fabio Quadrana says:

    It’s a crime to do such a stupid things on a clasic bike like that yamaha XS500

  10. bikerrandy says:

    Is this the video on how to be a shade tree mechanic? 8 ^ 0

  11. wes says:

    This is so awesome. Do some of you not realize this is satire?

  12. Karlsbad says:

    I can’t believe all the money I have wasted in the last 20 years buying high end tools and cabinets to put them in, when all I really needed was a Rubber Maid tote and 20$ worth of garage sale tools to build my next project, Shame on Snap-On, Mack, Proto, SK and Sears for leading me down the path of excess. If Ichiban can put out a quality piece as displayed in this video than surely I can give it a whirl as well. Now if I can just find someone to give me a frontal cranial lobotomy I should be good to go.

  13. Dave says:

    This is pretty biting satire of the whole cafe racer scene. Well done!

  14. mickey says:

    Just watched the tool one..” Another crescent wrench, this one is metric, Look here it says China and everyone knows they use metric over there”. And I had no idea original vice grips were american and non original vice grips were metric….amazing,

    • Trent says:

      vise grips .. sheesh 🙂

    • TomH says:

      Very educational! I was always confused as to which vice grips were standard and which were metric. Now I know. He did say in a pinch you can use either. Usually I am in a pinch so for the most part I have been okay all these years.

  15. mickey says:

    I’m sorry, but this guy should NOT be doing instructional videos. He doesn’t know a stud, from a bolt from a nut. ” I’m sorry, the shock goes here” classic! He couldn’t tell how the ride height was, or clearance or anything until he gets it off the jack stand and see how his suspension settles. Jezzalou, I am no mechanic, but that guy is just a hack. He actually made me feel good about my limited abilities.

  16. GKS says:

    Different vice grips and adjustable wrenches for fractional (inch) and metric fasteners. So that’s where I’ve been messing up all these years.

  17. ThanksForWastingMyTime says:

    What a waste of our time for posting this crap, shame on MotorcycleDaily! Shame on you!!

  18. Don Fraser says:

    now that’s funny

  19. MGNorge says:

    I found new uses for my claw hammer and bit & brace. Cool!

  20. John A. Kuzmenko says:

    Yamaha XS-500?

    At least the guy didn’t say he planned on selling it on the Internet for 627 times what it originally sold for back in 1978.

  21. john kril says:

    Dirk, you’re a month early on this.

  22. falcodoug says:

    I always use my adjustable wrench to measure critical items too 🙂

  23. nickst4 says:

    It’s great to see that good old-fashioned bodgery is alive and well! Alive so long as the zen-infused creation doesn’t get ridden more than around the block, that is…

  24. jon says:

    101 ways to to die with bad engineering is what his videos should be called. that shock bolt WILL rip out of the frame very easily…..

  25. Paul Cypert says:

    No mention of their great send up of “failed” cafe racers? Man that’s a funny video.