BMW Cafe Racers

The German company BMW Motorrad built its first motorcycle, the R32, in 1923. Powered by a 494cc flat-twin boxer the R32's engine configuration became an iconic feature of BMW motorcycles throughout their history. The "airhead" boxer twins and R series models are popular choices for BMW cafe racer conversions while the new BMW R Nine T was built specifically with customization in mind. Browse our BMW cafe racer archives for plenty of airhead inspiration.
Return of the Cafe Racers - Dynamite – Unikat BMW K1100LT

Dynamite – Unikat BMW K1100LT

Mentioning Grand Tourer and cafe racer in the same sentence isn’t something you’ll see me do often. That’s because bikes that are inherently heavy, such as tourers, are generally deemed too big to be suitable donors for cafe racer builds. If you strip away the excess on most tourers you’re still left…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Chop Talk – Kott Motorcycles BMW R80

Chop Talk – Kott Motorcycles BMW R80

One of the many amazing bikes on display at this year’s Handbuilt show in Austin was Dustin Kott’s BMW R80. As part of the show experience, Dustin and a few other builders were interviewed about their builds. These ‘Chop Talk’ interviews were available to listen to at the show and now thanks…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - T Minus – Deep Creek BMW R nineT

T Minus – Deep Creek BMW R nineT

The cafe racer in BMW’s R nineT heritage series won hearts with its sleek styling. However, motorcycle journalists brought a few downsides with the design of the BMW R nineT Racer to light. While the engine and build quality were at the same high level as the other model’s, rider comfort certainly…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Scrambler – Rogue Motorcycles R65

Scrambler – Rogue Motorcycles R65

For more than a decade I’ve stayed true to this websites cafe racer theme. I can assure you this was no easy task. I’ve lost count of all the amazing scramblers, flat trackers, bobbers and dare I say choppers I’ve passed up. However, it is now time for a change. This article…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Green with Envy – Vanity BMW R80RT

Green with Envy – Vanity BMW R80RT

I’ve seen enough BMW cafe racer builds to last a lifetime. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to see any more of them. I just want to know that when one appears on these pages it’s done right. Take for instance the work of Pete Hodson from Side Rock Cycles in the United…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Kompact Racer – BMW K1100 RS Cafe Racer

Kompact Racer – BMW K1100 RS Cafe Racer

When a builder chooses to convert a tourer into a cafe racer it’s always a bit of a surprise to me. Such bikes tend to be on the heavier end of the spectrum and although the BMW K1100 RS weighed in less than its predecessor, the LT, it was still a hefty…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Blue Boxer – 46 Works R100RS

Blue Boxer – 46 Works R100RS

It’s not every day you find yourself handing out an award at one of the world’s most prestigious custom automotive events. Somehow I recent;y found myself in this situation at the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod and Custom Show. After rubbing shoulders with Mooneyes top dog Shige Suganuma at Kustomfest in Indonesia he…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Cafe Racer Evolution – Mark II EVO R100R

Cafe Racer Evolution – Mark II EVO R100R

Building one-off projects for individual customers has its benefits, but it isn’t the most reliable income model for a custom builder. Those who are established enough to have a queue of customers waiting at their door are the lucky ones, but for others, it can be a struggle to maintain a consistent…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Secrets Revealed – Zon BMW R18 Departed

Secrets Revealed – Zon BMW R18 Departed

The custom motorcycle world has been full of collaborations in the past few years. Manufacturers have recognised the influence custom builders have on the bike scene and have been inviting them to work their magic on their latest models. This particular collaboration was between BMW Motorrad and Japan’s Custom Works Zon, but…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Two of a Kind – Engineered to Slide R Nine TE

Two of a Kind – Engineered to Slide R Nine TE

I am Nigel Petrie from Engineered To Slide and I want to share with you my new BMW R Nine T Racer build. For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with cars and motorcycles. I have been heavily involved in Motorsport for the past 15 years. Motorcycles have…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - R7 Redux – Nostalgia BMW R Nine T

R7 Redux – Nostalgia BMW R Nine T

I once said that the 1934 BMW R7 was one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever made, and I still stand by that claim. Created in 1934 the R7 took the Art Deco approach of using mathematical geometric shapes as the basis of its design. The result was a highly stylised concept…

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