Set Fazer to stun: DIY café racer kit build transforms Yamaha 600

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An Edinburgh offshore remote submarine operator has spent the last two years and £12,000 building a bespoke Fazer Café Racer after being inspired by an article in MCN.

Craig Donaldson read the article in January 2020 detailing the do-it-yourself Fazer 600 kit by Isle of Wight manufacturer Café Racer Kits.

The FZR600 before its transformation

He took the plunge, buying a used Yamaha Fazer 600, stripping it down to the component parts for a ground up restoration with an idea to use British companies and components where possible.  

“The engine was handed over to Calum Murray and his team at Saltire Motorcycles in Edinburgh to strip down for inspection and the engine parts returned to me for painting,” said Craig.

The FZR600's engine was refurbished by Saltire Motorcycles

“The frame was sent to Pentland Powder Coating and the forks and rear shock arrived from Maxton. The wheels are now back from Bike Paints and look amazing.

He added: “They have been painted in a chrome finish with gold centres, so it gives the appearance of polished rims without the maintenance.”

Craig also had the unenviable task of cutting part of the subframe in order to fit the retro Café Racer Kits’ body panels and fairing.

The FZR café racer needed subframe surgery

Other features include a ceramic coated swingarm from Camcoat, a MaxtonGP10 rear shock and a HEL braking system, including their levers, which are made in house in the UK.

Just weeks into the build Craig and his wife Sharron received the news no parent wants to hear – their then 23-yr-old daughter had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, making the café racer project take on a whole new perspective.

“It’s more than a bike to me as at the start of the project my daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma so the whole thing is intertwined with her journey,” explained Craig,

The finished FZR café racer project

“The bike becomes a distraction to what is happening in the real world and how my daughter with her strength, dignity and humour provides inspiration and courage to myself as does my wife Sharron.”

He added: “Ellie has had her results and the news is very positive so, at the moment, it’s so far so good which is great news. She still will get three monthly check-ups but it’s a huge relief and a massive credit to our NHS.”