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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 - 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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Return of the Cafe Racers - 10 Off-The-Shelf Modern Cafe Racers

10 Off-The-Shelf Modern Cafe Racers

Is there such a thing as a factory built cafe racer? If you ask a purist they’ll tell you no way, but Honda, Ducati, Triumph, BMW and several other manufacturers are determined to have you thinking otherwise. It’s become pretty clear that this Cafe Racer fad is well and truly here to…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Fifty Shades of Grey – Deep Creeks BMW K100

Fifty Shades of Grey – Deep Creeks BMW K100

Building custom motorcycles is all about solving problems. This could be working around a modern electrical system, extracting additional horsepower from an engine or nutting out how to retrofit custom bodywork. The difference between a good build and a great one, however, is the ability to solve a problem in an aesthetically pleasing…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Top 5 BMW Cafe Racers

Top 5 BMW Cafe Racers

One of the great things about relaunching this website was having the chance to look back at some of the cafe racers I’ve featured during the past decade. As I worked my way through my custom motorcycle archives I realised that many of the bikes I’ve featured deserve another look. What better way…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Speed Blur – JSK Moto BMW R9T

Speed Blur – JSK Moto BMW R9T

We’re big fans of the work of Californian motorcycle builder Samuel Kao and his workshop JSK Moto Co. JSK motorcycles are best described as neo-retro creations and his latest R Nine T unashamedly follows suit. It’s nicknamed the ‘Autobahn Streak’ and in building it Samuel has embraced BMW’s ‘born to be customized’…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - The Black Bull – Deep Creek Cycleworks R Nine T

The Black Bull – Deep Creek Cycleworks R Nine T

BMW struck a chord in the custom motorcycle scene when they released the R Nine T. Powered by a bulletproof 100bhp 1170cc flat-twin the R Nine T offers a smooth and predictable ride. It certainly isn’t sedate though. Give the throttle a twist and you’ll reach 60mph in just under 3 seconds…

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