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Guide to motorcycle styles: cafe racer, scrambler, bobber etc...

August 19, 2021

Guide des styles de motos: 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 driving style is quite sporty.

Here is an example of a cafe racer :

The cafe racer has specific characteristics that set it apart. Here are the most notable changes:

  • Strap handlebars
  • A fork head (front body)
  • A single seat shell saddle
  • Rearsets

Added to this are the other parts of the motorcycle that can be modified to have a motorcycle style to your liking.

To learn more, here is an article on how to make a cafe racer on a budget:

The guide to building a cafe racer on a budget - REMMOTORCYCLE

If you are a fan of 125cc, here is the list of the best 125 cafe racers:

The best CAFE RACER 125 you can buy in 2021 - REMMOTORCYCLE

The Scrambler

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:

  • Taller exhaust pipes
  • Improved and raised suspensions
  • A specific saddle
  • Optimized lights, tank and other accessories
  • All-terrain or mixed tires

    To learn more about the scrambler, here is an article dedicated to the subject : What is a scrambler?

    And here are all the steps to make a scrambler preparation:

    How to turn your motorcycle into a scrambler? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Bobber

    The bobber is a motorcycle reduced to its simplest device. All "unnecessary" elements are removed and the others are changed.

    The purpose of this type of preparation designed in the 1950s was weight gain to increase performance.

    The bobber is above all a look and a special philosophy.

    On the handlebars of a bobber, we cruise, we look at the landscape and enjoy the sound of the motorcycle.

    Here is an example of a Zero Engineering type bobber:

    The bobber has specific characteristics that set it apart. Here are the most notable changes:

    • A solo saddle
    • big tires
    • spoke rims
    • A Peanut or Wassell tank
    • A low handlebar

     

    And to go further:

    • A rigid frame
    • A springer fork

     

    To better define the concept of bobber, here is an article that will meet your expectations: What is a bobber? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Then, here are the characteristics that differentiate the bobber from other motorcycles:

    What makes a motorcycle a bobber? Checklist of c - REMMOTORCYCLE

    For those who want to get started, here is the list of the best bikes to do a bobber: Which bike does the best bobber? The 7 best motorcycles - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Finally, for those who prefer to buy a new motorcycle, this article is for you:

    The best new bobbers in 2021 - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Rather 125cc? Here is an article dedicated to the bobber 125:

    Ride a Bobber 125 - REMMOTORCYCLE

     

     

    The Chopper

    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
    • spoke rims
    • 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.

    The Bratstyle

    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.)
    • Wide raised handlebars
    • A thin, flat saddle
    • Lowered suspensions

    To learn more about bratstyles , here is an article dedicated to the subject: What is a Bratstyle motorcycle? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    And here is a tutorial to differentiate between a bratstyle and a cafe racer :

    What is the difference between a Cafe Racer and a Brastyle? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    The Tracker

    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)
    • side plates

    Here is a complete article to know more about the tracker:

    What is a Tracker? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    The Trails prepared

    Here is a type of motorcycle that is recent and still not very present on the roads.

    They are also called the " Retro Rally " or " Dakar Inspired ".

    It's about transforming all types of motorcycles for adventure .

    We are here on a more advanced preparation than the scrambler . Indeed, the goal is really all-terrain not just some dirt roads.

    Thus, it is not uncommon to see Harley Sportsters ready for rally raids.

    Here is an example made by Roland Sands on a KTM 790 :

    To have this type of preparation, here are the basic characteristics:

    • Large volume tank
    • high exhaust
    • All terrain tires
    • Suitcase support / suitcase / bag
    • Hand guard
    • Headlight plate
    • Longer shocks and forks
    • High fenders

    Subscribe to the newsletter , we will soon offer you a full article on the subject.

    The Bagger

    Basically, a bagger is a light touring motorcycle and then it went down in peanuts…

    For many bagger owners, it is not possible to have the same motorcycle as everyone else.

    These customizations are often elaborate and aim to make the bike feel very fluid , not to mention the often bright colors found in many custom bagger designs.

    Often the bagger has an engine preparation. Indeed, this type of customization is perfect for riding long hours and over long distances .

     

    This is the F Bomb's T Road Glides :

    In terms of modifications, here are the most important elements of a prep bagger :

    • Engine preparation
    • Very large front rim
    • "Fluid" suitcases
    • Contoured fenders
    • Air suspensions
    • Mid rise handlebar
    • Specific exhaust

    Subscribe to the newsletter , we will soon offer you a full article on the subject.

    The bratcafe

    As its name suggests, the " brat cafe " or otherwise known as " brat cafe racer " or " brat racer " is the combination of one bratstyle and a cafe racer .

    the brat cafe takes up atypical elements of these 2 variants motorcycle preparation to create a new one .

    The 2 most striking elements of these variants are the bracelet handlebars and the "bench" type saddle .

    Here is a great realization of bratcafé Honda :

    The characteristics of the bratcafé are as follows:

    • Flat saddle
    • Lower suspensions
    • Strap or clubman handlebars
    • Short exhaust
    • round headlight

    To find out more and learn a little more about this type of preparation, here is a dedicated article:

    What is a BRAT CAFE? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Muscle custom

    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:

    • Air suspensions
    • 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.

    Chicano Style

    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
    • Air suspensions
    • Very high handlebar
    • Very long exhausts
    • Long and low fender
    • Flashy paint
    • Chrome everywhere

    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 motorcycle clubstyle :

    • 2-in-1 exhaust
    • high rear shock absorbers
    • improved engine
    • front fairing (often used)
    • T-bar handlebar

    Do you like this style? We have a full article on this:

    What is a Club Style? - REMMOTORCYCLE

    Others

    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.

    Kerkus Style

    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.

    Restomod

    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.

    MadMax Style

    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.

    What's your favorite style?

    2 Responses

    Phil Ghil
    Phil Ghil

    August 10, 2023

    Je possède un Bagger, et j’en suis passionné.
    Visitez mon groupe sur FB : CBO – Custom Bagger Operation
    Phil Ghil (Belgique)

    Roger
    Roger

    January 11, 2023

    Perso je suis fan des scramblers :)

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