Though they are close cousins and often the same model bike could be very similar in appearance, one could be regarded a café racer and the other a streetfighter. The differences are subtle but instantly recognizable by the officionado.
Replacing crashed bodywork costs big bucks so having none makes sense. And frequently these bikes were modified 70’s and 80’s Japanese big-bore superbikes with no fairings to begin with. Or had fairings but were bought second-hand with cosmetic damage so the body-work would be gone or removed, creating the signature streetfighter look.
So bear with me if I've previously said that necessity is the mother of invention. Makes economic sense to me.
Most mods for streetfighters include radically raised rear sub-frames with solo seats, beefed up suspension front and back, bigger brakes, bigger rear sprockets for acceleration at the expense of top speed, dual front headlights, engine mods for a torquey powerband, chrome and paint work.
Popular classic Japanese fighters include the Kawasaki KZ900,1000 and Z1 series, Suzuki GS1000 superbikes, early Suzuki GSXR streetfighters, and so on into the modern era. Today factories build ready-made streetfighters such as the Ducati Monster and Triumph Speed Triple.
A few manufacturers make a modern version of the Universal Japanese Motorcycle that lends itself to customization and have become a popular basis for the classic streetfighter.
KAWASAKI STREETFIGHTER MOTORCYCLES
Kawasaki's mighty Z1 comes up again and again. There's some KZ1300s, Z1R Turbo's and more to come. It's quite a decision to make when contemplating turning an old Kawasaki classic into a streetfighter. I had a 1977 KZ650 that was getting ratty.
It was before the era of the streetfighter but if I'd known then what I know now, I would have turned it into a fighter for a lot less than it would have cost to restore it to a decent level.
This Honda CB1100F prototype could be a wicked Streetfighter with some flat bars, a raked-up seat and a bit of a clean-up. Use your imagination, because if they don't build it, that's all we'll have.
Have a look at the left-sweeping headers on this prototype. Talk about memories of the Honda CB400f and it's classic design!
But with a modern 1100cc motor, well, how can you not wish?
Yamaha marketed the FZ16 in India as an affordable street fighter. But little would the Japanese motorcycle have imagined that the FZ’s parts would one day go into resurrecting the RD350, in Streetfighter guise. This is exactly how it transpired. Arjun Raina of Motoexotica put together the Yamaha RD350 Streetfighter for friend Tejinder.
Apart from the tank and seat borrowed from the Yamaha FZ, the RD350 Streetfighter has a whole list of custom bits, from the swing arm to the race-spec expansion chambers. This motorcycle is very streetable, and Motoexotica proved its point with Tejinder racing up the Nandi Hill Climb to claim top honours.
See below for a tough looking 1983 Suzuki Harris Magnum streetfighter by Dave at CC Performance Engineering Ltd
This has one of the last GSX-R1100 oil cooled engines. It's got Dynojet stage 3's, straight through exhaust and Dymag alloy wheels.
Also ,Brembo discs with GSXR calipers (rear has original Brembo), adjustable De Carbon rear shock and original Harris Mag 1 frame/swing arm and alloy fuel tank.
Recent sprockets and chain (spare new Talon rear sprocket inc.) Stainless steel elecric box, battery box, chain guard and frame guard.