Why A MotoGuzzi Makes the Perfect Cafe Racer

So what is it that makes the perfect base metal on which to build a classic cafe racer?

First, it should have some sort of roadworthy pedigree. It needs to have “classic bike” appeal. It needs to handle without drama. It should be capable of decent top-end speed. A low-slung stance doesn’t hurt. A bulletproof motor is a plus. Simple, easy-to-reweave electrical systems are a bonus as well.

And above all?

Brakes. A cafe racer needs stop-short-of-everything-on-the-road brakes to bring you to a halt if anything pops up in your way as you crank it through the twisties.

A real aficionado will tell you, and I heartily concur, that a true cafe racer has to be capable of meeting or exceeding 100 mph flat out when you screw on the throttle. It was, after all, the credo of the original cafe racers, so “doing the ton” should probably factor into the equation somewhere along the line.

So there’s my list of must-haves for the delightful cafe racer.

And here’s how the team at Kaffee-Maschine go about putting one together:

Moto Guzzi´s classic V2-engine and frame are the basis of these unique cafe racers and custom builds. To fulfill your individual ideas and wishes, all motorcycles and parts are exclusively handcrafted. By optimization of engine and suspension plus elementary technical reduction, pure riding machines are created.


Le Mans 4 basis, 1040ccm, 90hp, 102NM, 191kg (dry)
Built for: Jost Uhrmacher, DE

Le Mans 2 frame, Le Mans 4 engine/transm., tuning by HTMoto, 1040ccm, 95hp, 173kg (dry)

Le Mans 2 frame, Le Mans 4 engine/transm., tuning by HTMoto, 1040ccm, 95hp, 173kg (dry)

Le Mans 3 basis, 950ccm, 82hp, 180kg (dry)
Built for: Gustav Larsson, MC

The oldest example from the gallery above, photographed in Florence, Italy, is a reasonable facsimile of the Guzzi that raced at the  Isle of Man TT in 1926 and shown in the video below:

And if you’re so inclined (and within riding distance of ChiTown) check out the Mods vs. Rockers event this year on the weekend of of Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16:

Chicago Mods vs Rockers 2012 Teaser

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