Ghost Bikes of the Recent Past

March 4, 2019 | By Mike Seate

For our upcoming special Style Issue due out April 1, we’ve been delving deep into our files of classic and contemporary images to chronicle both the form and function of custom cafe racers. We came across one of our very favorite bikes of recent years, one that we were lucky enough to see race in the Isle of Man TT back in 2005. The sleek, silver beauty you see here is the short-lived Voxan Black magic, a French-made V-twin performance naked that, sadly, is no longer in production. The Voxan is a victim of poor timing in that, were it released today, the 124-horsepower machine would likely be a global top-seller. The company enjoyed a level of success back about a decade ago, releasing a second, faired version of the 1000cc water-cooled missile known as the Charade. It too was quite a looker with the performance and handling to back it up, but timing is everything when it comes to factory customs. Who knows- we used to steadfastly believe that the world’s major motorcycle manufacturers were too proud and too married to new technology t ever take a step backwards and re-release motorcycles from their recent (or, for that matte, distant) pasts, but look at Kawasaki’s new-for-2019 W800 retro, a bike that upends all our assumptions. Clock those boot heels together three times and maybe some wealthy venture capitalists will breath magic back into Voxan.