What’s a Café Racer? Café Racer Concept

A café racer is a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers, or the Ton-up boys, although they were also common in Italy, Germany, and other European countries. In Italy, the term refers to the specific motorcycles that were and are used for short, sharp speed trips from one coffee bar to another.

cafe-racer-motorcycle-photo
Yamaha XS 400

Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock and Roll counterculture that wanted a fast, personalized and distinctive bike to travel between transport cafés along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)—called simply “theton”—along such a route where the rider would leave from a cafe, race to a predetermined point and back to the cafe before a single song could play on the jukebox, called record-racing. They are remembered as being especially fond of Rockabilly music and their image is now embedded in today’s rockabilly culture.

norton-cafe-racer-1
Norton Manx 500 (1962)

A classic example of this was to race from the Ace Cafe on The North Circular road in north west London to the Hanger Lane junction as it then was—it is now the more famous Hanger Lane Gyratory System—and back again. The aim was to get back to the Ace Cafe before the record on the jukebox had finished. Given that some of theEddie Cochran tunes that were in vogue at this time were less than two minutes long, the racers had to make the three-mile round trip at extremely high speed.

How many of you like cafe racers? Well I love cafe racers. Still have this plan of buying a second-hand bullet or RD and converting it into a cafe racer. Its easy to make a Bullet into a cafe racer cos most cafe racers were British singles. All whats needed is clip-ons rear-set footpegs, single-seat and a slightly upswept exhaust. Most cafe racers are British/French single cylinder motorcycles. These bikes were used to race from a cafe in one town to a cafe in another town. So the term “Cafe Racers”.

And here in India Royal Enfield finally launching their first Cafe racer in India, Royal Enfield Flury, a 500cc engine with a reliable price tag.

Royal Enfield 500cc Flury Cafe Racer
Cafe Racer from Royal Enfield – 500cc Flury

More from Wikipedia : The cafe racer is a motorcycle that has been modified for speed and good handling rather than comfort. Cafe racers’ bodywork and control layout typically mimicked the style of contemporary Grand Prix roadracers, featuring an elongated fuel tank and small, rearward mounted, humped seat. A signature trait were low, narrow handlebars that allowed the rider to “tuck in” to reduce wind resistance and offered better control when in that posture. These are referred to as either “clip-ons” (two-piece bars that bolt directly to each fork tube) or “clubmans” or “ace bars” (one piece bars that attach to the stock mounting location but drop down and forward). The ergonomics resulting from low bars and the rearward seat often required “rearsets”, or rear-set footrests and foot controls, again typical of racing motorcycles of the era. Distinctive half or full race-style fairings were sometimes mounted to the forks or frame.

Cafe Racer Modification on a Royal Enfield by an enthusiast
Cafe Racer Modification on a Royal Enfield by an enthusiast

The bikes had a raw, utilitarian and stripped-down appearance while the engines were tuned for maximum speed. These motorcycles were lean, light and handled road surfaces well. The most defining machine of its heyday was the homemade Norton Featherbed framed and Triumph Bonneville engined machine called “The Triton”. It used the most common and fastest racing engine combined with the best handling frame of its day, the Featherbed frame by Norton Motorcycles. Those with less money could opt for a “Tribsa” – the Triumph engine in a BSA frame.

Honda CB750 Scrambler
Honda CB750 Scrambler

Facebook Comments



2 comments

  1. Hello im new to the forum and wanted to introduce myself, im a bike builder in florida and love it, lots of fun and lots of cool ass people to hang out with . Anyways thanks for allowing me to join the forum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *