Finally, An Electric Cafe Motorcycle Racer!

When American vets  returned from World War II, they immediately took to the Army’s standard issue Harley Davidson motorcycles they had seen and ridden in the service. These were, however, very large bikes and the early riders simply chopped off the parts that they found unnecessary. Viola! The iconic American “chopper” is born. The story was much the same in Europe. However, with the Continent’s narrow, winding roads, a lighter, quicker, more nimble motorbike was needed. The result was the highly stylized cafe racer; a stripped-down, blazingly fast motorbike that for many is the essence is motorcycling.

Now, thanks to some ingenious DIY wrench twisting from a  South Carolina-based husband and wife team, there is finally an electric motorcycle with the look, feel and bugs-in-the-teeth speed of a classic cafe racer. We learned about this sleek electric ride from AllAbout Bikes.

e-cafe bike

image via Ed Fargo

Ed and Tammy Fargo have a long history in motor sports, bike building, even drag racing, but they’ve always had an eye for a cafe bike. After spending $250 for a 1978 Honda CB750 with a few missing parts, the two started the design and build.

After ripping out the engine and exhaust, the Fargo’s installed a Headway batteries,  Altrax 450 AMP controller, a Mars (now ME1003 Motor and Airtech period-correct fiberglass parts. The Fargos report the 90 volt power plant allows the “Juice” cafe racer to hit 102.5 MPH — a very, very pretty, all electric, zero-emission 102.5 MPH.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.


  • Reply November 3, 2011


    Calling a motorcycle a cafe racer means that it is mostly looks and not much substance. Cafe racers look fast, in order to impress the people passing by the cafe where the owner is posing and posturing next to the bike. The only actual riding done by the owner is from one cafe to the next.nnThat said, the people who made the bike look like they really know what they are doing. It’s a very impressive bike. I see that they have made some serious competition electric bikes, and even a little electric bike for riding around the pits at races, as well. I give much credit to them for their work and for their sharing of their work. I’m sure they were using self depreciating humor when they called this bike a cafe racer.

    • Reply May 11, 2012


      Do some serious research on cafe racers. You’re way off on your definition.

  • Reply November 3, 2011


    a cafe racer is a term given to old europien motorcycles that were modifiedu00a0foru00a0 nothing but speed and handling. The term does not refer to people thatu00a0 “posture” in front of their bikes. The term cafe racer was given because riders back in the day would put a coin in the juke box at the cafe and offer a challenge tou00a0their buddies that they couldnt race to a predetermined spot and back before the song ended. The loser bought the next round at the “cafe” which by the way served alcohol. You could stand by your bike in front of a cafe’ but thats only because you should be proud of your creation.u00a0 Electric is the wave of the future and makes me smile. and if they had this bike back then it would be more than acceptable because it breaks the “ton” (goes over 100 mph) and on the winding roads fast acceleration and superior handling is more importaint than a wicked top speed.

  • Reply November 4, 2011

    Bruce Miller

    Electric bikes soon with bigger better renewable batteries, motors have only 3 moving parts, last for a very long time, Folks with Solar Cell or Wind Turbine electricity run free, as Asians suck the world’s oil supplies dry, even buying up the Canadian Tar Sands, shipping through British Columbia directly to Asian markets. oil rich Canada charges its own folks world prices for oil! Will we enjoy electrics cars, three wheelers, cars. Will they replace gasoline models in the summer months? n

  • Reply November 18, 2011


    I’m not decryinh the idea of an electric bile or car as they cuould be a good idea; but dressing up an electic bike to look like a 1950s racer doesn’t work for me!nUnless they put a big speaker system to make it sound like a real bike ans not a sewling machine its not going to have a chance.

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