Is a Cafe racer good for beginners? Detail Overview With Pros & Cons

Cafe racer for beginners
Cafe racer for beginners

When I was to buy my first cafe racer, I also had the same series of questions that, as a beginner, you are having right now. Many people have asked me this questionSo, If you are looking to buy a Cafe racer or just curious to know its usefulness, then be with me. 

After a lot of research and from my personal experiences, here is what I found.

So, Is a cafe racer good for beginners? Cafe racers are an ideal choice for beginners as they are designed light-weight, visually minimal, along with sporty riding position. Moreover, it comes with a powerful engine that can quickly speed up to 100 km/h, which is the solid choice for a runaround in towns and cities.

The cafe racer is suitable for a beginner unless you decide to make a long trip with it.
Cafe racer bikes are made with a minimalist design that will help you to have a better experience between you and your motorbike.
But, As a beginner, if you are looking to have long rides with the cafe racer, it is not an ideal choice.
If you are looking to buy a cafe racer as a beginner, here are five tips to make better choices.

What is your purpose with the Cafe racers?

This is the most crucial question you must ask yourself before buying any motorbike.

If you are looking to use a cafe racer for daily commuting and short rides (less than 2 hrs), you can go with a cafe racer.

But, If you are looking for touring or having long rides with cafe racers, you have chosen the wrong motorcycle type.

And it would be best if you didn’t risk buying a cafe racer as it is very uncomfortable to ride for long-distance.

Which style cafe racer motorcycle you want?

I am talking about the overall design and look of the cafe racer to choose.

Actually, when the cafe racer trend started it just had the same vintage styles. At the same time, cafe racers were designed by riders thus even a small modification can change the look of the motorcycle.

And thus making the cafe racer look different than other cafe racers motorcycles.

But I am assuming you are not looking to build a cafe racer by yourself. But today most of the motorcycle companies made cafe racers with the modification that made them look different.

Here are some examples of different cafe racer style motorcycles that you can choose to buy.

BMW R nineT racer cafe rcaer
BMW R nineT racer Cafe racer

As we can see from the above picture of BMW R nine T cafe racer, it has a head fairing and little wide fuel tank. Overall this factory-made cafe racer is a totally different style than the first generation custom built cafe racer that were used back in the 1960s.

Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 cafe rcaer
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650 cafe racer

Now have a look at the Royal Enfield Continental GT 650, it doesn’t have any head fairing and it has a thin fuel tank. It also matches with the traditional custom made cafe racer.

It is just to show the tweaks that you can make in your cafe racer to look it little different as you want and have fun.


How much are you willing to spend on your first cafe racer?

There are two modes by which you can have cafe racers:- one is by building yourself and the second way is by directly buying from the showroom.

According to motorcycle habits, “It costs around $700-$1000 to build a cafe racer in addition to the purchase of your second-hand motorcycle on which the whole modification will be done.”

Also, alternatively, you can directly buy factory built cafe racer from the showroom or through their respective websites. Buying factory-made cafe racers averagely cost $4000 – $60,000.

But it totally depends on you what company and overall feature you choose in a cafe racer.

How much power do you need?

A cafe racer is usually a light-weight sporty motorcycle. And cafe racer engines provide enough power to achieve more than 100kmph which is more than enough for a beginner.

Nowadays, engines are more equipped with technologies that provides improved horsepower, more displacement, improved torque, and cooling technologies.

Thus, there will be no compromise in the power with new factory made cafe racers.

Nowadays, Factory made cafe racer provide speed even more than a “ton” fairly easily.

Advantages of having Cafe racers as your first bike

  • As cafe racers are light-weight, you will not have any issues while handling the motorcycle.
  • And if you are a beginner, then probably you may drop-off (I don’t wish that you drop off your cafe racer or fall from it) then It would be easy to lift the motorcycle even if you are alone.
  • It quickly reaches up to 100mph, better known by “the ton,” and is enough for a beginner to start with.
  • Cafe racers are fun to ride and also great for daily commuting or use for other small rides.
  • If you are looking to get a sporty experience with a light-weight motorcycle, then the cafe racer is a must-try.
  • Last but not least, if you want a total aesthetic and pure experience with your motorcycle, then a cafe racer must be your choice. The reason being the cafe racer is good for the experience is its design is minimal.

Disadvantages of having Cafe racer as your first bike

Every motorcycle has its limitation so do cafe racer has; there is not much of an issue with this:-

  • The first and major disadvantage of having a cafe racer is that you can’t have long rides. Even if you try to customize it, you can’t stretch it for more than 3 hours. For more information, check out this article.
  • Cafe racer ergonomics makes its riding position aggressive that hurts your back. So make sure to have a test ride first. 
  • A cafe racer doesn’t have fairing and extra parts for show-off.
  • If you are looking for fairing, styles, and weight in the motorcycle, then a cafe racer is not for you.

Here is the Pros & Cons of a Cafe racer

Pros of Cafe racerCons of Cafer racer
Cafe racers are lightweight, thus easy for handling.You can’t have long rides with a cafe racer bike.
Cafe racers can easily reach 100mph popularly known as the ton.Cafe racers don’t have fairing and extra parts for show-off.
Cafe racers are designed light-weight thus it fun to ride.Cafe racers are not suitable for tall riders.
Cafe racer gives us a purely aesthetic experience of riding.
Cafe racer gives you a sporty position and looks while riding.
Pros and cons of a cafe racer

Mostly cafe racers are not suitable or fit for tall riders. But thankfully there are still some if you are interested. For more information read this article.

Related Question

Are cafe racers comfortable to ride?

Cafe racers are comfortable to ride for short distances and daily commuting, but as you stretch the riding hours, you may start to feel pain or ache in your body parts such as back pain, neck, etc. Thus, it just depends if you like to use a cafe racer to ride over a short distance, then it is comfortable to ride. But as you start to stretch the distance and riding hours, it will begin to become uncomfortable and create pain in your body.

Are cafe racers good for long rides?

A cafe racer is not suitable for a long drive because of its overall ergonomics. It is very uncomfortable to ride for a long distance. And if you rode cafe racer for long distance you will end up having back pain, neck pain, wrist pain, etc. For more information check out this article.

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