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 – Blacktrack BT02 Build

Building A Cafe Racer – Blacktrack BT02 Build

In part 2 of our ‘Building a Cafe Racer’ series with Blacktrack motorcycles, we discuss the build of their Norton Manx inspired BT02 Thruxman. With a design concept set in stone Sacha Lakic and his team begin translating the design into functional components to fit to their Triumph Thruxton R donor bike. Here…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Building a Cafe Racer – Blacktrack BT02 design

Building a Cafe Racer – Blacktrack BT02 design

It’s fair to say that a hell of a lot of work goes into the custom motorcycles I feature. So much in fact that it can’t all be covered in a single story. From sourcing the donor bike to designing and fabricating individual parts and right through to the final test ride,…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop Series – Choosing Motorcycle Suspension

Workshop Series – Choosing Motorcycle Suspension

The rise of the cafe racer scene has brought with it the desire to improve the performance of older motorcycles. One sure-fire way of improving how your motorcycle handles is upgrading its suspension. In this special edition of our ‘Workshop Series’ Australian suspension experts, Ikon Suspension, share some valuable advice on what…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop Series – Motogadget Motoscope Mini

Workshop Series – Motogadget Motoscope Mini

In this edition of our ‘Workshop Series’, we’ve teamed up with the crew at Revival Cycles to bring you this in-depth overview of MotoGadget’s Motoscope Mini. This tiny digital gauge is the ultimate addition to any custom build. Its minuscule design is perfect for keeping the front end of your motorcycle clean…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Workshop Series – Fork conversion with Cognito Moto

Workshop Series – Fork conversion with Cognito Moto

Swapping your old forks with a set of modern, better-performing upside-down forks sounds like a complex task, and it is. Thankfully there are some great aftermarket products available to simplify the job. In this edition of our Workshop Series, the crew at Cognito Moto walk us through the process of installing a…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2017

Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2017

2017 was a great year. The custom motorcycle scene has continued to produce some truly incredible builds and we were honored to feature many of them here on Return of the Cafe Racers. So this year we’ve pulled together a list of our favorites from 2017. Top 10 lists have never really…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Cafe Contenders – Yamaha SR400 and SR500

Cafe Contenders – Yamaha SR400 and SR500

At some stage, the tide turned against Yamaha’s SR400 and SR500. It might just be that I’m in Australia and we’ve been saturated with years of Deus-built specials. But there’s been a rising level of snark towards cafe racers built around Yamaha’s evergreen classic. It seems that these days it takes a…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Café Contenders – 2001 to 2016 Triumph Bonneville range

Café Contenders – 2001 to 2016 Triumph Bonneville range

For years the de facto choice when building a cafe racer was the air-cooled, 865cc Triumph Bonneville. With very few changes it dominated the retro market for a generation – from its Hinkley manufactured beginnings in 2001 to its final EFI form rolled out of Thailand fifteen years later. And that’s because…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Café Contenders – The Kawasaki W650

Café Contenders – The Kawasaki W650

It seems strange now, but Kawasaki actually beat Triumph to the punch when it came to retro-styled motorcycles. First released in 1999, the W650 was a complete anachronism in the world of water-cooled, high-revving street snarlers that dominated the late 90’s motorcycle scene. So while the rest of the world was obsessed…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Top 5 modern motorcycles to customise

Top 5 modern motorcycles to customise

One of the biggest decisions you’ll make when building your own Cafe Racer, or any style of custom motorcycle for that matter is selecting a donor bike. Some time ago I published a story on this same topic that covered older motorcycles . Today I thought I’d take a look at some modern alternatives…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - 8 Ways to Avoid Builder Burn Out

8 Ways to Avoid Builder Burn Out

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Rob Chappell of ‘Origin8or Cycles’ in Ontario Canada. I work a 9-5 job in graphic design, run a freelance web-design company, have a partner that keeps me busy most evenings and I build custom motorcycles on the weekends and during any spare time I…

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