Sunday, May 18, 2014

Electric Café Racers?


While technology and performance continues to improve with electric motorcycles, there has been one thing in general that always seems to be an afterthought - styling. That's not to say ALL electric motorcycles are lacking in style, we just haven't seen any that blew our socks off yet.

The bike above is from Belgian marque, Saroléa who returns to the motorcycle industry after a 50 year hiatus. Their Sarloéa SP7 is a 180hp modern electric machine wrapped in carbon fiber with styling that gives a nod to cafe racers of the past. This bike is capable of 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds with a top speed of 155mph.

While Sarloéa opted for a modern carbon fiber chassis and swingarm, Electra Racing took the café approach a step (or two) further with their TTXGP race bike by building it around a 1966 Norton Featherbed frame and dressing it in replica bodywork from a 1972 John Player Special Norton.

As most of you know, the Featherbed frame was one of the quintessential frames for cafe racers in the early days. So why not for a modern, electric café racer? The guys at Electra took the vintage Norton frame and updated it with a reworked fork pulled from a 2005 Kawasaki Ninja 250R. The rear end rides on Works Performance shocks and a custom swingarm. The wheels and brakes are from a Honda RS125 race bike; the 17-inch wheels are wrapped with Dunlop slicks.

While we would say neither bike has the sex appeal of an original café racer like these, we will say we like the direction we're heading!

More on the Sarloéa SP7 electric motorcycle - here.
More on the Electra Racing TTXGP race bike - here.

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