The MK46 Cafe Racer by Motokraft is motorcycle homage to Valentino Rossi done right. They walked a thin line and came out with a rather stunning build.
Valentino Rossi, a legend, an enigma and probably THE GOAT on the MotoGP playing field. He is a superstar sport person who is treated like God by his fans across the globe, a masterclass of motorcycle racing and man to look up to for every motorcycle rider out there. Thus no wonder when the blokes from New Delhi based Custom motorcycle builder, Motokraft talked about a creation that was an ode to certain Mr. Rossi, it was an immediate attention gatherer for yours truly. Now, taking up any project that has any connection to someone like Rossi has to be a well thought off endeavour since it can backfire big time and Valentino Rossi fandom is known to be rather ruthless. However, one look at the MK46 Cafe Racer by Motokraft was enough to make me feel that it was indeed a job well done.
The idea of building motorcycle homage to Rossi has been a long running dream for the guys at Motokraft. The Delhi, India based custom bike workshop wanted to create something to wish Rossi luck, agility and victory at 2017 MotoGP Championship. They had a now discontinued Kawasaki Eliminator chassis lying around for some time and so was a 200mm section rear tyre.
For those not in the know, the Kawasaki Eliminator 175 was used to be a 173.99cc single cylinder cruiser from the Japanese maker for Indian market and was launched in collaboration with Indian motorcycle major Bajaj Auto back in early-mid first decade of the new millennium. The availability of a chassis and a thick rear section tyre meant it was time for a completely new ground up build. The result was a rather well turned out (bit) post-apocalyptic MK46 Cafe Racer by Motokraft.
Motokraft say that it took them four months to build the MK46 cafe racer from ground up. In those four months, they created an all-new custom hand-built metal body that was polished without a paint to keep the raw retro futuristic feel intact in the build. Other custom build additions to the MK46 consists of a custom bash plate and a stubby underbelly exhaust assembly that apes modern machines with small exhaust setups that provide better centralised weight distribution. There are custom rear-set footpegs, a grab rail which is located on the right side and a custom swingarm that houses the father large 200mm rear tyre.
Motokraft has also done a considerable work on the originally chopper chassis to convert it into a cafe racer ready unit. A monoshock was added to make this MK46 Cafe Racer provide better handling characteristics. A thick 41mm traditional front telescopic suspension lends character to the bikes front. However, it is the nicely integrated projector headlamp on the front plate that lends the MK46 Cafe Racer its end of the world appeal. The new front with, a wide ergonomically placed clip-on handle bar, is mounted on a custom Triple T which is now 12-inch wide. The custom tank wears aesthetically placed leather belts that are a part of the leather surround to the fuel filler cap, complete with buckles and all. The seat is hand stitched from the same leather, and looks fitting to the industrial design of the custom build.
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As it has become a sort of a tradition for most custom builder hailing from the country, the MK46 Cafe Racer by Motokraft also gets nifty brass detailing on the toggle switches. The beauty of the project has surely been in the way that Motokraft has managed to convert what essentially was a cruiser chassis into a low-slung cafe racer. This lends the MK46 Cafe Racer a rather unique stance that is minimal at right places (tiny engine, rear section) while beefy where it needs to be (tank, front panel, rear tyre).
Photography by: Parikshit Rao and Mervyn Titus.