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Café Racer Vs Streetfighter…

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by FALCON-LORD, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. They are both sports type geometries with no fairings as I read it so basically it would be fair to say the difference is that a street fighter is modern and a CR Is old?

    Or is it that for a CR you start with a naked bike and make it sporty, and for a SF you start with a sporty bike and make it naked?

    Please enlighten me
  2. As someone who was a genuine old 'rocker' and built cafe racers back at the dawn of time, I can see where you are coming from, but if you are talking about something adhering to te original idea of cafe racer, then neither is correct.

    An original cafe racer was created by taking a standard street bike, and modifying it to be as close in style to the GP bikes of the day as was humanly possible. The term 'cafe racer' referred to a racing bike with lights, one that you could ride to a cafe. They were the 'race replica' of their day, because the manufactureres simply didn't build such a thing. In this day and age, with bikes like the Fireblade, R1, and Ducati 999 n the showroom floor, I don't think a 21st Century cafe racer actually exists, or needs to exist.

    If we are talking about a retro recreation of a 60s cafe racer, then I guess you are talking about a different thing. The concept of a 'naked' just didn't exist back then, all bikes were naked, so either a 'naked' or a 'streetfighter' could be the basis of a cafe racer, but either way, in the end you would be throwing away almost everything except the frame, forks, and engine.
  3. Cafe racers are all about light weight- removing everything unnecessary to improve performance.

    Streetfighters go in all sorts of directions- from show bikes, stunt bikes, sports bikes etc... Modern sportbikes, which are the basis for all streetfighters, have fine handling and light weight, so weight reduction isn't a goal, but the engines are tougher than old cafe racers so rediculous power increases by any means are a common goal.

    There aren't too many hard rules for either- if you feel it fits either concept then that's what it is (though I'm sure die-hard rockers would disagree). They've both been used as marketing concepts (notably by triumph), so whatever you create will have more street cred than a Speed Triple or a Thruxton.
  4. sorry dude, your kinda there but i gotta go with incitatus on this one.
    age is not always a measuring stick but he's much more on the mark with the cafe racers...however your SF ideas are pretty much on the money
  5. Umm... I don't think I said anything different to incitatus. I repeated what he said in different terms.

    He said cafe racers are bikes modified on the style of the GP bikes of the day.
    I said cafe racers are all about light weight.

    GP bikes of the day- much lighter and more agile than the street bikes- so they modified them.

    I only wrote one sentence- I could have elborated but didn't because he pretty much said it all.
  6. For a look at a few cafe racers of the type of which inci speaks, look for triton motorcycle, rickman motorcycle and dunstall motorcycle in search engines.

    There you'll find Triumph engines in Norton frames, and two custom-built race-type replica frames for the original Honda 750 and Kawa 900 engines. No-one did it better than the Poms in the sixties and seventies. First they pioneered the concept and then they commericalised it.

    Oh, and look for Fritz Egli too :grin:
  7. If you built it yourself (preferably using parts from different manufactorers) then, it's a cafe racer.
    If you bought it from the manufactorer like that, then it's a streetfighter.

    The best cafe racer is a Vincent motor in a Norton featherbed frame.
    The best streetfighter is a Triumph speed triple.
  8. Actually, I'd expand my definition of streetfighter to include a bike you bought from the manufactorer like that, but bits have since fallen off (like the fairing for example). Or any bike that was made to look like that on purpose! :cool:
  9. This is an original Cafe Racer, one I built in 1970. It is a pre-unit Triumph Tiger 100 (500cc) engine, in a Norton 'Featherbed' frame, 'Roadholder' forks, a Dunstall Tank, Deeprose Bros seat, Pride & Clarke 'swept-back' pipes, Conti mufflers, and a Deeprose Bros 4 leading shoe front brake. At the point the picture was taken it had steel rims and 'ace' bars fitted, and a Royal Enfield headlamp with built-in speedo. It later had alloy rims, Thomaselli clip-ons, and a lucas headlamp with the speedo and tacho mounted on a yoke plate. It is an absolutely typical example of an average blokes cafe racer of the time. Flat out with a following wind it could do 110 mph (~175kh) This bike was 'reborn' several times. It eventually had an 800cc Morgo kitted TR6C engine and could do 140 mph (~225kph), at which point it ceased to be 'typical'. You got the same 'rush' on one of these things at 100mph, as you would on a 'Busa' at 300kph.

  10. Can't totally agree with that. When it came to Cafe Racers, the ultimate would have been a Gold Star Clubman, or a Manx Norton TT, both of which were factory bikes with a glorious competition history. You built a Cafe Racer because you couldn't afford to buy such exotica. By way of illustration, here is a picture of a BSA Goldstar Clubman in unmodified factory condition. It's easy to see where us blokes building cafe racers got our inspiration from isn't it.


    Edit - Buying one of these was roughly the equivalent of buying a Ducati 999RR or MV F4 Serie D'oro today.
  11. OK folks, decision decided. I test rode a Thruxton yesterday and I definitely want one. The Thruxton is definitely more comfortable, softer and less hard edged than a 'real' cafe racer, but it is pretty damn close. It's now only a matter of when, (probably early Jan), and what mods. The Norman Hyde alloy tank has a definite tick, planning the rest will be a great way of passing the time until Jan. I have found a mob in NZ called Thunderbike who do really nice 'reverse megaphone' mufflers for just $NZ800.
  12. What an interesting way of spelling "white-knuckle-terror" :LOL:
  13. yep would have to agree cafe racers are race replica bikes or faired bikes..... just ask my old man... him "pffft you don't ride a bike, you ride a cafe racer" :LOL:
  14. Inc you once said you have a passion for motorbikes I think it may be bordering on an obsession, keep it up mate!

    I have been looking at the custom bike scene for a while now and must say that the cafe racer is my favourite style so far. To me they look like motorbikes should. I look forward to watching the evolution of a "modern" cafe racer.

    Inc just a question which you may choose to answer or not. How much will it cost to make this cafe racer excluding the donor bike?

    I think the tank that you are looking at will make the bike, are they that expensive?

    If I chose to go down this path and build one based on a newish bike and maybe not drop the bars as far as is typical I think I might even be able to commute on it just like any other naked bike, your thoughts?
  15. OT, but I'm just grateful that a bit of history is being shown here - gives newbies/other unaware riders of what they're about. I want a (modern) Thruxton too Inci - they're pretty neat!
  16. I bought a Stainless Steel reverse megaphone Laverda muffler off these guys years ago.


    Maybe they would be interested in makeing some for the new trumpies
  17. Another bike, inci? So when's the divorce? :LOL:

    I haven't ridden either bike, but to me the Thruxton's less evocative than the Scrambler. Probably the Steve McQueen factor. :roll: :LOL:

    But a Thruxton could be the starting point for something pretty nifty, I'll concede!
  18. They are kind of opposite

    Cafe Racer:
    Convert a street bike into a race replica.

    Convert a race replica to a street bike.

    Also the streetfighter scene does weird stuff to bikes just for the sake of it. I hate the kicked up seat thing.

    My bike is a streetfighter these days, but it's pretty mild by british terms.