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Motorcycles Modern Café Racers From The Factory

20:11  21 july  2020
20:11  21 july  2020 Source:   motorcyclecruiser.com

2020 Salt Lake City 1 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

  2020 Salt Lake City 1 Supercross 450 Class Race Report 2020 Salt Lake City 1 Supercross 450 Class Race ReportRelated: 2020 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series Set To Resume

Once a custom niche fueled by owners looking to impart their standard-type sleds with a shot of performance and splash of style, the café racer look made the jump into the mainstream decades ago, and has only expanded since. Take a peek at any of several big OEMs’ current lineups and you’re likely to spot a stand-alone factory café model, or at least one with some of the trappings of the style, like clip-ons, a bikini fairing, or a long tank. Some try to focus on a true retro feel, while others take modern liberties and put their own spin on the formula; most are short on the authenticity of their vintage counterparts but, hey, you’re getting a warranty, so there’s that. Bottom line, if you’re looking to snag a production café racer, your options today are plentiful. Here’s what’s out for 2020.

2020 Salt Lake City 3 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

  2020 Salt Lake City 3 Supercross 450 Class Race Report 2020 Salt Lake City 3 Supercross 450 Class Race Report“We had a pretty great battle going, but I did not want to let the win go,” Tomac said. “I ended up getting a triple combo at the end of that rhythm, which was the real make or break moment for me. That was a great battle and a lot of fun. The track had some great character and it was just a great day for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team.

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Café racers have gone seriously mainstream. Triumph and Kawasaki offer no less than three models in their 2020 lineups. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Café racers have gone seriously mainstream. Triumph and Kawasaki offer no less than three models in their 2020 lineups.

Related: 7 Production Cafe Racers For 2019

a person sitting on a motorcycle: Retro style meets the latest Ducati tech in the middleweight Scrambler Café Racer. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Retro style meets the latest Ducati tech in the middleweight Scrambler Café Racer.

2020 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer: $11,995

Ducati seems to want it both ways, but the Italians say “Scrambler” is a brand name, not a description, so we’ll just play along. Like all its Scrambler models Ducati’s Café Racer is imbued with its own distinctive character, but despite the heritage-inspired styling there’s no mistaking that this is a modern machine, featuring things like Bosch cornering ABS, crisp LED lighting, and a slipper clutch. The cool blue throwback graphics and side number plate really sell the retro vibe, while typical café accents include clip-on aluminum handlebars with bar-end mirrors for a classic look, and a dedicated solo-looking seat (with a rounded cover to hide the passenger portion). Rearsets confirm the sporting intent, while an upside-down 41mm fork and an 803cc mill putting out a claimed 73 hp help the cause as well. Plus, it’s a Ducati.

2020 Salt Lake City 5 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

  2020 Salt Lake City 5 Supercross 450 Class Race Report 2020 Salt Lake City 5 Supercross 450 Class Race Report“Tonight we did really, really good,” Roczen said. “I felt like I was able to go the full distance in the main, which was great. I knew it was just going to take a few extra days to get everything back lined up after the last couple of rounds and everything that’s been going on with my body. We won our heat race, which was really stacked; I got a holeshot there and it was great. I really felt good with the bike; we’ve been tweaking it a little bit here and there, and I was really gelling with it nicely tonight. I kind of liked the track.

https://scramblerducati.com/us/bike/caferacer

Related:

a motorcycle parked in front of a brick building: Neo-Sports Café? Leave it to Honda to totally make up a sub-subgenre. Still, the CB1000R looks pretty damn good. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Neo-Sports Café? Leave it to Honda to totally make up a sub-subgenre. Still, the CB1000R looks pretty damn good.

2019 Honda CB1000R: $12,999

No cowl, no solo seat, no clip-ons—there really isn’t any café racer styling we could find on this bike. But, again, we’ll play along, since the company places this model in its Neo-Sports Café segment. Honda’s standard-ish midrange model may lean more toward aggressive, naked styling but it’s still got the beans to make short work of the twisties, courtesy of a 998cc inline-four with a slipper-assist clutch and a built-in back-torque limiter to help maintain chassis stability during rapid downshifts. Three power modes and a Showa Separate Function Big-Piston Fork along with dual radial-mount four-piston brake calipers up front mean that despite that classic profile, this CB delivers modern performance when you need it. The still-available 2019 model (none was announced for 2020) rolls on contemporary 17-inch hoops so there’s plenty of tire options for you. Maybe you could fashion some kind of retro-fairing to better sell the café vibe?

2020 Salt Lake City 6 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

  2020 Salt Lake City 6 Supercross 450 Class Race Report 2020 Salt Lake City 6 Supercross 450 Class Race Report“We were all really close in speed, not a lot separating,” Webb remarked. “I fixed the whoops about halfway. I think that’s what was holding me back and I started hitting them really well. It was a tight race and the whole race it seemed like a lot of pressure between us all because we weren’t making many mistakes. I’m sure it was a fun race for the fans to watch and it was a fun race to win, for sure.

https://powersports.honda.com/street/neo-sports-cafe/cb1000r

a motorcycle parked on the side: Honda’s Neo-Sports Café look comes in a smaller, middleweight 650cc package as well. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Honda’s Neo-Sports Café look comes in a smaller, middleweight 650cc package as well.

2020 Honda CB650: $9,199

Okay, so you’re sold on this whole “Neo-Sports café” look, but you don’t need a powerful literbike. Lucky for you Honda’s recast the CB1000R into a slightly lighter package with somewhat more compact dimensions (though not by much) with the CB650R—a model that also appears under Honda’s Neo-Sports Café category and retains the same “trapezoid” proportions of its big brother, complete with a short, stubby tail and smashed-in headlight and complemented by a long fuel tank (though that license plate hanger absolutely has to go). The midsize 649cc, DOHC engine is one of the few remaining four-cylinder layouts in this middleweight segment, and with a reasonable price and a solid spec sheet, the middle CB has a lot going for it. Try as you might, you still won’t find any “café” influences though.

https://powersports.honda.com/street/neo-sports-cafe

2020 Salt Lake City 7 Supercross 450 Class Race Report

  2020 Salt Lake City 7 Supercross 450 Class Race Report 2020 Salt Lake City 7 Supercross 450 Class Race Report“This is just so cool to win my first 450SX title,” Tomac said. “This championship is literally the last carrot that I was chasing, especially after coming up short for the past three years. I have worked so hard for this and can’t thank the Monster Energy Kawasaki team and entire company enough for all of their support and for helping me finally achieve this goal for myself and everyone who is a part of this program. It has been a long time coming and we set ourselves up for success starting from day one of this series and just kept fighting till the end.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a building: Husqvarna's Vitpilen models offer a more futuristic spin on the café style. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Husqvarna's Vitpilen models offer a more futuristic spin on the café style.

2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701/401: $9,499/$6,299

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Café racers have gone seriously mainstream. Triumph and Kawasaki offer no less than three models in their 2020 lineups. © Kawasaki Motors Corp. Café racers have gone seriously mainstream. Triumph and Kawasaki offer no less than three models in their 2020 lineups.

Another futuristic spin on the café formula comes from Husqvarna’s Vitpilen models, both of which reimagine the classic style for a modern world with striking silhouettes, premium finishes and a whole passel of modern tech features. The Vitpilen comes in two flavors, the 401 or the 701, and both are powered by a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. The smaller Vitpilen 401 produces an impressive 44 bhp from its 373cc engine, while the 692cc Vitpilen 701 thumps out 75 bhp. Both bikes feature that same hunched-over, sporty riding position, while the 701 ups the ante with its spec sheet, offering ride by wire, traction control, a slipper clutch, and an upside-down WP fork. The telltale café signs are there if you squint your eyes and look really hard—low handlebars and tight, narrow proportions, but more importantly, a bare-bones, purposeful style.

https://www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com/en-us.html

a person riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Kawasaki’s W800 leans more toward classic style than modern performance but manages to balance both adequately enough. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Kawasaki’s W800 leans more toward classic style than modern performance but manages to balance both adequately enough.

2020 Kawasaki W800 Cafe: $9,799

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a person sitting on a motorcycle: Retro style meets the latest Ducati tech in the middleweight Scrambler Café Racer. © Ducati Retro style meets the latest Ducati tech in the middleweight Scrambler Café Racer.

Kawasaki’s W800 Cafe makes no bones about its intent, with retro style that starts at the 773cc air-cooled engine, moves to the vintage-looking front cowl, and continues on with the low-slung clubman-style handlebars and flat saddle. The W800 Cafe was rolled out last year as a tribute to Kawi’s classic W1 model from the ’60s, but the vertical-twin powerplant is no slouch, delivering torque-heavy low and midrange performance in a smooth, classic-looking package. The analog dash, spoke wheels, five-speed gearbox, and exposed dual shocks are countered with modern touches like an LED headlight, an assist and slipper clutch, and ABS to give the W800 an engaging mix of retro and current, with an aesthetic even café purists can get on board with. As a bonus, Kawasaki’s Ergo-Fit system makes on-bike ergo adjustability an easier ordeal.

Related: 2019 Kawasaki W800 Café First Ride

a green motorcycle: Want a bit more modern performance with your café style? There’s always the Z900RS. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Want a bit more modern performance with your café style? There’s always the Z900RS.

2020 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe: $11,799

The Z900RS Cafe is underpinned by the same mechanicals as Kawasaki’s standard RS model, but it’s dressed with café-d elements like a headlamp cowl, scalloped and ribbed lower seat, and lowered bars to give it a sportier riding position and feel. Like the RS, the Cafe carries the burly 948cc mill borrowed from the Z900 streetfighter, but here it’s remapped for lower peak power. The Cafe also gets some higher-spec upgrades like radial-mount brake calipers and LED lighting throughout along with a switchable two-level traction control system. You can’t miss that beautiful green and white livery either, reminiscent of the KR250/500 of the late ’70s (and it’s the only color option). Those colors are a cool complement to the blacked-out frame, fork, wheels, and engine to give the whole bike a unique appearance.

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Related: The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe Gives Kawasaki’s New Retro Standard The Full Café Racer Treatment

a motorcycle parked on the side: The least café-like of Kawasaki’s three models is the smaller-displacement Vulcan S Cafe. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser The least café-like of Kawasaki’s three models is the smaller-displacement Vulcan S Cafe.

2020 Kawasaki Vulcan S Cafe: $8,099

Like Honda’s Neo-Sports concept, it’s a bit of a stretch for Kawasaki’s Vulcan S ABS Cafe to carry the café name. This is essentially a cruiser with a more shapely windshield, but it does bring Ninja-derived 649cc parallel-twin power to the table, even if that solo seat, cast wheels, and teardrop-like tank don’t do much for its retro bona fides. But if you’re a fan of modern qualities, you might find something to like in the sportbike-inspired chassis and suspension which offers a seven-way-adjustable rear spring preload to better dial in your ride. The Vulcan S Cafe is really more of a crossbreed that’ll appeal to those enthusiasts of all sizes and experience levels who don’t expect too much retro flavor from a modern production motorcycle.

https://www.kawasaki.com/

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: Enfield’s new 650s offer period-correct touches coupled with modern performance that’s not heavy-handed. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Enfield’s new 650s offer period-correct touches coupled with modern performance that’s not heavy-handed.

2020 Royal Enfield Continental GT: $5,999

Royal Enfield’s Continental GT just happens to be a modern motorcycle wrapped in café racer style that’ll undoubtedly catch the eye of those riders on the hunt for old-school aesthetics. A reworked standard with café racer touches like lower clip-on bars, rearset foot controls, a longer tank, and a café-styled seat, the Continental GT also offers a more aggressive riding position but mechanically sports the same 650cc parallel-twin layout as its INT650 twin. The starting price of around $6,000 is pretty attractive too, and you’re not sacrificing too many modern components either, with ByBre brakes, Bosch dual-channel ABS, and a slipper clutch all coming standard (you can also choose from five tank colors). All in all, the GT represents a compellingly rideable motorcycle that’s modern yet café authentic without trying too hard.

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  2020 Spring Creek National Motocross 450 Class Race Report Two in a row for Adam Cianciarulo.“For the first time, I’m almost at a loss for words!” Cianciarulo exclaimed. “Going 1-1 was huge for me. It’s a great accomplishment that I’m really proud of and something I wasn’t even able to do last year in the 250 class when I won the championship. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and even though I had a rough start to the season, all the hard work is paying off. My Monster Energy Kawasaki team sets me up in a position to win every week, so it feels good to bring home a win for them.

Related: Royal Enfield Builds Two $6,000 Bikes For Everyone

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: Suzuki’s SV650X is a decidedly modern machine with a hint or two of café styling. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Suzuki’s SV650X is a decidedly modern machine with a hint or two of café styling.

2020 Suzuki SV650X: $8399

A regular SV650 fitted with some aftermarket accessories? The SV650X sure feels that way, given the fact that the only distinguishable characteristics between it and the standard model are clip-ons, a stylishly curved headlamp cover, and side panels with a flowing design—and a new paint job. That does result in more aggressive ergonomics, but the chassis and powertrain are yanked straight from the SV650 unchanged, with a 645cc, 90-degree V-twin that makes 75 hp and 47 pound-feet of torque at the heart of it. The Low RPM Assist feature helps smooth out your launches by boosting rpm as you release the clutch, and ABS comes standard. Just don’t look for a lot of ’70s charm—this bike brings a more modern vibe than most of the traditionally minded bikes on this list.

a motorcycle parked in front of a brick building: Neo-Sports Café? Leave it to Honda to totally make up a sub-subgenre. Still, the CB1000R looks pretty damn good. © American Honda Motor Co. Neo-Sports Café? Leave it to Honda to totally make up a sub-subgenre. Still, the CB1000R looks pretty damn good.

www.suzukicycles.com

Related: A Millennial Beginner Rider Reviews The 2019 Suzuki SV650X

a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road: Triumph’s Thruxton nameplate is synonymous with the original café racer scene. In modern form it still carries the torch well. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Triumph’s Thruxton nameplate is synonymous with the original café racer scene. In modern form it still carries the torch well.

2020 Triumph Thruxton 1200: $13,000

It should come as no surprise to anybody that Triumph has no fewer than three café racer models (and even more than that if you drill down into the special editions). When you think back to the OG retro-café racer movement, it’d be impossible not to mention the Thruxtons. Today’s Thruxton and Thruxton R both come with the 1,200cc 96-hp Thruxton-spec Bonneville parallel-twin engine but also mix in a bunch of high-end tech features like ride-by-wire technology, switchable ABS, traction control, and three driving modes. The clip-on handlebars and the slightly rearset footpegs offer an engaged riding position, and twin front disc brakes with a 17-inch front wheel cement the overall sporty nature and ergonomics. Spoke wheels, bullet seat, upswept reverse megaphone mufflers—they’re all there, and the Triumph Thruxton continues to nail the café racer formula of style mixed with performance.

https://www.triumphmotorcycles.com/

a person riding a motorcycle on the side of a road: The Thruxton R model retains the parallel-twin Bonneville engine and café-style sculpted tank but adds higher-spec components. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser The Thruxton R model retains the parallel-twin Bonneville engine and café-style sculpted tank but adds higher-spec components.

2020 Triumph Thruxton 1200 R: $15,400

The next level of Thruxton is the 1200 R, which retains the 1,200cc Bonneville parallel-twin engine but takes handling characteristics up several notches with a combination of a fully adjustable 43mm upside-down Showa telescopic hydraulic fork at the front and fully adjustable Öhlins twin hydraulic coil springs with a piggyback reservoir at the rear. Other changes include a “more engaged” riding position due to a kicked-up back end and smaller-diameter grips, plus higher-spec brakes and tires, along with more refined styling details, like a stainless steel tank strap and polished top yoke.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: The RS is a fully loaded Thruxton with a punchier engine and premium suspension, brakes, and tires. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser The RS is a fully loaded Thruxton with a punchier engine and premium suspension, brakes, and tires.

2020 Triumph Thruxton RS: $16,200

The highest-spec Thruxton you can get from the factory is the new Thruxton RS, which builds on the 1,200cc platform by updating the engine for increased output, improving suspension and brakes, and offering a new two-tone paint scheme, a higher level of detail, and loads of blacked-out components. The engine is rated at 104 hp, has a higher redline than the R, and is said to deliver peak torque lower in the rev range; the premium fork is now an adjustable Showa BP USD unit, with Öhlins shocks out back; and the higher-spec brakes feature Brembo M50 Monoblock calipers. What’s more, the entire bike is some 13 pounds lighter than the lower-spec Thruxton, which is sure to result in a more nimble ride.

Honorable Mention

a motorcycle parked in front of a brick wall: You won’t get much power from the 400cc single, but as configured (with optional bars/mirrors and fork upgrade) the Ace is highly customizable. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser You won’t get much power from the 400cc single, but as configured (with optional bars/mirrors and fork upgrade) the Ace is highly customizable.

Cleveland CycleWerks Ace: $4,795

With a 400cc, vertical, air-cooled single spitting out 42 hp and a claimed top speed of 85 mph, the Ace isn’t necessarily the right tool for doing the ton, but there’s a lot to like here. For one, the styling hits all the right notes, curb weight is under 300 pounds, and stainless steel brakes lines come standard, plus you can choose from all kinds of upgrades and styling options, making the Ace from Cleveland CycleWerks an attractive and affordable starting point for a café project.

https://clevelandcyclewerks.com/ace

Gone But Not Forgotten

a man riding on the back of a motorcycle: The R nineT Racer was BMW’s entry in the category. Alas, we haven’t seen it in the lineup this year. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser The R nineT Racer was BMW’s entry in the category. Alas, we haven’t seen it in the lineup this year.

2018 BMW R nineT Racer

First released in 2016, the Racer was an unabashed homage to yesteryear but sporting modern internals and an 1,170cc boxer engine. The bike’s stunning half fairing drew eyeballs wherever it rode, but it hasn’t made BMW’s North American lineup for the last two years now.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a building: Norton is now owned by TVS Motors, and we’re hoping the new parent company will continue on with the Commando model. © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Norton is now owned by TVS Motors, and we’re hoping the new parent company will continue on with the Commando model.

Norton Commando 961 Café Racer MkII

Even all the financial shenanigans at the former parent company couldn’t change the fact that this is the marque that jump-started the whole café movement back in the day. The last 961 models produced by the modern Norton entity looked the business too, with period-perfect retro styling and a 961cc parallel-twin motor with 79 hp on tap supported by premium components. As far as we know it’s no longer available, though new owner TVS Motors says it plans to move forward with some of the models Norton was developing.

Coming Soon (Maybe)

a motorcycle parked in front of a building: Given all the turmoil of the last few months, will we see a Harley café model this year? © Provided by Motorcycle Cruiser Given all the turmoil of the last few months, will we see a Harley café model this year?

Harley Café Racer Concept

We also caught wind of a possible new café model coming from Harley in European patent documents. It’ll supposedly be based on the new liquid-cooled 975cc Revolution Max engine from the Bronx—but there were no clip-on bars or bar-end mirrors apparent in the mock-ups. With all the changes going on at Harley these days though, we’re not all that sure it’ll even make the cut as a 2021 model.

2020 Spring Creek National Motocross 450 Class Race Report .
Two in a row for Adam Cianciarulo.“For the first time, I’m almost at a loss for words!” Cianciarulo exclaimed. “Going 1-1 was huge for me. It’s a great accomplishment that I’m really proud of and something I wasn’t even able to do last year in the 250 class when I won the championship. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and even though I had a rough start to the season, all the hard work is paying off. My Monster Energy Kawasaki team sets me up in a position to win every week, so it feels good to bring home a win for them.

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