When you ask a perfectionist about a factory-assembled cafe racer, chances are they will tell you that’s not possible. But, manufacturers like BMW, Triumph, Ducati, Honda, and several others are determined to make you think otherwise. It’s pretty clear that the cafe racer craze is getting on the nerves, and going to stay here for a while.
Cafe racers are trending these days. They start out as ordinary models and then put on some modifications. They have become immensely popular to inspire magazines, TV shows, and dedicated
websites. However, when it is about buying one, you find that the options are
It is evident that many manufacturers are now in this action. As such, many of them have their own piece of cafe racers for sale right on showroom floors. Here are the top 10 off the shelf cafe Racers that are available at your local dealership, ready for a ride.
Top 10 Off the Shelf Cafe Racers
Here we go! Yes these bikes are the top 10 off the shelf cafe racers, but despite being available in the shop, they are still unique bikes.
1) BMW R NineT Racer
The popular BMW R NineT Racer delivers retro-racing style along with sheer performance. This fabulous racer houses the cyclops headlights along with a bubble screen. It features standoff mirrors up the top. Although the screen doesn’t provide much protection for the rider, it does shelters the dual analog gauges that show you the rpm metrics and speed in separate small display screens.
The indicator lights cover the remaining bases. The long fuel tank has a very little rise. It makes you lay across and tucks in during the slipstream. The design takes you way back to the classic era of cafe racer while boasting the modern sleek design with the boxer heads sticking out on each side.
The mudguard or the plate holder manages to control the rear fling. The structure consists of a modular steel space frame that hosts a front main frame along with the rear mainframe and a subframe. In an endeavor to keep the weight minimal, the frame has a stressed engine to retain the necessary rigidity.
The classic boxer engine is the power behind the Racer. But, don’t get the false impression of having an age-old configuration. This engine is modern and features a well-tuned shaft intended to keep away the vibrations. Electronic fuel injection makes sure to meet the standard emission levels.
The power delivery of this Racer is smooth, comfortable, and amazing. The horsepower is really awesome, it pulls like a train. The torque lets you open up in any gear, and the Racer is off with ease. I am pretty impressed with the chain cover because you don’t have to adjust and oil the chain or clean off the chain every time you go out.
2) Husqvarna Svartpilen 701
Although Husqvarna doesn’t mention it openly, Svartpilen 701 is definitely the modern explanation of a cafe racer. Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is light in weight and power apart from the good looks. The racer is a bit heavier and longer than other models. But, that makes it quite easy for you to maneuver.
The higher WP forks on the racer are fully adjustable. If you like this feature, this bike can be your perfect choice. However, I’ll go with the factory settings. The engine delivers sheer power pretty smoothly through the throttle.
When you are on the freeway, expect to move faster than you have thought of. It turns out that Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is a performance cafe racer. So far the looks are concerned, I think this cafe racer is a trendsetter rather than a follower. The body wears a black and satin silver paint scheme.
The matching wheel diameters and a balanced bone line set up the look for a classic racer stance. The fluorescent diagonal line that cuts the Racer in half is mesmerizing to look at. It’s like an aesthetic stroke of a genius. The exhaust does sound good and takes good care of the business.
3) Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer
How is it even possible to have both a cafe racer and a scrambler in one bike? Well, it is obvious that it is not. According to the company, they applied “Scrambler” simply as a brand name. It became evident that the Scrambler is quite Scrambler-ish. But, when they added “cafe racer”, I was a bit confused. Apart from the naming conventions, it does a good job.
Launched in 2017, this cafe racer is considered as gorgeous looking of all the Scrambler models. The Ducati Scrambler cafe racer is quite portable, Termignoni muffler, and comes with bar-end mirrors. It houses a dual cylinder engine and a manual gearbox.
This racer has an anti-lock braking system. As the name suggests, the Ducati Scrambler cafe racer depicts the cafe racer motorcycles from the 1970s and 1980s. The racer hosts a headlamp cowl, low-slung handlebars, redesigned seat, and a sturdy mudguard. The number “54” written on the side panels is in the honor of Bruno Spaggiari.
This cafe racer gets LED lights in the headlamp. The taillights are flanked by the LED light indicators that give the bike a modern touch. The LCD display panel shows the fuel gauge and gear position. It sports the company’s multimedia system that has optional Bluetooth connectivity.
4) Triumph 1200 R
If you are familiar with the old cafe racers, you may know the new Triumph 1200 R. Although the bullet-design seat indicates the tangible cafe connection, the kicked up exhaust system and the overall stance hits ring on the genre. This is a nice package for you to jumpstart on the right look you desire to develop.
A double-cradle, double-downtube, tubular steel frame, two-sided swingarm sets the stage. The inclusion of a fuel injection system works great with the throttle bodies. The Triumph 1200 R goes for an added layer of traction protection. The traction is there in the form of a slipper clutch on the gearbox and prevents wheel hop when you prepare for a turn.
The new chassis houses an upgraded powerful parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine, which delivers sheer power and maximum torque. The suspension comprises of Showa USD Forks at the front side, while an Ohlins mono-shock is fitted in the rear. Brembo monobloc calipers take care of the braking system. This particular cafe racer is built to have a modern mesmerizing appearance.
The riding position in the Triumph 1200 R is fine and comfortable. With a smooth gearbox and a lightweight clutch, you can’t give an excuse why you shouldn’t shift gears. The Triumph 1200 R is definitely a retro cafe racer bike that builds on the foundation of the original model alongside fancy brakes and suspension.
5) Royal Enfield Continental GT
Way back in 2012, Royal Enfield displayed the Continental GT and several Enfield lovers went crazy. Style and fun are what café racers are all about. And, Royal Enfield Continental GT delivers both without limits. By the look, you can imagine that you are going to have the best ride in your life.
The designing of the bike is made in such a way that you can have a forward riding position because of the classic rear seat. That means this racer is more of a toy rather than a commuter. However, you won’t feel tired when riding the Continental GT.
A pokey single-cylinder engine thumps away the bike to produce an impressive power. The bike works effectively through the gearbox. You would be surprised to know that the power of this cafe racer is mind-blowing. It doesn’t create vibrations even when it is pushed hard.
At higher speeds, you would notice the suspension is pretty soft than you have anticipated. A great suspension is good for providing you with comfort. However, the bike is not great for corners, unlike most cafe; racers. The strong brakes handle the speed much effectively.
6) Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer
The V7 III Moto Guzzi racer comes in four different variants. The differences between each variant are accessories and styling apart from the racer’s new features on performance tweaks. These new models have 10% more power over their outgoing models. In short, the engine has been beefed up for sheer performance.
The company has improved the clutch for more durability. Moto Guzzi has also tweaked the suspension on these bikes by using adjustable Kayaba rear shocks. You can notice that the seat height has been dropped a little bit. There are two ways to traction control. You can completely switch it off when you like.
When it is about the styling of Moto Guzzi V7 III Racer, it is the sportiest among the bunch. When you go out on the streets, it’ll grab people’s attention. The color treatment on the V7 III Racer stretches from the fuel tank to the tail panels in a color that is quite close to aluminum.
However, Guzzi calls that matte chromium silver color, and that’s pretty awesome. On the tank, you won’t find the company name. Instead, there is a red-colored anodized eagle on both sides. The tail of the Racer is somewhat awry. To my eyes, it gives the sense of a scrambler.
When you fire the Racer, you get a taste of the transverse twin twist. Sound plays an important role in the riding experience, and this cafe racer delivers exactly as you have thought of. Now, you can twist that throttle at the traffic lights and have your own moment of amusement!
7) Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer
This article won’t be complete without Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer in it. The Commando 961 is the cafe; styled variant of the Commando offering. If you are unfamiliar with the bike, chances are you may mix it with Triumph Thruxton. However, the production of the current Commando has been since 2009.
The Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer features a twin-parallel dry-sump engine. It produces enough power and torque that has been paired with other high-end performance parts. You can have a fully adjustable suspension from Ohlins on both the rear and front. You get the brakes from Brembo.
There are twin discs at the front wheel. The clutch gear is provided by Brembo as well. The exhaust consists of bespoke stainless steel. The Commando 961 has a great classic look and the cafe racer version adds the rear-set footpegs, clip-on handlebars, and unique color schemes.
You can steer the bike with accuracy and quickness. The Commando 961 tracks well and the brakes are quite sensational. The bumpy roads are where you may get an idea about the quality of suspension of this bike. The Norton Commando has made quite a stir among the mid-aged people in the world.
Very few bikes can claim the true cafe racer heritage, and the Norton Commando 961 Cafe Racer is certainly one among them. Commando 961 is a work of art that only can be judged when you ride the bike rather than seeing it parked somewhere or in a lounge room. It will put a smile on your face while you ride it.
8) Triumph Thruxton 1200
Based out of Bonneville T120, the Triumph Thruxton 1200 houses a powered version of Triumph’s original 1200 cc engine. Of all the other bikes in this range, the Triumph Thruxton is admired the most by people, and rightly so. This cafe racer provides everything that you would want from a cafe racer package.
It brags the perfect balance of performance and elegantly classic looks. While most bikes provide mere styling tweaks along with minimal performance upgrades, the Triumph Thruxton 1200 comes with a lot of other features. When it is about styling, this racer nails the cafe racer philosophy.
The Triumph Thruxton 1200 styling is pretty similar to that of its sibling. It has a sculpted fuel tank, chromed clocks, orange-tinted indicators, round mirrors, and round headlamp. The rear footpegs and clip-on handlebars provide a sporty riding position. This racer has been built on the same steel cradle frame as the Bonneville.
The chassis sports a new and powerful parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine, which churns out maximum torque. The suspension comprises of the traditional cartridge along with fixed discs. The Triumph Thruxton has traction control and ABS, as well. This racer is built to suit the classic vibe and to have a modern look.
9) Kawasaki W800
The Kawasaki W800 has the same design and style as that of the W1 of the mid-60s. Mid-mount controls help to keep your heels low and very close to the center of gravity. The rounded cyclops headlight makes a classic connection to the past. But things are a bit changed now and the factory had that covered.
The advent of LED technology has made the light split the night. Because chrome is for retro-inspired motorcycles, the company gave W800 headlight cowl, handlebar, turn signals, rear suspension, and the wheels the chrome treatment. Furthermore, ribbed pattern seat, fuel tank, fork gaiters, and round mirrors complete the racer’s retro appeal.
The W800 is powered by twin engines that produce enough power and torque. It comes along with the slipper clutch and five-speed gearbox. The braking system consists of dual-channel ABS along with front and the rear disk brakes. The bike got twin shocks at the rear and telescopic forks on the front.
The overall look of the Kawasaki W800 is quite British. Even the bevel-gear drive found on the right side is a very old school. However, the case is modern and generic as compared to the peanut-shaped case on the original one. I am happy to find out that it is air-cooled. The O-ring chain and transmission system connect the rear wheel to put the power through it.
10) Suzuki SV650X Cafe
The Suzuki SV650X Cafeis mechanically similar to the standard models. Apart from the technical specs, where this cafe racer shines bright is in the appearance. There is a contoured headlight cowling beneath the handlebars. The seat curves from the base of the fuel tank to the tail section.
This way, it creates a sort of break in the diagonal and horizontal lines. It is further emphasized by the curve of the fuel tank, the back end, and the small side panels. The brown leather finishing of the seat gets perfectly matched with the two-toned colors that could be either black, white, grey, or any other color.
The Cafe rolls on cast aluminum wheels along with durable tires that balance the bike. The taillights look amazing and cool. In fact, I am deeply moved by the looks of the rear end including the seat. The liquid-cooled engine that hangs from the frame is another great thing in this racer.
The 2-in-1 exhaust system isn’t that impressive, but for this price range, I won’t complain. You’ll feel right at home when you board on the Suzuki SV650X Cafe It is comfortable to ride as the reach to the bar is quite low. You get quite comfy while seated on the bike. The suspension is pre-adjusted and you don’t have to check for other settings.
The custom-made nature of the cafe racer is more than attractive. It is sure that these retro-styled rides can be perfect for people who want the latest technology in performance and classic looks. So, that was all about the top 10 off the shelf cafe racers that you can find at your nearest dealer shop.
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