Sacha Lakic's CX500

Old meets new in this brilliant cafe racer from versatile European designer Sacha Lakic

Sacha Lakic is a designer who's work spans several genre's but has an overwhelming feeling of speed blending with modern technologies. When I first saw his Honda CX500 custom, I was absolutely floored. An old bike that had such an incredible new life breathed into it. The CX has been no stranger to the custom scene but this was different. This was a completely engineered bike from the top to bottom. Brilliant to look at and built to perform. We called up the designer in his studio in Luxembourg to talk about his design work, his CX500, and his plans going forward.

Motorcycle Cruiser: Hello Sacha, thanks so much for speaking with me about your bike. Let's just get straight into it here: you're a well known designer, known more for other types of design. What is your primary form of design?

Sacha Lakic: People know me because I do a lot of furniture design with Roche Bobois, which is a furniture producer in Europe actually and they have about 2500 stores all over the world. They are very famous, so people know me through Roche Bobois as a furniture designer but some people also know me from motorcycle design and car design because I did a lot of cars for Venturi, which is a monoco based brand and also a few motorcycles in the past like for Voxen, Bimota, etc. So I would say now people know me equally for both things. It depends where the interest of the people lie.

M: How would you say you approach the design of a motorcycle differently than approaching the design of something like furniture?

S: I love a motorcycle when it is a raw thing. When you see the engine, when you see every single component of the motorcycle. And I like to pay real attention on designing or choosing every single piece that is composing the motorcycle. I don't like to hide anything; I don't like to mask anything with a fairing or whatever. I really like when a bike is just naked. So this is one thing, and then I have a real attraction to the café racer concept, because for me this is the essence of the sport motorcycle. It's the best way to be connected both to the motorcycle and to the road. You are really almost lying on your motorcycle and…

I think the best example is when you see the pilot on a real café racer and it becomes one thing. This is what I like.

M: Why did you choose the CX500 for this build?

S: CX500 was always a very intriguing motorcycle for me. I was always very attracted to this engine, but I never liked very much the styling of it. It was very heavy. It looks heavy, and it was heavy. But the engine was a real masterpiece of engineering for me. It is very compact, you know those two cylinders which are at a similar angle to a Guzzi but more compact. It looks more modern. Actually, I chose that one because it was in the garage of my friend. You know it was kind of an accident. The bike was there and he didn't really know what he wanted to do with it so I suggested "Let's do a café racer," and it was very nice because that bike was something that I had liked for a long time. So this bike was kind of an accident but now that we have built it and now that we have been displaying it here and there, I have to say that all the people that have contacted me to ask if it is available or even if I could give them some information on how to build the same. It's been really crazy so now I am considering producing a small amount of them.

M: Yeah, if you were to do something with limited numbers that would probably do really well. It's just such a naturally attractive bike.

S: And what is interesting, you know, when you see the specs of this bike it's not very powerful, it's right around 50hp, it's nothing compared to modern bikes. But we have removed almost 55 kilos, and two times already I was on the road with this prototype and I can tell you it is really a joy. The power to weight ratio is very good because it is still very torque and it is much more light, so you don't actually need more power.

M: You ride this bike often?

S: I have several bikes that I ride often. I have one Voxen that I designed two years ago, the Black Magic. It was also a limited edition and I have the lumber 88. I have a little bit of a modified Harley Softail Breakout with a little tuned-up engine making it a little lighter and giving it a little more power. That is now a very fun bike to ride. For urban commuting I have one of the most efficient scooters you can make, a PMX. And I think my next one is probably this CX500.

M: One thing that really stood out to me was the Dunlop Sportmax Mutant tires on the 17" wheels. Something you don't see too often but I think it worked very well on your bike. What was your thinking behind this choice?

S: This was the way I like to do custom bikes. I like this idea; to me this CX500 is just a pure example of what I want to do if one day I have the chance to do a kind of custom atelier or custom little production.

I like to pick up from the past something that has this particular flavor. Vintage but a little technological, and bring it to the modern period.

Now with the confidence that both connected with safety and performance, because they really are both connected very well on the bike. So this is really what I want to do on my custom bikes. I want to put modern tires, modern brakes. And of course I want the engine to be completely old but it has to work with modern components, so we probably would put injection and some other modern components to make it work even better than the old one. Modern suspension, everything. So… it’s my way to give a sort of second life to a motorcycle that was supposed to be in someone’s garage dying somewhere. I like this concept, you know?

M: Is there anything else you feel I should know about this bike and this project?

S: It's a little bit too early but I really think that I am going to produce a small quantity of this bike and at this moment I am looking for the name of the brand. So it is a little too early but probably you will have some more news in one month or something. I will have the name of the bike and the final quantities but I think it won't exceed 15 or maybe 20 pieces. But I will keep you updated on that. So this is just the beginning.

For more information on Sacha and his designs, visit