Looking for a project? Have a street bike laying around? Then why not change it into a Café Racer?!? The Convert Your Street Bike into a Café Racer infographic from Fix gives some great before and after pictures of the conversion.
It was in the U.K. during the 1960s that a new style of motorcycle was born. Racing enthusiasts took their Triumphs and BSAs and added all sorts of racy-looking accessories and engine tuning components. Not content with a bike that just looked like a racer, the owners would often have impromptu races between the many cafés that dotted the English countryside.
Although café racers come in many custom forms, there are some commonalities that run throughout the design. With the lowering of the handlebars and changing of the gas tank and seat, the outline of the bike becomes more curved. It is important that the café racer is not clumsy in appearance. With parts brought toward the center of the bike, the bike becomes more visually aggressive. The gas tank and “humpback” seat (described below) mirror each other, accentuating the curved look.
Today, for the owner-rider wanting to replicate the ’60s look of a café racer, the good news is that there are many over-the-counter parts for the most popular bikes. Adapting some of these café racer parts to fit any bike is not out of the question but may require some basic engineering.
Great How-To design that makes everything visual! The sections are also broken up as separate images on the Fix.com site.
Thanks to Jesse for sending in the link!