In the urban jungle today, more and more models of motorcycles are found, which have long received the prefix “street”. Motorcycles designed to excite ordinary people and give a shot of adrenaline. A hybrid of a sports bike with a road bike, the fit of which does not kill your back in traffic jams and has gunpowder to play pranks against common sense.
Previously, their place was taken by “cafe raisers” – motorcycles improved by their owners for urban speed racing. At the time of the Iron Curtain, and even after it, there were no such phenomena in the vastness of our country, it originated in Great Britain, in particular, everyone refers to London in the 60s.
What am I doing? Moreover, the modern fashion for homemade motorcycle projects, namely the interest in customizing, is growing at the rate of expansion of the universe! Suddenly, everyone remembered about the “cafe raisers”. Why? Because the engine of the motorcycle industry at all times has been racing. The best minds and hot hearts fought to improve their models: faster, lighter, more agile.
Taking on a custom sportbike … there is no reason. First, it costs space money. Secondly, now everything has been invented there for a long time and competing with monsters like Aprilia, a simple lone mechanic is like trying to overtake a comet on a paraglider. Even if you are the Wright brothers, I have bad news for you. Thirdly, to test a homemade sports bike, you need a track; it is prohibitively expensive to test it in the city on slicks because of the rubber and the quality of city roads.
In the past, motorcyclists have perfected conventional civilian models that they could get their hands on, doing so with an eye on motorcycle racing. But what a sin to conceal, at that time each race could be a discovery in mechanics. Anyone could be a genius pioneer. The townsfolk followed.
The Cafe Racer is ideal for the hobbyist who wants to compete for individuality and speed in the city. This trend is coming back into fashion, tuning a motorcycle from an ordinary road builder to a “cafe racer”, the pilot shoots two birds with one stone:
- Deep tuning brings the wizard closer to the customizer
- Freedom of expression appears and partly a tribute to history
Cafe-Racer – where does this name come from?
For me personally, for a long time it was not clear where this term came from. Cafe Racer? Cafe Racer. I’m sorry, what? If you add a preposition between the translation of the words “cafe” – “racer”, logic begins to appear. He cannot be a racer by himself, he is going somewhere or from somewhere. Indeed, in the distant 60s, the life of urban characters revolved around public places. Ace Cafe turned out to be such gatherings. Rumor has it that some of the pilots even parked their motorcycles near the tables. One way or another, cafes attracted the attention of motorcyclists, and where the gathering of pilots is, there is of course a dispute, whose braking distance is shorter, the exhaust pipe is longer, and so on.
As a result, city reckless drivers made races to a certain landmark, over short distances. Time was measured by songs that were played in the cafe. He returned first and while the music was playing, he won. Let’s remember for a second about rock ‘n’ roll, these are not modern podcasts, the compositions ended quickly. The race is no more than two or three minutes.
How to distinguish cafe-racer from other bikes?
If you dream of making a “cafe racer” with your own hands out of an old motorcycle saddened in the garage, which you can’t sell, then it is also useful for you to know some distinctive features. Nowadays, a motorcycle made within the framework of historical accuracy is considered especially “tasty”.
The key to a true cafe racer is simplicity and, at the same time, perfect symmetry and curl lines. Brilliant geometry, if you think about it.
Draw a horizontal line visually. The entire motorcycle MUST be level, no lowered suspensions, no raised or, Harley forbid, long front forks! The angle of the fork is as small as possible, just enough to maneuver quickly in urban conditions. Parallel straight lines that can be visually drawn everywhere, from the echoing slopes of the fork and the extreme frame support, to similar slopes of the exhaust pipe with some minor engine mount.
The horizontal line of the motorcycle, which you visually draw above the frame from nose to tail, is your guideline for installing the headlight and along the same plane should be the widest place in the gas tank. Above it, the gas tank comes to an end, in a gentle semicircle.
- The gas tank must be elongated and flat to allow the pilot to lie down on it.
- The top rounded tank visually should be the beginning, and the famous rounded tail of the seat is the end. In other words, when viewed from the side, the seat should appear to be carved out of general geometry, otherwise the tank and seat could be a single semicircle.
The wheels of the “cafe racer” of the same diameter are located on the same level and have equivalent tires.
Minimalism is the guarantee of victory. Under this slogan, you should exclude all unnecessary things that do not interfere with the motorcycle’s performance.
- Remove all protruding parts of the tuning, even try to put the mirrors on the side of the handlebars so that they do not rise above the motorcycle
- Put short wings, or even leave only the front
- The dashboard is minimized to two to three sensors of the smallest size you can find
His majesty balance
Naturally, like any motorcycle, a cafe racer must have perfect balance. When building such a project, attention is paid to the center of gravity. The top of the genius of the master, if the center of gravity of the motorcycle is in the center of the engine, and the engine itself visually matches the boundaries of the tank! In other words, the beginning of the tank is the beginning of the engine, the outermost attachment of the tank is the outermost attachment of the engine. It’s symmetry, friend. And the last cherry on the cake of the cafe racer’s geometric laws is that the center of gravity is not just in the center of the engine, it must also be under the very top rounding point of the tank!
How is your brain boiling?
– They sculpted, as they could, as they could .. without any geometry there, – someone will say.
We did it, of course, to the maximum extent possible. Only over time do such things develop into art. Just think, how much technical beauty the task of building such a harmonious and unique in line drawing of a motorcycle is, the idea of which is to win in a short fight?