Smart Tips to Design Café Racers in 2020

The Café Racer culture, one of the most influential movements in the history of motorcycling, pave way for a one-of-a-kind bike through customizations that speaks freedom, rebellion and style.

Quick Background

The story begins in the 1950s at a truck stop known as Ace’s Café in London, UK. Building on a tight budget, the bikers a.k.a rockers wanted to build for speed. The simple idea of starting with any motorcycle you can afford then stripping it down, and rebuilding from the ground up.

The first goal was to build a lightweight bike which meant to remove anything that wasn’t necessary such as to remove the big bulky fuel tank, and replace it with a smaller, narrow tank that often has knee grip indents. Placing the handlebars down low allowed for both a decreased wind resistance and a lower center of gravity for better handling. Keeping the bike as narrow as possible to better allow for maneuvering in traffic. Often the goal of a well-built bike is to be able to go a “ton”, a.k.a as 100 mph. Accomplishing this goal is why the builders were as known as the “ton-up boys”.

It surely is built for quick short trips in city traffic. Small, light allows for great handling and short spurts of speed in traffic, usually highly customized and unique.

If you are going to start your build you can build from the ground up or you can start with one of these bikes:

Honda CB-Series
Honda CX500
Yamaha XS series (XS400, XS650, XS750, XS1100)
Yamaha Virago, SR400, and SR500
Kawasaki W800 and W650 as well as the BMW R-Series

If time is an issue, but you have no budget restraints (some as low as $7K and others as much as $20K) consider these off the shelf models:

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
Ducati Scrambler Café Racer
Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer
Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer
BMW R Nine T Racer
Triumph Street Cup
Triumph Thruxton R
Honda CB1000R Neo Sports Cafe
Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 or 701

Hence, whether it's a Cafe Racer or a touring bike, there are many options and it is up to you to find what will fit you best. Maybe you're just like me who need a couple of options to begin with. 

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