In Britain in the early 1960s a subculture of motorcyclists known as the “Rockers” emerged. They listened to Rock-a-Billy music and modified their motorcycles in a certain style which copied the look of the Grand Prix machines of the time. Their motorcycles featured low clip-on or clubman handlebars, a humped single “bum-stop” seat and rearset footrests. Engines and exhausts were tuned to obtain maximum performance. Modified petrol tanks and fairings were also sometimes fitted. The Rockers would race from cafe to cafe on Britains new motorways, attempting to “do the ton” (100 mph/160km/h). These machines became known as “cafe racers.”
Cafe racer styling was applied to British and European motorcycles in the 60’s and certain Japanese models in the early 1970s. Purists would say that after this was when true cafe racers died out. Not true. The cafe racer style is now being applied to motorcycles which would never traditionally have been candidates with amazing and beautiful results.
We at Retro Write Up do not support the wholesale chopping of motorcycles. We do however support the preservation of motorcycles. Some motorcycles will always have value and a future in their standard form. Most models are destined to be forgotten unless they are given a little cosmetic surgery by customisers like the guys from V Custom Cycles. We wonder when BMW will eventually release their version of what you are looking at now.