Melanie Cafe Racer. The Anti Girly Bike.

caferacermelanie1caferacermelanie2caferacermelanie3caferacermelanie4She lives faster than you will ever ride. French born, loving the energy of big cities like Paris, London, New York, and Los angeles and trying them all. She rides since the age of 19, right now makes a living as a Hollywood make up artist, can teach you a lot about bikes, has owned more than most of you will ever see in a life time in your garage (from a 1954 BSA to a stroked custom hardball, from an industrial looking Exile to a Honda Cafe Racer and many more between). And when she orders a new one, she knows exactly what she wants and how it should handle her everyday hard riding. For her, no bullshit candy bike.  Well it was time for a new machine and she wanted to come back to her first riding experience in the “Rockers” world. Something looking like a modern day Café Racer, synonymous with tight/light/fast/highly manoeuvrable, but one that had a distinctive So Cal feel to fit into her current Hollywood lifestyle.

Melanie met Brandon, owner of Brawny Built, a shop known for building very cool Sportster based choppers and whose references include quite a few bikes built for the “infamous” So Cal Sinners. Although Melanie has never been a Sportster Girl, (because she is not so girlie…), Brandon convinced her that he could put the Sport back into a Sportster, and equipped her bike with a Buell front end, and with wheels and brakes adapted to fit the racer handling . Some of the work on this project was completely new territory for Brandon. For example, he went through a sequence of multiple trials and errors before getting the custom swing arm, tail section and mono-shock to where they are now for correct behavior on any kind of terrain. Aluminum gas tank and exhaust were custom fabricated following Melanie instructions, and Brandon installed the foot controls in the rear, a must location to get the true Café Racer riding posture.  Other pieces include the Bates replica headlight, a Magura clutch and Grimeca front brake master cylinder. With her intense riding on this bike, I bet Melanie does her part in the rebirth of the Cafe Racer scene in California. Brawny Built (pictures by Steve Kelly)

Zipper's

35 Responses to “Melanie Cafe Racer. The Anti Girly Bike.”


  1. 1 jesy Nov 30th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    I like it….

  2. 2 Billy Bartels Nov 30th, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Cool to see Brandon’s got his own gig now. I shot (and wrote) his first feature for Bike Works (when there was a Bike Works) probably three or four years ago when he still worked for Todd SIlicato.

  3. 3 krugger Nov 30th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Nice bike, it must be very fun to ride!

    Nice girl, she must be very fun to….. know! 😉

  4. 4 SVENMEISTER Nov 30th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Kool!

  5. 5 John Nov 30th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Pipes look great. Bike wouldve been better as a dirt tracker IMO. Sporty cafes are kind of an oxy moron and, pardon the nay-saying, I would be glad to see this market niche vacated. Why can’t we see some modern takes on the xr750? The new factory 1200 is alright but the old racers and evel knevil bikes were tough and scrawny. Those were badass.
    And that peanut tank is stupid.

  6. 6 maroco Nov 30th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Good Bike Wild Woman (paradise).

  7. 7 Dar - Brass Balls Bobbers & Choppers Nov 30th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Killer bike. Congrats

  8. 8 Dave Blevins Nov 30th, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    That looks fun to ride.

  9. 9 harry behvar Nov 30th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    cool scoot. reminiscent of roland sands sporties.

    brandon is a cool cat. good luck in the LBC.

    i’m surprised how well mannered the huzecites have been regarding the verbiage of the above ‘press release’. wow- arrogant much?

    i don’t know if she truly “lives faster than i ride”, that could be pretty fast.

    can’t we just enjoy brandon’s talents without the over-inflated french ego, and pseudo-feminine machismo? is a ‘hardball’ the new cool name for a rigid?

    is this the pr for a new reality series featuring the most badass hollywood makeup artists that live in the valley?

    anyway- good on ya brandon. —sr behvar

  10. 10 shaun Nov 30th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    wow…i,m in love..!!!! je t’aime……!!!!

  11. 11 bobx Nov 30th, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    cool sporty.

  12. 12 nicker Nov 30th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    RE:
    “… Some of the work on this project was completely new territory for Brandon…”
    Cool, Old is new…….. for Brandon too 🙂

    RE:
    “…come back to her first riding experience in the “Rockers” world…”
    But Melanie looks to “New” to be that “Old”………….. 🙂

    Either way both are Way-Cool…!!

    -nicker-

  13. 13 rockstar Dec 1st, 2009 at 12:52 am

    she’s hawt!

    bike is nice 2.

  14. 14 David Dec 1st, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Looks good! But the swingarm is to long, needs to be shortened about 4 inches. Come on give me a break I ridden since I was 15 and have bought sold and owned more bikes than I can remember ( ay least a112 at last count)and It all started on old Vespa scooter through the current evo I own.

  15. 15 Melanie Dec 1st, 2009 at 2:40 am

    Hey Moron, Harry Behvar…

    Just so u know, I had absolutely nothing to do with the writing of the article, nor was Brandon, which is by the way a very good friend of mine.
    I didn’t wrote it or approve it.
    I guess, Its just a fun and light article based on facts that I gave to the photographer.
    Don’t get your panties in a twist about it..

    You are talking out of your ass..press release? The Valley? FUCK YOU
    Get your fucking facts right before insulting me.

    You pissed me off because you are making assumptions based on nothing and generate bad comments just because…? u a little bit of a hater?

    Would you rather a tired looking model in naughty lengerie posing on someone else’s bike?
    hu?
    Or a women that rode since she was 18 and owed basass BSA, NORTON, TRIUMPH, EXILE, SUZUKI, HONDA, HD, modeling her own bike?

    FUCK YOU FOR TAKING UPON YOURSELF TO INSULT ME BASED ON YOUR PATHETIC IMAGINATION.

    See you in the LBC…

    Melanie

  16. 16 Steve Kelly Dec 1st, 2009 at 4:02 am

    Harry,

    What’s your problem with the French? The blurb was a Cyril Huze, tongue in check, rehash of my words. I’m the photo-journalist who covered the bike, and I’m not French, Welsh in fact! I wanted to give Brandon some exposure for the very cool bike that he built to Mel’s specifications. Shame on you for pissing her off.

  17. 17 Jeremy Dec 1st, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Love the reply made by Melanie to idiot Harry Behvar. Great bike, great girl. Love bikes and women with a solid temper. Ha, ha.

  18. 18 industrial biker Dec 1st, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Whoa! I like this lady! Killer tat and attitude and can tear arse a bike around!

  19. 19 Shifter Dec 1st, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Hey, Cyril. Love stories like that. Neat bike and great lady. They go well together.

  20. 20 Mike Kiwi Tomas, Kiwi Indian Motorcycles Dec 1st, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Thank you Cyril for continually presenting cool bikes and products to us. The things I love about our industry are the variations in styles of motorcycles and its people. It also allows us to work with awesome people who build cool bikes around some of our products including our Flathead engines. Its all good fun whether it be old, new or anything in between. Exciting times.

  21. 21 Wow...impressive Dec 1st, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Nice bike…too bad the snatch on it is dirtier than those tires will probably get. Lose the attitude…sounds like Behvar may have called her bluff…can’t see that kind of reply for any other reason…LOL…you badass, you.

  22. 22 rusty knuckles Dec 1st, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I really dig the lines of the bike along with the oil tank/cafe tail section. The swingarm is bitchin’ as well. Its a nod toward street fighters and cafe style bikes, bravo!

  23. 23 A 1 cycles Dec 1st, 2009 at 11:56 am

    melanie rocks..im in love

  24. 24 Jeff Nicklus Dec 1st, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Melanie,

    I have never had the pleasure of meeting you, however, after the way you tore poor dumbass Harry up I must say I think I love you !

    Over & Out,

    Jeff

  25. 25 yves Dec 1st, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Melanie…

    j’adore ta réponse…. t’embrasses de France….

    Nice bike by the way….!

    Y.

  26. 26 Doc Robinson Dec 1st, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Onya Melanie, Onya Steve (seen Gilby lately?) – and ya, boo, sucks to the knockers. Diversity is what it is all about in or wonderful world of motorcycling. Get it?

  27. 27 rockstar Dec 1st, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    I’d hit it 2X

  28. 28 nicker Dec 1st, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Melanie,

    You rock Girl….. !!!

    Hell, it’s the Harry-b types that have the problem.
    They couldn’t muster up a good insult if they tried.

    Glad to have-ya on board.
    Don’t be a stranger.

    -nicker-

  29. 29 Steve Kelly Dec 2nd, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Doc, if you are anyone else would like to see more pictures of Mel, Brandon and the bike, you can by going to myspace.com/stevekellyphotos

  30. 30 yves Dec 2nd, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Steve,

    thx for the link….cool stuff !

  31. 31 fuji Dec 2nd, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Jeff Nicklus.
    You are a very sick man. butt ! ain’t it fun and cool. Youth lives in the heart keep diggin.

  32. 32 Brit Fan Dec 2nd, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Brandon is the shit…. met him in Sturgis last year. By the way…. Brandon’s website is rad… simple, big pictures, no fluff. Brawny Built rocks…. keep it up!

  33. 33 Sasha Dec 8th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    sweet ride and cool motorcycle, Melanie!

  34. 34 Scout Dec 22nd, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Wow…impressive’s can’t see a lot with such a narrow mind when it comes to a girl with a bike, hence his unimaginative and off-target conclusion. I know this local rider and friend first-hand. Melanie is a worldly and wise young lady who’s merely impatient with (pardon my French) douchebags. I’m over it too.

  35. 35 Rinaldp Jan 15th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    What is the Full Name of this Wonderful Girl?

    Melanie ………

    The Bike is really a Dream. And the Woman =)

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