There have been many books published about BMW motorcycles, but until now none has covered the evolution of the BMW sport bike to the BMW café racer. A marque not commonly associated with the café racer scene, the growing trend of custom BMW café conversions is illustrated in detail with stunning images of sporting, racing and 'caféd' BMWs.
Showcasing fantastic BMW customs from all over the globe, and from the old to the new, this book presents them in all their innovative glory. Featuring owners' stories and technical descriptions, BMW Café Racers is a book guaranteed to interest BMW fans and members of the café racer scene alike.
From Airheads to Oilheads, modified singles to parallel twins, Fours and Concept 6s - see the 'caféd' side of BMW.
What's old is new again, and the newest trend on the block is Café Racers.
Written by well-known motorcycle and automotive author Doug Mitchel, How to Build a Café Racer starts with a history lesson. While those first bikes were built in the UK for racing from café to café, the current rage for Café Racers has definitely spread to the US.
Converting a stock motorcycle to a Café Racer requires more than a fairing and a few decals. The book starts with chapters on planning and choosing an appropriate bike, followed by chapters that detail the modifications that will likely be embraced by anyone converting a stocker to a rocker. From shocks and tires to engine modifications, Doug's book lays out each type of modification and how it's best carried through.
The center of the book holds a gallery of finished bikes. These are not just Triumphs or Nortons, but nearly every brand imaginable from Japan, Italy, the UK, and Germany.
The final chapters include two, start-to-finish Café builds. This is the chance for the reader to see how professional shops take a stock Honda, Triumph, or Ducati and convert it into a fast, sexy, and functional Café Racer, ready to race from cafe to cafe on Saturday night, or around the race track on Sunday afternoon.
The café racer is one of the most enduring styles of motorcycle ever created, epitomizing the rebellious spirit of England in the 1950s. The Café Racer Phenomenon is author Alastair Walker's attempt to capture a strand of motorcycle history through the photos, records and memories of the people who were there.
From its roots in the '59 Club, home-brewed specials and the creation of 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 bikes in the 1970s, with the rise of Dunstall, Rickman, Seeley and many more bespoke bike builders. 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 sports bikes of the 1980s came along, setting out to consign the café racer special to the history books.
However, a revival had to happen. The Ace Café London re-opened, bike builders as diverse as Wakan, Fred Krugger, Nick Gale and Roland Sands began to create lean, back-to-basics motorcycles, but with their own unique twist on the café racer heritage. From the Buell 1125 CR to the Guzzi V7 Sport, mainstream modern bikes have also re-discovered their street racing soul.
It would be impossible to illustrate the span and influence of 50 years of English motorcycling history in one book, but The Café Racer Phenomenon is meant to provide a taste of this era to inspire a deeper interest within the hardcore classic motorcycling community. Featuring a huge, global café racer directory - listing specialist builders, spares suppliers, Web sites, etc. - alongside a unique mix of personal memoirs, unseen photos, iconic machines and chassis builders in profile, this book takes a look at the enduring cult of the café racer, in all its ton-up glory.
About the Author: Alastair Walker has been riding motorcycles for more than 30 years and writing about them for two decades. Starting off on a BSA, like his father and grandfather before him, Alastair moved on to owning several Japanese bikes before becoming a freelance motorbike journalist in the late 1980s. Since then he has tested hundreds of bikes, modern and classic, from a humble Honda CG125 to a 5.7-litre, V8-powered, Boss Hoss cruiser.
Ton Up! A Century of Café Racer Speed and Style focuses on the story of the ton-up boys and their café racers. But it's much more than just that. Illustrated with historic and modern photos and featuring a text by one of the world’s motorcycle historians, it's really the story of motorcycle speed and style evolved from the early 1900s right through today.
Café racers are most associated with the young, rebellious rock-and-rollers of 1960s Britain. These riders created the quintessential café racers—fast motorcycles customized to resemble the racing bikes of the period. They were called “café racers” because their riders raced on public roads, from one café to the next. The goal was to do “the ton” (exceed 100 miles per hour) on these runs, which led to their designation as “ton-up boys.”
Today, ton-up culture is more popular than ever and recognized worldwide with a following of young and long-time riders alike. With Ton Up!, enjoy a scenic ride through the history of this vibrant scene.