A Triumph Cafe Racer Top 10 is not something you write overnight. Triumph has a long heritage when it comes to cafe racers and the brand is a well-known name since the cafe racer scene emerged in the mid-50s of last century. The early-day Bonneville’s where often used as a base bike for cafe racers. Especially the Bonneville engines were quite popular in combination with the featherbed Norton frame. This combo was called “Triton” (TRIumph + norTON) and still is one of the most legendary machines out there.
Today, Triumph still has strong ties to custom bikes and cafe racers. In fact, they produce a variety of modern cafe racers; new bikes with the looks of the old days. Triumph is one of the major brands that really set a trend for other motorcycle brands to offer turn-key, retro machines.
This Triumph Cafe Racer Top 10 is a purely subjective selection of what I found to be the best cafe racers with the English label on it. If you have any suggestions, remarks or just want to drop a line; use the comment section.
Triumph Cafe Racer Bonneville by Analog Motorcycles
If you take a Triumph Thruxton R as a base bike for a Triumph cafe racer, you’re almost there of course. The stock bike has it all: from beautiful laced wheels to a big fat adjustable gold USD fork. Together with a long list of bolt-on parts, everyone can create his own “unique” Thruxton R cafe racer. But the guys from Analog Motorcycles like a challenge, or two. So instead of taking a Thruxton R, they’ve used a Bonneville for their own cafe racer version called “El Matador 2.0”. Creativity and shopping around for parts let them build a truly unique and one-of-a-kind cafe racer that really deserves a spot in this listing.
Triumph Street Triple Cafe Racer by GB Motors
Of course, it’s tempting to take a retro Triumph as a base bike for a Triumph cafe racer, but luckily we didn’t only found Thruxton’s or Bonneville’s for our top 10. This bike right here is based on the Street Triple 675. Whoever rode one knows that this is a serious cornering-weapon. The handling simply is unbeatable. I had one and I made the life (on the road) of a lot of super sporters and +1000cc bikes very difficult. Same goes for the Daytona 675, the racy brother of the Street Triple. The incredible 3 cylinder engine has the same power band as a V2 rocket and helps you accelerate very fast at all RPM zones. French Triumph dealer GB Motors thought it was time to turn the Street Triple into a classic cafe racer. Pretty awesome!
Triumph Thruxton R by Down & Out
Down & Out Motorcycles is a familiar name when it comes to building custom Triumphs. They’ve created quite the number of machines which are all pretty awesome so it was a logical choice to put one of their creations in this top 10. This custom Triumph Thruxton R is a collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles, Down & Out, and Barbour International. Three British icons that put their minds and hands together to build this very good looking, classic cafe racer. A noob will simply compare this with the stock Thruxton R, but those who are a bit more inside the British brand quickly see that this bike is really one of a kind.
Triumph Bonneville T100 Cafe Racer by Bunker Customs
Probably one of the most affordable and rebuildable bike in this list; a beautiful and stylish Triumph Bonneville T100 cafe racer by Turkish builder Bunker Customs. For this build, they’ve used parts from the catalog of “British Customs”, together with some fine craftsmenship of their own. Their idea behind this bike was that the stock bikes of Triumph are cool, but miss the personal connection to its rider; in the end: they’re all the same. So with a set of bolt-on parts and different colors, everyone can create their own version of the cool modern classics without the need to have an in-depth skillset. And of course, if you sell the bike, it’s easy to get it back in its original shape.
Triumph Thruxton R by Blacktrack Motors
With Blacktrack Motors we have a special thing. One of the founding fathers of Blacktrack, Sach Lakic, was the designer of the most beautiful Honda CX500 cafe racer of all times (considering to me and a lot of others). This exact bike was the reason for me to start blogging about custom motorcycles. Lakic’s CX500 literally melted down the interwebs, giving the custom motorcycle scene a boost like a V2 rocket. The CX500 was such a big hit that they’ve started the label Blacktrack Motors to build the CX500 in a small series.
After the big hit machine, they’ve been working on something else called the “Thruxman”; a big fat wink to the Norton Manx. Lakic: “the idea was simple: blending the Manx’s classic and unmistakable looks with modern performance”. Totally different than the CX500, still a very unique and distinguished machine that really deserves a top spot in this Triumph Cafe Racer Top 10.
Triumph Thruxton by Cohn Racers
A special project built by Cohn Racers for another icon in the custom bike scene; The Suited Racer. His appearance will undoubtedly be familiar to many bike fans, as pictures of him riding bikes with full face mask and sunglasses appear regularly all of the internet, especially on Instagram. For a man that’s dressed up in chique suits, his very own bike needed to be as stylish as his apparel. Despite the fact that this is a “regular” Thruxton from 2012, it has the same level of quality parts like the modern Thruxton R like adjustable Öhlins suspension and Brembo brakes. We fell in love with the beautiful half-fairing. Read more about the project here.
Triumph Cafe Racer by Kott Motorcycles
Dustin Kott from Kott Motorcycles got the opportunity to build a Triumph cafe racer for actor Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds isn’t just another actor who want’s to be cool: Reynolds is an enthusiastic bike and he held a variety of Triumphs in the past. At the time of this build, he already has a ’04 Bonneville. We have three words for this bike: clean, classic and distinguished.
Triumph Thruxton 900 by Macco Motors
Macco Motors is known for the magic they perform on the entire collection of Triumph. Especially the retro machines are a solid choice for the guys from Spain. They usually product beautiful-looking cruisers. But sometimes they have a special order from a client that looks for something more “racy”. This machine right here, “Macco Nº37” or “Panther” is based on a 2008 Triumph Thruxton 900 and definitely is one fine-looking bike [more…]
Triumph Legend TT Cafe Racer by XTR Pepo
XTR Pepo is one of the most featured builders here on BikeBrewers.com and unlike many other builders, Pepo Rosell, a.k.a. XTR Pepo, doesn’t focus on on particular brand. He can turn any machine into something “XTR”. Unless the fact he has a long history with the brand Ducati, he literally works on all kind of brands. He likes it different. So it was no surprise for XTR to pick a rather odd base bike. Most builder pick a Thruxton or Bonneville, simply because these bikes already have the cafe racer inside them. Not for this Triumph Legend TT… Worth his spot here.
Virtual Triumph Cafe Racer by Ziggy Moto
Maybe this is not quite the place for a computer rendered motorcycle, but this cool concept by Ziggo Moto definitely is one of the coolest interpretations out there. Ziggo Moto spreads their designs across Instagram and in a short amount of time, they’ve gathered a large fanbase. All of the renders we’ve seen get lots and lots of engagement and they even plan to actually bring some of their designs to life.
BONUS: Triumph Thruxton R SUPERCHARGER by Roké Motors
In terms of cafe racer style, this bike is the most original of all machines here. In fact, it only has bolt-on parts straight from the Thruxton catalog. But there is one part less original: it has a SUPERCHARGER! The guys from Roké Motors in Holland managed to get the perfect engine setup with the Rotrex C-15-60 supercharger. The result is a beastly 171hp and 175Nm of torque. By far the most powerful Triumph Cafe Racer on the planet! Read more about the bike in our special feature: Triumph Thruxton Supercharger.
Other cool lists: