Many times I have been asked how much a cafe racer costs, how much is the right price for a special or how to evaluate if the price required for a custom motorcycle is right or not. There are so many variables that affect the final price of a cafe racer and giving a generic estimate is wrong.
The constructive quality of a special is understood by naked eye. The motorcycles on display at trade shows built by professionals are an example of high-level motorcycles. The attention to detail is obsessive and nothing is left to chance, regardless of customization styles that can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Modified frames with perfect weldings, high-level paintings, tanks and saddles built by hand and a lot of unique details that enrich and embellish the motorcycle. These are all peculiarities that make the difference, even on the final evaluation of the vehicle.
The goodness of the changes made must always have a positive effect on the driveability of the vehicle. Needless to have a wonderful but unviable special, especially if we are going to drive the motorcycle and not keep it exposed somewhere. Be careful then to the heavily modified specials, in which the chassis and the structure has been completely altered, perhaps without knowledge of the cause, pursuing only an aesthetic purpose.
There are style exercises that are wonderful, but of dubious utility and with driving comfort too much sacrificed for the cause. Unless you are an extreme esthete or a motorcycle collector I advise against this category. Better to buy a sober motorcycle, more usable in your days of freedom.
The replacement of the parts must always guarantee an improvement: modified suspensions with modern solutions, reinforced rims, platforms installed at the right height for the owner, tires in line with the constructive style and the prevalent use of the motorcycle. Everything that has been modified must be better than the original components.
The cost of a cafe racer is defined above all by the choice of the starting point. A special built on a Bmw R100RS will certainly cost more than one special with a Dominator base and it is impossible that it is the other way round.
Remember that the starting point of a vintage special is more than 30 years old. Make sure that all components subject to wear have been replaced and that above all, there has been a complete overhaul of the engine. I have seen many times special cured aesthetics but with an engine (maybe repainted) but never open.
A complete overhaul of an engine costs. When you open an engine you never know what will be replaced and it is for this reason that many manufacturers tend to intervene only when the engine has obvious problems and not preventively. This is the voice that will raise the price of your special, but buying a motorcycle with a completely overhauled engine will make you sleep peacefully.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST A CAFE RACER?
Summarizing … how much does a cafe racer cost? For the purchase of a special the prices range from a base of 4000/5000 € and arrive up to astronomical figures of 40000 €.
To make a summary these are the things to check:
- Quality, rarity and value of the starting point
- Goodness of the changes made
- Quality of materials used for tanks and accessories
- Updating of the electrical system and ignition
- Quantity and quality of self-built components
- Presence or less of valuable components
- Beauty and functionality of the motorcycle
- State and checks carried out on the engine
- Attention to detail
- History of the customizer