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Motorcycle Reviews

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 - Out of the Box – BMW R NineT Racer

Out of the Box – BMW R NineT Racer

Out of the box, off the shelf, ready-made…customs? Sure it’s an oxymoron, but boy they’re getting good at it. The big motorcycle manufacturers are all cashing in on the custom scene with their “Classic/Heritage” models. Triumph have nailed it with their Bobber and now BMW Motorrad adds a 70’s inspired ‘Racer’ to their…

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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 - Triumph Bonneville T100 – Ride Review

Triumph Bonneville T100 – Ride Review

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 - Triumph Thruxton R – Ride Review

Triumph Thruxton R – Ride Review

Triumph has well and truly hit the nail on the head with their revised Modern Classics range. In Australia alone the British manufacturer is seeing a significant growth in sales and has received a unanimous thumbs up from the motorcycle press. I’ve already had the pleasure of getting to know the 900cc…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Yamaha XSR900 – Ride Review

Yamaha XSR900 – Ride Review

“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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Return of the Cafe Racers - Triumph Bonneville Street Twin – Ride Review

Triumph Bonneville Street Twin – Ride Review

Late last year I ventured over to London for a sneak peek at the all new Triumph Motorcycles 2016 Bonneville range. Since then I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bikes in Australia so I could get a chance to ride one. That chance finally came last week when I joined…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - BMW R Nine T – Ride Review

BMW R Nine T – Ride Review

New motorcycle ride reviews have become a regular feature of Tank Moto Magazine and with each new issue comes an opportunity for me (the editor) to test out a brand new bike. The bikes I review are all of the “ready to customize” type which to date has included the likes of…

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Return of the Cafe Racers - Yamaha XJR1300 Racer – Ride Review

Yamaha XJR1300 Racer – Ride Review

I’ve been covering the Yamaha Yardbuilt series of custom bikes for some time now and have really enjoyed the projects they’ve collaborated on. If you follow Return of the Cafe Racers on Instagram you may have noticed that I was recently invited by Yamaha to attend the global launch of the 2015…

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