Guide to motorcycle styles: cafe racer, scrambler, bobber etc...
The terms used to recognize the different types of motorcycle style may seem barbaric to the uninitiated.
These are denominations assigned to a group of motorcycles according to their characteristics.
Indeed, in the universe of motorcycle customization, there are many families with different styles , objectives and philosophies .
The common point between these different families of preparations is the love of enthusiasts for modifying and improving motorcycles in order to have a unique style motorcycle.
Already among the family of motorcycles we have more distinct categories such as roadsters, sports, road, trails, supermotards, customs...
Custom motorcycles are classified with these criteria similar to standard motorcycles. The most well-known style of modified motorcycles is the cafe racer followed by the scrambler and the bobber .
We will see and define these families so that others more or less known.
The Cafe Racer
The cafe racer is the best known type of preparation.
Some people associate or refer to the term cafe racer to refer to all custom motorcycles. Because there is no term to designate a modified style motorcycle except the name of the family to which it is close. (Unless you use the word: preparation ).
Cafe racers originated in the 1960s in England. Bikers started modifying their motorcycles to race from cafe to cafe (according to legend). This is how the term "café racer" was born.
The scrambler is an increasingly popular type of customization that is overtaking the cafe racer in popularity .
Indeed, the scrambler, and above all, the street scrambler , is easier to access in terms of driving and more versatile.
The scrambler is a stripped-down style motorcycle, intended for mixed road and off-road use .
This type of motorcycle style was developed from the 60s. At that time, few different motorcycles were available for sale, so several friends decided to transform their small roadster into a more versatile motorcycle in order to ride on the on the paths.
Here is an example of a Triumph scrambler from a private individual:
The scrambler has specific characteristics that set it apart. Here are the most important changes:
The chopper has been a well-known model for several years. It's a bit like the " extravagant " version of the bobber.
There are many different styles, rigid or swingarm frames, and the bikes can be comfortable or difficult to ride. The important thing is that they are highly customized and modified, and like snowflakes, no two choppers should be the same. Well, if snowflakes could do smoldering burnouts, of course.
Here is an example of a rather sober Japanese-style chopper on Virago 250cc :
The chopper has specific features that set it apart. Here are the most notable changes:
A large rim at the front
A high handlebar
A Peanut or Wassell tank
A very elaborate painting
And to go further:
A rigid frame
A springer fork
We will soon offer a complete article on the chopper to provide you with all the information you need.
Bratsyle comes from Japan. It is associated with the name of the workshop which started to develop this style of motorcycle on their preparations.
In principle, it is a lowered motorcycle with a comfortable driving position. This type is ideal for road trips.
Here is an example of a bratstyle made by an Englishman based on TX650:
The technical peculiarities that define the bratstyle are the following:
No superfluous elements (fairing, plastics, oversized mudguards, etc.)
The tracker or street tracker comes from the competition and more precisely from the flat track . This is a motorcycle race carried out on a dirt oval where the motorcycles slide at high speed in the turns.
Here is an example of a tracker based on Yamaha :
The flat tracker is characterized by the use:
a headlight plate like on motocross
a very wide handlebar
a special shell and saddle (a bit like a cafe racer)
Here is a complete article to know more about the tracker:
The Muscle Custom (or muscle bike) is a type of preparation for making big sports customs like the Harley-Davidson V-Rod .
Being still considered too wise and tasteless for some followers (🤷♂️) these big babies are prepared in a spectacular way.
This type of preparation requires major modifications and therefore a budget and skills in adequacy.
The Russians from BOX39 are specialized in this type of preparation. Here is a very good example:
At the level of the characteristics of this type of preparation we find:
Specific fairings (rear and front)
A hoof (common)
Wide rims and tires
A wide curved handlebar
Follow our blog and you will soon see more information about it.
This type of preparation comes from the Spanish-American culture and is the 2-wheeled version of the famous low-rider cars.
Chicano styling is usually done on a Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe and has some big changes that are purely for cosmetic purposes.
The motorcycle style is very flashy with chrome everywhere, bright paint and imposing elements such as the exhausts or the handlebars.
A great example of Chicano Style seen on Pinterest:
Here are the characteristic elements of a Chicano Style :
Large multi-spoke rims
Very high handlebar
Very long exhausts
Long and low fender
It is also possible to see this type of preparation with suitcases.
Our article on chicano style will be published soon.
The Style Club
The club style is the type of preparation to optimize the performance of a Harley or other custom.
Indeed, this style comes from the fact of the owners of customs gathered in motorcycle clubs who sought to improve their motorcycles to ride longer, faster and more efficiently motorcycles which are not intended for this purpose.
This style was also democratized with the help of the Son of Anarchy series.
To illustrate this category, here is a preparation made by Southeast Custom Cycles on a Dyna Street Bob :
Here are the basic elements of the appearance of a motorcycleclubstyle:
high rear shock absorbers
front fairing (often used)
Do you like this style? We have a full article on this:
There are also several types of preparations which cannot be classified in the previous ones and which are still little present to define the codes of these or that the style is to be defined.
In this category, we can put this CBX750 from Kerkus :
Based on a sports car from the 80s, this preparation has a driving position and a fairing in the manner of clubstyles and a specific rear hull. In addition, the motorcycle is lowered in the manner of bratstyles .
The goal is to keep the look of this type of bike by adding originality.
The restomod is a light preparation given on mythical bikes to optimize them and make them more reliable.
Example of a Ténéré seen on BikeExif:
Often, the electricity is improved, the lighting also as well as the brakes, the shock absorbers, the admission, the instruments etc...
The aim is to keep the original look of the bike, the modifications are subtle and aim to improve the life of the pilot.
This is a style of customization that is inspired by motorcycles from post-apocalyptic films and series.
The goal is to have a utility motorcycle with a " worn " style, " rats " and that can be made with scrap parts.
We do not find a lot of recurrences such as the use of leather , rust , grids and raw materials .
This style is close to the rat's bike.
There are cafe racers , scramblers and even customs with this style.