Bobbers, choppers, café racers, scramblers, brats and trackers. They’re just a few loose terms to describe today’s breed of custom bikes and all are as individual as their creators.
Individuality and creativity also rings loud and proud with Café Racer, Motorcycle Trader’s latest special magazine that saw us working late into the night to bring it to you. The 132-page publication is packed with stories of trials and tribulations and is available at newstands now, priced at $8.95.
Café Racer is loaded with information, inspiration and everything you need to know about building the custom bike of your dreams – what’s involved, how to do it and where to begin.
We’ve assembled a handful of bespoke bikes and encouraged their owners to tell their stories. Amid all the beautifully shot short films and picture-perfect images of custom bikes on the web, there’s also the lesser-told tales of things that go wrong and the Café Racer guys haven’t sugar-coated anything in sharing their experiences and secrets.
If that doesn’t resonate then consider the convenience of a modern retro bike that might whet your appetite instead. Six bikes are reviewed and all capture the essence of their spiritual predecessors in their own way. They’re just as much a customiser’s delight.
Motorcycle Trader deputy editor Chris Harris took the reins of this one-shot mag, the third from MT this year following from the successful TechTips and Classic Bikes publications.
“My garage-built BMW R80 café racer might be slower, louder and less civilised than a modern machine, but no other bike brings me as much joy as riding my own. It’s built, not bought,” he says.
“Custom-built bikes are about passion, creativity and individuality. Yours and yours alone. You’ll also learn a helluva lot about your motorcycle and about yourself.”
‘Strict rules’ need not apply to building a custom bike – to hell with substance, whatever style gets your juices flowing.
You won’t find stories as candid or informative anywhere else, let alone all in one magazine. You’ll laugh, learn and hopefully lust for a custom bike yourself. Keep an eye out for Café Racer in a newsagent near you!