Darwin Motorcycles: Evolution of a café racer

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Thursday 20th Oct 2011Filed under Bike Features Competitors

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Dar Holdsworth, the man behind Darwin Motorcycles, has been a regular competitor at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building over the years, placing third in both '08 and '09 and second in '10 in the Production Manufacturer class, and his persistence finally paid off this year with a class win.

Better known for his range of Bobbers and Choppers, Dar took a new direction for 2011 and drew on the styling of late '50s and early '60s café racers for the inspiration for his latest production model - the RLX. Dar himself describes the motorcycle as an 'American Muscle Bike', which was built to pay tribute to Bobby Rahal and his storied racing career.


To give the bike the muscle it needs to match its racer influences, Dar chose a 132ci X-Wedge V-twin from S&S Cycles and matched that to a Baker six-speed transmission and a Baker King Kong clutch. The package was then wrapped in a Racing Innovations frame, outfitted with a full compliment of Öhlins suspension components.

The race theme set by the Swedish-made suspension kit is carried through to the wheels, which are Brock's BST carbon 19in rims shod with Dunlop Sport Max tires, and the use of dual radial mount, four-piston Beringer brakes on the front with a matched conventional four-piston caliper on the rear and 'wavy' style discs all round.

Among the many custom touches that helped the RLX capture the winning vote are the hand-formed bodywork, stainless steel two-into-one-into-three exhaust, Vortex foot controls and an upper triple tree with built-in gauges including a radar detector.

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Click here for more pictures and details of Darwin Motorcycles' bike from the 2011 World Championship



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