How to start a cafe racer collection

What does it mean to start a cafe racer collection? We speak to Ton Up Garage, based in Porto to find out


No one needs to tell you that owning a collection of anything can be full of satisfaction, whether its in vintage cars, property or our favourite.. custom motorcycles and cafe racers. Obviously there are many reasons to collect cafe racers; the enjoyment that can be had when riding a cafe racer on an open road is second to none and the chance to show them off is always a plus too. With some help of Daniel and Pedro, the founders of Ton Up Garage we have managed to piece together just why you need to start your cafe racer collection. 

"You need to have passion, if you have the passion you’ll live for it."

Ton Up Garage is a garage and workshop based in Porto, customising bikes and machines to customer specifications. Starting off in 2012 they tell us about their workshop that they started in, building bikes to a more European style approach. Over these next two years, they where building up their collection of bikes and machines they had built and moved twice in this period of time to different workshops increasing in size every time. Currently as mentioned they have a workshop in Porto with a small shop also in Lisbon. Building up a collection, "I believe you’ll need money" Pedro the Founder tells us. To an extent you do need money to fund the bikes, but one of the parts we believe in which comes over money is passion. Pedro tells us that they biggest element that has been of focus since they started Ton Up in 2012 has been passion. 



A cafe racer is an investment piece nowadays, so don't be scared to put your money into it, as long as you look after it it will probably be worth the same; normally even more than you bought a machine for or what it cost to build. If you buy into a vintage machine, such as a 60s, 70s and 80s machine you are going to have to look after it. Even though these machines where built to last, they always need some TLC. Out of question vintage bikes are always going to take some extra looking after than your modern 2000s build but if your a collector or investor its going to be worth it in the long run. You will have to put more money down in the first place, but that money is going to stay with the bike; you come to sell it 10 years later and its probably going to have doubled its money. This is for a lot of factors, such as vintage bikes are becoming harder to source to covert to a cafe racer build, and the fact that the cafe racer community is growing there is more demand for them. We suggest buying into a machine while you can. 

Buying into a cafe racer or custom motorcycle can bring you many joys, just imagine if you had a couple of bikes... just to say you have a few cafe racers is impressive - being honest though to say you have one to your average Joe is impressive!



Daniel tells us "I think the world is becoming boring…all things are being built with no soul", with being hugely passionate about bikes, cars and anything oil stained since young lads being brought up by their parents. Ton Up Garage give a soul to their builds, which is an awesome feeling for them, not just us! A cafe racer build with soul is the best type of build you could ask for.. right? This goes for owning a collection, you have to have soul throughout your builds otherwise your collection is going to be dry.. Probably one of the best aspects of owning a collection is that you have more than one build within your garage, this is great as you can own different machines going from the brat style build, to a traditional cafe racer, to an off road scrambler. All built for different purposes your collection can comprise of different builds for different activities, you might just pop down to the shops on your 125 brat build, but of a weekend you might go and rip up the local fields on your scrambler. You choose. 

Fueling the culture, they both tell us "everything is becoming standard, even western societies are becoming standard and that’s boring. I believe this culture gives a sense of escaping from this, being different, being creative, being free, being wild". 

As Pedro and Daniel tell us "we’re not a collecting fans, we really appreciate to ride our own bikes, living and feeling the good sensation it really is to ride them…we don’t get a lot of pleasure from possessing them, the fun is when you ride and we love to ride!!!". I don't think anyone could put it better, that a collection is for riding and not collecting dust in your garage.

The question is when are you going to invest in your collection?