Harley Davidson Motorcycles

American manufacturer Harley Davidson was formed in 1903 when childhood friends William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson began building their first motorcycle. Surviving 2 world wars and great depression Harley has grown to become one of the world's most recognized motorcycle brands. Although these days many don't consider Harleys as race machines the aptly named Sporsters were developed with racing in mind and for a period were the brand of choice for flat track racers. Harleys have always been associated with customization, most notably in the chopper scene. Although a Harley cafe racer conversion is a challenging undertaking there's no shortage of aftermarket parts available to help get it done.
Return of the Cafe Racers - V-twin test bed – Danmoto Harley Sportster

V-twin test bed – Danmoto Harley Sportster

After designing and manufacturing his own performance parts for years Danmoto owner Wei Liya decided it was time to build a bike of their own. Naturally, the plan was to build a showcase of the products his company produces, but more importantly, to show their design and fabrication abilities. The result is…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Caffeine fix – Barista Harley Davidson Sportster

Caffeine fix – Barista Harley Davidson Sportster

Motorcycles and coffee are two items that appear on my list of things that I can’t live without, which is rather fortunate. Through my observations, motorcyclists spend a great deal of time in and around cafes, just like musicians seem to spend a lot of time in and around bars. The never-ending…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Keanu Reeves Motorcycles – Arch Method 143

Keanu Reeves Motorcycles – Arch Method 143

If you stayed glued to the television during the 2018 Superbowl ads you would have seen a rather amusing Squarespace advert featuring Keanu Reeves. In the ad, Keanu talks about his own motorcycle company and while you shouldn’t believe everything you hear on TV this is actually the truth. Keanu is an…

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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 - Steely Blue – Harley Davidson Cafe Racer

Steely Blue – Harley Davidson Cafe Racer

If ever there was a person who was destined to become a metal fabricator it would have to be Jay Donovan. If you look past his uncannily appropriate surname though, Jay is one hell of a driven individual who has worked hard to achieve his personal goals. His career in metal manipulation…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - British Brute – Hesketh Sonnet Cafe Racer

British Brute – Hesketh Sonnet Cafe Racer

The automotive industry has always been a torrid one, full of stories of receiverships and liquidations. Motorcycle manufacturing is no exception and many of the world’s current top players have experienced their fair share of problems getting to where they are today. Unfortunately, over the years many smaller motorcycle manufacturers have fallen by…

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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 - Viking Funeral – Busch and Busch Harley Ironhead

Viking Funeral – Busch and Busch Harley Ironhead

From sleek streamlined land speed racers to alloy bodied enduro bikes the Busch and Busch brothers sure know how to massage metal. Their latest Harley Davidson based build has been a testing one with the bike’s engine still not completely dialled in, but it’s exterior is a work of art. Coined the…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Godless – Ask Motorcycles Buell XB

Godless – Ask Motorcycles Buell XB

This story first appeared in Tank Moto issue 12. This isn’t the first time we’ve featured a build by Japan’s Ask Motorcycles. After meeting workshop owner Rad Yamamoto at the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Show in 2012 we struck up a friendship. Then in 2014, I arranged to have his beautiful ’61…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Twisted Twin – Stile Italiano Harton CR1200

Twisted Twin – Stile Italiano Harton CR1200

It may not be identical to its Italian brother, but the second “Twisted Twin” from Stile Italiano is just as appealing. The ‘Harton CR1200’ uses a traditional cafe racer design approach. A beefy engine transplanted into a top performing frame. It is a motorcycle built to perform as well as it looks. Nicknamed…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - XLCR Reborn – Jamesville Shovelhead Cafe Racer

XLCR Reborn – Jamesville Shovelhead Cafe Racer

Back in 1977, Harley Davidson unveiled their American cafe racer, the XLCR Sportster. On paper and in the flesh the bike was certainly appealing. It was draped in black, had a unique siamese exhaust system, was powered by a torquey 997cc v-twin and wore bodywork, unlike any other Harley. Unfortunately, the press…

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