Best Cafe Racers

I came across this on youtube and thought I would share it. What are your views on what is the best?


It’s hard to look beyond the Thruxton which does everything very well and is great looking. But for £3k more there’s the Norton Commando which I would find hard to resist if I was in the market.

At the budget end I think the RE Continental GT is a great looking retro bike and probably great fun on a sunny afternoon around the local roads.

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I had the RE Interceptor which is the sit up version of GT. To be honest as a budget bike it was brilliant for knocking around the lanes. However it is not a patch on the Thruxton. Clearly the price difference between the two highlights the huge difference in performance and finish, but the Interceptor does attract a lot of attention where ever you parked it.

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Without watching… Thruxton 1200. I miss mine :cry:

I love a Cafe Racer project myself, one offs made from something else and completely unique.

HOWEVER, I am a big 2-Stroke fan and I would have one of these £30K Langens if I could afford it :heart_eyes:


John Surtees and Ogri, the one and only Norvin

Sorry, totally unavailable, unaffordable and not on your youtube video but I couldn’t resist. :slightly_smiling_face:
I’m waiting to see the latest Nortons as the last ones were proper poo internally but given the choice of the video contenders it would have to be the MV.


I am not a big cafe racer fan, but did take a real shine to this one at a bike night we went to in the summer.


That is very pretty! I think the right side gear shift would catch me out having never ridden one.

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Does a cafe racer have to have clip-ons and rearsets? This one DOES have the rearsets but the designer/maker sensibly opted for a low tubular bar - as any sensible gentleman of “a certain age” would want to do!

It’s all hand made - the tank and seat base/cowl were handcrafted from aircraft alloy, the “Dominator style” strakes were pressed in on a home roller; the engine plates were hand cut from dural and the damasking done by hand in a drill press; the headlamp brackets were cut and shaped from billet as was the (fake) dynamo casing. The central oil tank was designed, handmade and welded by the machine’s creator, as was the heat guard over the hand shaped exhaust pipes. The silencers are Aircone.

It’s a 650 pre-unit Triumph (6T) mated to a Norton Dominator gearbox and alternator primary. It’s unique and VERY pretty. Born in England. Made in the USA.


Interesting watch and reasonably well presented.
As the owner of an XSR700, albeit the XTribute version so it’s supposed to be more scrambler styled, I would never have included either XSR in this list.

Even worse, how is the Ducati SCRAMBLER (clue in the name there) a cafe racer? :grimacing:


Right side is the right side for me, I’ve had almost as many left foot change as right, including the T100 but it never feels as natural as a right foot gear shift.


I had right hand bikes back in the 70s, BSA B25 and A65 then went left with a T140 bonnie in 78 and all bikes since have been left foot change. I always think that right hand gears and left hand back brake is better balanced when braking. Is it just me?

Agreed, I learned to ride on a James Captain and a Francis Barnet Plover, rode loads of old Brit bikes.

I don’t think I’ve ever ridden one. I did ride my uncles old Aermacchi race bike many years ago which may have been right shift. Was too young to remember though. Left shift is all I know, suppose you’d soon get used to it, like riding on the other side of the road when your away.

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Aermacchi would have been right foot and also race pattern 1up four down.

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I would have barely been in my teens at the time. Also remember an old BSA and a Montessa trails bike. Had to pull up to the doorstep to get my foot down :smile: