Cafe racer motorcycles were common among young bikers in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s. The name originated due to the inter-cafe motorcycle races and competitions between the bikers.
A stripped-back aesthetic, straight profile lines, drop bars, a small fuel tank, and single seats with a cowl characterizes it.
However, these bikes are retro motorcycles modified for better performance, a sleeker appearance, and to fit into the 21st power engine machines.
Cafe racers are designed to assist riders in maneuvering easily, focusing on enhancing speed and acceleration over short distances. They also have a distinct style that sets them apart from other motorcycles of the time.
However, this article will examine the ten best cafe racer motorcycles in 2023 and how you can protect and maintain them using motorcycle covers.
10 Best cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023
1. Triumph Thruxton R
Triumph Thruxton R is a classic-looking cafe racer with a powerful 1200cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine. The Triumph Thruxton is a great café racer motorcycle model for riders who want a classy-looking modern machine with high performance.
It combines retro styling, a powerful engine, and advanced modern features such as LED lighting and adjustable suspension. Its distinguishing feature is its decidedly premium nature, getting Öhlins shocks, inverted Showa forks, and Brembo stoppers.
2. BRIXTON CROSSFIRE 125
Brixton Crossfire 125 has an engine with a liquid-cooled and fuel-injected 124cc single that pumps out under 14 hp and allows for a top speed of over 60mph. Brixton’s modern cafe racer bike also has hydraulic disc brakes, an upside-down fork, and a rear mono-shock setup. It is affordable, lightweight, and easy to ride, regardless of your experience level.
3. BMW R nine T Racer
BMW R nine T Racer is perfect for those who want a classic cafe racer with modern performance and a top-notch aesthetic. It has a retro 70s and 80s look and an air-cooled 1170cc engine.
It has a range of features which include the supple suspension, the 43mm nonadjustable fork, and spring preload, adjust shock guarantees a smooth ride and easy navigation of roadways.
With an optional ASC (automatic stability control) prevents the rear wheel from spinning and ensures more efficient power transmission for more active riding and ensures riders’ safety in extreme situations.
4. Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer
Another power-engine cafe racer motorcycle with a distinctively retro-inspired design and an 803cc L twin engine that delivers 73hp and 50 lb-ft of torque is the Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission and features a slipper clutch for smoother downshifts.
The Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer features include a fully adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes, and Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires. The bike also has a complete LED lighting system and a digital instrument panel with a gear and fuel level indicator.
The Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer is a powerful motorcycle that combines modern technology with classic styling to deliver an exciting riding experience.
5. Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer
Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer is a modern version of the classic Norton cafe racers from the 1960s and 1970s. It was first introduced in 2010 and has since gained a reputation as a high-performance cafe racer, with a powerful 961 cc parallel-twin engine producing 80 hp and 66 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed transmission with a hydraulic clutch.
The Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer is designed to retain the original outlook but with modern engineering and technological features. The features include a sportier riding position with clip-on handlebars and a cafe-style seat. It also has a complete Led lighting system, a sleek, streamlined body with minimal fairings, and a short upswept tail. The bike is available in a variety of colors.
6. Yamaha XSR900
The Yamaha XSR900 is a versatile motorcycle with classic styling and modern performance. It has a powerful 847cc, and the inline three-cylinder engine delivers a maximum power output of 115 hp and 64.5 lb-ft of torque.
The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and features Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) system, which provides precise throttle control and improved response. The XSR900 features a retro-inspired design with a round headlight, a single-piece seat, and a teardrop-shaped fuel tank.
It also has modern features such as LED lighting, a digital LCD, and adjustable suspension. It’s suitable for urban commuting and weekend rides on the open road.
7. Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer
Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer is an Italian cafe racer with a distinctive look and a powerful 744cc engine that delivers plenty of torque and a smooth ride. The bike also features several performance-oriented components, such as Öhlins shocks, Brembo brakes, and a lightweight aluminum fuel tank.
The Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer is a stylish, fun-to-ride motorcycle that pays homage to the brand’s racing heritage while offering modern performance and reliability.
8. Honda CB1100EX
The CB1100EX is powered by a 1,140cc air-cooled, fuel-injected, inline-four engine that produces 88 hp and 67 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and a slipper clutch. Its features include a steel double-cradle frame, adjustable suspension, and dual front disc brakes with ABS. It is the best fit in terms of comfort
9. Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
The Continental GT 650 possesses clip-on handlebars, rear-set foot pegs, and a single seat. It is powered by a 648cc air-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine that produces 47 horsepower and 52 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed transmission and a slipper clutch.
10. Suzuki SV650X
Suzuki SV650X is a 645cc v twin engine that produces around 75 hp and 47 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed transmission, and a slipper clutch, which provides smoother downshifts and reduces the risk of rear-wheel lockup. The SV650X is an excellent choice as it offers comfort and high performance.
Cafe racer motorcycles are popular with motorcycle enthusiasts modifying regular bikes into classic cafe racer bikes. Irrespective of the modification or your choice of cafe racer bikes, it is imperative to take good care of the motorcycle for durability and high performance.
Three Elements of How to Take Care of your motorcycle
- Regular maintenance and servicing: it is important to do routine checkups and care, which include oil changes, tire rotations, an inspection of the brakes, and regular lubrication to keep your motorcycle in good condition.
- Safe riding practices: The way you ride your motorcycle tends to reflect on it hence the need to ride safely. Avoid riding in bad weather conditions or on bad roads, and obey traffic regulations and speed limits to reduce the chances of getting involved in an accident. It is also vital you wear proper riding gear.
- Proper storage: It is essential to store your bike in a garage or a safe place to prevent damage properly. If you keep your bike outdoors, it is susceptible to the sun, rain, wind, debris, and other environmental factors, so getting a good motorcycle cover is necessary. If you are skeptical about the need for a motorcycle cover, you might miss out on some of its benefits.
Benefits of a Motorcycle Cover
- Protection: The motorcycle cover protects your bike from different weather conditions, whether it is windy, sunny, raining, or even snowing. The exposure of your bike to this element will cause damage to the motorcycle’s paints, bodywork, and even mechanical malfunction. All this can be prevented by getting a good motorcycle cover.
- Security: A good motorcycle cover covers your bike, especially if parked outdoors. It makes it difficult to easily access or remove parts of the motorcycle: A motorcycle cover offers security by making your bike less visible to theft and vandalism.
- Maintenance: Keeping your bike covered prevents dust and other debris from settling on the motorcycle. Motorcycle covers also protect your bike from scratches and cosmetic damage.
We have provided a detailed list of 10 cafe racer motorcycles with their distinct features you can consider if you wish to purchase one. Also, we have provided an insight into how to maintain your bike, with the benefits you gain using a motorcycle cover.