Originally Posted by jtwind
mymindsock has a pretty good handle on it. There is no real definition of a cafe racer. So opinions on what is and what isn't are abit silly. Although I'd think it did need more than just low handlebars but maybe not. That's just my meaningless silly opinion. In 60's England where the term started they could either be stripped down for speed street bikes or bikes made up to mimic the racers and cruise or race from cafe to coffee bars and back.
I really don't think that what youre saying and what I said are the same thing and I probably wouldnt agree with you.
I said: "Cafe racers were built for high speed runs from cafe to cafe."
What I meant was: " If you don't build or modify your bike to make it capable of high speed (100+ mph) runs on demand, it isnt a cafe racer.
I also said: "Back in the day, just as today, not all of the guys who were part of the scene had the skills, the cash or the creativity build a true Cafe Racer, so they made due with a short seat, hacksawed fenders, maybe a fairing, loud pipes and rear sets if they had the dosh
Yes, at some time or another everyone wants to look like thier heros and fit into the "In crowd". If that means trying to transform some worn out hack, into something that mimics a Racer, then so-be-it. It gets you accepted. You can hang out. It provides you with an identity and something of a family. It's kinda like the street gangs today, without the drugs and guns. (But youre still riding a poser bike.)
Finally I said: "Most Cafe bikes could easily be refered to as "Poser bikes" but that would just piss people off and really.. It's only a hobby."
The difference between someones recent "Barn find BMW" thats had a bob job and a real Cafe racer is similar to the difference between that same bike and a real racer. A true CR is a purpose built bike, that has taken it's form because of function, not just style
and that can crank out some speed and handling when necessary.
Probably the closest thing to a CR being built today, would be some of the European high performance Streetfighters. Those bikes embody the creativity and attitude of the cafe racers and they can back it up with performance that the period tuner bike riders could only dream about.
I guess that the important thing to remember is that "It's only a hobby". The Ace Cafe in London is 70 years old!! Do what you want, call it whatever makes sense to you and ride your bike. That is, unless you happen to be one of those "Lifestyle" sops, who dresses up like a 1950's Rock-a-billy Brit for every bike show and cultivates his duck tail in between. Thats shits pathetic... Loll!!