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Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

Few motorcycle engines are as recognizable as BMW Motorrad’s flat-twin “boxer.” Boxer has been developed for most of the company’s 90+ years of operation and is known for its bulletproof reliability. They also eventually attracted the interest of the custom motorcycle community. These days, BMW Cafe Racer modifications are widespread, and the comeback of Cafe Racers is constantly discussed. With the R Nine T, a motorcycle built with personalization in mind, BMW itself has recently joined the customization scene. Here are the Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023 to pay tribute to all the great custom builders using the BMW platform.

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023 – Top Rated

10. Lucky Custom BMW R1100 S

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

We had reservations when Lucky Customs contacted us and said they had converted a touring bike into a cafe racer. Although the BMW R1100 S is classified as a sports tourer, its proportions differ significantly from the typical cafe racer. Lucky Customs frontman Lucas Liam doesn’t seem bothered by such trivialities.

Even though Lucas’ BMW cafe racer is anything but conventional, he still managed to capture the passion of cafe racers with this one-of-a-kind creation. His seventh bespoke build is the R1100 S, and it’s clear he’s honed his skills. Sometimes we like to be proven wrong, and Lucas certainly did in this instance.

9. JSK BMW R Nine T

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

With the base BMW R Nine T, California custom maker Samuel Kao, JSK Moto Co. Has done a miracle. The ‘Autobahn Streak’ is a neo-retro build with bolt-on and custom modifications. While we have nothing against bolt-on construction, the custom work excites us, and the modern bodywork design of this bike impresses us. Instead of using the alloy tank from the R Nine T, Samuel went all out and created a monocoque tank and fairing assembly that made this BMW stand out.

8. Custom Works Zon BMW R18 Departed

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

I was fortunate to be in Japan for the official debut of this bike by BMW Motorrad and Zon Custom Works. The public has never seen BMW’s new R18 engine before.

Unsurprisingly, BMW has chosen to release a new model with a bespoke workshop to have its way with it. We applaud any corporation that makes this decision. They have supported the custom sector for years and collaborated with several Japanese builders. It was the first time that Custom Works Zone and BMW worked together. The massive 1800cc Boxer was the only item in the works at the start of the project. Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Zone Workshop built everything you see around the engine entirely from scratch. The ‘Departed’ combines board tracker and cafe racer styling with hand-beaten aluminum bodywork and a large pair of milled 22-inch wheels. While this isn’t your typical BMW cafe racer, I still think it’s fantastic.

7. De Angelis Elaborazioni Ladini BMW K1100

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

I never thought of a “flying brick” as track-ready, but Giorgio DeAngelis shared this build with us and I was again proven wrong. His aim with this K1100LT cafe racer was to shed as much weight as possible, given the stock weight of 275kg. He achieved this with nothing but the absolute necessities and nothing else. The bike now has top-of-the-line suspension and brakes borrowed from other vehicles as handling was another critical design component. Power also increased significantly with installing a bespoke 4-into-1 exhaust, wide-open speed stack, and a total ECU upgrade. Last but not least, to prove to everyone that this flying block means business, it has a livery similar to the BMW M series cars.

6. Sinroja BMW R110 R3 Racer

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

Rahul and Barju Sunroja own Sunroja Motorcycles. They had only completed three builds when the bike left their shop, but it helped them become one of the best-selling businesses in the UK. The ‘R3’ is a comprehensive overhaul and nut-and-bolt rebuild based on the BMW R100 R Monolever. The bike has undergone extensive engine work and has many contemporary enhancements that take it to the next level. The finish on this bike is what I like the most. Instead of adding bling, they chose satin paint to make this bike stand out. Ever since it was built, the R3 Sinroja has continued to amaze me and others, including Royal Enfield, who collaborated with them on a unique build for the Wheels & Waves show last year.

5. High Octane BMW HP9T

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

When Jeffrey Soule of High Octane Speed Shop unveiled this highly polished BMW R9T in 2015, it nearly broke the internet. All the handcrafted, custom alloy bodywork for the bike was created using traditional metalworking tools, some of which he developed himself. Geoffrey revealed in our exclusive interview that speed is central to all his builds. He began building vehicles for drag racing and eventually added motorcycles to the mix. The only modifications to his BMW ‘HP9T’ are the air and exhaust filters, but even without them, the bike looks sharp with its lines and proportions reminiscent of race cars.

“To put my skills to the full test, I wanted to shoot for the stars,” Jeffrey said. I wanted aluminum that was flawless, polished, and high gloss. And he accomplished just that.

4. Cherry’s Company R9T Highway Fighter

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

Kachiro Kurosu, the owner of Cherry’s company, and I have enjoyed spending time together on several occasions. He is undoubtedly one of the most humble people you could meet, despite winning best of show awards at the Mooneyes Yokohama show three years in a row. But some of the weirdest bikes you’ll see are custom creations. The ‘Highway Fighter’ motorcycle was developed in partnership with BMW Motorrad. He customized a BMW R9T produced at the time with three other Japanese factories by fitting unique hand-beaten aluminum bodywork. Kurosu-san also upgraded the suspension and brakes on the R9T, taking it a step further. This R9T stands out to me for the little details like the hot rod style pinstriping and the lighting only visible when activated.

3. Wrenchkings ‘For Her’ BMW R100

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

When it arrived in my inbox, this awesome BMW Cafe Racer built by Dutch company “Wrenchkings” had me drooling on the keyboard. The BMW R100, built for a female customer, was completed in three months and made to the owner’s measurements. Thankfully, this did not result in any compromises. The main focus of the performance upgrade was reliability, and King ensured it was suitable for the owner’s daily riding needs. As great as the finished bike is, I have to commend the guys for designing a bike that is so practical.

2. 46 Works R100RS Cafe Racer

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

When I accepted the invitation to be a special guest at the Mooneyes Yokohama Hotrod event, I was daunted by choosing my favorite performance. Fortunately, 46 Works made it easy with this stylish R100RS cafe racer. Shiro Nakajima, the owner of 46 Works, told us the story of the build after the show so it could be featured on the website. The motorcycle features a cantilever-style mono shock conversion, an aluminum custom subframe, Ohlin suspension, and Brembo brakes. A 46-works titanium exhaust and hand-finished front fairing and tail section finish it.

Everyone will undoubtedly agree that this beautiful BMW Cafe Racer deserves the prize. There is no transparent or gaudy color to this construction, as is typical of 46 works. Every change was made to enhance the R100RS platform, and everything has a purpose.

1. Larry Romestant’s BMW K1200RS ‘KAgusta’

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023

Everyone prefers BMW boxers when converting a motorcycle into a cafe racer. You can imagine my surprise when I listed this bike as number one on my Top 10 BMW Cafe Racer list because if I were to go down that route, it would be my choice too.

Who would have thought that a BMW brick could be so attractive? Perceptions of heavy German inline-fours are likely to change thanks to this K-Series cafe racer designed by BMW expert Larry Romstant. Larry completely rebuilt the sport-touring K1200RS into a true BMW cafe racer. From the ground up, the design incorporates elements of Italian aesthetics, thanks to the MV Agusta-inspired tank and Imola-inspired seat. There’s a huge list of traditional performance parts, and fit and quality are genuinely superb.

Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023 – Top List

Sr. # Top Ten Best BMW Cafe Racer Motorcycles in 2023
1 Larry Romestant’s BMW K1200RS ‘KAgusta’
2 46 Works R100RS Cafe Racer
3 Wrenchkings ‘For Her’ BMW R100
4 Cherry’s Company R9T Highway Fighter
5 High Octane BMW HP9T
6 Sinroja BMW R110 R3 Racer
7 De Angelis Elaborazioni Ladini BMW K1100
8 Custom Works Zon BMW R18 Departed
9 JSK BMW R Nine T
10 Lucky Custom BMW R1100 S

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