Not long ago a biker friend asked me what could we define as a Café Racer, and at that moment I have to admit that I did not know very well what to answer to the question. Luckily the network is full of interesting articles and you just have to be a little attentive to what is being said out there. The solution came the other day through Mike Werner's weekly summary on his blog Bikes in the fast lane. The recommended article is titled precisely like this What is a Café Racer? And after reading it to me at least I found it very interesting to share with all of you.
The definition is simple, a Café Racer is a motorcycle from the fifties, product of the rocker culture of the moment, a time when fast motorcycles were sought to go on a "pilgrimage" from coffee to coffee. Its North American equivalent would be a Bobber or a Chopper. The name, although this is something that belongs to urban legend, it seems that it was born by uniting those coffee shops with the careers that young people developed between each coffee and that lasted as long as a song on the local jukebox. Although the two minutes of a song from that time seem to me that they do not give much.
Specifying the definition one more step, The Café Racer were nothing more than normal motorcycles that the owners transformed to improve their performance and handling.. Transformations that focused on these enhancements but often neglected things like comfort. In this way, sports handlebars (narrow and flat or even more sporty semi-handlebars) were installed, tanks of greater capacity, individual seats and set footpegs to adapt the position of the rider and make it as aerodynamic as possible. Everything else was considered superfluous and was therefore unceremoniously removed from the bike.
So far the short and simple answer, in a couple of days I will prepare some articles on the subject to see if we are able to focus well on what a Café Racer is and do not get caught offside again.