Welcome to the World of intrigue, fun and fear, al mixed up with grease, Oil, blood and tears.
I am talking about a lifestyle and passion that has always been around but now has become more popular in the Globe, yes- The good old Cafe Racer Motorcycle.
Be it a BSA to a Zundapp, Cafe Racer motorcycles are something special, all unique to their own yet share the same interest, SPEED and MANOUVERABILITY.
I grew up with Cafe Racer Motorcycles in the UK, My Dad rode his 500 Matchless in 1959 around London via the infamous ACE Cafe and the lesser known Busy Bee Cafe.
Motorcycles were and still are one of the cheapest modes of transport and I just absorbed all these cool fast styles of days gone by, in my own style and today, some 3 decades after my first Cafe Motorcycle, I am creating my own Signature style of Cafe racer and people are liking what I do.
I was a Motorcycle dispatch ride for 20 years, based in the City Of London, a dangerous yet exciting job, taking me all over the city, sometimes at breakneck speeds to get Documents to court houses and every now and again I would have to go to Buckingham Palace.
Sometimes I would be given a Green flashing light and would have to plop a frozen Heart in a box of ice and rush it to the Hospital, as I could get there faster than an Ambulance or even a helicopter.
All my Motorcycles had the Cafe Racer treatment, not just for cool looks, I cut the bars down and banged the knee inserts in because it got me close to the bike.
London Cabi's (Taxi drivers) Never care about Motorcycles and often drive unaware that you are there, so, the tighter I could get in between traffic for me, the better.
But, for me, the biggest Acalade is to get emails from people, informing me that I have not only got them off the couch, but I have inspired them to create their dream ride and have fun doing it.
The Cafe Racer is and always will be such a huge part of my life and I hope to continue to make many friends from all corners of the globe in this great style and unique-ness, that has now become pretty well recognised as of late.
Here is my rendition of what the Terminolgy of CAFE RACER is.
A Cafe racer, originally pronounced " caff " ( as in Kaff ) racer, is a type of motorcycle as well as a type of motorcyclist and have their roots in the 1960s British counterculture group the Rockers or Ton-up Boys; although were also common in Italy, amongst Italian motorcycle manufacturers and other European countries.Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock'n'Roll counterculture that wanted a fast, personalised and distinctive bike to travel between transport cafés along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (called by them "the ton") along such a route.They rejected the large transportation oriented motorcyles of the time and taking these motorcycles they removed unnecessary parts off them. The bikes then looked like circuit racing motorcycles and the engines were tuned for maximum speed. Many cafe racer bikes have distinctive small low-cut fairings.Whilst the cafe racers of the 1950s and 1960s are mostly gone now, the term is still used to describe motorcycles of a certain style and some motorcyclists still use this term in self-description. The motorcycles are modified for speed rather than comfort; single seats, low handle bars such as ace bars or even one sided clip-ons mounted directly onto the front forks for control and to escape the wind, half or full race fairings, large racing petrol tanks often left unpainted, swept back exhausts and rearset footpegs in order to give better clearance whilst cornering at speed.These motorcycles were lean, light and handle road surfaces well. The most defining machine of its heyday being the homemade Norton Featherbed framed and Triumph Bonneville engined machine called " The Triton ". it used the most common and fastest racing engine combined with the best handling frame of its day, The Featherbed frame by Norton Motorcycles.It must be remembered that it was also a style born largely out of the poverty of Post-War Europe and so not given to the excesses of later Harley-Davidson Billet-Barge style customisation.The cafe racer scene has a lot in common with the chopper or bobber scene in the USA. Both looked to make the standard factory motorcycles faster, lighter and better handling. The defining factor being the difference between the nature of the US and European road systems, the Americans favouring a low heavy cruiser style of motorcycle for straightline comfort; the Europeans preferring a higher, better handling motorcycle more suited to the narrow tight twisting medieval roads of their nations .