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Best Platforms for Cafe Racer Builds


We specialize in Honda CB, BMW R-Series and BMW K-Series builds but are open to building on other platforms.

Cafe racer builds are all about blending classic aesthetics with modern engineering. While virtually any motorcycle can be transformed into a cafe racer, certain models have become popular choices due to their design, performance potential, and availability of aftermarket parts. Here are some of the best bikes for cafe racer builds:

  1. Honda CB Series: Honda's CB series, especially the CB750, CB550, and CB350, are classic choices for cafe racer builds. Their simple frame, air-cooled engines, and availability of aftermarket parts make them ideal platforms for customization.
  2. Yamaha XS650: The Yamaha XS650 is a twin-cylinder motorcycle known for its reliability and versatile engine. Its twin-cylinder setup is often used as a base for cafe racer projects, combining a vintage look with modern performance upgrades.
  3. Triumph Bonneville: The Triumph Bonneville's classic British styling and parallel-twin engine make it a popular choice for cafe racers. Modern versions of the Bonneville offer a retro look with modern technology, while older models can be transformed into timeless cafe racers.
  4. Kawasaki W650/W800: Kawasaki's W650 and W800 models are designed with a nod to the classic British bikes of the past. Their retro styling and air-cooled engines make them excellent candidates for cafe racer conversions.
  5. BMW R Series: BMW R-series motorcycles, like the R75/5 and R100, offer a unique platform for cafe racer projects with their boxer-twin engines and distinctive design. Modern BMW R nineT models also provide a blend of classic aesthetics and modern performance.
  6. Suzuki TU250X: The Suzuki TU250X is a lightweight and affordable option for cafe racer builds. Its simple design and single-cylinder engine can be customized to create a minimalist cafe racer with a vintage vibe.
  7. Ducati Scrambler: The Ducati Scrambler line offers a modern take on the cafe racer aesthetic. Its performance-oriented platform, combined with customizable options, allows for creative cafe racer transformations.
  8. Royal Enfield Continental GT: The Royal Enfield Continental GT pays homage to the cafe racer style with its retro design. Its single-cylinder engine and classic look provide a great starting point for cafe racer customization.
  9. Norton Commando: The Norton Commando, especially the older models, is a classic British motorcycle that can be transformed into a cafe racer masterpiece. Its distinctive engine and frame design make it a unique choice.
  10. Custom Chassis: In addition to factory-built motorcycles, many builders opt for custom chassis and components to create cafe racers from scratch. This approach offers endless possibilities for unique designs.

Ultimately, the best bike for a cafe racer build depends on your personal preferences, skills, and budget. Whether you choose a classic model or a modern bike with a vintage-inspired design, the key is to create a bike that captures the spirit of cafe racer culture while expressing your own style and creativity.



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