It’s a well-known fact that 1970s drag racing was pretty much the coolest thing that has ever graced God’s earth. And Blind Freddy could tell you that the French are as cool as all hell. And what about the Honda Dax? That thing’s cooler than James Brown doing shots of liquid nitrogen. So what happens when you combine all three? You get coolness levels approaching that of Absolute Zero. Just ask French bike builders Duke Motorcycles; after getting their hands dirty on this little Honda Dax drag bike build, they’ve probably got a case of terminal frostbite.

“My name is Lionel,” says Monsieur Duke, the shop’s owner. “I’ve been a car and motorbike mechanic for over 20 years. I’m passionate about all kinds of motorbikes, but particularly custom bikes. Then four years ago, I set up my workshop to pursue my passion and cater especially for cafe racers, scramblers, brats and bobbers”.

The Duke workshop is situated in Tourettes sur Loup, a small village next to Nice in the South of France. By all reports the shop itself is quite basic. As Lionel explains, “It’s to keep the spirit of the cafe racer in all of my work”...

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