CAFÉ racers are an odd phenomenon. They’re popular enough to inspire endless shed-built specials and even dedicated websites, magazines and TV shows, but when it comes to strolling into a showroom and buying one, the options are surprisingly thin on the ground.
Perhaps it’s their ‘custom made’ nature that is attractive, and as such owning a café racer that’s been stamped from the same die as thousands of identical machines dulls the appeal of factory-made versions. But surely the same applies to ‘custom’ cruisers, and virtually every manufacturer will happily sell you one of them.
Or perhaps the reality of café racer ownership isn’t as appealing as the idea – certainly, Ducati’s late SportClassic range, including the Sport 1000 café racer, never achieved the sort of sales success that the apparent interest around the bikes pointed to. Shame really, as the Sport 1000 could well have earned a high position on this list if it was still available new.
Limiting ourselves to spanking new, factory-fresh, ride-away café racers, here’s our run-down of the top ten on the market right now.