The Café Racer Phenomenon captures the very
essence of motorcycling, with its stripped-to-the-bone styling and a timeless
blend of cat-quick chassis, matched to a barn-storming engine.
From its roots in the ’59 Club, home-brewed specials and the creation of the
Triton by Dave Degens, the Café Racer became the must-have Rockers’ motorbike.
It then became the template for a new generation of fast road riders in the
1970s, with the rise of Dunstall, Rickman, Seeley and many more bespoke bike
The factories jumped on the bandwagon. Machines like the Moto Guzzi Le Mans Mk
I, Ducati 900SS and the MV Agusta 750S all captured the spirit of the Café
Racer. Then the slick, super fast, Japanese sport bikes of the 80s came along,
and looked set to consign the Café Racer special to the history books.
But a revival had to happen. The Ace Café London re-opened, bike builders as
diverse as Wakan, Fred Krugger, Nick Gale and Roland Sands all began to create
lean, back-to-basics motorcycles, but with their own unique twist on Café Racer
heritage. From the Buell 1125 CR to the Guzzi V7 Sport, mainstream modern bikes
have also re-discovered their street racing soul.
Packed with previously unseen photos, machine profiles, interviews, and
personal anecdotes from the glory days of Café Racer culture, this book takes a
look at the enduring cult of the Café Racer, in all its ton-up glory.