Market Finds: Cafe Racers For Sale Now

Cafe Racers For Sale Now

By Petrolicious Productions
November 26, 2014

If you enjoyed yesterday’s Vespa film, but prefer something a bit more powerful, you should check out these stylish bikes. Influenced by the grand prix cycles of the sixties, a subculture of motorcycle enthusiasts developed what would become known as the café racer. Similar to the hot rodders’ practices, these owners turned their common bikes into custom rides that were faster and handled better. Manufacturers noticed and sold their own variations. The minimalist style has reemerged today with more powerful powerplants but the true café racer experience is unmatched on a modern bike. Here are five of the best café racers for sale on eBay, right now.

The car: 1969 BMW R60/2

Price: $12,000 (BiN)

Location: Owosso, Michigan, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

The 600cc shaft-drive R60 was designed as a rugged work-horse but was commonly transformed into a café racer. Despite the R60’s weight disadvantage the handling was surprisingly nimble. This unmolested R60/2 is listed with only 10,186 miles. The seller claims it starts on the first kick.

The car: 1978 Honda CB 550

Price: $5,300 (BiN)

Location: Tulsa, California, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

This list wouldn’t be complete without one (or two) Honda CBs. The affordable price tag, mass production, and availability of aftermarket parts catapulted the CB into middle of the scene. The four-cylinder CB 550 needed few modifications to be a bona fide café racer. This tastefully modified Honda has new tires, shocks and a custom seat.

The car: 1975 Suzuki GT 380

Price: $1,900 (starting bid)

Location: Lake Worth, Florida, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

The Suzuki GT 380 is a screaming, air cooled two-stroke. Although not the fastest bike, it was smooth and had a reputation for reliability. In addition to the usual racer styling modifications, stiffening the suspension was a must for the 380. These bikes are plentiful and sold at or below their original sticker price making them a great entry level bike to transform. This GT is a café racer blank canvas. It’s equipped with a front disc brake and includes a new battery.

The car: 1969 Triumph Bonneville

Price: $11,300 (Current bid)

Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

Triumph fueled the flame with bikes like the Trident and Bonneville. The Bonneville was a popular café racer because of the 650cc engine capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph, a desired watermark. This Bonneville was restored to its original glory ten years ago and has only been ridden 212 miles since.

The car: 1974 Honda CB 750

Price: $6,000 (BiN)

Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Seller’s Info: Click here

Seeking to compete in the American market, Honda built the legendary CB 750. This bike came with excellent power, handling, and fade-free braking which set the standard for other manufacturers for decades. This bike only has 12,345 miles and has already been transformed into a modest café racer.

If you know of a great, stylish car for sale and would like us to feature it, please let us know!

Petrolicious makes no claim as to the accuracy of the information contained in the car’s original listing, nor will it be held responsible for any errors in said information. If you’re interested in any of these cars, do your homework and research extensively before you buy.

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8 years ago

Guys don’t be so mean 🙂 Cafe racers getting bigger very fast and you’ll have to get use to this huge trend. I think they look gorgeous, elegance of vintage and minimalism of 21st century. Peace! 🙂
Jason [url=””][/url]

Keith Grey
Keith Grey
8 years ago

Love the look and style. Great throw back piece.

Huynh Tam
Huynh Tam
8 years ago

i love cafe racer . 1974 Honda CB 750 w88 is my wish as bong88

Phil Auldridge
Phil Auldridge
8 years ago

Hmm… Cafe Racer… I know, I know, it’s all the fashion rage right now.. remove the infinitely-more-controllable “western” style handlebars in favor of minimal leverage clip-ons (contrary to some notions, you DO steer a motorcycle via pressure on the handlebars); strip off all “unnecessary” components, such as fenders and turn signals; slap on an uncomfortable flat seat with 3/4″ thick upholstery; move the pegs back to a position only a yoga contortionist would find comfortable; and you have… not a race bike at all, but a poseur ‘cafe racer’. Oh, and for the final compliment, don’t forget the fake racing number on the side. And if you buy a new [url=”\%253A\%253BHFMQrwkIimeOkM\%253Bhttp\%25253A\%25252F\\%25252Fcatalog\%25252Fmoto-guzzi\%25252F2014-moto-guzzi-v7-racer-available-color-chrome&source=iu&pf=m&fir=PJ86YSj4OksVTM\%253A\%252CHFMQrwkIimeOkM\%252C_&usg=___yF8Wck2wC_ljiFuzlFPMXd4KeE\%3D&ved=0CDMQyjc&ei=QlB3VKS1B4apgwTktYOIAg#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=PJ86YSj4OksVTM\%253A\%3BHFMQrwkIimeOkM\%3Bhttp\%253A\%252F\\%252Fecom_img\%252Foriginal-1608-1621-2013-moto-guzzi-v7-racer.jpg\%3Bhttp\%253A\%252F\\%252Fcatalog\%252Fmoto-guzzi\%252F2014-moto-guzzi-v7-racer-available-color-chrome\%3B699\%3B477″]Moto Guzzi V1 “racer”[/url] that number comes molded right into the side panel (just hope more than one V7 doesn’t show up at the track on the same day, since they all have the same number!)

I guess these are the modern day equivalents of the Easy Rider choppers.. infinitely uncomfortable, and more difficult to steer and control.. but then fashion is everything!

Interestingly, I fail to see any hint of cafe racer traits in at least two of the bikes presented here, the BMW airhead, and the Triumph Bonneville, which the owners thankfully and wisely left in stock condition. As any quick perusal of eBay listings will confirm, you can take a nice stock motorcycle, replace valuable components with $3,000-4,000 worth of after-market bolt-ons, and, voila… you’ve got yourself a cafe racer, which is now worth about half of what the original bike would have been.

For me, I’ll assume that the original manufacturers, with their multi-million dollar resources and engineering departments, knew a bit more about style, appearance, comfort, and handling, than some backyard garage tinkerer. Nevertheless, hooray for those who feel otherwise.. you’re helping our economy grow!

from a Texan who loves all things mechanical, and rides bone stock: Triumph T120R Bonneville, BMW R100 Airhead, Honda 6 cylinder CBX, and Moto Guzzi California.

8 years ago
Reply to  Phil Auldridge


Its a shame to see all these CB/KZ be destroyed from their stock look into these half ass cafe racers. Hopefully ill be able to keep my cb500 fairly stock. Like a good friend once told me, “OEM is best”. Any photos of that CBX?