Eddy Cuccaro’s super single cafe racer for the French Alps…
We’ve always been fans of “supermono” motorcycles — a term that came into use to describe a European road racing series for single-cylinder machines with a maximum displacement of 800cc. In 1993, the word became all but synonymous with the Ducati Supermono designed to compete in the series, but racers and custom builders have kept the concept alive on a variety of other big single platforms. Many of these are dual sport motorcycles converted for road racing or high-performance street riding.
Enter Eddy Cuccaro (@l_etabli_d_eddy), a 28 y.o. French metalworker who’s been passionate about motorcycles since he got his license back in 2013.
“After my first motorcycle (Suzuki 500 GSE), I bought a damaged 650 NTV and I made a Bratstyle with the means at hand in my garage and my little experience. I had to resell it with regret.”
Eddy decided he wanted to relaunch himself into the bike-building adventure, wondering what he could accomplish with more experience, tools, and materials at hand. The end product of that mission is the DR600 supermono you see here:
“Here is where I am today with this bike. I do this out of passion but I would love to make it my job.”
Eddy originally had plans to start with a Honda Hornet 600, but the DR won out due to the light weight, lack of electronics, and affordable price. He bought this ’87 DR600 Djebel in poor condition, already modified into a supermoto form. When he brought the bike home, it wouldn’t start, which helped it earn its nickname:
“Her name is Desirée… She restarted after saying sweet words to her.”
Usually, we see this kind of base used for scrambler or tracker builds, but Eddy already had other ideas in mind:
“The criteria was only to build a cafe racer with an inverted fork and spoke rims. The rest would be seen.”
Eddy says he let the bike come together naturally, letting the various parts harmonize as the build unfolded. He shaped most of the bodywork in aluminum, and did all of the custom work himself barring the paint and saddle — handled by DP Custom and Joan Sellerie, respectively.
The result is a custom cafe racer / supermono that’s both striking to the eye and a hoot to ride:
“It is stable, light (145kg with gasoline), maybe lacking in power but very fun on the roads of my home (I live at the foot of the mountains).”
Below, we get the full details on the build from Eddy himself.
Suzuki DR600 Cafe Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name’s Eddy and I am 28 years old. I live in Grenoble, France, and I am a metalworker and have been passionate about motorcycles since I got my license in 2013. I started to get interested in customization after seeing motorcycles in a show in Lyon. After my first motorcycle (Suzuki 500 GSE), I bought a damaged 650 NTV and I made a Bratstyle with the means at hand in my garage and my little experience. I had to resell it with regret. I wanted to relaunch myself into the adventure with more material and experience, wondering what I was capable of doing. Here is where I am today with this bike. I do this out of passion but I would love to make it my job.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
It is a Suzuki 600 DR (Djebel) from 1987, bought in modified supermoto form, in bad condition.
• Why did you choose this donor?
I wanted a 600 Hornet at the beginning, but finally I got a DR because it doesn’t have a lot of electronics, no starter, and it’s light (and the base is cheaper).
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The criteria was only to build a cafe racer with an inverted fork and spoke rims. The rest would be seen. I often change my mind — I think a lot about the shape of the bike depending on the parts I choose so that it harmonizes together. At the last moment, I chose to put a fork crown instead of a simple round headlight. I was partly inspired by the GP500.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
A lot of parts such as the exhaust line, the aluminum rear shell, the aluminum pinion cover, the footplates, the tray for the electronics, the rear part of the frame, the plates for the calipers, modifications to the GSX G tank, speedometer support, front fairing support… Only the saddle and the paint is not mine (DP Custom and Joan Sellerie).
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Haha, yes, her name is Desirée. When I brought her back on the day of purchase, she didn’t want to restart because she was flooded. She restarted after saying sweet words to her.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It is stable, light (145kg with gasoline), maybe lacking in power but very fun on the roads of my home (I live at the foot of the mountains). The position is very radical but we got used to it by dint of riding it a lot. I love to ride it.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The exhaust line and the rear fairing. The bike itself when I look at what it looked like originally.
Start up and Rev
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Beautiful! Well done!
Beau travail, felicitations.
Wow, I’m in love! A bike of the year contender, for sure!
Absolutely love the bodywork and the tank is magnificent. It’s over-braked, though, pare the bike down to a single disc in the front, you’ll still have a massive rotor with a 6-piston caliper. Also, that rear caliper is most likely the original and pretty clunky looking. Don’t care for the exhaust note, I’m thinking bigger mufflers would give a deeper tone.