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Building a Café Racer

Are you thinking of building a Café Racer? You're in the right place! Whether you're bolting a few parts onto your motorcycle or transforming it into a bonafide 1950s styled café racer, the stories you'll find here will help you get it done. You'll find everything from how to guides to aftermarket parts features, and even some motorcycle reviews designed to help you choose the right donor for your café racer project.
Return of the Cafe Racers - Building a Cafe Racer – MessnerMoto Parts

Building a Cafe Racer – MessnerMoto Parts

Producing aftermarket parts seems like a natural progression for any successful custom motorcycle builder. If people love your bikes there’s a good chance they’ll love your parts too. It’s no easy task though. Producing unique aftermarket parts takes a lot of research time and money; not to mention the skill to create…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Sunday Screening – Cognito BMW R75 Build

Sunday Screening – Cognito BMW R75 Build

Our friends over at Cognito Moto have been toiling away on their latest custom BMW R75 project. The project was completed in a super fast 6 week turn around in order to showcase it at the 2019 EuroBike Raleigh. To share the process they documented the entire build on their Youtube channel.…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Building a Cafe Racer  – Motogadget M Unit

Building a Cafe Racer – Motogadget M Unit

The name Motogadget appears a lot on these pages. The German company produces motorcycle parts and accessories which have become the ‘go to’ resource for many of the world’s top custom builders. And it’s easy to see why. Their products have been developed through extensive research and the company prides themselves on…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Locate a builder – Custom Workshop Map

Locate a builder – Custom Workshop Map

Over the years I’ve featured thousands of custom motorcycles built by talented folks from all over the world. Some have been built by dedicated enthusiasts at home, but most were built by professional workshops. The reason for this is obvious. Not everyone has the skill or the time it takes to build…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe by Rizoma

Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe by Rizoma

While most aspects of motorcycle design have come a long way since the 70s, there and several that haven’t. Take for instance indicators. On many modern bikes, we are still seeing oversized blinkers jutting out like babies arms with clenched fists. Then there’s the run of the mill big round plastic mirrors,…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Learn to Build your own Cafe Racer

Learn to Build your own Cafe Racer

There are plenty of arguments for why you should build your own cafe racer rather than having it built by a professional workshop. The biggest reason is, of course, the cost. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of reasons why people don’t do it themselves. Lacking the skill to do it is perhaps the…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop series – DIY motorcycle stand

Workshop series – DIY motorcycle stand

Anyone who works on motorcycles knows the importance of a good stand. Raising your motorcycle up off the floor gives you easy access to hard to reach places along with making the whole process much easier on your body. Small lifts and race stands do a great job, but if you’re looking…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2018 – Editor’s Choice

Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2018 – Editor’s Choice

That’s a wrap for another year of cafe racer coverage from around the globe. This year was Return of the Cafe Racers twelfth birthday and we celebrated it with a new look website, a renewed focus on workshop and DIY stories and, as always, a plethora of top-notch cafe racer builds. As I…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - 5 motorcycle wiring mistakes (and how to avoid them)

5 motorcycle wiring mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Tom John, the man behind Purpose Built Moto, has 13 years of electrical contracting work up his sleeves. This is evidenced by the bulletproof electrical systems he installs on his own custom bike builds. As part of my ongoing ‘Building a Cafe Racer’ series, I invited Tom to contribute a story about the…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop Series – Cafe Racer Kits

Workshop Series – Cafe Racer Kits

Our workshop series continues this week with an interview from ‘Cafe Racer Kits’ in the United Kingdom. Ian Saxcoburg is a mechanical draughtsman who ran his own engineering businesses prior to starting the Cafe Racer Kits business. Along with his wife Tracey, they produce a range of cafe styled “kit bikes”. The…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop Series – Cafe Racer Rear Set Install

Workshop Series – Cafe Racer Rear Set Install

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days with Matt at his Krank Engineering workshop. Matt had agreed to help me fit a set of “universal” Tarozzi rearset footpegs. This was a stage of my cafe racer build that I’ve been meaning to do for years so it was a…

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