Yamaha SR500 Mezzomille

Kedo’s Daniel Doritz has a history of hooking up with custom builders, most notably with Jens vom Brauck of JvB-Moto for the sublime D-Track. ‘Mezzomille’ (meaning ‘half-thousand’) is his latest dalliance, this time with Axel Budde—a fellow Hamburg native, and best known for his Kaffeesmaschine Moto Guzzis.

Budde and Doritz share an obsession with quality and a liking for understatement. And this lean, minimalist SR500 café racer has obvious DNA from both partners. “The SR500 has been well established for more than 35 years, so almost every imaginable conversion already exists,” Budde notes. “But there are few properly ‘coherent’ SR cafe racers.”

Budde started by designing a completely new aluminum tank/seat-combination, and slimmed down the frame. Nearly every major part has been lightened or replaced with a handcrafted original—or left out completely. The outcome is an elegant, almost delicate conversion in the style of the late 1970s.

With scarcely 130kg to haul around and almost 40hp on tap, the ‘Mezzo’ majors on agility and riding enjoyment: It has a power-to-weight ratio similar to a spritely middleweight dual-sport like the Suzuki DR-Z400.

Budde and Kedo will not be recreating this machine, given its uncompromising style and the 350 hours it took to develop and build. But the good news is that many of the parts that were designed for Mezzomille will be found in the new Kedo catalog, which comes out in mid-March 2014.