What exactly is a Cafe' Racer ? October 16, 2015 11:32
A café racer is a light-weight, lightly-powered motorcycle optimized for speed and handling rather than comfort — and optimized for quick rides over short distances. With bodywork and control layout recalling early 1960's Grand Prix road racing motorcycles, café racers are noted for their low slung racing handlebars, prominent seat cowling and elongated fuel tanks, often with indentations to allow the rider's knees to grip the tank.
The term developed among British motorcycle enthusiasts of the early 1960s, specifically the Rocker or "Ton-Up Boys" subculture where the bikes were used for short, quick rides between cafés — in other words, drinking establishments.
Writing in 2005, motorcycle journalist Peter Egan suggested the genesis of the term to the 1960s. In 1973, American freelance writer Wallace Wyss, contributing to Popular Mechanics magazine, wrote that the term café racer was originally used derogatorily in Europe to describe a "motorcyclist who played at being an Isle of Man road racer" and was, in fact, "someone who owned a racy machine but merely parked it near his table at the local outdoor cafe."
In 2014, journalist Ben Stewart described the café racer as a "look made popular when European kids stripped down their small-displacement bikes to zip from one café hangout to another ?”
Courtesy Wikipedia !