Here is the problem.....motorcycles are now sold as a fashion accessory. Movie stars don't race motorcycles like steve mcqueen, they get their pic taken on them at stoplights and starbucks like Brad Pitt, or Tom Cruise.
I remember the real cafe racer trend dying out in the mid 1990s. Why so late? because that us when full fairing race replica sport bikes became cheap enough on the used market that no no longer had to dump time, money, and talent into an old broken down 60's-80's standard bike to make it fast. The motivation behind the original cafe racer movement was to be irresponsibly fast on a street motorcycle. That's it. I grew up in the late 80's early 90's in a motorcycle family - saw my dad trade a real '67 dunstall domi-racer for a new 1986 1000R, saw my friend's older brothers trade their wes cooley styled gs1100s for gsxrs, cb900fs for hurricanes, kz1000s for zx7R and zx10Rs. The motivation didn't change, just the factory finally got what the crazys were rattling the cage for and cafer racer died and the sport bike pilot was born. Even I stopped riding my cb750K for a short while and bought an fzr600 for a couple of months.
The new fad, doesn't understand any of that. A lot of these new kids aren't after going irresponsibly fast on old junk like the old guard did. They want the bike to look cool curbside, or trolling at 15 mph through brooklyn. They don't understand that low bars aren't a cafe part but one part in the "rider system" (pegs and seat being the other components all connected by the rider) that must be set up for the rider for maximum speed and comfort. Change one thing and change them all. Want to spot a cafe poser? it's the clubmans (that are denting the tank because they are poorly installed) on an otherwise stock bike with stock pegs and a cheap seat. Too many people looking for a shortcut to curbside appeal and they forget that a motorcycle is a system made up of sub systems and when you want to modify it to improve performance you can't just change one thing. Tack on the whole rockabilly lifestyle that was getting a little stale with the chopper scene and you have yourselves something you can use to sell t-shirts, jackets, helmets, hairstyles, buttons, etc....not a lot of "motorcycle" in that whole equation.
I don't really want to call the old purpose built stuff "cafe racers" anymore. The fad has ruined the term. I prefer the english term "specials" instead, or better vintage performance motorcycle. Sure it doesn't have the marketing appeal that cafe racers enjoy but that is kinda the point. People forget cafe racer was a derrogatory term at one time for the real racers to make fun of the poseurs (according to my old timer dad and his buddies who lived the whole "rocker" era).
The thing that pisses me off to no end though is this cop out attitude of builders who say "I don't need this old junker to work better - that's what I have my yamakawazuki zxr1er for". What a bunch of bull!!!! The one thing I learned about human nature is if you give a guy who wants to go fast anything he will want to go fast on it, and if it doesn't go fast he will make it go fast by hook or crook. Anybody who uses that piss poor excuse is either lying so we don't know what a nutter he his, or only owns a sport bike because he likes to scare himself in a straight line and doesn't really know or enjoy going fast but really likes his friends thinking he is hot s%#t in a champange glass (instead of the cold diareha in a dixie cup he is). I see a lot of these turkeys who ask me all the time about downgrading their cb750's brakes so they can swap their comstars for spoke wheels because they like the "vintage" look.