The Best Tires for Your Cafe Racer

Building a café-style racer build means more than just cultivating an aesthetic. It means putting together a quick, nimble bike that manages to keep itself street legal while performing with the kind of versatility and power that defines most trick bikes. While it’s rare to see café racers act out that flamboyantly, they need the precision handling and high performance acceleration to handle the kind of close-quarters street races that helped shape the build. Unfortunately, unlike cruisers and touring bikes or sport models, café racer builds don’t tend to have dedicated tire lines named after them. So how do you pick a tire that suits the build? Here are a few suggestions.

Shinko 270 Super Classic Tires

Shinko has been making discount motorcycle tires with top end performance for entry level and experienced riders since 1946, and the 270 design looks just like you would expect if your build had aesthetic roots in Europe in the decades after World War II. They’ve also got the traction and nimble handling you need when competing in events against today’s most highly tuned bike builds, with a tread pattern that provides grip and stability if things get wet while maximizing contact surfaces on dry pavement.

Avon AV6 Speedmaster

These narrow tires have thin, deep grooves to keep water out of your way and a lot of contact surface. Between their slim design and the grip they provide, they are perfect for tight turns when you are shedding momentum but you also want to be able to use some too maximize your speed as you come out. Their large contact area for such a slim tire also helps with acceleration when you pull back into a straight stretch. With a price point that starts above the Shinko 270’s, it is a tire for those who want to make an investment in their performance and know how to handle a narrower front tire.

Pirelli Angel GT Tires

Pirelli is and has been a top name for street racing tires in a variety of styles for both scooters and motorcycles, so it’s no wonder they have a contender for your café build. The Angel GT tires have a lot in common with the Diablo Rosso models when you look at their size and material composition. The big difference comes in tread pattern and contact surface.

  • Counterpoint grooves to provide traction during acceleration
  • Traditional tread grooves designed to channel water out of the way of the contact surface
  • Paired front/rear sizes for most bike models
  • High contact racing slick-style design with a wet weather tread maximizes speed and safety


Each of these tires represents a great choice for the right combination of riding style and price point, while preserving both the visual aesthetic and performance you expect from a café racer that has learned from a couple generations of design innovation. The right choice for you will depend partly on how you ride and partly on your other optimization choices. Read more about each at your source for the best motorcycle parts and accessories online, where you can easily reference their specs next to your other bike upgrades to see what they bring together.

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