Fashion starts at the footing!
Cafe racers have always been cool. The main focus is on the custom parts such as the racy clip-on handlebars, backstops and single seat cowl to achieve the café racer styling. But what about tires? No matter how well-designed the vehicle is, if the tires are not well-designed, it won't look good. That's why I've put together a list of stylish tires that look great on custom motorcycles like cafe racers!
- Royal road! Vintage design tire that recreates the air of the time.
- A cafe racer on the latest tires!
- Recommended for earthy cafe racers
- Rain tires if you're not into riding?
Royal road! Vintage design tire that recreates the air of the time.
If you are going to customize a cafe racer-based vehicle such as SR400 or GB250, you should choose the right tires! For this kind of vintage vehicle, you need to choose from 18-inch thin tires instead of 17-inch thick ones. So the mainstream tires would be the vintage design tires that convey the traditional design to the present day! But don't worry, vintage tires are still produced today.
I think I have to introduce you to a tire that is THE royal vintage design tire, the TT100GP! This historic tire follows the traditional design of the TT100, which was created in the late 1960s as a high-grip tire for British high-performance motorcycles! The modeled TT100 was a tire that played a major role in the Isle of Man TT and other races of the day! These tires are indispensable for recreating the atmosphere of that time.
By the way, did you know that Dunlop is a brand born in England? The founder of the company was John Boyd Dunlop. With a history like this, Dunlop is the best match for British-born cafe racers!
From Dunlop, we have another one for you! This is a combination of the F11 front and K87 rear tires, which is a standard among SR riders. These tires are said to have been used as genuine tires on the famous CB750K. In other words, 80's tire! It looks just like it was designed back then! The form is a little chunky, and there are as many grooves as you can imagine. The grooves are carved all the way to the edge of the tire, which is a particularly stylish feature!
The ride is a bit more smooth and light handling compared to the grip-oriented TT100GP.
And if you're looking for a more classic design, look no further than Shinko's E270!
This tire is often used on the demo motorcycle of SR specialized custom shop.
It is also important to note that this tire is available in two different whitewall line shapes in addition to the regular model.
I like the classic design! But I want a tire that is a little newer in design because it performs well! If that's the case, I recommend the GS-19 from IRC! Although the design is vintage at a glance, it uses a sports compound. And because it was designed from the start for touring use, it can handle a wide range of road conditions, including wet roads!
A cafe racer on the latest tires!
Most of the café racers are vintage vehicles with single or twin engines, but recently there has been an increase in the number of café racers based on the latest vehicles and slightly older Japanese big motorcycles that have never been seen as material before!
There's more and more high performance cafe racers like the Triumph Thruxton and BMW R9T on the new motorcycle scene! If you want to put high power into the road, you have to choose from the latest tires!
The BT-46 is an upgraded version of the BT-45 released in 1998 with the same design but with the latest specifications for 2020! BT-45 is a big standard touring tire and was also used as a stock tire for SR400.
With its wide range of sizes, it can cover everything from 250-400 cc class singles to the larger displacement Kawasaki Z series! A cafe racer that can also handle touring! Or if you want to build a 4 cylinder cafe racer with a JDM old motorcycle, please consider this!
New for 2021, the newest classic motorcycle tire on the market! This is the successor to the Pilot Active, which has a strong following. The design is orthodox and looks great on classic motorcycles, but the drainage and grip in the wet have been enhanced to keep up with current trends. It'll look great on domestic out-of-print models, as well as European motorcycles like Triumphs and Ducatis!
Dunlop TT100GP Radial
The TT100GP Radial is a radial tire that follows the design of the TT100GP introduced at the beginning of this article. This is a stylish tire that can be worn with ease on current neo-classic vehicles such as the Z900RS. In terms of performance, it doesn't have the same character as a high-grip or touring tire, but it offers the same natural, not overly stable grip and handling as the GPR300, which is also the original equipment tire for a variety of vehicles.
Like the TT100GP radial, this tire is a remake of an old tire design! It has a unique but stylish design that doesn't look old-fashioned! This tire looks great on modern custom cafe racers like the Yamaha XSR.
By the way, PHANTOM SPORTSCOMP RS of the same design is a competition high-grip tire that can be driven on public roads. 18 inches is also recommended if you want to race.
Recommended for earthy cafe racers
A cafe racer with block tires? This combination looks like a mismatch at first glance. In fact, it is a combination that is popular among some people. The VMX boom has led to a secret trend of off-road customization in various custom genres. Of course, on-road driving performance is inferior, but fashion is patient. Give your tires a twist of personality!
Bridgestone｜BATTLAX ADVENTURECROSS AX41
The AX41 is Bridgestone's go-to tire for adventure motorcycles, and the larger blocks are pretty cool in design! Of course, unlike on-road tires, you shouldn't drive too hard, but if design is your priority, it's worth considering. Check it out if you want to be a top international custom builder on Instagram!
Pirelli MT60 RS
AX41 blocks are a bit too off serious for me! If that's the case, how about the Pirelli MT60 RS?
'On- or off-road? No, anywhere you can get an adrenaline rush," is Pirelli's tagline for the design, which is somewhere between on- and off-road. The height of the block is reduced and it is small. You're not going to be driving a Sepahan into off-road terrain, so you may want to prioritize on-road suitability over off-road performance.
This tire is a little less famous, but it was also used on the Ducati Scrambler.
Rain tires if you're not into riding?
Just because you're on a motorcycle doesn't mean you have to be able to ride, right?
Bridgestone｜RACING BATTLAX W01
So far, we have introduced tires that are actually used on the street. But what about show models? Of course, most of them use the tires I've mentioned so far, but some builders use rain tires.
Rain tires have a tremendous number of grooves in them to improve drainage! In fact, when you put them on a thick suspension such as a four-cylinder cafe racer, the feeling of density is just right. You can't drive them on public roads, but sometimes it's necessary to ignore existing concepts in customization like this!
For more information about the Cafe Racer with rain tires, search "Yamaha XJR1300 Cafe Racer "Ronin"".