Fast, simple and stylish – what’s not to like about a café racer? We’re talking about one of the most sought-after styles in the world by beginners and experienced riders alike. If it’s your first bike, you want something easy to ride and care for but also something that’s mint. A café racer has the look of a classic bike plus strength and ferocity that inspires confidence in the streets.
So what’s the best café racer for beginners? Well, here’s some good news: you’re not short on choices, and Mutt Motorcycles knows a thing or several about bikes for beginners. Born from a frustration with the expense of high-end motorbikes and a desire to make custom bikes more available and accessible, we came up with a solution: apply that same sort of quality to smaller cc bikes that are easier to manoeuvre.
For sure, that meant doing a few things differently. But the result is that you get a bike that’s easy and affordable to buy, maintain and run, with the look and feel of a custom-built mean machine.
When it comes to the best café racer for beginners, we recommend 250cc cafe racer motorcycles. With the right vintage café racer seat and other special parts, you really can feel like you’re taking a ride on a timeless classic.
What is a Cafe Racer?
The phrase “café racer” has a history that stretches back to the UK in the 1950s and 60s.
Members of the ‘rocker’ or ‘ton-up boy’ subculture would commonly be found gathering at transport cafes like London’s Ace Café. There, they’d plan and embark on illegal street races. The early café racer motorbikes were lean and mean, with their owners stripping all unnecessary parts away to make them go faster. Owners would also add aftermarket parts, including racetrack parts, to make them go faster. This led to a new breed of garage-modified motorbikes better known for speed than comfort.
As you can imagine, the phrase “café racer” is used a lot more loosely these days. Modern café racers have the comfort to go with their power and more endurance than their early counterparts, which were built for short, fast trips. But a modern café racer remains a sleek, sporty and streamlined ride, with no needless bells and whistles to slow you down.
So why are café racers so good for beginners, and just as importantly, what is the best café racer for beginners?
Benefits for Beginners
Here are some of the advantages to getting your hands on a café racer like one of Mutt Motorcycles’ 250cc cafe racer motorcycles:
It makes sense that the more bells and whistles a bike has, the more it will likely cost. Cafe racers have minimalist designs that tend to strip the bike down to only what you need and use, making them less expensive to produce and buy.
Even though today’s café racers aren’t custom builds constructed in someone’s garage, they still have a distinct look about them. Even if they were made in a factory, they tend to be limited editions or at least not mass-produced. You can have a bike that looks interesting, original and classic without having to pay more for your own custom design.
Not being weighed down by extra bits makes café racers a lighter and easier ride. Lightweight bikes are faster, more agile and more fuel-efficient, which makes them easier to control as you zip around street corners and down laneways.
It doesn’t take long for a café racer motorbike to go from 0-100kms an hour, so you’ll always get where you need to be on time.
It lets you have classic styles
Classic, vintage, nostalgic: whatever you want to call it, café racers have that look and feel that brings to mind a rose-tinted golden age of motorcycling. Especially with an ace vintage café racer seat.
Ideal for both short trips and long
You may have read that café racers are built for short trips but fall short for long-distance journeys. Luckily this is no longer the case. Café racers like Mutt Motorcycles’ 250cc cafe racer motorcycles are built for epic cross-country adventures as well as quick trips to the shop and back. So what’s the best café racer for beginners, then?
Top 3 Types of Cafe Racers for Beginners
The best café racer for beginners is a tough call, with so many fine models on the market. Here are three from Mutt Motorcycles that we think are sure to satisfy any new rider:
Bucking the stereotype of café racers only being for short rides, the GT-SS 250 is built with long-distance journeys in mind. The concept was simple: send an industrial-strength Mutt to a gentleman’s class and equip him for long stretches on the road. A 17-litre fuel tank guarantees you won’t run out of fuel on a long stretch, while the chrome Monza cap on top helps the bike look the part. The design is both British and retro, with custom touches including chrome wheels and grey satin bars.
The little details that make this bike the best café racer for beginners don’t stop there, either. There’s a bespoke black vintage café racer seat, sharp black anodised handlebar clamps and a matching chrome 18" rear wheel and tyre. Wherever your journey may take you – city or suburbs, highway or country reads – the GT-SS 250cc can be your trusty ride.
With the same cool, lightweight and retro style as our 125s, the Mongrel 250cc offers a little more grunt. Whether you’re in the thick of the city or the open air of the countryside, its wide handlebars keep you in control. It’s a dark ride with all-black wheels, black spokes and a black heat-treated stainless steel exhaust and silencer. But its halogen headlight and LED aluminium tail light both help you stay safe even when the night is at its darkest.
The Mongrel 250cc has a sound that lives up to its name, with a hearty rumble and bark. With classic elements, including a vintage café racer seat plus modern touches like a 5-speed box and electric start, it really is a mix of the best of old and new – and one of the best café racers for beginners.
Named after the band Black Sabbath – the other black metal sons of Birmingham – the Sabbath 250cc is dark and moody. Wide knobbly tyres and wide yokes with telescopic forks keep this bike firmly planted on the ground with a stance and a demeanour that demands not to be messed with. Its black heat-treated stainless steel exhaust growls like a metal vocalist, matching the bike’s bad-to-the-bone looks.
While the Sabbath 250cc looks fierce, the bike also has some subtle details that it’s easy to miss at first: very neat indicator brackets, short rider and pillion pegs. This mix of in-your-face style and expert-level behind-the-scenes craftsmanship makes for a bike that can handle anything you throw at it.
Buy Cafe Racer Motorcycles at Mutt Motorcycles
If you’d like to know more about the best café racer for beginners or Mutt Motorcycles’ 250cc cafe racer motorcycles, drop us a line.
Born in Birmingham, England, we’ve spent over 15 years on the tools. Our bikes bring back memories of the early days of BSA, Triumph, Enfield and New Imperial, but we make them as affordable and accessible for everyone as we can.
If you’re in Brisbane, Queensland, you can find us at 159 Abbotsford Rd, Bowen Hills, on the north side of Brisbane, along with our stockists Taverner Motorsports.
If you need more info about the best café racer for beginners or still haven’t found what you’re after, drop Mutt Motorcycles a line. We’ll be more than happy to help you purchase a bike that’s to your satisfaction.