Vintage-inspired designs and trends pop up in every corner from watchmakers, shoe
models, clothes, and of course the motorcycle industry. This industry never turned its back
on the retro models and every year we are stunned by the offer of factory-made old-
school bobbers and scramblers. Still, there is something new that is related to the old but
is, but it is new. The new clearly states: I have respect for my grandad’s culture and
passion, but I am my person and I have my style. And that style today is called Neo
classics, of course, if you are into cafe racers that for you it is Neo café racers.
The café racer market has grown so much that now it offers many diverse arrays of bikes
targeting different levels of riders and wallets including economical, beginner small-
displacement options, sportier, high-performance café superbikes, and of course top-shelf
one of a kind models. We are not going to mention the electric ones, we’ll stick to the petrol
ones, for now.
In the beginning, after world war II, the cafe racers were regular motorcycles that were
heavily modified and customized to be able to be fast on the street. The racing versions of
the motorcycles back then were not available to everyday riders. The solution was to build
one by yourself. But in the meantime power and performance were not the only thing
important for cafe racers. The style became a much more recognizable feature that would
make a good cafe racer machine stand out in the crowd, in front of the cafè.
As time goes, the interest in retro-styled motorcycles grew, but not everyone wanted to
build their own, not everyone had the time, the money, and the willingness to build his or
her cafè racer motorcycle. Of course, the manufacturers knew that and started to offer
models that were ready-made or ready to be customized with the aftermarket offering
much easier, quicker, and of course cheaper.
So, a Neo Cafè racers are the shortcut solution for those who don’t want to bother building
their own. Or for the ones that don’t want to ride a very old motorcycle. The modern or as
many calls the Neo sports, Neo classics, or Neo Cafè Racers bikes would have a classic
look, but new technology.
As Honda states on their website: They’re not naked. They’re not trying to be race replicas.
They’re machines built for the way we ride today, and that offer a fresh, new take on style
too. So they do not have the same look as the old ones, they borrow style elements, they
are developing them, but they are still new, and fresh. It might not be easy to explain
straight away, but when you see one, you know, you can feel the retro styles, the old
So, the range is wide, the models as we said earlier cover options for beginners, for more
racing-oriented riders but one thing are for sure, all of them have the style and rise from the
the rich history of the cafe racing culture.
The culture is changing, and the motivations, the needs, and the way we ride change. So it
is expected that the motorcycles will change, there is no need not to embrace the new
technology and all the perks it brings to us. All the fancy electronics, the modern engines,
dynamic suspension, and gadgets that improve the experience, why ditch them? You can
still customize your Neo Cafè racers to your desires, you can still modify some of the looks
and performance parts. But now the manufacturers allow you to be a bit lazier and have
one ready to be driven from cafè to cafè ride from your local dealer store. Why not accept
that? I will.