How Do You Build a Cafe Racer?


Quick Answer

A cafe racer is a term used for a motorbike that has been stripped down for looks as well as short-distance speed and performance. To build a cafe racer, a base motorbike is required, plus the mechanical skills and knowledge to remove parts, replace parts and tweak the performance.

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Full Answer

Cafe racers had their heyday in the 1960s and 1970s so older bikes are usually used to build them.

  1. Choose a motorcycle
  2. Getting a suitable motorcycle is the first step. Japanese bikes are popular, but whatever bike is chosen it is important to do thorough research to understand the common issues and problems that riders experience. It is also a good idea to choose a motorcycle that already has a design that is close to the cafe racer style. This will mean less aesthetic modifications.
  3. Make a plan
  4. The next stage is to plan the work. This involves looking at the parts that will need to be changed. This includes standard restoration fixes like brake lines, oil and tires, but it also includes items specific for achieving the cafe racer style of bike. This could be anything from a smaller and simpler seat to getting the right look; to a new suspension to improve handling at speed; to new wheels to decrease the overall weight.
  5. Start working
  6. With the plan in place and the required parts purchased, the final stage is to start working.
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