Motorcycle Reviews

Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe

Ride Review – Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe

I have to confess I tend to get a bit excited when a motorcycle manufacturer announces they are releasing a cafe racer styled machine. I suppose it has something to do with me running this cafe racer focused website for the last 12 years. Unfortunately, my excitement often leads to disappointment when…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Ducati Scrambler Café Racer

Ride Review – Ducati Scrambler Café Racer

A couple of weeks back I flew to Sydney to take part in a ride hosted by Ducati Australia called the ‘Sydney Scramble’. The ride brought a few good people from the online motorcycle community together for 2 days of fun on the current 803cc Scrambler range. We weaved our way a…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Kawasaki Z900RS

Ride Review – Kawasaki Z900RS

Towards the end of 2017 when the Tokyo Motor and EICMA shows took place I got more than a little excited about the year that lay ahead. This is because during said shows several manufacturers unveiled new motorcycles that appealed to my retro-obsessed aesthetic. Amongst them was a new contender in the…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer

Ride Review – Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer

After being away from home for the last half of 2017 and without a motorcycle I was chuffed when Moto Guzzi Australia offered up one of their latest models for me to review. It’s been a while since I’d been in the saddle of a Moto Guzzi. My last MG test bike…

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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 - 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Revealed

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Revealed

In our recent feature discussing the cafe racer styled motorcycles at EICMA 2017 we left something very important out, but it was no accident. We’ve been impatiently awaiting the release of Husqvarna’s production version of the Vitpilen 701 for what feels like a decade…well 3 years really, but who’s counting. The Swedes…

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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 - Retro Special – The Yamaha XSR900 Abarth

Retro Special – The Yamaha XSR900 Abarth

Yamaha continues their push to dominate the retro-styled motorcycle category with their latest, limited edition Sport Heritage XSR900. Thanks to ties with Yamaha’s MotoGP team they’ve collaborated with aftermarket performance experts Abarth to create the XSR900 ‘Sport Heritage café racer special’. The new model will be available to customers in a limited…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Triumph Bonneville T100

Ride Review – Triumph Bonneville T100

Looking back over the past decade of publishing this website I can’t think of a year that offered more exciting new motorcycles than 2016. It’s clear that manufacturers have bought into the “new wave” of motorcycle customisation, recognising the attraction of classically styled motorcycles to backyard builders. One manufacturer, in particular, stood…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Ride Review – Yamaha XSR900

Ride Review – Yamaha XSR900

“Sport Heritage” Never has the combination of those two words made as much sense as when applied to the Yamaha XSR900. A couple of weeks ago I joined a team of moto-journalists for the Australian launch of the Sport Heritage XSR900. After already reading European reviews of the bike online my biggest…

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