BMW Cafe Racers - post a pic?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Nick Makwell, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Are you saying it's NOT a cafe style bike?

    To answer your question, the R75 in the above picture has clip-ons, solo bump seat, and sporty fairing.

    It's a racey version of a touring bike.

    What's your definition of a cafe bike?
  2. AlKay191

    AlKay191 Been here awhile

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    :eek1 I'm a minimalist. I prefer motorcycles that have as little as possible and just can't wrap my head around the idea of adding parts to achieve the Caferacer look.
    Mods to this bike are strictly "requierd" astetics. Do the seat and fairing make a racer? Not in my eyes.
    It is possibly a "sleeper" , but I doubt it due to stock carbs and mufflers. It also has stock shocks and brakes, so I doubt that it gets pushed hard. Full fenders, turn signals and long stem mirrors? Please...... :eek1
  3. gunner65

    gunner65 Adventurer

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    TRUE THAT!!!

    The original cafe racer riders would probably not like the bump seat as they would have had no where for the ladies to ride. Even back then the bikers got the chickies:clap
  4. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Ok, I get where you're coming from. Your definition of a cafe bike is a street legal race bike.

    Right?
  5. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Any type of handlebars other than stock, makes a cafe' bike around here. I can't figure it out either.

    :dunno
  6. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    In today's motorcycling world the term Caferacer
    has become a catchall for any naked bike that has been transformed to look like a bike from the late 50's- early 80's sporty bike.

    That is in some variation
    • Low handlebars or clip-on
    • rear set foot controls
    • "bum" stop seat or seat hump
    these are the three basics that make a "Caferacer" just that.

    Add to that a dizzing array of doohickeys and tidbits that people toss on these bikes to make them look "cool" including
    at least some form of checkerboard graphics and a sticker that proudly proclaims "CAFERACER" or a round decal with the numbers 59 in the center.
    Sometimes both...

    This includes stock bikes like the Triumph thruxton and the Ducati Sport Classics.

    Me personally, I really, like BMW cafe bikes.
    Even when they are "soft" as the wudo bike.
    I rather prefer the more crazy bikes but as long as someone rides it and is happy that's the thing.

    There's just something about taking a "gentleman's" bike
    and turning it on it's nose.
  7. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    The Wudo bike is simply a prop, intended to display some new parts that are currently being reproduced and AFAIC, those are some pretty kool parts. I LOVE the fairing! So by my reckoning, it isnt a cafe racer per se. What it is, is a cafe STYLE bike. A Cafe Racer is something else

    Cafe racers were built for high speed runs from cafe to cafe. Sometimes bets were placed but probably more often, the runs were for bragging rights and an opportunity to take some cute chick home.

    Back in the day, just as today, not all of the guys who were part of the scene had the skills, the cash or the creativity build a true Cafe Racer, so they made due with a short seat, hacksawed fenders, maybe a fairing, loud pipes and rear sets if they had the dosh.

    Come to think of it, the situation is similiar to that of the kids who can't afford to hot rod thier Honda Civic, so they put on a loud muffler, add a few guages on the window post, throw away the hood and call it a Tuner Car. :rofl

    Most Cafe bikes could easily be refered to as "Poser bikes" but that would just piss people off and really.. It's only a hobby.
  8. AlKay191

    AlKay191 Been here awhile

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    Right on!

    IMO a Caferacer is either built or stripped for performance. Anything that doesn't make horsepower doesn't belong. The only parts added are those that improve handling or braking. Comfort is sacrificed in order to streamline or reduce weight. Pure hot rod.

    There is nothing wrong with "gentleman's" performance custom, but it is not a Caferacer. I also like factory customs like the R90S, XLCR, XR1000 and the new retro Ducs and Triumphs, but they are not Caferacers either.
    I wish people would just call spade a spade.
  9. AlKay191

    AlKay191 Been here awhile

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    I have a small confession to make.
    I have checkerd tape on my tank......

    but it was added as a joke for a good friend. After a long night of drinking we agreed that
    1) no cafe bike is complete withought checker tape or 59 sticker.
    2) no hot rod is complete without red wheels and gangster white walls
    3) red duct tape is faster than black
    ....and you're not a MAN till you eat the worm....:freaky
  10. davef

    davef I'm outta order

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    While I think that 12" suspension travel would make for a sweet ride, airheads are lucky to get 9 inches. In fact the stock forks for that bike make just a hair over 8. Heck, even the new HP2 offroaders only get a little more than 6 inches of travel. So I guess we'll just disagree on the fact that the bike in the picture is lowered. I still say it's just an optical illusion exacerbated by the aftermarket brace. Still a cool bike, though.
  11. streetfighter2

    streetfighter2 foofighter

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    So, you had to set a new standard...I currently own two bikes: 2005 S2R Ducati Monster, and a 1983 BMW R80ST...all Cafer Racer wanta be...It's going to be a loooong time before I can get my beemer looking like yours...You have class brother!!

    I don't know where to start... here's what my bike look like now (please see the attached picture). Where should I start??

    Cheers,
  12. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    Heres a photo that I took yesterday evening, about three miles from home. Another beautifull Fall California evening, out on the bike.

    My repro seat finally came! I chose the "73" /5 LWB style that dosn't have the passenger hump. I like to move around.

    I also skipped installing the chrome passenger rail and dumped the passenger pegs. No use for em anyway... If I decide to add the pegs later, I'll use racing style folders.

    Next I have to touch up the scratches that have accumilated over the last month. These bikes dont stay absolutely perfect for long and I need to keep after the little things before they turn into big things.

    Mechanically the bikes coming along very well. I had an electrical failure in a primary wire, that led to a cell call and Donna rescuing me from about 25 miles from home. That sucked. I also had a couple of minor oil seeps/leaks from the timing chest but all-in-all the break-in has been uneventfull.

    I've worked the revs into the 5200+ range, the mileage is in the 40's and it's stopped using oil, so I'm feeling better about hittin on it harder and harder. I still need to lean the carbs out some and fiddle with the advance curves but the engine is strong and responsive. I guess it's time to pull out the stoppers and see what she'll do!

    ANyway, after taking this picture, I took the bike home for her first bath! :raabia


    [​IMG]
  13. Crush

    Crush Been here awhile

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    Two Tone, your bike looks stunning. I have three /6's (two in boxes......sheesh) and intend to finish them with your degree of attention to detail.

    I have a nice long winter ahead :rofl

    Cheers, Dennis
  14. Warwood

    Warwood n00b

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    Good question, and all too true, the term is used all to often. I would love an all out cut down caferacer, but I wouldn't want to ride to Seattle. Honestly it would be nice to have a special bike for every occasion, but I can't afford four or five bikes. So this winter I am rebuilding my bike to be more or less a R90S which is more of a Cafe Special than a real Caferacer. So it may just come down to a matter of attitude.:evil
  15. Warwood

    Warwood n00b

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    I check the WÜDO site and the price for this fairing is 749.00 Euros. :huh
    If you want the link PM me.

    Well I guess it's not bad considering what you get, but still it's about 2 or 3 times the cost of a R90S fairing, and you still have to paint it.
  16. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    mymindsock has a pretty good handle on it. There is no real definition of a cafe racer. So opinions on what is and what isn't are abit silly. Although I'd think it did need more than just low handlebars but maybe not. That's just my meaningless silly opinion. In 60's England where the term started they could either be stripped down for speed street bikes or bikes made up to mimic the racers and cruise or race from cafe to coffee bars and back. There are two fun books on the subject. "Cafe Racers of the 1960s" by Mick Walker and "Cafe Racers" by Mike Clay. I've read them both and still wouldn't/couldn't define them.
  17. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

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    I really don't think that what youre saying and what I said are the same thing and I probably wouldnt agree with you.

    I said: "Cafe racers were built for high speed runs from cafe to cafe." What I meant was: " If you don't build or modify your bike to make it capable of high speed (100+ mph) runs on demand, it isnt a cafe racer.

    I also said: "Back in the day, just as today, not all of the guys who were part of the scene had the skills, the cash or the creativity build a true Cafe Racer, so they made due with a short seat, hacksawed fenders, maybe a fairing, loud pipes and rear sets if they had the dosh."

    Yes, at some time or another everyone wants to look like thier heros and fit into the "In crowd". If that means trying to transform some worn out hack, into something that mimics a Racer, then so-be-it. It gets you accepted. You can hang out. It provides you with an identity and something of a family. It's kinda like the street gangs today, without the drugs and guns. (But youre still riding a poser bike.)

    Finally I said: "Most Cafe bikes could easily be refered to as "Poser bikes" but that would just piss people off and really.. It's only a hobby."

    The difference between someones recent "Barn find BMW" thats had a bob job and a real Cafe racer is similar to the difference between that same bike and a real racer. A true CR is a purpose built bike, that has taken it's form because of function, not just style and that can crank out some speed and handling when necessary.

    Probably the closest thing to a CR being built today, would be some of the European high performance Streetfighters. Those bikes embody the creativity and attitude of the cafe racers and they can back it up with performance that the period tuner bike riders could only dream about.

    I guess that the important thing to remember is that "It's only a hobby". The Ace Cafe in London is 70 years old!! Do what you want, call it whatever makes sense to you and ride your bike. That is, unless you happen to be one of those "Lifestyle" sops, who dresses up like a 1950's Rock-a-billy Brit for every bike show and cultivates his duck tail in between. Thats shits pathetic... Loll!!
  18. relayda

    relayda Been here awhile

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    ...origins, origins. In February of 86, I bought a brand new 86 GSXR1100. First thing I did when I got home was replace the exhaust canister with an aftermarket slip-on, cut the rear fender and replace the turn signal. In June of 86 my brother and I took a trip across the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">US</st1:place></st1:country-region>. On the leg out, I dropped my bike somewhere in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Colorado</st1:place></st1:State>. I ended up removing the bottom fairings and tossing them. My brother said it looked better like a café racer, I replied that I did not like it and thought it looked naked. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    …so before “naked bikes” or “streetfighters” there were just guys like me who striped there bikes after dropping them.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It’s my guess that before the “café racer” there were striped bikes that looked just the same sans the quarter fairing and rear seat cover…probably making the same café-to-café runs….<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    …now I like naked bikes.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
  19. relayda

    relayda Been here awhile

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    same "naked bike" bike now...sans turbo and girder fork which I'm in the process of fabricating.
  20. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    From what I've been told from people who were around the scene.
    The term Caferacer was a bit of put down.
    Kind of like a Drugstore Cowboy.
    Caferacers by nature were and are poser bikes.
    Hence the whole cafe culture that gave birth to them.
    It was about looking cool and going fast.
    Often form won out over function. Just to get the look right.

    There are too side of looking at what is the closest thing to a CR today.
    well here in Los Angeles there are tons of people making modern day cafe bikes Mostly out of late 70's UJM.
    But some Italian stuff as well.
    So that's about as close as you can get.
    There is a streetfighter culture, but it's kind of stagnated into itself
    With a look the more naked old Race Rep with funky headlight and high rear end. It has it's own styling cues thats "cool" for it's crowd.

    Race replica bikes R1 GSXR CBR those are the bikes that are the most close to the idea of caferacer. But the building them part has vanished.