The last time Levis introduced a new motorcycle was in 1938, three years before it would shut down. Eighty years later, the Levis logo is resurfacing on the V6 Café Racer, a brand new motorcycle built around a modular racing car motor, a host of bespoke parts and a price tag for the very few.

Levis Motorcycles stands among the pioneers of the British motorcycle industry, and was active from 1911 until 1941. The Birmingham, UK, company built its name on a series of small-capacity two-strokes that would bring several victories at the Isle of Man Lightweight TT in the early 1920s. In 1928 Levis developed its first four-stroke, successfully venturing in off-road racing, until World War II put a premature end to its story.

The Levis brand remained dormant until 2014, when its rights were acquired by David Redshaw, who dreamt of reviving it. In 2017 he met with Phil Bevan, a businessman who had recently bought Connaught Competition Engines, a UK company that made a compact two-liter V10 motor for GT Racing cars.

This engine was built on a modular design that allowed for easy production of V8, V6, V4 and even V2 variants, and Bevan had already been looking for a suitable motorcycle to host it. He promptly bought the brand’s rights from Redshaw and together they set up the Levis Motorcycle Company in July 2017, with new headquarters in Swaffham and a clear plan in their minds.

The 1.2-liter V6 motor of the 2018 Levis Café Racer will produce around 120 hp in...

For the Café Racer they developed a 1,200-cc V6 version of Connaught’s liquid-cooled engine, mounted longitudinally on the frame, producing some 120 hp (89.5 kW) and plenty of torque – Levis calculates something around 120 Nm (88.5 lb-ft). A supercharged version of the V6 is also in Levis’ plans.

Power is transmitted via a six-speed gearbox with an overdrive sixth, developed by Levis to accommodate several future models.

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