Avoid: Hipster Tax %

Avoid: Hipster Tax %

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Hey fellow C.B.S. readers. Have you ever looked on Craigslist and noticed "cafe racer" motorcycles are valued 10X more than stock bikes? Hipster tax! Today we will be covering on what we believe is a 21st century epidemic, a plague and a trend that is spiraling out of control on our youth. This epidemic is called hipster tax and should be avoided at all costs. If not, you could pay more than what the perceived market value is on a British motorcycle. Hipster tax can be applied to any and all goods. Before we get into this thing called "hipster tax", lets go over the true definition of what a "hipster" really is.


What is a hipster?

 According to urban dictionary the hipster definition (in short) is a "subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. The greatest concentrations of hipsters can be found living in the Williamsburg, Wicker Park, and Mission District neighborhoods of major cosmopolitan centers such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco respectively".

What is hipster tax?

Hipster tax is a form of tax that applied to anything and everything that is trending in today's market - everything from vintage typewriters, vintage clothing, classic cars, shoes, books, furniture, homes, and vintage British motorcycles. Yes I said it - vintage British motorcycles like Triumph, BSA, and Norton because its "hip" and "cool". The past couple of years cafe racers, bobbers, and brat style motorcycles have really dominated the trend in the motorcycle industry and "hipsters" have captured that market.




BSA A65 Cafe Racer

 Have you found yourself scrolling down eBay, Craigslist or Letgo and saw 2 identical motorcycles for sale but one was valued more than the other because it had "cafe racer bars" or a "cafe racer seat" - hipster tax.

 How about you go to a local motorcycle show and see a cool old BSA A65 with low bars but the owner insists that its a real "cafe racer" - hipster owner

 Your buddy says he wants to buy his first motorcycle and you ask him what kind? He reply's "A cafe racer". - vulnerable hipster tax payer



The best way to avoid this premium tax is to simply educate yourself before you make a purchase. Since I deal with vintage British motorcycles I see this tax everyday and some folks actually pay a premium price for motorcycles that are not worth it. I always tell my customers don't over pay for something when its trending, instead keep searching for a motorcycle that you really desire at the price its worth. Join the conversation by commenting below. Thanks for reading.


  • Stefan Endres

    Hello, this yellow BSA A65 is my motorbike. I built it up 10 years ago and still love to ride it.
    And I am not pleased to read in what context it is brought here. I would be happy if you would use another motorbike for it.

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan Endres

  • Classic British Spares

    @Justin I agree with you 100%. There becomes a point where is customizing an original bike really worth it? Perhaps I should write a new blog on this? Your T100SC is so original even changing the bars would take away its originality. Thanks Justin for posting, really appreciate your input.

  • Justin

    Dude, the hipster tax is brutal here in the Central Valley. Had a dude tell me my t100sc would be soooooooo much better if I cleaned it up and “cafe’d” it out, then told me about his …Honda Valkyrie and how much faster than my “cute” little 500 it was. It kills me when I see so many perfectly good runners destroyed in this manner, typically by people with zero technical aptitude. Granted, I’ve seen some radical machines built by the likes of guys like Carpy, etc, but the bikes they usually start with are beyond a restore point. It’s heartbreaking to cruise craigslist lately. This trend is killing off the classic bike scene. The other side of that coin are the 70s biker gang cosplayers destroying classic bikes, too. I’m not necessarily a purist, but the loss of original and unrestored motorcycles of all types to the cafe/bobber/chopper/hipster scene is a grievous wound to our hobby.

    OK. I’m sorry. Rant over.

  • Classic British Spares

    @ joe mcginnis wow that is very interesting! Gotta love that Atlas engine. Thanks for reading today and have a great day!

  • joe mcginnis

    I have a Rickman-Metisse frame that came from England in 1966. It was used as a 1/2 mile race bike. It is one of the few that was fitted for a 750 ATLAS engine. After it was retired in 1974 Got it in a deal. I used it for enduros for 2 years. and then I made a cafe racer out of it. It sat in the shop from 1998 until now and is being restored so I can ride it once again. PS it got 70 miles to the gallon on a trip running 70 MPH. No it’s not for sale.

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