The cafe racer fork designates the front suspension element of a motorcycle , specifically designed for cafe racer style motorcycles.
Cafe racers are generally lightweight and have a sporty, streamlined design , and the forks are often shorter than those of standard motorcycles to improve the aerodynamics of the motorcycle.
Forks are usually made from aluminum or steel and can have preload, compression and rebound damping adjustment to fine-tune the ride of the bike.
Some cafe racer forks also come equipped with a fork brace, which is a piece of reinforcement that attaches to the fork legs to increase their stiffness and improve handling.
Types of cafe racer forks
There are several types of front forks that can be used on cafe racer-style motorcycles, each with their own unique features and benefits.
Conventional Forks : Also known as telescopic forks, these are the most common type of fork found on motorcycles. They consist of two tubes, one sliding inside the other, which compresses and expands to absorb road impacts. They are generally cheaper and easier to find.
Inverted Forks : Also known as inverted forks, these forks have the inner tubes upside down, with the sliders on top. They are more expensive than conventional forks but offer better handling and better resistance to blade wear, as well as a sportier look.
It is important to note that each type of fork has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of fork will depend on the specific needs of the rider and the intended use of the motorcycle.
Why is the inverted fork better than the conventional fork on a cafe racer?
Inverted forks are considered a better option than conventional forks on a cafe racer motorcycle for several reasons:
Improved handling : Inverted forks have the inner tubes upside down, with the sliders on top. This design improves fork leg stiffness, resulting in better handling and more precise steering.
Better Leg Wear Resistance : The upside-down design also places the sliders on top of the fork legs, meaning they're less susceptible to damage from dirt and debris. This results in longer fork leg life.
Better suspension performance : Inverted forks also have more complex internal valving, which allows for more precise and efficient suspension damping. This can improve the overall performance and handling of the motorcycle.
A sporty look : The inverted forks give the bike a sporty, high-performance look, which is well suited to cafe racer type bikes.
Reduced unsprung weight : Since the sliders are up top, this reduces the weight of parts that move with the suspension, which also improves handling, braking and acceleration performance.
The cafe racer fork can be fitted with a cafe racer fork crown. Indeed, the fork crowns will accentuate the cafe racer look of the motorcycle.
It is important to note that inverted forks are generally more expensive than classic forks and can be harder to find.