Royal Enfield has plans for a Café Racer motorcycle for India next.. let's get to know a what a Café Racer motorcycle really is..
Posted below is the photo of the Café Racer concept that Royal Enfield had shown at the New Delhi 2010 Auto Expo. But what exactly is a Café Racer motorcycle?
Origins of a Café Racer motorcycle
In the 1950’s-60’s, production motorcycle of those days (BSA, Norton, Royal Enfield etc.) were basically styled in the same traditional manner.
British motorcycle enthusiasts back then modified those stock motorcycles to replicate the road racing motorcycles of those days. And thus the Café Racer was born.
The stock tank was replaced with customized tanks with knee recess so that the rider could grip the tank with his knees while riding.
The front foot pegs were replaced with rear set foot pegs and accordingly the normal handle bars were replaced with clip on handle bars. Another signature modification on the Café Racer is a humped rear seat to mimic the road racing motorcycles of those days.
These "Café Racer" modifications result in a sporty front biased riding stance.
Cafe Racer Modification on a Royal Enfield by an enthusiast
How did the name Café Racer originate?
Back in those days many roadside cafés sprung up on new arterial roadways that England was getting connected with. The enthusiasts who used to ride those modified motorcycles often used to engage in races involving riding from one of the roadside café to another and back before a song finished playing on the jukebox.
And that’s how these motorcycles got the Café Racer name.
Clubman and Café Racer
Basically both are same type of motorcycles its just that the Clubman has a short single piece handlebar instead of the two piece clip on handlebars found on the Café Racer.
Modified Royal Enfield with a Clubman handlebar
Production Café Racer motorcycles
Old school motorcycle enthusiasts all over the world have a special place for the Café Racer style. Café Racer modifications are common among these enthusiasts. Even in India one can find examples of such modifications. Taking a cue out of such modification jobs, some manufacturers have also started to produce production motorcycles in the Café Racer style.
Eg: Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic, Triumph Thruxton.
Royal Enfield USA does provide conversions kits which transform a standard Royal Enfield Bullet into a Café Racer. Also Royal Enfield UK has a model called as Clubman in its product lineup. Soon Royal Enfield India will join the Café Racer club when it produces one in India come 2012.
Old school bikers in India can rejoice at the prospect of buying an authentic Café Racer from Royal Enfield straight off the shelf. Hope this post of mine have helped in getting to know about the Café Racer so that we can appreciate it when it hits India.
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