Cafe racers are a distinct and trendy style of bike, and with manufacturers popping out new models left, right, and center, there is plenty for you to choose from!

Options are becoming more readily available for A2 and new riders, which has only boosted their appreciation and following.

So let’s begin counting down our top 5 best production Cafe Racers for an A2 license!

Royal Enfield Continental GT

One bike that embodies a true Cafe Racer is the Royal Enfield’s Continental GT. Created to give a genuine vintage look and character, the Continental GT is as close to a Café Racer as you can get in modern times.

The 648cc, twin-cylinder engine doesn’t give off much when it comes to power and torque. Although that being said it is more than enough for everyday use.

This bike screams old-school. From the choice of colourways and clip-on handlebars to the chrome detailing, retro clock and fuel gauge all add up to create that unmistakable Cafe Racer silhouette that people know and love.

While it may be the styling that makes the Continental so appealing, it has pretty decent spec too. Equipped with Bybre brakes, Bosch ABS, and twin shock absorbers, all paired with the comfortable, aerodynamic riding position makes this the ultimate pocket-pleasing bike starting at £6,239.

It’s fair to say the Continental has complete classic authenticity running through its veins. Alongside its naked twin, the Interceptor, both have successfully continued Royal Enfields legacy and will only continue to do so…

Engine 648cc, Air-cooled (47hp)
Fuel tank 12.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc, ABS
Seat height 820mm
Weight 212kg
Price (starting from) £6,739 (Mr Clean), £6,239 (Rocker Red/ British Racing Green), £6,439 (Ventura Storm/ Dux Deluxe) 

Yamaha XSR700

When it comes to the Yamaha XSR700, this bike gives off the ultimate chilled-out vibe.

Okay, so you may need some imagination (and some spare cash) for modification on this one. The XSR is a great-looking and performing naked motorcycle, with plenty of retro looks. But does it fit the bill as a cafe racer straight out of the box? No.

However, there is no denying that with some simple modifications you can turn the XSR700 into a great little modern-day cafe racer, which has the best of both worlds. The only downside is powerhouse gives off 74hp, meaning that you will require a restrictor kit in order to make this an A2-compliant bike - But that’s not too much trouble, is it?

Inspired by the old RD350LC, the colourways include a white and blue variation or a black and gold giving this bike that sporty, yet flashy road presence that you can’t help but enjoy. Something else you will enjoy is the range of specs this bike includes, coming fully equipped with XSK family LED lighting, an inverted LCD display, a revised cockpit layout with an integrated headlight, and Michelin 5 tyres, all helping to inspire road confidence (ideal if you are a new or experienced rider).

While the pricetag may be fairly pricey at £8,000, I would debate that the Yamaha XSR700 is truly a neat bit of kit worth every penny.

Engine 689cc, Liquid-cooled, 72 hp (restrictor kit available)
Fuel tank 14L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 835mm
Weight 188kg
Price (starting from) £8,000

Herald Café 400

A true budget offering comes in the shape of the Herald Café 400. The bare-bones Chinese-produced motorcycle keeps it simple.

Traditional in looks and build, Herald’s Cafe 400 gives hommage to the success of their Cafe 125. The stainless-steel strap, clip-on brakes, twin exhaust, and gloss finish are really what make the Café 400 a vintage-looking machine.

While the Herald isn’t too tech-heavy the bike includes dual clocks, bullet indicators, a twin-pipe exhaust, and adjustable rear shocks all as standard to ensure the bike has been built for the daily grind.

It might not be able to keep up with the quality and standard of some of its Japanese rivals, however, with the 397cc engine reaching 27hp alongside that budget-friendly pricetag of £4,449, it allows this bike to put a smile on your face regardless if you are a new rider or an experienced one.

Engine 397cc, 4-Stroke (27hp)
Fuel tank 12L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 790mm
Weight 165kg
Price  £4,499 + OTR

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

The Husqvarna’s Vitpilen 401 is our ultra-modern bad boy on the list. The Swedish heritage shines through on this bike with its hench bodywork and solid styling.

Just like the earlier mentioned Yamaha XSR, the Vitplien is a modern-day naked motorcycle that has some quite radical futuristic-like elements to it. On the other hand, it also does have some quite traditional and classic styling elements as well, so when armed with some modifications the Vitpilen can easily be modified to be an ultra modern-day café racer.

Translating to the ‘white arrow’, the Vitpilen 401 comes with some pretty neat features such as a slipper clutch, Bosch ABS, WP suspension, radial brakes, and Metzeler M5 tyres. On top of that, while it may look intimidating, this bike in fact comes with an A2-friendly engine.

Coming in at just £5,249 and with the spec it has, when you compare the Vitplien 401 against other contenders on this list, it is not badly priced at all and will tempt many people. Even its brother the KTM Duke 390 is £100 more, so I think it goes to show how competitively priced the Husqvarna Vitpilen is.

Engine 373cc, Liquid-cooled (44hp)
Fuel tank 9.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 835mm
Weight 151kg
Price (starting from) £5,249

Suzuki SV650X

The Suzuki SV650X is a take on the popular SV650 naked motorcycle, adopting some rather cool café racer-styling elements. Rocking a modern-day design but with classic elements, the SV650X will be one on this list that is highly versatile.

When it comes to the engine the 645cc, liquid-cooled, V-Twin has been tweaked in order to meet Euro 5 requirements. However you’re in luck, the SV650X can be tweaked even further to reduce the power and ensure it's A2-friendly.

Onto looks, the SV650X is available in ‘Gloss Sparkle Black’, enhancing the bike's slim and lightweight trellis frame making the bike seamlessly streamlined and ready to battle twists and turns on the road like a champ.

For good measure, Suzuki has included an LCD display, low RPM assist, easy start system, ABS, upright seat, and five-spoke cast-aluminum wheels emphasising the sporty feel of the bike (while being comfortable too).

In my opinion, the Suzuki SV650 takes the modern-day cafe racer world by storm - But let me know your thoughts below…

Engine 645cc, Liquid-cooled, 72hp (restrictor kit available)
Fuel tank 14.5L
Brakes Front and rear disc
Seat height 785mm
Weight 200kg
Price  £7,399

The last stop

It is no longer that Cafe Racers are limited to just British-made motorcycles. They have well and truly taken over the world with their popularity, making them more easily accessible for all riders to have a go, including the A2’s.

If you already have an A2 cafe racer or are thinking about purchasing one, did you know you can insure it at Lexham insurance?

However, if you are looking at getting yourself a bigger capacity motorcycle, then why not check out our Top 10 Cafe Racers article...

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