The Arai Rapide / Concept X Helmet
Japanese helmet manufacturer Arai has a history dating back to the turn of the century. Their story began with manufacturing caps, before moving to military headwear and finally motorcycle helmets in the early 1950s. Anyone who has owned an Arai knows the brand represents premium quality and class-leading safety. To this day each Arai helmet is handmade and is built to meet or exceed stringent Japanese Snell safety standards. For the last few decades, Arai’s focus has been on helmets designed for the sports bike segment, but recently, like many other manufacturers, they’ve expanded their range to include retro styles. The latest addition to their retro motorcycle helmet offering is the 2020 Arai Rapide otherwise known as the Concept-X.
Moto Motivo Calabrone Ducati ST4S
After immigrating to the US with his family 12 years ago, Johann Keyser turned his passion into a career. The South African ex-pat has ridden motorcycles for the majority of his life, including a stint in professional foot up trials. As a sponsored rider for Italian Endurance bike manufacturer Fanatic Motors, Johann learned a thing or two about the benefits of adding lightness to a bike. He now applies this principle to his Moto Motivo builds along with an educated selection of performance upgrades. His latest build dubbed ‘Calabrone’ demonstrates this approach by transforming a hefty Ducati ST4S Sport Tourer into this lean, mean Italian cafe racer.
Nova Motorcycles Triumph Thruxton 900
Prior to Hinckley releasing their acclaimed water-cooled Bonnevilles they’d had a great run with their air-cooled predecessors. Despite not offering the same refined level of performance as the newer models they amassed a huge global following during their time in the spotlight. Despite their popularity, the most disappointing of the air-cooled Bonnies was the Triumph Thruxton 900. Unlike its performance-focused successor, the 1200cc Thruxton R, the Thruxton 900 was little more than a styling exercise. That doesn’t paint a great picture for those older Thruxtons, but rest assured there’s still plenty to be gained from customising one. To show us how it’s done, the team at Nova Motorcycles have just unveiled this air-cooled Thruxton cafe racer that boasts a balanced mix of awesome styling and calculated performance upgrades.
Gasolina Classic Boots Review
As a kid, the image of the highway patrolman will always be linked to my first memories of motorcycle riding. From 70s TV classics like CHiPs to the imposing figure of Terminator 2’s T1000, the one common feature that lent to their look of badassery was their tall riding boots. These were not like the plastic-clad race/ski boots of today. These were cleanly designed all leather, tall (very tall) boots. And most importantly were proudly worn over the pants. Sadly, you don’t see them around too much anymore. Then came my discovery of the Gasolina Classic Boots.
Iron Horse GSXR750 – Bandisca Motorcycles Suzuki SV650
Suzuki’s SV650 offers riders a cheap entry point into the mid-sized sportbike category. That doesn’t make the twin-cylinder UJM sound all that exciting, and to be honest, it isn’t. That comment is probably going to get me in a bit of strife with SV650 fans, but it’s the truth – deal with it. Despite being one of the highest spec bikes in its class back in ’99, a standard SV650 lacks the grunt to compete with 4 cylinder motorcycles in its class. Unfortunately, the SV’s styling is also showing its age. Older models feature uninspiring nineties naked bike aesthetics and the latest model looks like an early edition Ducati Monster. So what does the Suzuki SV650 have going for it? Stellar handling characteristics, a bulletproof engine and huge potential for customisation.
Omega Racer Cafe’d Triumph Bonneville
As efficient as automation is has been responsible for the death of many age-old skills. In the world of aftermarket motorcycle parts, this definitely rings true. Finding someone who can fabricate a part from scratch for your cafe racer project can be very difficult. Worse still, when you do find someone capable the cost can often be outside of what most people have budgeted for. The good news is that there are still a few companies who offer low volume, handmade parts at very reasonable prices. Markus Pintzinger’s Thailand based Omega Racer store is such a place.
Spidi Clubber Motorcycle Jacket
Italian motorcycle apparel manufacturers Spidi have been producing riding gear since 1977. The new Spidi Clubber jacket dips into that heritage for a dash of classic style. Despite the Spidi Clubber’s vintage lines it’s built to modern standards and has been fitted with the companies own assortment of protective features. Available in either classic black or a striking dark green the Clubber motorcycle jacket is well suited to riders in the classic, cafe or custom segments.
Ducati Streetfighter Cafe Racer by Duchampt
Similar to cafe racers, streetfighters were originally all custom-made creations. The similarities between cafe racers and streetfighters isn’t a coincidence. They were both built by riders who wanted specific looks and performance characteristics from their bikes. In many ways, the streetfighter is the 1980s equivalent of the 1950s cafe racer. Unlike their British relatives though streetfighter motorcycles tended to be based on Japanese built inline fours.
20 Best Cafe Racer Helmets of 2020
Let’s face it. Power Ranger-esque sportbike riding gear and cafe racers don’t mix. During the past decade, riding gear manufacturers cottoned on to this. So they started producing retro helmets to meet the demand. Naturally, if you ride a cafe racer these are the helmets that you will undoubtedly gravitate towards, but not all retro helmets are created equal. In a bid to separate the wheat from the chaff we’ve picked out our favourite new helmets to create this 20 Best Cafe Racer Motorcycle Helmets of 2020 list.
Terremoto 3 – Jesse Spade Ducati 750SS
Jesse Spade owns and operates a workshop in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to 2016, his business was focused on customising Jeeps. But after 20 years tweaking 4x4s he’d had enough. For as long as he can remember he’s been in love with motorcycles and almost always had a custom project on the go. So when he parted way with the world of jeeps Jesse turned his passion for motorcycles into an income. Since then he’s become well known in the custom scene for his ‘cafe fighter’ builds, bikes that blend street fighter and cafe racer design and performance principles. His most recent build epitomises this approach. Based on a ’99 Ducati 750SS Jesse has coined the bike Terremoto 3.