What is a Café Racer Motorcycle?

A café racer motorcycle is a type of bike that has been designed for speed and agility. If you’re interested in learning more about café racer motorcycles, keep reading. We’ll explain what they are, how they’re changed, and the main brands on market.

A Brief Introduction of Café Racer Motorcycle

According to popular definitions, a café racer is a light motorcycle that is optimized or heightened for handing and speed rather than comfortability. The original term can be traced back to the 1960’s among the young riders in Britain. These riders used to strip their bikes off extra and unnecessary parts and race between the cafés and hence the birth of the term – café racer.  

In addition to having extra non-essential parts removed, the café racers are also true engine marvels with modifications and tuning to further improve performance. For example, the handlebars are not only clipped but modified to point downwards. The seat is also made flat and flows attractively with the fuel tank. Some café racers also have modifications that highly and smoothly improve aerodynamics. It is no wonder that some café racers cruise at more than 124mph quite easily. 

Café Racers in History 

From the onset, the riders of these motorcycles were rebellious in nature and therefore the café racers were connected to this popular but rebellious culture. The motorcycles were a choice of this group of young riders out of necessity because they could hardly afford to buy cars. After some time, say a decade or so, every average person in the country could now afford a car. This marked the transition of the motorcycles to the popular ones that we have around today, markedly a symbol of pop rebellion. Rocketing past the cafes, the bikes screamed of youth, style and agility.  

Café Racers Today

Over the course of time, café racers have been widely admired and appreciated due to their speed and customizations. Riders have become greatly attached to these motorcycles with that attachment growing even deeper as years pass. Now, what started as a simple and youth motorcycle strip, modify and race has turned into an industrialized and sophisticated motorcycle building innovativeness. Some of the most conspicuous changes that we can see today include the following;

  • Previous café racers had rounded gas tanks that sat on the lightweight frames. Today, these are now fiberglass panel bodies that wrap around hidden frames that sit beneath. 
  • Flexible frames are now mixed with popular racing machines. This has led to such bike names as Triton coined by blending the name of the engines and the frames. 
  • More café racer builders are learning how to create even more beautiful and magnificent café racers. 
  • Modern racers feature custom gas tanks that fit nicely along the seat lines. 
  • Today, thousands of builders and workshops are creating their own versions of café racers all over the world. 
  • Today, the number of different types of café racers that are out there is hard to fathom. 

To make the matters even better, you can have your café racer custom made for you, or even build your own. 

Café Racers from Major Factories 

Factory model café racers are also sweeping the market today. All major automakers can no longer ignore the growing motorcycling market and culture. The factories have come up with perfect café racers for the motorcycling niche. Among the most important to mention here include the following;

  • BMW – R nine T racer
  • Ducati – Scrambler Café Racer
  • Harley-Davidson – XL12000CX Roadster
  • Royal Enfield – Continental GT
  • Yamaha – XSR900 Abarth

If you do not have the time, money, space or knowledge to make your own café racer, then you can always get one from modern factories. 


Café racers have a rich history and evolution that everyone would want to be associated with. They are popular motorcycles that are optimized for and associated with speed and performance as opposed to comfort. From the 1960’s to modern times, these bikes have remained popular and a choice of many, especially the youth racers. A cafe racer motorcycle is therefore a choice that you cannot ignore. 

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