Cafe Racer: Not Your Ordinary Motorcycle

Walt Seigl speaks to WSJ’s Jonathan Welsh about the rising popularity of the cafe racer motorcycle.

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Comment (23)

  1. Right, note for all you Yanks. The Café racer is a bike built by the British youth biker fashion known as "The Rockers" in the 1960's. You took a standard British bike and put "Race" parts on it, like low clip on bars, alloy racing tank, rear set foot controls, better flowing exhaust and maybe a "bum pad" racing seat. Maybe you fettled the motor as well. The ultimate Rocker bikes were BSA Gold stars ( in Clubman trim) Rocket Gold stars, Norton 650SS, Triumph Bonnievilles and the ultimate Café racer, the TRITON, a Bonnieville engine in a Norton "Featherbed" frame, the best using frames from Manx Norton race bikes. This was possible because of a lightweight car racing class using Manx Norton engines, leaving lots of Manx frames with no motors for sale.
    Rockers rode everywhere fast. The main thing was to get your bike on the M1 motorway (freeway) and break "The Ton", 100 miles per hour. Then you were a star.
    Rockers hung out in Greasy spoon restaurants, and transport cafés (truck stops) drinking coffee. Now working class Brits didn't know how to pronounce the French word "Café", and called them "Caffs". In fact, a greasy spoon café is still called a "Caff" where a proper café will be called a café.
    So, a Café Racer is NOT a "Café racer", it's a
    CAFF RACER!
    Please get this right, otherwise you sound like a complete tit.

  2. I love Ducati ! And the cafe racer one white and red and green stripes ! On my personnel taste I would instal a swing arm more old school with re enforce bar on the top !

    But it s my personnal taste…you made a good job…nice shoop ! Thank you for sharing.

  3. you want a real cafe racer style use a custom builder , new crap is ugly. you can build in new tech, elect, , new commercial bikes are for fat ass jerks…

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