rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

Last updated on: August 24, 2011 18:44 IST

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

     Next

Next
Faisal Ali Khan, Motorbeam.com
With Enfield Cafe Racer being displayed at an exhibition recently, we tell you the history behind the highly uncomfortable bikes.

The concept of Cafe Racers is not new. It has been in existence for almost half a century now. Essentially a British word, the Cafe Racer is both a type of motorcycle and motorcyclist. The concept of Cafe Racer has been very famous even in Germany, Italy and many other European countries.

The Cafe Racer term was used for rockers who used to race from cafe to cafe. This short race saw many having an objective to touch 160 kmph (also known as the ton in mph).

Click NEXT for more

Also Read: Get Ahead Biking and Motoring


Image: Shrawan Raja
Photographs: Royal Enfield, Cafe Racer
     Next

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

What are Cafe Racers?

These bikes are heavily modified bikes for speed. The last priority of Cafe Racers is comfort.

These bikes looked a lot like GP race bikes and had a very long fuel tank with a small rearward facing humped seat.

The handlebars were narrow and low allowing the rider to duck in order to reduce air resistance and in turn increase speed.

Click NEXT for more

Also Read: Get Ahead Biking and Motoring


Image: Rockers on Cafe Racers at Cafe, UK
Photographs: Creatibe Commons
Prev     Next

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In that era, the most famous Cafe Racer bikes were from Notron Motoyclcles and Triumph.

Cafe Racers had very high power along with low weight resulting in both good handling and high speed. However as time passed (in the 1970s), British made Cafe Racers became less popular with Japanese overtaking them fair and square in both speed and popularity.

Click NEXT for more

Also Read: Get Ahead Biking and Motoring 


Image: Suzuki S40 customized in the cafe style
Photographs: Creative Commons
Prev     Next

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Usually Cafe Racers were modified versions of existing bikes.

However some companies started to make factory spec Cafe Racers, such as Harley Davidson with the XLCR, Kawasaki with the Z1R, Ducati with the SuperSport and Suzuki with the GS1000S.

Companies like BMW followed too with Cafe Racer version of their bikes.

Click NEXT for more

Also Read: Get Ahead Biking and Motoring 


Image: Harley-Davidson XLCR 1000 Cafe Racer 1978
Photographs: Creative Commons
Prev     Next

PIX: The amazing history of the Cafe Racer bikes

Prev     More
Prev

More

Sadly though, they were just aesthetic changes on these machines just to attract the youth and not for speed and handling. From 1980s to early 2000, Cafe Racer started to be less heard off.

The trend of Cafe Racers is however back. Many young buyers are converting their bikes into Cafe Racers, while a lucky few are able to get hold of old Cafe Racers and are restoring them to their past glory.

If you too want to make a Cafe Racer, you just need Rs 50,000 to get going. So what are you waiting for?

Also Read: Get Ahead Biking and Motoring


Image: Royal Enfield, Cafe Racer
Photographs: Shrawan Raja
Prev     More