January 28, 2021

Nils Homann and the SR Experience

Here is a very cool video revolving around our beloved SR. 
I won't spoil the video for you, but it has a nice twist halfway through.

Enjoy....or not.


January 21, 2021

Is this the end? Really?

 I just came across this official Yamaha video showing 3 color variations of the SR400 FINAL EDITION.

Now, I know the end has been called a few times already: in 1999 when the last SR500 units were sold in Europe, in 2008 when emission regulations seemed to have killed it definitely (but came back in 2010 as the SR400FI), in 2019 with the beautiful special final edition that had that gorgeous burnt brown tank design and the golden rims. 



So, is 2021 really the last year for one of the bike with the longest production run? Has EURO5 been the last nail in the SR coffin? Of course, I hope not, but I have a bad feeling about this one.

May 22, 2020

Omega (again) on Return of the Cafe Racers


The great motorcycle site that is Return of the Cafe Racers has just published another article with one of our creations.

Read the full article HERE and don't forget there's a limited time offer to get 10% discount!

March 30, 2020

A different perspective on COVID-19

These are extraordinary times. Never in history has there been a time where all of humanity was affected by one single threat. Every country and every individual is feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. In that way, the virus acts as the great equalizer, a role that is usually reserved only to death itself. Rich and poor, famous and common, old and young, race, class, religion...the virus doesn't make any distinction.

Some people will find the loss of control extremely frightening and will go on social media and share their frustration. They will paint a picture of negativity and fear, and in an effort to make sense of it all, they will try to find someone responsible for their situation. They will point their finger at the government, get sucked in by improbable conspiracy theories, blame immigrants, the 5G network, the Chinese, even their neighbors for daring to go out for a walk. 
On the other hand, there will be people trying to find a silver lining in these dark times, trying to see the bigger picture. Instead of fear, they will promote messages of hope. They will call for people and for countries to come together and support each other. They will point out that this is a time for sticking together and not drifting apart.
In times like these the true colors of a person become more apparent. Some retreat into their shells, seeking refuge from the chaos and succumbing to fear, others face the threat by looking into the tiger's eyes. Look around and you'll see plenty of examples for both of these reactions.

This is a great time to gain a better understanding of the people around you and society as a whole, but even more so, it's the perfect time to better understand who YOU really are and how YOU are responding to this crisis. Gone are the countless everyday distractions like your busy job, your active social life, hobbies and entertainments. Your new reality is sitting at home by yourself, with yourself and your close family. What are you going to do with this? Maybe it's time to go back to the basic stuff, to what really matters and gain strength from that. Don't see it as a forced deprivation of freedom, but as a chance to become more responsible and thus expand your power. It's the perfect opportunity to use this critical period as a mirror and look within. Don't just care for the well-being of yourself and your own family, but care for your neighbor too, care for the elderly citizens of your town or city, care for those out on the streets without a home or family, care for those who are on the front-line working 12 hour shifts at the hospitals, care for the people in your neighboring country who are maybe less fortunate than you. The great equalizer is teaching us that we are all ONE. 
This is a message worth sharing on social media. It's a message that the world and the planet desperately need right now. The world will never be the same after this and in a way I feel it is necessary to shake us up and give us the needed kick out of the complacent rut we were stuck in. 

I will not tell anyone whether to stay home or not, but I'll ask you to do the right thing, not just for yourself, but for all others around you.

May we all find the peace in our hearts to overcome the fear and spread hope instead.

Redefining Hope in Metastatic Breast Cancer | Cats & Cancer









February 5, 2020

Bunk-a-Biker

Here's an idea worth promoting!

Bunk-a-Biker is a community of bikers who either host their fellow riders coming through or are the riders who are looking to make new friends along their way. The hosts freely offer their yard, couch, spare bedroom, parked RV, garage, shop, and/or tools when they're home, while the guests bring their stories and friendship to share. BaB aspires to bring positivity, support, faith, and community into the two-wheeled family.

For those who like touring the world like but also need to keep an eye on the budget, then this is a welcomed alternative to hostels and B'n'B's.
BaB is totally free and built on trust. Literally, from bikers to bikers.

So, consider adding your contribution and if you can't find the space, at least share this cool initiative with your biker community. 
The more the merrier.

One hand washes the other and both can save money....which is awesome!

Here is the MAP


September 15, 2019

Project "Cavalleggero" - Kawasaki AR80

Exciting times lay ahead for Omega Racer!

I got this soft spot for small displacement bikes, especially if they are vintage and look like extreme racing machines. I already have a nice example in Italy, an original and unrestored Tecnomoto Special 50cc and just recently acquired a '67 Moto Morini Corsarino Scrambler, also original and unrestored, which I bought for my dad (blog post coming soon).
Those little 2 stroke rockets were truly remarkable and in my opinion will be the target for a new wave of collectors and bike enthusiasts. You heard it here first!

Tecnomoto Special 1973
Corsarino Scrambler 1967

My idea then, is to build an homage to these Italian micro racers of the 60s and 70s here in Thailand, trying to combine the features that distinguish them from other offerings of that time, with a good dose of my own particular "Omega" design. I don't like to do pure replicas or trying to mimic technical solutions at any cost. My project shall be inspired by these bikes but should be instantly recognizable as an Omega Racer bike. That's the goal at least...

Guazzoni Matta 50, with "disco rotante" inlet valve

1972 Malanca Testarossa

1970 Aprilia Colibri

1966 Mondial Record Sport

1966 Ducati 50 Sport SL1

Image result for suzuki a100
Suzuki A100
First I had to look for a cheap donor bike. My first choice fell upon a Suzuki A100. I really like the tank and frame combination with the half-suspended motor.
Pros: easy to find in decent conditions, price range 10-15k Baht (350-500$), plenty of spares.
Contras: it has a 4 stroke engine.

While asking for advice in a FB group, an Italian gentleman pointed me towards the Kawasaki AR80. I've never heard of this bike before, but it turned out to be perfect for my project. After a bit of searching, the only suitable bike I found was some 300km away and was already modified quite heavily. But since the price was very interesting (4.5k Baht/ 150$), I decided to buy it.
Pros: small, lightweight, 2 stoke, 6(!) gears, CHEAP
Contras: no registration book

A Kawasaki dressed up as a Yamaha...AR80

I immediately felt this wave of enthusiasm rush through me that I typically feel when I know I'm on the right track. Ideas started to flow and soon I had a drawing ready. Also typical for me is the extremely low-tech approach to the design stage. Printer, pencil, pen, scissors and white correction pen are my design tools, there's no fancy CAD or design app for me.

First draft for project "Cavalleggero"



For the first time I also tried my hands on a 3D model, which I made with plasticine, the stuff that children use to play. Not ideal, but it can give an idea of the proportions and general style of my project.





The name I chose for this new project is "Cavalleggero", which is Italian for "light cavalry". It gives the idea of being lightweight and with few horse power, plus it's Italian...perfect I thought.

The next step is to take it apart and order the necessary parts that need to be replaced. I already got steering bearings, aluminium rims and an exhaust that is much lighter than the stock one.


 Anyway, all this has to wait until I come back from my holiday in 6 weeks. See ya!



September 14, 2019

Unbelievable People

There are all sorts of people out there. Some are clever, kind and considerate, others are a bit thick, abrasive and aggressive. We have to deal with them all...

Here is the latest gem I got in my inbox:



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1. This website looks like fraud.
2. If this is a legit website and company I want to inquire what is the gel insert? You should explain what gel insert means on the web page. 
3. I want the Diamomnd stitch classic brown seat for a 2018 Thruxton R.
4. How long does it take to receive seat?
Please get back to me asap or I will seek another company for custom seat.


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Hilarious.
I've answered with the only logical reply: Please, feel free to seek another company.

Not long after I got a reply from this "gentleman":



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So after several attempts to reach this company, this is the first response I receive... (LIAR, this was his first email...I checked!)

No wonder why I had my concerns....(because you're a moron)

Great way to run your business!

I will happily post your response on trustpilot, facebook and everywhere else I can. (Now he's threatening to slander my company!)

Here I’ll type in my status as well since I’m using my personal and not my professional business email. 


Best Regards,

D. M.
CEO & Founder Mxxxxx & Gxxxx Insurance Agency. 

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I did have a reply for him, but in the end I decided not to poke the nutter further.

Some people....



The Butterfly Effect

There is a bike event here in Bangkok where one gets the chance to test ride a number of new bikes from several different manufacturers. Needless to say that it is one of my favourite events and I can's wait to hop on bikes that I would otherwise only admire on the internet.



This year I made sure to get there early in the morning, so that I would have time to test as many bikes as possible. When I arrived I walked up to the first stand in my path which was BMW, and asked to test their bikes. They had their 310 road and dual sport all the way up to the 1000cc supersport. I've decided to start with the small bikes and work my way up. First round was the 310 street version, a nifty little bike but nothing to write home about.
Then I hopped on the 310 dual sport. After barely one lap, I took a 2nd gear slow right curve and WAM, without warning, my front tire just gave away. With no time to prepare for the slide, I hit the tarmac hard with my right shoulder. I picked up the bike with some difficulty and rode back to the stand, worrying about the trouble I would get into. To my surprise though, the BMW guy asked me if I was OK, looked at the scratched exhaust and plastics and just asked me which bike I wanted to ride next.



Great I thought, and hopped on a NC750X. As soon as I was sitting on the bike, I felt the adrenaline dump: I started shaking and sweating, my vision became blurry and my shoulder wasn't doing much better either. Since I had done already enough damage to these Honda guys, I decided to stop for a while and get my shoulder checked out at the first aid stand. The nurse there put some cold spray and applied a cream and when I asked if anything in there was broken, he just said naaaah.
Alright then, just a bit bruised then, I guess. The shoulder was making strange creaking noises when I moved it, but hey, what do I know. After all I've never had a broken bone in my 45 years.
I decided to have lunch, hoping the pain would go away. Then it started raining heavily. Crap, I was feeling pretty miserable at this point.

In a moment of mental clarity though, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself. "I will NOT go home now, beaten and hurt. I will go out there and do what I came here to do!"



At that point, the sun had come back out and the track was starting to dry up again. I went back and test rode the Triumph Speed Twin. Wow, what a bike! It would be the perfect upgrade from my Street Twin. Lovely. Next I tested the Royal Enfield Interceptor: a nice bike, good looking and comfortable. If it had a bit more power though, it would be great.
I really wanted to ride the Ducati V4, but at that point my shoulder started hurting even more and moving my arm was becoming a problem. Dropping a shitty 310 is one thing, crashing a V4....hell no, I couldn't forgive myself!
To make me feel a little better I got myself a textile jacket on sale. Trying it on was an adventure as you can imagine.



Finally I decided to call it a day and drive home. At this point I was still hoping I could keep it hidden from my wife because you know, the "I told you so" look was not something I was looking forward to.

Well, turns out I couldn't hid it from her because I couldn't even take of my t-shirt by myself. I had indeed broken my collarbone. :-(


tons of pills


This caused my holiday plans to be postponed and forced my to wear some sort of medieval torture device, 24 hours a day for 8 weeks. I had planned for a 3 week bike trip through France, Spain and Portugal, but the summer was running out and I still didn't get the green light from my doctor.

When life throws you lemons, make a lemonade!
So again, instead of feeling sorry for myself, I started learning Spanish and French with a great app called Duolingo, and lo and behold, I stopped smoking. It took me 29 years and a
broken collarbone to finally quit.

That was my last 2 months, but now I feel much better and next week I'll fly to Italy and from there go on a bike trip to Southern France.

And to prove that I make great lemonades...I managed to buy 2 (small) bikes while dozing on my sofa. The first is a Moto Morini Corsarino Scrambler, first edition from 1967, original and unrestored. It's one of very few 50cc 4 stroke bikes and is quite sought after in Italy. I bought it for my dad who will use it as a daily runner.


The second is a bargain Kawasaki AR80 here in Thailand, which I got for a project I have in mind. More about it in another post. ;-)


As you can see, a small fall like that caused a lot of other things to happen, in my case mostly good things.
See you in Italy!!!



April 15, 2019

Find a custom workshop near you

Want to build the bike of your dreams but not sure where to start or who to ask?
Why not go to a professional shop and let them do it for you? The shop might be just around your corner!

Now it's easier than ever to find these shops, thanks to Geoff from 'Return of the Cafe Racers', who put a lot of work in compiling a map and database with all the best motorcycle custom shops worldwide. There are hundreds of workshops already listed. If you run a workshop and it's not yet listed, simply contact Geoff and he will add it to the database.

Check it out here!