A Café racer, originally pronounced "caff" (as in Kaff) racer, is a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist. Both meanings have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers or the Ton Up Club, although they were also common in Italy, amongst Italian motorcycle manufacturers and other European countries.
Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock and Roll counterculture that wanted a fast, personalised and distinctive bike to travel between transport cafés along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (called simply "the ton") along such a route where the rider would leave from a cafe, race to a predetermined point and back to the cafe before a single song could play on the jukebox, this was called record-racing. They are remembered as being especially fond of Rockabilly music and their image is now embedded in today's rockabilly culture. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
In the Beginning, young men of iron on both sides of the Ocean didst strip their motorcycles of useless weight and worldly encumbrances, leaving only the Essence of the machine, which was Good, and in doing so gave their mounts the grace of Handling; they didst then perform the Holy Rites of Porting, and Polishing, and all other manner of Massaging unto the engine, and in doing so gave their mounts the grace of Speed; and they didst cavort upon the straight roads of America as Bobbers and the winding lanes of Britain as Cafe Racers, brothers in spirit. But thence came the Great Schism, when the two like tribes diverged, and the Bobbers did take the Road to Cruiserdom, and the Cafe Racers did ride to Sportbikedom, and they did pollute the lands along their paths with their abominable spawn of Choppers and Stuntaz and like manner of unholy douchebaggery. Amen.
I've had this bike bookmarked for quite a while. I think the Cafe Racer "scene" was the absolute coolest moto culture ever. I love the idea of a modern interpretation of a cafe racer. So much so that every year I look at my Bandit and think, "Hmm, strip off the fairing, put on some rearsets and clip-ons, put on a headlight bikini fairing, chrome the tank... maybe a custom 'Ton-Up Bandit' decal on the tank..."
Well if it isn't good to see motorcycles on MO. Not some functionless cruiser, not some plastic-wrapped hyperbike, not some street-wannabe dirtbike, but plain and (notso)simple motorcycles. Boy do I miss them. I sure am sad that the Norton wasn't able to be revived. Great style with modern components.