The Harley Davidson Cafe Racer: The Best of Both Worlds!
Harley Davidson Cafe Racer?…really?
There’s a certain exclusivity when it comes to different cliques within the motorcycle community.
At one end of the spectrum, you have the cafe racers and on the other end, you have Harley Davidson motorcycle owners. And never shall the twain meet.
But wouldn’t it be a crazy idea to mix these two groups up and see what type of bike you can get out of it?
It seems like that idea isn’t so crazy after all!
You see, there are actually cafe racers built off of Harley Davidson motorcycles and let me tell you this: they are a different kind of cool!
In an effort to reach the market that tends to lean towards sportier bikes, Harley Davidson released the Sportster.
Now, the Sportster, unlike the regular hog you’d see had a slim profile and was more streamlined.
As soon as it came out, cafe racers who were secretly Harley Davidson admirers finally had a chance to customize this bike and turn it into their dream machine.
If done correctly, you’d never suspect that the bike you’re looking at was actually a Harley Davidson Cafe racer unless the builder divulges that information to you!
Now if you’re planning to own a Harley Davidson caferacer, it’s actually not that difficult to do!
Let’s go into the basics of turning a Sportster into a cafe racer.
The first thing that has to go is the rear end of the bike.
No self-respecting cafe racer rider is going to be staring up at the sky as they ride along the highway.
So, a quick fix is swapping out the rear end to make way for taller shocks. This should give the bike an aggressive stance by raising the rear end and effectively pointing the front end down.
While you’re there, swap out the seats for a floating seat assembly to complete the sporty look cafe racers are known for.
Next, if you’re swapping out the rear end to improve it, then logic dictates that you should also change the front end to give it a more appealing look.
Pulling the forks back into the body is going to give it that proper cafe racer look. You see, the rake that the standard forks on a Sportster just won’t do so you’ll have to swap it out for a Honda’s or a Yamaha’s.
We’re still on the front end of things by now so you’ll also need to replace those handlebars.
The wide handlebars on a standard Sportster is just not going to look good. Swap it out with Clubman handlebars and you should be okay.
While you’re still up there, you might want to swap out the headlights for a more traditional cafe racer look and then add some fairings to complete the whole package up front.
Last but not the least, swap out the tires with vintage looking tires and you’ve got the look down.
Other things you can do at this point is to have a custom built tank made and then change the color scheme to make it look more old school.
And voila! You’re done!
Now go out there and show your Harley Davidson Cafe racer around!
Images by @hotrod1203 crazy-garage