You know you love the look, the ethos and the culture around Cafe Racers. You\u2019ve spent some time trawling through Google images looking at different models and types throughout the 60\u2019s until now, contemplating the possibility of owning one yourself. But it\u2019s difficult to navigate the endless forums of mixed bags all boasting an expertise that may just be blunder and bluster - in fact, it probably is.\r\n\r\nWe got in touch with Stan Bullock from Australian Motorcycle Expert, Bikebiz, to get the low-down on some basic, yet important, considerations that you should keep in mind before, during and after you make your first Cafe Racer purchase.\r\nSize Matters\r\nIt could be the most beautiful piece of retro motoring you\u2019ve ever seen, but be careful to size yourself up properly on\/next to it. This is for two primary reasons 1; You will look like a bit of an idiot if it\u2019s too small or big for your height or weight 2; It can be dangerous - Cafe Racers (especially the older, original models) don\u2019t have modern components, like reactive brakes, and are therefore more difficult to control\/stop, so be sure that the bike isn\u2019t too heavy or large for you to handle.\r\n\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s a Difference Between Rustic and Beaten Up\r\nIt's hard for first time buyers to tell the difference. It\u2019s fashionable right now to buy modern bikes that have been customised to look like a vintage Cafe Racer - but that\u2019s not to say that people aren\u2019t also purchasing the ridgy-didge classics. A question to keep in mind when doing this; is it actually rustic or is it just beaten up and built upon bastardised bits of gear. A way to distinguish between the two is having the bike evaluated by a mechanic before purchase - the seller may be frustrated with you for it, but you\u2019ll end up with the knowledge you need to make an informed purchase.\r\nBuying Old Means Buying Temperamental\r\nLike going to purchase any bike, you should run through a safety & functionality checklist: tires, headset bearings, brake pads and brake linings - these are the most common things that may have degraded on the bike, especially an older one. Start by inspecting for crash damage in the frame and checking the chain and sprockets for wear and tear.\r\n\r\nAlso take a look at the oil window and check its colour - this will give you a good indication as to how well the bike has been looked after. If the oil is completely black, and\/or\u00a0 isn\u2019t falling within the \u2018High-Low\u2019 region, the seller may not have been maintaining the bike correctly.\r\n\r\nSee if there is any past chafing\/fraying of the wires near the steering input, as this could eventually cause an electrical short mid-ride, which could be lethal. Lastly, inspect the condition of the exposed surface areas, such as the fuel tank, exhaust & muffler\/s for rust and damage.\r\n\r\n\r\nFind Out What\u2019s Been Changed and What Purpose it Serves\r\nWith any bike that\u2019s been modified, it\u2019s really important to check for inclusions, be it for for style or functionality. In some cases, modifications done on bikes to enhance the visual aspects can actually hinder the machines ability to perform. For example: bars that fall on\/graze the tank or fairing at full lock could end up trapping your fingers or thumbs during the ride. Back routing of control cables, clutch and throttle, could affect the way key components function - like throttle return. The easiest way to find out is to ask the seller exactly what\u2019s been done to the bike while in his or her possession.\r\nCheck Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself\r\nOk so you\u2019ve gone ahead and made the purchase - now it\u2019s your job to maintain your new machine. There are a few key things you should be checking.\r\n\r\nFirstly, the balance on a cafe racer is harder to maintain, which means that the PSI for your tires should be checked and monitored pretty much every time you go for a ride - we cannot stress this enough, as it could be the difference between life and death for you.\r\n\r\nAnother important one: check the drive chain (chain & sprockets) every 1000 k's or so. This will increase the lifespan of your bike and facilitate a smoother ride on your new machine. Last but not least you\u2019ll want to use good quality fuel (as one would, for most things that go fast). Disclaimer: if your bike has a carburetor, put Unleaded 95 into the tank, avoid Premium 98 and whatever you do; most definitely never fill up with any ethanol based fuels - although this kind of fuel will clean out the engine and fuel tank, any rust that may have built up will then go through the motor as you ride, which trust us, you don\u2019t want happening.\r\n\r\n\r\nDon\u2019t Be Afraid to Ask\r\nFinally you\u2019re going to want to join some online communities and start learning more about the bike you\u2019ve purchased. Post questions and queries which when answered, will help you on your journey of becoming a Cafe Racer aficionado. You may even make a few friends in the process!\r\nHave you subscribed to Man of Many? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.