Jesse Rooke’s KTM Based Cafe Racer

Jesse Rooke's cafe racer

Jesse Rooke is showing his latest custom, done in the style of a KTM powered cafe racer, at the Long Beach International Motorcycle Show. Mathieu sent in a link to this photo and it looks pretty neat.

We noticed this bike in progress back in March when it was up on his web site in a "work in progress" photo. Looks like he's wrapped it up, could use a little seat padding, though. As noted when we spotted it before, it has Performance Machine wheels, a single sided swingarm and from this photo we can see Brembo brakes.

Jesse seems to be building a lot of bikes around this KTM platform, it might be KTM's way of building some mindshare among motorcycle buyers and builders while they're introducing all of their new bikes. KTM has been changing their mostly off road image and customs like these can help them transition to the paved road market.

Thanks for the tip, Mathieu!

Jesse Rooke's cafe racer

Link: Flickr and Flickr


  1. Walt says

    Saw this bike at the Seattle show. To me one of the issues with KTM twins is the way they hide their engines. This custom solves that. Wonder how the underseat radiator feels on a hot day? It’s a great theory (Britten made it work) but few try it. Sure cleans up the front of the bike.

  2. todd says

    I also hope this will convince KTM to make their bikes a little less busy and cluttered looking. I just hope, if they do, that their Street Cafe doesn’t end up looking like this.


  3. Phoebe says

    I’m not fond of the rims, and I wouldn’t want to sit on that unpadded seat for long (ouch!) but otherwise, two enthusiastic thumbs up! Love love love cafe racers =)

  4. GAMBLER says

    I am a big fan of JR’s work. I wish he would have farmed out the trellis frame to Gregg, who I think could have brought more balance & cleaner lines. FMF makes super kewl one off pipes, I like!
    Kudos to ColorZone, one of their less garish paint schemes.

    kewl bike!

  5. greer says

    Something about this bike just doesn’t look right to me. Like he just built this goofy frame(or is it a stock ktm?) and thought “guess I’m gonna need a tank and a seat, ill just use some cafe racer parts, those seem pretty popular these days”. The body work and the frame do not flow together at all. Don’t get me wrong I love cafe racers and ktms, but I am not liking this bike.

  6. Matt in NC says

    While it seems to have taken over 10 years to reach this side of the Atlantic, the idea of custom sportbikes, and I’m not talking about pseudo dragbike extended swingarm/lowered abominations, I love it. I’ve got a number of mid-90s Performance Bikes mags from the UK that are loaded with just this kind of bike. I think the wheels are a little to “bling” for me, but otherwise I think this thing is sweet!

  7. Eoin says

    I agree with greer. This KTM doesn’t look quite right. Personally i think the engine is too low to the ground it looks like it wants to be a chopper. But if thats a standard superduke frame he’s using i can see the problem. It would be ruining a brilliant riding set up just for aesthetic purposes

  8. Phil says

    This is NOT a cafe racer. Adding a rear cowl and clip on bars does not make a bike. This is a sport bike and even as sport bikes go, this is not my cup of tea.