Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

21st photos

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

1/21
Harley-Davidson Café Racer old (XLCR 1000 Café Racer) versus new (XL 1200 CX Roadster).

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
archive

2/21
This is what it looked like in MOTORRAD 23/1977: Ilse Reuter gives a lot of gas.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

3/21
Old: XLCR 1000 Café Racer

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

4/21
Instruments…

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

5/21
…Mirrors, indicators…

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

6/21
…Fuel cap…

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

7/21
… and front fork and brake are original Harley parts, but come from more modern models. Christoph Madaus relies on suitability for everyday use and calls the whole thing “Advanced Stock Restoration”.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

8/21
The classic windbreak serves more decorative purposes.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

9/21
One tailpipe was enough.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

10/21
There is no space for a passenger.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

11/21
A charm of a crude combination of ancient engine and pseudo athlete.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

12/21
New: XL 1200 CX Roadster.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

13/21
The combination of speedometer and tachometer costs 399 euros.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

14/21
LED indicator inserts (€ 149) and indicator lenses (€ 19)…

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

15/21
…and gas caps (99 euros) are cheaper.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

16/21
Handlebar mirror? 129 euros each.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

17/21
Old light? Nothing! Pseudo windbreak? Nothing!

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

18/21
What used to be one is now two. The tailpipes are pleasing to the eye and as an encore there is a good sound.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

19/21
What was taken over from the old racer: the very, very getting used to sitting position.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

20/21
In all respects a successful conversion without deterioration.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared
Frank Ratering

21/21
The Sportster fan in the midst of his Sporty collection, u. a. an XR 1000 (top left), XR 1200 (right) and an XLCH from 1962 (center)

Harley-Davidson Jubilee Cafe Racer

Old versus new in comparison

No, you haven’t missed anything. There is (yet) no new Harley-Davidson Café Racer. But just in time for the 40th anniversary of Café Racer, there is an accessory collection called “Café Custom Accessories”. And a Sportster equipped with it met the original from 1977, probably the most extraordinary model in the 60-year Sportster history.

In the mid-1970s, I was pretty madly in love with Suzi Quatro. She wore tight leather and made music that suited my somewhat unconventional dance style. At the same time, I had a platonic, albeit somewhat less emotional, long-distance relationship with Ilse Reuter; because she also wore tight-fitting animal skin and was allowed to test motorcycles for MOTORRAD. In 1977 I drove a Jawa moped, Ilse drove Harley-Davidson cafe racer. No wonder we never really got together. So Ilse and I, not to mention Suzi Quatro.

Buy complete article

Harley-Davidson Café Racer old versus new compared

Harley-Davidson Jubilee Cafe Racer
Old versus new in comparison

"A kind of grandma in a mini dress"

A few weeks later I meet Rudi with the pimped roadster and Christoph Madaus with the real Café Racer in the Bergisches Land. Christoph is a Sportster fan like me, and like me, his passion was awakened by reading relevant trade magazines. But Christoph was smarter than me, because he bought his XLCR back in 1991 and thus in the not-yet-cult times, took it apart completely – and then left it in parts until 2008. The assembly then took another two years. Among other things because Christoph appreciates the absolute original condition (and implemented it in various projects), but preferred an “Advanced Stock Restoration” for the Café Racer. In other words: largely original condition, but with technical improvements.

And so it happens that his Harley-Davidson Café Racer is on the road with significantly better suspension elements and brakes than in 1977, that in contrast to the original, an oil filter was installed and the electrics were also more stable. And that the instruments are actually more original than the original, because in 1977 Harley built a speedometer and tachometer on the XLCR that could also be found on a Honda (!). Christoph, on the other hand, trusts advertisements that were only available from Harley-Davidson. All under the condition that motorcycles have to be vehicles and not standing vehicles for him. Which leads to an equally short and clear conclusion: The Harley-Davidson Café Racer by Christoph Madaus works and drives better than a 100 percent original ever could. And it has lost none of the charm that the crude combination of ancient engine and pseudo-athlete packaging offers. Ilse Reuter put it in a nutshell as early as 1977: “A kind of grandma in a mini dress.” That still applies today.

Slightly tense sitting posture

You shouldn’t write about a grandmother about the roadster trimmed for Café Racer, because unlike the original, the 1200 Evolution Twin definitely likes revs, has a lot of pressure for Sportster standards and doesn’t annoy you with bad vibrations. One peculiarity was taken over unchanged as part of the tradition: the very, very getting used to sitting position. But hey, the thing goes under the umbrella term “Café Racer”, not “Autobahn-kilometer eater”. The slightly tense posture is always good for the show-focused short-haul program.

Stephan Maertz, head of the Harley press workshop, needed around 20 hours to assemble all parts of the Café Custom Accessories collection, and he has definitely succeeded in not making what is currently the most active of all series sports cars. Not a matter of course in the custom bike business! The many noble attachments are easy on the hand and pamper the eye. The better sound is available as an encore. And the good feeling of driving a Sportster that isn’t on every corner – which in turn has in common with the original Café Racer. And what can be done for significantly less than 8,800 euros in materials; because all add-on parts can also be installed individually and / or successively. In any case, motorcycle junkie Christoph Madaus seemed interested, the granddaughter of his original would definitely fit into his collection. In the meantime, I’ll put on a few old Suzi records and maybe browse through a few Ilse stories. Somehow our cafe trip set me back 40 years.

The collector

The self-employed interior designer Christoph Madaus was born in Cologne (1959), studied mechanical engineering and merciless petrolhead. As well as a gifted custom bike creator.


Frank Ratering

Christoph Madaus in the middle of his collection.

This is how u. a. the award-winning Twintrax with two Harley engines in his well-equipped workshop. Madaus is a perfectionist, but not necessarily an Originalheimer. His motorcycle projects, summarized under the non-commercial brand “The German Motorcycle Authority” (www.german-motorcycle-authority.de), are divided into four expansion stages – from “Stock Restoration” to “Full Custom”.

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *