Martin Cafe Racer by Lys Motorcycles

Martin Cafe Racer

George Martin was the premier custom motorcycle frame/chassis builder in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.  He built approximately 5800 frames between 1972 and 1987 at his shop in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, utilizing both backbone and framework designs.

As you might imagine, his frames are becoming increasingly rare, so today’s build is a real treat, a Martin cafe racer by Dimitri of Lys Motorcycles of Calonne-sur-la-Lys, France. We will let Dimitri give you the rundown.

Martin/KZ650 Cafe Racer:  In the Builder’s Words

Martin Cafe Racer Frame
Martin Cafe Racer Frame

The frame is a Martin from the 1980’s, made for a Z650 engine. But for my project, I used a ZR7 engine (same crankcase). The forks is an Ohlins from an Aprilia RSV1000R with Brembo radial brakes. The triple trees are custom made with the motogadget speedo integrated. The swingarm is from a Benelli TnT with a new shock mount that follow the geometry of the frame (Cantilever). The shock is from a Guzzi V11. Wheels are from an Aprilia RSV.

Martin Cafe Racer Z650

Of course, a lot of modifications to have everything lined up…

The gas tank is a Martin (fiber) that I’ve moulded with a Ducati SS seat. Gas tank, seat and front fender are full covered with ostrich vinyl and red metalflakes. This job has been done by AdC Sellerie.


All the electricity is new with a Motogadget M-unit to have as less cables as possible. Turn signal, grips, switch are from Motogadget.

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Martin Cafe Racer

Martin Cafe Racer Front

Martin Cafe Racer

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