For an industry where vintage, classic and retro are common terms, the custom bike scene is proving to be one of the true early adopters and innovators in using the latest technology. CAD software has become infinitely more affordable these days and so to additive manufacturing processes. However, because you have access to these tools doesn’t guarantee a great result, but this bike just might be one of the best examples to date of a client and customiser using the latest technology to create a beautiful modern classic motorcycle. Rather than discussing a vision he had in his head, the client sent Slovakia’s Earth Motorcycles a single CAD file. From that one email, the guys have done an incredible job in creating a stunning Royal Enfield 650 cafe racer that brilliantly combines old and new.

That email came to Earth’s Ales and Vlad from a customer a long long way from their headquarters in Stará Turá, Slovakia. But having seen their incredible work, and particularly their ability to build some of the cleanest custom street bikes we’ve ever seen, you can’t blame them for wanting to have the guys handle their build. So confident was he in their skills, that he bought a new Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and had it shipped to the central European nation. In addition to the new bike, the client emailed over a CAD file with a full 3D model of the bike of his dreams, designed by his talented brother.

“I liked it very much. I thought it was going to be a quick job. Shave some brackets off, cut all the plastic boxes inside the frame triangle, cut the subframe, and fit a newly built steel tank. Well, the reality was totally different,” Ales smiles. The truth is that turning a 3D model into a fully functional motorcycle that is as close to the computer drawing as possible, is not such an easy task; drawing something doesn’t mean it’s easy to build. And this was first discovered as the build team began to work on the frame, removing brackets and adding new ones for the bodywork to come.

This had to be done a second time, not an expensive task, but a time-consuming one, as just a few millimetres off, was enough for the Earth Motorcycles lads to say, that wasn’t up to their standards. With the frame now powder coated for a second time, work could begin on the bodywork, and this monocoque tank and tail combination is absolutely brilliant. The first step was to extract the tank design from the CAD file and 3D print a shell. The 3D printed part was then passed off to a friend of the shop who is a steel shaping wizard.

What he delivered back was a single piece of metal that had been perfectly shaped into the fuel tank design but without the bottom of the tank. This piece would come from the original tank, so as to retain the factory fuel pump and regulator combination in the stock location and allow it to be a true bolt-on part in every sense of the word. Ales then cut the stock tank’s bottom out and brilliantly stitched the two pieces together, using angles available from the 3D model to see exactly where he could make small changes, to allow for more compact running of the wiring loom.

At the same time the tailpiece and seat base were shaped from the same grade steel, and to take care of functionality, “I welded two brackets and two pans to fit the electronics under the seat,” Ales explains. A screw-on filler cap has been added and then the solid single colour paint scheme was perfectly laid down, with a simple black graphics package. The customer wanted a seamless fitting leather seat to match, but with natural leather not able to fold as tightly as desired, faux leather was stitched up in style by Militia seats in the Czech Republic.

“The headlight is slightly bigger than the 3D design because the customer changed his mind and wanted a big-diameter housing. He also liked the rear lights from our previous project, Honda Dominator 650 Cikula, so we used them too.”

These rear lights in the frame rails use custom-milled aluminium inserts to fit the different diameter steel between the Honda and RE. With the mill still spinning, a complete custom upper triple clamp was machined from 7000 series aluminium and the forks are internally lowered 50mm, and new adjustable shocks were added to the rear. A new set of wheels have then been finished in black, laced up and wrapped in British Avon tyres.

The engine had to be as good as the rest of the package and it was sent out to a builder to clean up, balance the internals, and finish the exterior to perfection. The slick exhaust was made by Ales, with a slight change to the 3D model to improve flow, twin headers with seamlessly integrated mid pipes, slash cut rears and internal baffles make for a brilliant system. A set of K&N filters finish the engine and then a complete Motogadget wiring package is used to replace the stock loom.

To perfectly fit the rider, Cognito Moto rearsets are mounted on custom brackets with new linkages. The owner is rightfully over the moon with Earth Motorcycles’ ability to replicate the original 3D design into a real-life killer custom, and the Slovak squad have once again raised the bar.

[ Earth Motorcycles | Photography by Marian Svitek ]