The term ‘Café Racers’ came into existence back in 1960s when the world economy was getting back on track post war and the financial condition of UK’s working class was improving. It was also an influence of pop music, a rush in the development of transport cafés and construction of track like arterial highways that short motorcycle races from one café to another becoming a big thing. It was the time when terms like ‘Rockers’ and ‘Ton-up Guys’ were invented for different riding groups and crews that were associated with Café racing.
What is Café Racing all about?
Not just short races from one café to another café that was known as Café Racing, it went on becoming a lifestyle of the young generation. People brought a stock motorcycle and then totally stripped down shedding as much weight as possible (minimalistic bodywork). The tank was elongated and sculpted in a special manner to accommodate the rider’s knees and expressing individuality. Short clip-on handlebars allowed the rider to bend forward and tuck in to avoid all the air-drag upfront. Also the foot-pegs were rear positioned to allow sitting in an extremely aggressive position which was sporty and not comfortable. These bike were designed to go fast, hence comfort was of least concern.
What’s hot in the world of Café Racers right now?
This isn’t 1960 anymore and bikes have changed, and so did everything with it. From bodywork to engine, the present generation Café Racers are made considering the same philosophy, but do not necessarily follow the same rules. Listed here are few of the bikes made by some of the most famous bike builders from around the world.
5. K-Speed BMW R100 Retro Café Racer:
The Thailand based K-Speed motorcycle builder has been customizing café racers out of BMWs from a long time and this R100 Retro Café Racer is the latest creation of the Bangkok headquartered parts and accessories store K-Speed.
4. Vmax CS-07 Gasoline:
The heavy cruiser Vmax body was turned into a much streamlined, sportier monocoque styled body and the result was this beauty which not only looked this deadly but is also capable of doing 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds of time. Even after being heavily redesigned the bike still carries the original electrics needed for legal street use. To further unleash some more horses the bike’s been given free flowing 4x2 set of stainless headers.
3. Roast Moto XS750:
This mad Café Racer has been built by Andrew Starkman and his team Roast Moto team in Phoenix Arizona. Originally based on the 1977 Yamaha XS750, the bike doesn’t look any close to its original form. From suspensions to brakes and everything else, the ageing stock components were totally pulled out from the body and were replaced by modern café racer standard components.
2. Unikat 550SL Café Racer:
It is undoubtedly one of the prettiest looking motorcycles in the list. Made by the prodigy Grzegorz Korczak in his Unikat Motoworks workshop in Poland. Based originally on the Honda CB550, this build took almost 4 months and efforts from 18 people to reach to the final stages. Its 38 years old engine was dismantled and cleaned from the core to bring the heart of the bike back to life.
1. BCR Ducati 900SS Café Racer:
BCR in the name above stands for, Benjie’s-Café-Racers. Taking 1996 Ducati 900 SuperSport SP as the base, BCR came out with this mind boggling café racer that looks no less than an extraterrestrial being. No major work was done on the engine part as it was in a fine form when the work started on it but apart from that its suspension duties were heavily reworked. It was given 3-way adjustable Racetech Showa forks, alloy swing arm and adjustable mono-shock that ramped up bike’s race characteristics.