1981 Yamaha XV920 - Alpha -

Yamaha XV920 Virago cafe racer build by ASE Custom motorcycles


  • Completely bespoke rear subframe.
  • One-off sculptured rear fibreglass tailpiece and tailored seat.
  • Full rewire utilising the functionality of the Motogadget m-unit blue.
  • Handcrafted stainless steel exhaust.
  • Custom paintwork
  • Powder-coated frame & wheels.
  • 2008 Yamaha R1 front end.
  • Yamaha XJ600 Diversion tank.
  • Relocated battery.

1988 BMW K100 Cafe Racer

BMW K100 Cafe racer build by ASE Custom motorcycles


  • Chopped frame and bepoke rear subframe to support a fibreglass rear cowl and seat.
  • Clip-on handlebars with original switchgear.
  • Wiring refresh to integrate new lights and dash.
  • Comprehensive restoration including vapourblasted powertrain and powdercoated chassis components.
  • Stainless steel exhaust collector and silencer.
  • Full custom paint job.
  • Uprated front and rear suspension.
  • Billet CNC rearsets.

2001 Kawasaki KLR650 Scrambler

2001 Kawasaki KLR 650C retro inspired Scrambler build by ASE Custom motorcycles


  • Bespoke rear subframe 
  • Custom seat to suit new frame and tank layout
  • Stainless steel fabricated exhaust
  • Unique radiator cowl/brace with custom water-jet cut front grille.
  • Kawasaki KZ400 (1978-79) fuel tank
  • Mitas E-09 DAKAR rear, E-13 Rally star TT front tyres
  • Full custom paint job.
  • Samco Sport cooling hoses
  • DNA universal Air filter 
  • Hel performance brakelines 
  • KOSO Digital speedometer

1981 Yamaha Virago XV750 Cafe

1981 Yamaha Virago XV750 cafe racer build by ASE Custom motorcycles


  • Completely bespoke rear subframe.
  • Benelli style aftermarket fuel tank.
  • Full rewire utilising the functionality of the Motogadget m-unit blue and switch gear.
  • Replacement stainless steel exhaust.
  • Custom paintwork and powder-coated frame.
  • Relocated battery.
  • Custom paintwork.
  • Uprated Hagon suspension.

Honda CX500 Cafe racer

Honda CX500 JPS cafe racer build


  • Completely bespoke rear section with relocated suspension pick-up points and rear frame hoop integration.
  • Replacement seat to suit new framework.
  • Full rewire utilising the functionality of the Motogadget m-unit blue and switch gear.
  • Modified exhaust routing and silencers.
  • Custom paintwork

2007 Honda CRF 230 Scrambler

Honda CRF230 custom build by ASE Custom motorcycles.


  • Aftermarket CG125 fuel tank mounted using bolt-on brackets to allow reversible conversion.
  • Bespoke seat base, cushion and cover.

Triumph 1200 XC Scrambler

Triumph 1200 XC Scrambler

  • Several aftermarket triumph accessories.
  • Arrow silencers.
  • Tail tidy.
  • Bespoke paintwork.

Kawasaki W800

Kawasaki W800 Custom build with orange paintwork with chequered pattern by ASE Custom motorcycles

  • Streamlined front and rear fenders
  • Full custom paintwork
  • Chrome delete to satin black
  • Lowered dials and headlight
  • LSL handlebars
  • Hisider bar end mirrors
  • Hisider small LED indicators front and back

Triumph Street twin

Triumph street twin custom with squirrel grey paintwork

  • Resprayed tank with retro Triumph logo.
  • De-badged side panels.
  • Bench seat
  • More dirt-biased tyres.
  • Aftermarket indicator mounts
  • Weslake powercone silencers

Up close and personal with - ALPHA-

The Yamaha Virago was the company’s first series of V-twin cruisers, featuring 75° air-cooled engines with shaft drive and mono-shock chassis. From 1981-1983, the Virago XV920 was the top of the line, offering a 920cc, 65-hp engine as well as adjustable handlebars and forks, front dual-disc brakes, and the company’s CYCOM (Cycle Computer) system. Surely Yamaha’s engineers had no idea that nearly 40 years after the debut of the first Virago, the machine would be reborn in the hands of custom builders across the world. 


An interview with the builder.......

What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

The bike originated as a 1981 Yamaha Virago XV920. Most of the other key donor parts such as the front suspension assembly and tank all came from a Yamaha parts bin with all other key components being hand crafted for this bike.

Why was this bike built?

The initial concept for the bike derived from my desire to build a café racer style motorcycle for myself. Drawing inspiration from some other great builds, I wanted to make a truly unique bike where the attention to detail was obvious and the lines and proportions of the bike looked just right. As the project progressed, opportunities to showcase a variety of skillsets materialised and a means of promoting my workshop as a “one-stop-shop” to create custom bikes resulted.

What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

When I searched for a suitable donor bike, I came across the Virago and loved the simplicity of the air-cooled V-twin engine, simple mono-shock chassis with shaft drive, and even the fact it used the frame as the airbox. I wanted to create something truly unique and felt this setup gave a great start point to go for a radical transformation. With this build I wanted to provide inspiration to people thinking of their own builds or commissions and show the “art of the possible” by turning an unloved cruiser styled bike into something sleek and stylish with a powerful presence.

What custom work was done to the bike?

After shedding a whole lot of weight from the bike, the first step was to integrate a complete 2008 Yamaha R1 front end, setting the stance of the bike and creating a key feature of the upside down front forks. From that point, the big decision was the fuel tank. I discovered the XJ600 Diversion petrol tank and felt it nicely dressed the top of the V-twin engine, neatly setting up the lines for the rear end. I then constructed a unique bolt-on rear subframe spending many hours sculpting the shape for the seat unit and tailpiece integrating the key lines and features of the fuel tank. From this “buck” I created a fiberglass mold and a fresh one-off part.

The rear subframe provided ample space to position a motogadget m-unit and facilitate a full re-wire of the bike by eliminating a mass of relays, fuses and dated wiring. The battery was relocated from the side of the bike to underneath, utilising the strong mounting points of the center stand and rear (now front) foot peg supports. Freeing up the side of the bike by moving the battery allowed a new route for the exhaust and I designed and built a custom stainless steel exhaust system. Radically changing the seating position on the bike meant rear sets were used to move the foot controls of the bike.

Once the bike was fully built and running in its new form it underwent a full strip down. The engine was vapour-blasted, the frame, driveline and mounting brackets were powdercoated and a unique paintjob highlighted the key curves of the bike and features a brushed effect within the bronze/gold swoosh.

Does the bike have a nickname?

We named the bike “Alpha” ahead of its debut at this year’s Bike Shed Show in London’s Tobacco dock (May 2019). In English, the noun “alpha” is used as a synonym for “beginning” and used to refer to or describe the first or most significant occurrence of something. As the debut build for ASE Custom motorcycles we felt it was appropriate to set a strong brand image to move forward with.

How would you classify this bike?

I most commonly refer to this build as a café racer although I feel it combines a few genres and heard comments suggesting it could be more along the lines of a street fighter café racer due to its stance – I will let you make your own judgement.

Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

I am really pleased with the overall lines of the bike. I spent a lot of time ensuring a compatible design; integrating the “standard” parts of the donor bike, replacement parts and the bespoke fabrications.

For the full article, check out the feature by Bike bound bleow:


ASE Custom motorcycles' build - Alpha- at the bsmc show in London Tobacco Dock 2019

ASE Custom motorcycles' build - Alpha- at the bsmc show in London Tobacco Dock 2019

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