Royal Enfield has recently introduced the Continental GT café racer as their "lightest, fastest and most powerful model" now in production. Cycle World 2014 Buyer's Guide considers it "….a cool new café racer with an affordable price …. and has all the right café racer hardware".
So just what is a café racer?
Before there was a Harley-Davidson Dyna family there was the Wide Glide. Introduced in 1980 as the FXWG, the Wide Glide represented the black porn
epitome of Harley's factory custom theme, introduced in 1971 with the Super Glide.
One of the most distinctive styling elements of the Forty-Eight is the peanut tank. And as a tip of the hat to the year the tank was introduced, Harley named the new for 2010 Sportster the Forty-Eight (never "48").
Two research developments came together in 1984 when Harley-Davidson introduced the Softail model family. Work on the Softail frame, which hid the rear suspension to give the bike the look of hard tail choppers of the 60's and 70's, began in St. Louis in 1974.
The brainchild of Willie G. Davidson, senior vice president and chief styling officer at Harley-Davidson until his retirement on April 30, 2012, the first Super Glide made its debut in 1971. In an effort to appeal to customizers, and offer some competition to aftermarket suppliers, Willie G. took the frame, powertrain and rear suspension of the FLH Electra Glide and added the telescopic front forks, front wheel, and headlight of the Sportster. The new bike, the first Harley-Davidson factory custom, was dubbed the FX 1200 Super Glide.
Harley-Davidson has manufactured motorcycles under the Sportster model family since 1957, making it the Motor Company's longest running model. The earliest Sportsters were equipped with 883 cc and 1,000 cc Ironhead engines. The Sportster 1200 debutted in 1988.
The Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider traces its origins to Harley’s first factory custom. At the 1977 Daytona Beach Bike Week the Motor Company unveiled the FXS Low Rider. The first Low Rider had extended front forks and shorter rear shocks to put the rider just 26 inches off the ground.
It's been called the motorcycle that saved Harley-Davidson. The Sportster was introduced in 1957 and is the longest continuously produced model in Harley-Davidson history, and one of the longest in the world. Only the Royal Enfield Bullet, first manufactured in 1948, has a longer production history.
The roots of the Harley-Davidson Hummer can be traced back to pre-World War II Germany and the auto and motorcycle manufacturer DKW. Through the 1920s and 1930s DKW was one of the largest motorcycle companies in the world. DKW introduced the RT 125, a single-cylinder, two-stroke, 125 cc, air-cooled motorcycle in 1939.
The origin of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy, and the entire Softail line, goes back to a garage in St. Louis in 1974. Bill Davis was a bike customizer who preferred the look of the single piece hardtail frames, but he also enjoyed long distance riding. The lack of rear suspension on the hardtail motorcycles made long rides on them uncomfortable.
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