The Cafe Racer Phenomenon

The Cafe Racer Phenomenon
Format: Paperback / softback, 96 Pages
ISBN: 9781845842642
Buy from an Online Retailer


The Café Racer 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 builders.

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, The Cafe Racer Phenomenon takes a look at the enduring cult of the Café Racer, in all its ton-up glory.

The author

Riding motorcycles from 1975, Alastair Walker has tested classic Vincents and 190mph Suzuki Hayabusas. He has toured New Zealand, Oregon, California and most of Europe by motorcycle and followed the Paris-Dakar rally as a journalist in 2001. His favourite motorcycle in 30 years of biking was his Honda 400/4 as "it was the first bike I ever did the magic ton on and got my knee down whilst riding. Fabulous '70s classic." With more than 2,500 features published on motorcycles, cars and scooters worldwide, Alastair has written for the Manchester Evening News, Bike, T.W.O. Classic Bike Guide, MSL, Classic Mechanics, NZ Motorcycle Trader, Dealernews USA, and edited online magazine from 2000 to 2007. His books include Scooterama and The Cafe Racer Phenomenon.

Reader reviews


Format: Paperback / softback, 96 Pages
ISBN: 9781845842642
Illustrations: 100 color photos
Size: 8 in x 7.5 in x 0.325 in / 203.2 mm x 190.5 mm x 8.255 mm

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