Auto Fabrica Type 1: The ugly duckling becomes a swan

In just a few months, two young motorcycle customisers have transformed Kawasaki's 1980s ‘ugly duckling’ – the GT550 – into this gorgeous café racer, incorporating classic design cues and making use of traditional hand-crafting techniques...

Professional designers by day and motorcycle customisers by night, the Muharremi brothers have taken their passion to the next level by giving arguably the dullest 1980s Kawasaki a ground-up refresh. “We chose this bike because, so far, we've yet to see a GT550 given a decent reworking,” says younger brother Bujar, “and the fact that it's a shaft-driven 4-cylinder gives it that concept bike feel”.

The resulting 'Type 1' manages to achieve the difficult-to-attain air of simplicity, with much attention paid to the bike's subtle detailing and overall stance. Highlights include the brass flourishes to the handlebar ends and speedo needle, while the seat and grips are swathed with an attractive shade of leather. As Auto Fabrica points out: “These details may not be instantly apparent - instead noticed when the owner spends more time with the bike”. It’s a theme that will continue through all of the startup’s future builds.

It’s quite unusual for a company’s first project to be of such high quality – in terms of both styling and manufacture – but it looks like this is only the start. Classic Driver has been shown secret design proposals for the ‘Type 2’, and it’s looking very promising... stay tuned for a ‘work-in-progress’ build feature coming soon.

Photos: Auto Fabrica