If you’re looking to buy a nice café racer to ride the summer on, we just came across one that is worth taking a look at. It originally started as a 1976 Honda CB550 which seems to have ended up in the right hands and after being fitted with parts such as the café seat, clubman drop bars with mini chrome gauges and 4 into 1 MAC exhaust, it is now worthy of the Honda CB550 café racer designation.
The owner claims “the bike only has 8604 miles on it so the engine is rock solid” and the only thing it needs is a new paintjob. How’s that for a way to make it suit your taste?
Considering the $2,900 asking price, this café racer looks to us like the find of the day. Hit the jump for the entire list of changes.
You can spend a lot of money on a custom bike designed and built to suit your taste and still feel like the thing isn’t even yours? Maybe it is because you haven’t put your blood, sweat and tears into it. Take this case for instance. This 1976 Honda Gold Wing GL1000 powered by a gold four-cylinder engine was found on eBay and after being bought and given a magic touch, it has turned into a veritable café racer.
A simple look at it is enough to suspect this bike required some serious modifications, but we’ll have to say that a black and gold paint job, new tail section and fairing as well as new exhaust pipes do the trick in this case. The rest is just what makes the bike feel like belonging to a rider – all the time and energy put into it.
So, was it all worth it? Well, the thing is now Bike of the Month, March 2010 over at Naked Goldwings, so you decide.
Although the paintjob on this café racer makes it look like a Norton, this is actually a very special Triumph Thruxton that pulled the lucky card when ending up in the hands of Austrian Triumph dealer Jurgen Schnaller. The ‘Greymouth’, as it is called, gets upgraded engine and chassis components enhancing the sporty side of the already great British bike.
The engine, which now features high compression pistons, ported and polished head and high lift camshafts while being fed through new flat side Keihin carbs and fitted with a Raask exhaust, is claimed to be 26bhp more powerful than on the stock bike. On the chassis side, the upgraded Wilbers front and rear suspensions are meant to cope with the extra performance.
You decide if the Schnaller Thruxton is worth €18000 ($24,340) as we can’t help but wonder how it feels when ridden.
Honda barely introduced their latest big four model, the CB1100 and Japanese tuner Mugen has already released a package of bits and pieces for future owners to easily turn their nakeds into café racers worthy of the 1970s.
The café racer kit is mainly composed from a silver headlamp cowl and a racy looking seat, while the matt black fenders and sports exhausts are just the right touches to help set this bike further apart from the naked crowd and closer to the café racer one. Hit the jump for the Mugen CB1100 café racer action video.
Café racing passionate Sivert Raask from Sweden has recently presented his latest work, the Triumph Thunderbird 1600 Café Racer, which he seriously modified using parts from his own rear-sets and accessories shop, Raask. The bike gets a Ducati 900 tank, home-made seat as well as new exhausts and bikini fairing.
You can imagine where the rearsets and new speedometer have come from, but this actually looks like a great achievement considering that the Triumph Thunderbird isn’t a naked bike, but a veritable cruiser, meaning a long way from being turned into a café racer. Yet this one is and a very nice one too.
Raask bought the motorcycle new in August and transformed it over the winter. This is by far the first café racer he built and we reckon it won’t be the last either. Just read what the man has to say about his passion for café racers:
“Café racers have always been my favourite bikes. Back in 1967 I bought a boat ticket from Gothenburg to London, bought a used Norton Atlas, then brought it home and rebuilt it as a café racer.I did the same with a Commando.”
“More recently I’ve built café racer versions of the latest Bonneville and Rocket III so when I first saw the new Thunderbird I immediately thought it would be perfect to make into a café racer.”
And he did, right before Christmas, but we hear it wasn’t test ridden yet, so we should find out more about it after the Triumph Thunderbird Café Racer starts doing what it knows best.
This Honda CB750 café racer was created by Japanese custom builder Whitehouse together with Japanese retailer Motorimoda and it is actually called CB750 Café Type Motorimoda. What first meets the eye is the 1970s racing styling achieved with the use of modern materials such as carbon fiber, from which several parts have been made. These, together with the aluminum gas tank lighten this custom CB750 with 33 lbs (15 kg).
Underneath the aerodynamic fairing sits an original carbureted, air-cooled, four-cylinder engine that delivers 20hp more than the original production version after being tuned and getting a new exhaust.
So, with less weight, more power and much better looks, this café racer qualifies for the very special price of $29,290.
Take a look at what started life as a 2009 Triumph Thruxton and you, as us, will most likely come to the conclusion that almost all British bikes can be transformed into café racers as long as someone is willing to pay the buck. This unique bike right here was built by Pure Triumph and it features all the possible changes and aftermarket parts that a demanding rider could wish for. To begin with, we’re talking about upside down 50mm Showa forks and competition spec Bitabo multi adjustable shocks, which together with the 17-inch wheels (please note the 180 section of the rear tire) make sure the bike is able to go very fast around corners, just like a café racer should. Also, twin four-pot Tokico calipers and radial master cylinder won’t make a rider hope for the best during emergency braking.
As you may have noticed, the frame remains the same and it is the other chassis parts that upgrade the overall product. Same thing with the engine: the internals remain unchanged, while the thing now gets an independent fuel-injection system.
Stylistically, an alloy T140 tank, an Alcantara leather seat and a ‘68 style rear section make every café racer fan crave for such a therapist, but we’re sad to announce that this precise one recently sold out. Yet, the Triumph dealer doesn’t stop here and plans an even better version.
When the team at Southsiders in France got their hands on a Triton they let their imagination run wild and started designing the bike from scratch. Batman, Catwoman and what appears to be a fossilized Tyrannosaurus.rex claw were the inspiration sources for the CP Project One, which is actually built around a featherbed frame with a Triumph 750 twin.
We love what Frank Charriaut, Vincent Prat and builder Daniel Delfour ended up transforming the bike into: a café racer with Hollywood and prehistoric inspirations, no front brakes and fat Coker tires. And we were just about to say that we haven’t seen an original café racer lately…
Café racing motorcycles may be acknowledged as the first ever sports bikes and even new ones are built in strict accordance with the original style, which is cool, but when it comes to the future something has to change. This concept bike right here is a good way to do so. Called the Metalback, it was designed by Jordan Meadows, who has thought at combining the original look of café racers with that of vintage WW2 fighter planes in order to achieve this.
The thing is supposed to be powered by a V4 diesel engine burning biodiesel, meaning that fuel efficiency – not just power and torque – was taken into consideration, not to mention anything about the recycled aluminum frame and bodywork.
As hard to believe as it may be, this motorcycle right here started life as a Honda CB 750 and was going pretty well until ending up in the hands of the guys at Garage Company Customs. They made it look, perform and sound even better and now call it the Honda CB 750 Cafe Racer. It looks more like a bobber than a café racer to us, but the name is the least important when looking at the actual bike.
This retains the original engine, which now breaths out through a custom exhaust system, while the modified frame and new, sportier suspensions are supposed to glue it to the road. The riding position looks a bit harsh, but does that even matter when you’ll be turning more heads than on any production bike out there, if that’s your goal. Also, beware of the paparazzi if you’re riding this custom made Honda CB around the streets of LA because they sure ruined Brad Pitt’s day and you’ll be looking like him on it. Hear that engine roaring in a short video after the break.