One of the most popular and well loved vehicles of all time, the R1150RT Cafe Racer is a true icon of British motorcycling. It was designed by none other than Ian Callum-Ellis, the famous designer behind the iconic Honda CBR, Yamaha YZR and many more popular models from that era.
R1150RT Cafe Racers was built as prototypes, but it didn't take long before production started in Italy and later on in Europe. The R1150RT was a much larger, faster and heavier motorcycle than its competitors which led to it being very expensive to own. There was also an incredible amount of competition in the motorcycle world, so the only way for a manufacturer like Ian Ellis to make a name for itself in the motorcycling world was to produce a bike that could out compete with the bikes of its rivals.
The engine of the cafe racer was very similar to the way the engines of the Honda CBR was built, so it was no surprise that the R1150RT shared some similarities with the bikes of the same era as well. The most obvious similarity between the R1150RT and the CBR is the fact that both bikes had the fuel injection system located at the bottom of the tank which allowed a carburetor to be mounted directly on top. The carburetor was also much larger and had air intake ports located right below the carburetor, which allowed for easy fueling and much more precise handling.
The engine on the cafe racers were also bigger than their contemporaries. The R1150RT featured a 4-stroke engine that was built to push out a massive amount of power that was quite impressive for such a small bike.
Like the bikes of its era, cafe racers also had some pretty unique styling and designs, which were created to look as sleek and modern as possible. They were designed with an aluminum frame that was made to be light and extremely durable as well as a long, slender body.
Although the R1150RT Cafe Racer did not receive much attention in the beginning of its production, it did not take long for it to get noticed. The popularity grew and when it finally went on sale it sold out in less than 48 hours. Many people believed it to be an impossible bike for a newbie to get their hands on due to its size and popularity, but it didn't take long for people to figure out how to work it. The bike soon became a legend of the motorcycle world and Ian Ellis was soon to get his own version of this legendary motorcycle in the form of the Honda CBR500R.