Bold Swiss Cafe

If you ask me what is and will remain the next 3-year trend in custom bike building I will probably answer one mixing several influences from the past, both classic and vintage, rejuvenated with modern technology parts inspired and “borrowed” from very different purpose motorcycles like drag, race and cruise. Because nobody yet has coined a name for this trend, it’s getting more and more difficult to qualify each new build with the usual motorcycle classifications. The custom featured here is not a Cafe Racer, not a Drag bike, not a Bobber, not a Cruiser. Still, the builder called it a Cafe! betraying what bike image he had in mind when he was doing his thing using a stock Harley FLSTSB Cross Bones as donor bike.

Harley-Heaven Baechli, an official Harley-Davidson dealer in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, is also one of the most active custom builders in the country. Of course, like all HD dealers getting involved with customizing, Baechli is beating the drum for the brand, always using a genuine Harley as the platform of all its creations, and in the case of this “Swiss Cafe”, promoting the “Dark Custom Look” currently marketed on so many factory models.

From the original Harley Cross Bones were kept only the frame (without swingarm), engine and gearbox. Not surprisingly, in a region of Switzerland where 80% of the population speak German, many custom parts were sourced in neighboring Germany:  “Big Spoke“ wheels by TTS, a “Fat Ass” 280/300 swing arm by Rick‘s Motorcycles utilizing a jackshaft with its own short drive belt (a system that dramatically reduces stress to the rear belt), a Rick‘s Drive Side Brake System uniting pulley and brake disc on the left side of the wheel, “Old School” exhaust by BSL and of course German motorcycle tire manufacturer Metzeler (280 m rear, 21″ front). After the German drag bike influence, the bike was given some sport/street racer attitude by mixing parts from Roland Sands Design, Performance Machine and SJP (forks)

“Made in Switzerland“ comes from the complete sheet metal work outsourced to a local specialist who is exclusively working for Bächli‘s customizing projects. It includes a one-off gas tank, oil tank, front fender and rear fender with incorporated LED taillight. “Swiss Cafe” adjusts to the road (and to impress spectators during bike shows) via an air suspension system. Headlight origin is hardly a secret… Baechli Harley Heaven (photography copyright and courtesy Horst Roesler for Cyril Huze)

30 Responses to “Bold Swiss Cafe”

  1. 1 Jose Jan 9th, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Tough looking. Like it.

  2. 2 madtatts Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    There is absolutely nothing “cafe” about this bike. Kinda annoying when someone throws a name on something, because it’s a currently popular trend.

  3. 3 CafeSportyTC Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I take them both!! the bike and the girl… even though redheads are insane….

  4. 4 Michael Long Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Looks hard on the back,not a comfortable ride.

  5. 5 Michael Long Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Looks hard on the back. Not a comfortable ride.

  6. 6 Luis Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    cafe bobber?

  7. 7 chaos cycle Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    i dont know about “CAFE” but its a pretty nice prostreet

  8. 8 hk Jan 9th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    i love those tts spoke wheels ,been wanting to get them on a shop project for some time now .Very cool build ,other than the writing on the paint i think its pretty much perfect .

    And who cares what he calls it ,all of these goofy names for identifying bikes like bobber,cafe,chopper,pro street blah blah blah …who cares its a bike just enjoy the thing and stop nit picking over pretend terms that have no actual set in stone rules anyway .
    All of those bike designation terms are so subjective and implied that its a dumb argument to pigeon hole a bike so you have something to call it …….how bout call it a custom bike and move on .

  9. 9 Eric Maurer (evobuilder) Jan 9th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    pipes are super weird, it is about as much “cafe style” as my coffee mug is a beer stein… but is really nice. Love the swingarm and love the fact that its a softail…. I imagine the “cafe Racer” moniker was probably just lost in translation.

    That gives me an idea…. coffee mugs that look like beer steins, now THAT is a good idea!

  10. 10 Jerry Head Jan 9th, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    We called this type of bike 40 years ago a “Bully Bike”- Stock frame usually a ridged,- no extended wide glide, or springer, or a narrow glide “Sportster” front end, – narrow front tire usually a 21″ ( some said that a 21″ would keep you from high- siding when you had to laid the bike down, thankfully never experianced this-some said that they were less apt to go into a high speed wabble, as the 16″ wheels were knowned to do) – for the rear fender, could be a ridged rear fender with the hinged botton part removed or a ribbed Trumph rear fender, or a front FLH fender turned backwards – low or no sissy bar,- drag bars on 6″+ risers, or apes – Sportster tank, or King Sportster or fat bobs. solo or “police”seat with a pillion pad. Drag pipes, shot guns or a verity of up-sweeps, fish tails were the best in my humble opinion, might have a left side licence plate mount, bullet lights on the right side- this type of bike was also called a “Lane Splitter” we tried to keep them as narrow as possable.

  11. 11 Tejasandre Jan 9th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    very nice. looks more pro street than cafe to me.

  12. 12 Avgjoe Jan 9th, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I think they call theses a procafeconceptracerbobschool

  13. 13 Bart Jan 9th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Congrats, that is a nice clean tight bike….I like it!

  14. 14 Larry R Jan 9th, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Nice bike. Name is wrong, but doesn’t matter to me. Thanks guys for sharing.

  15. 15 skulltrain Jan 9th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Bored already with the samey look of all these so called Cafe racer’s sooner this trend dies out the better …. get back to something fit for long hauls and touring …… where are you going to go on this for any distance

  16. 16 MikesHawgPaint Jan 9th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I like it and would probably have a good time riding it short trips

    Not a “Cafe'” as stated but I kinda like the name “Bully Bike” some one mentioned here

  17. 17 Iron Horse Jan 9th, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I like the look inspite of the weird name. I also absolutely LOVE the fat spoke wheels! I agree, the pipes are kinda weird and the redhead is smokin’ hot!

  18. 18 Ozyape Jan 9th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    The origin of the headlight may be obvious, but I have to say, that is the best use of this headlight that I have seen so far. You guys are spot on in saying that the script on the tank is crap. I like it. Would I trade my Road King for it…hell no!

  19. 19 James McBride Jan 10th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    That is about a café as a Ford F150…

  20. 20 BERTRAND Jan 10th, 2012 at 2:28 am

    The headlight came from a V-Rod ? ? ?

  21. 21 Heavy Metal Jan 10th, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I like it. Exhaust system looks like it was thrown on without thought. Is anything like this selling right now?

  22. 22 KK11 Jan 10th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Really like the overall look of this bike. Would have preffered some better handle bars for higher trees for a more straight up rider position for comfort. Headlight is great. These spoke wheels are very nice. Like the others I could and would live without the tank and other grafics. Nice tank though. Great job on the rear wheel and fender. Would hope it rides smooth with the rear air ride. Pipes are different but I like to hear myself think and prefer to not cook my leg. Thumbs up for this biuld !!

  23. 23 10377586 Jan 10th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Call it whatever he wants to, it and the girl are pretty sweet.

  24. 24 Kevin Jan 10th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Jeff McBride said it pretty well.

    Low bars do not a cafe bike make and any cafe bike
    would be more fun to ride on a road with curves.


  25. 25 Kevin Jan 10th, 2012 at 11:07 am

    James McBride said it pretty well.

    Low bars do not a cafe bike make and any cafe bike
    would be more fun to ride on a road with curves.


  26. 26 rebel Jan 10th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    the best name for the bike and the chick would be “MINE”

  27. 27 The Lone Rider Jan 10th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I think it’s sexy….Bike look s good too

  28. 28 Doc Robinson Jan 10th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    “My name is Alice, but — ”
    “It’s a stupid name enough!” Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. “What does it mean?”
    “Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully.
    “Of course it must,” Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh: “my name means the shape I am — and a good handsome shape it is, too. With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost.”
    “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

  29. 29 nicker Jan 10th, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    “… The question is, [said Alice] whether you can make words mean so many different things….”
    (You mean like “suicide shift”….. 🙂

    However, this scooter….. “by any name would run as sweet.”


  30. 30 viz Jan 12th, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Its a cafe racer because it has clip ons.

    Yess!!! Now I need to put that on my Road Glide and it can be rightfully called a Cafe Racer.

    Note of sarcasm here.

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Cyril Huze