Everything to Know Before Purchasing a Café Racer
When you think about it, fashion and café bikes are alike. Much more alike than you actually thought they were. How, well, in the recent times, vintage trends are becoming more and more appealing to the world’s population. More and more people are looking to dress in vintage costumes and dresses that have their inspiration dating back to the sixties, as well as ride bikes that have the vintage look. The only major difference they have is probably the fact that fashion is a thing for women (mostly) while motorbikes are a thing for men – men just have a soft spot for such machinery. And who can blame them. Under the blazing hot sun in the summer, one craves for the wind to blow against his face and body just to provide some form of relief. Motorbikes do this and top it off with an adrenaline rush that can be so damn addictive.
Now, obviously, café racers are vintage, which is probably why you are reading this aside from the need to know how to make a purchase. But do you know how they came to be known as café racers? Because this does not seem like a professional name a company would come up with right?
Obviously it has something to do with cafes and restaurants right? After all the name features in the description of the bikes. Well, honestly, the root or history of the name is not quite agreed upon and many have their own different version. But a fact that cuts across the board is the fact that there were riders who could not afford to buy the high end motorcycles made by renowned companies in the business but still craved for the swag speed and adrenaline. As such, they went ahead to customize their very own motorcycles and formed a type of bike that many people enjoy. Also, if you read many blogs detailing the history of café racers, you will notice a segment talking about cafes and/or restaurants that the adrenaline seekers used to frequent in their custom made bikes.
That said, let us get into the heart of the matter – a guide to acquiring the best café racer there is in the market. One that will meet your needs and that will not have you spending to your last coin.
Ultimate Café Racer Guide
Now there are two ways we can go about this depending on whether you will actually buy or assemble the café racer yourself. If you are handy enough and believe in the skills you possess, then it is probably a great idea to assemble the bike yourself. However, if you just do not have the hand eye coordination to put the bike together then making a purchase at your nearest dealer is the best option you can go with.
Consideration while building/customizing your own café racer
Choose your poison
The best bikes to customize are the ones that time forgot. Those that seemingly went out of style. And for the most part as your research will tell you, these tend to be Japanese makes. This is to mean that you should go for the likes of the Honda CBs, the Yamaha XS series (especially the 360, 400 and 650 capacities). The TX500 and the XS500 should only be considered if you have tones of money to spend. From Kawasaki, you could choose a Z of any size.
Know what you are getting yourself into
This in reference to the issues that the bike you choose is likely to develop. And given the fact that they were designed and assembled 30 or 40 years ago, back when bikes were gaining power and deteriorating in handling, you should pay close attention to this.
By the early 70s, almost all bikes being assembled featured a disk brake on its front wheel though their noise was still audible and their wheels came with wired spokes. The shocks were for the most part chrome spring holders while their centerstands were hanging too low that they caused sparks all over the road.
Later on improvements were made to the bikes and performance improved a great deal – a lot of information, tips and tricks and lessons that you can use. And while you are making this decision you should know that it is always the decency and availability of the parts. You do now want to get into a position where you have a café racer with a bad chain and drive belt but cannot do anything about it.
Buying the best café racer bike
Unlike decades ago, there are several great manufacturers of café racers in the world. From Royal Enfield to Skyteam, BMW and Guzzi. All of these have put their best foot forward to provide you with the best there is in the market.
While making your consideration you should think about the weight, the distance you are to cover as well as the weight you intend to make it carry. And all this should be done before you go window shopping for the best café racer in the market.
Below are some reviews of the top cafe racers in the market.
Skyteam Ace 125
If you are looking for a Chinese design, then this is the bike for you. It features a retro design that is most endearing to many. It comes with a four stroke engine a five speed gear box and goes for $3000. The 125cc engine is able to carry the light weight of the racer providing it with great acceleration whilst having an almost perfect fuel economy.
Royal Enfield continental GT
If you are looking for a unique UK motorcycle, one that pays homage to true heritage, style and design, Royal Enfield continental is best. It is one of the lightest, fastest and needless to say one of the most powerful bikes there is. It features a 533cc engine and blends speed, reliability and handling with perfect ease.
With that, you should have all the information you need to get yourself one of the best café racers there is. And without any hitches for that matter.