Return of the Cafe Racers - 21st Century Cafe Racer? – The Buell 1125 CR

21st Century Cafe Racer? – The Buell 1125 CR

In the same vein as Benelli’s TNT Cafe Racer 1130 the Buell 1125CR isn’t your typical Cafe Racer…so why do they make this claim? Firstly here it is in Buell’s own words…

“Blending radical styling with state of the art technology. The 1125CR motorcycle is not just a seriously intimidating-looking machine; it also has the top power-to-weight ratio in its class. Never has our ‘rider down’ design been so apparent – from the overall ergonomics to the innovative engineering at its heart. Nestled between the twin-spar ‘fuel-in’ frame, there lies a 1125cc Helicon engine, pumping out an incredible 146hp. Re-geared for hard acceleration, the 1125CR also benefits from a ZTL2 front brake with a mighty 8-piston calliper, giving you optimum control at every turn. With its full-on attitude and jaw-dropping looks, the 1125CR is a street bike for the true descendants of the Café Racer generation.”

Buell 1125CR

I get the power and handling aspects but once again the look seems to have been mixed up a bit. The 1125CR is not what I would call Cafe Racer styled which is very important when laying claim to be a 21st century Cafe Racer! Cafe Racers were the most stylish bikes on the street. Each one was unique and individual, minimal and functional, something that will always be hard to reproduce with a factory model bike. The 1125CR looks more like a streetfighter than anything else. The aggressive riding position and naked front end are typical of streetfighter styling. Also, what’s with all the plastic! No offence to lovers of Buell but plastic certainly isn’t something you would find on a Cafe Racer.

Buell 1125CR

Ok, so I may be being a little harsh here. 21st century means modern-day and as such the bike should be a modernised Cafe Racer which in some ways it is. The figures all look impressive and I’m sure it’s a hoot to ride but it seems that the title of Cafe Racer is being used as a catchphrase with some manufacturers now rather than a true definition of the motorcycles they are producing.


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